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Fostering Connections Act: 2009 Resources

 
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Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008: H.R. 6893 / P.L 110-351

On October 7th, 2008, H.R. 6893 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, received the President’s signature and became Public Law No: 110-351. The bill is designed to connect and support relative caregivers, improve outcomes for children in foster care, provide for tribal foster care and adoption access, and improve incentives for adoption.  H.R. 6893 will provide state options for subsidized guardianship payments for relatives, incentives for adoption, adoption assistance, kinship navigator programs, new family connection grants, and federal support for youth to age 21.  To view a summary of the Act, click here.   

For further information on the Act:

Resources

Background and Overview of the Fostering Connections to Success Act: H.R. 6893 / P.L. 110-351

  • Sheri Steisel, Federal Affairs Counsel, Senior Director, Human Services

NCSL's 2009 Spring Forum Session Audio Recording on the Fostering Connections to Success Act

  • MaryLee Allen, Director of Child Welfare and Mental Health, Children's Defense Fund

  • Courteney Holden, Senior Legislative Associate, APHSA, National Association of Public Child Welfare Administrators

New Opportunities for Federal Funding for Child Welfare: Key Questions and Considerations for States

  • MaryLee Allen, Children's Defense Fund

Opportunities to Improve Outcomes for Older Youth

  • JooYeun Chang, Director of Public Policy, Casey Family Programs

Child Trends: State Kinship Care Policies

Grandfamilies Online Searchable State Legislative Database

State Implementation Reports

Alabama |Alaska |ArkansasArizona | Colorado District of Columbia | Delaware | Florida | Illinois | Indiana | Kansas | Kentucky | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | MinnesotaMississippi Missouri | Montana | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | Nevada | New York | Ohio | Oregon | Pennsylvania | South Carolina | Texas | Tennessee | Vermont | Virginia | Utah | Washington | Wisconsin

2009 Enacted State Legislation 

2009 enacted state legislation related the provisions of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act: H.R. 6893 / P.L. 110-351.  

Chart Updated May 2010

State Bill Summary Sponsor

Arkansas

HB 2013, Act 1311

Requires the Department of Human Services to identify and provide notice to all adult grandparents and other adult relatives within 30 days of a juvenile transferred to the custody of the department. Requires court reports to include information and recommendations concerning placement and visitation with a grandparent or other adult relative.

Representative Burris
Arkansas SB 351, Act 325

Establishes that a child is eligible for a guardianship subsidy if the Department of Human Services determines that the child is eligible for Title IV-E foster care maintenance payments and that the child, while in the custody of the department, resided in home of the prospective relative guardian for at least six months and the prospective relative guardian was licensed or approved as meeting the licensure requirements as a foster family home.

Senator J. Key, Representative J. Dickinson
Arkansas SB 359, Act 391

Establishes that the Department of Human Services shall develop a transitional plan with every juvenile in foster care not later than the juvenile’s seventeenth birthday or within ninety (90) days of entering a foster care program for juveniles who enter foster care at seventeen (17) years of age or older. Mandates the department to assist the child aging out of foster care with the obtaining health insurance and employment, among other items.

Senators Madison and Representative Powers
Arkansas SRB 26

Requests an interim study on grandparents raising grandchildren and the feasibility of providing a subsidy to grandparents raising grandchildren.

Senator Salmon
Arizona HB 2622, Chap., 148

Makes additions to the required contents of a temporary custody notice to include a statement that the parent or guardian must provide to the Department of Economic Security the necessary information to locate persons related to the child or who have a significant relationship with the child. Establishes that at the preliminary child protective hearings and dependency adjudication hearings the court shall order the parent to provide to the department the necessary information to locate persons related to the child or who have a significant relationship with the child. The court also shall determine whether the department is attempting to identify and assess the placement of the child with a grandparent, relative or person who has a significant relationship with the child.

Representatives Chabin, Barnes, and Murphy

California AB 154, Chap. 222

States the intent of the Legislature to conform state statutes with the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 and to expend savings resulting from changes in eligibility for adoption assistance on services, including, but not limited to, postadoption assistance. Requires that the State Department of Social Services or a licensed adoption agency inform prospective adoptive families of their potential eligibility for a federal and state tax credit.

Assembly Member Evans

California

AB 770, Chap. 124

Maximizes the opportunities for Indian tribes to operate foster care programs for Indian children pursuant to the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008; requires the Department of Social Services to modify the state foster care plan to that end.

Assembly Members Torres and Ammiano
California AB 938, Chap. 261

Requires a social worker, when a child is removed from the home, to immediately begin conducting an investigation in order to identify and locate all grandparents, adult siblings, and other adult relative of the child, in order to provide those persons with specified information, including that the child has been removed from the custody of his or her parents or guardians and an explanation of various options to participate in placement of the child.

Assembly Judiciary Committee

California

SB 597, Chapter 339

Makes amendments necessary to be consistent with the requirements set forth in the federal Fostering Connections Act. These include requiring the State Department of Social Services to exercise diligence to identify and provide notice to all adult grandparents and close relatives of the child; requiring the Department, in consultation with pediatricians, health care experts, and experts in and recipients of child welfare services to develop a plan for the ongoing oversight and coordination of health care services for a child in a foster care placement; and requiring the department or licensed adoption agency to provide information regarding the federal adoption tax credit for any individual who is adopting or considering adopting a child in foster care.

Senator Liu
Colorado SB 245, Chap. 436

Amends portions of the Colorado Children's Code to comply with the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 concerning kinship placements and due diligence. Allows the court to order the Department of Human Services to exercise due diligence in contacting all grandparents and other adult relatives 30 days following the removal of the child and to inform them about placement possibilities for the child. Establishes a kinship guardianship assistance program in the department of human services.

Senator Sandoval

Connecticut

HB 5421, Chap. 185

Establishes that at the temporary custody hearing regarding the placement of a child, the court shall identify any person or persons related to the child or youth by blood or marriage who might serve as licensed foster parents, certified relative caregivers or temporary custodians and order the Commissioner of Children and Families to investigate and determine, not later than thirty days after the preliminary hearing, the appropriateness of placement of the child or youth with such relative or relatives.

Representative Orange

Georgia

SB 254, Act 37

Determines that within 30 days after the removal of a child from the custody of the parent or parents of the child, the department shall exercise due diligence to identify a parent or relative of the child or other persons who have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the child.

Representative Peake

Illinois

HB 2365, P.A. 276

Creates the Kinship Navigator Act. Defines "kinship care" as the full time care and of children by relatives, members of their tribes or clans, grandparents, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has physical custody and a kinship bond. Establishes a program, to be administered through a grant to a not-for-profit organization, to serve as liaison among State agencies and groups, to promote kinship care and provide diversity services.

Representative Eddie Washington

Illinois

HB 4054, Public Act 581

Creates the Foster Youth Successful Transition to Adulthood Act. Establish a program of transitional discharge from foster care for teenage foster children, enabling former foster youths under the age of 21 who encounter significant hardship upon emancipation to reengage with the Department of Children and Family Services and the Juvenile Court, in order to secure essential supports and services available to foster youth seeking to learn to live independently as adults.

Representative Feigenholtz

Indiana

SB 365, Act. 131

Section 59: Requires the Department to exercise due diligence to identify and provide notice to all adult relatives within thirty (30) days after the removal of the child from the parents. Section 64: Establishes that a foster child's case plan must include a plan for ensuring the educational stability of the child while in foster care.

 

Iowa

SB 152

Relates to administrative and planning requirements involving children for whom the Department of Human Services has responsibility under state or federal law. Revises transition planning for older children in foster care who are age 16 or older and approaching adulthood to include health care coverage planning, opportunities to have a mentor, and education and housing assistance. Requires documentation of the educational stability of the child while in foster care. Mandates the department to send a notice to all adult relatives of the child in custody explaining their options to provide care for the child.

Senate Human Resources Committee

Louisiana

HB 590

Requires public school governing authorities to ensure that children in foster care are allowed to remain enrolled in the same public schools in which they were enrolled when entering foster care. Provides that if the placement is outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the public school in which the child is enrolled, the governing authority of such school shall be responsible for providing free transportation for the child.

Representative Clem

Michigan

SB 227, P.A. 15

Creates the Guardianship Assistance Act to provide a negotiated, binding agreement for financial support for children who meet the qualifications for guardianship assistance. Sets eligibility of child and guardian. Specifies that only a relative who is a licensed foster parent caring for a child who is eligible to receive Title IV-E funded foster care payments for 6 consecutive months is eligible for federal funding under Title IV-E for guardianship assistance. States that a child not eligible for Title IV-E funding who is placed with a relative is eligible for state-funded guardianship-assistance.

Senator Clark-Coleman

Michigan

SR 27

Urges Congress to take certain actions with regard to the federal guardianship assistance program by revising the funding to allow the six-month residency requirement to begin to run prior to licensing of the home, provided that both the home is licensed and the residency requirement is met before federal funding begins.

Senator Clark-Coleman

Michigan

HB 4159

Modifies the adoption support subsidy to include that the department may pay a support subsidy to an adoptive parent if specific requirements are met including that the adoptee is a child with special needs. Determines that the maximum amount of the subsidy shall be equal to the rate that the child received in the family foster care placement or the rate the child would have received if they had been in a family foster care placement. If adoption assistance is to be paid, the department and the adoptive parent or parents shall enter into an adoption assistance agreement. Provides for extension of the agreement for an adoptee under 21 if certain requirements are met including that the adoptee has not completed high school or a GED program and the adoptee is regularly attending high school or a program for children with disabilities on a full-time basis and is progressing toward achieving a high school diploma, certificate of completion, or GED.

Representative Smith

Minnesota

HB 1298, Chap. 88

Increases county program aid payable to Beltrami County in the calendar year 2009 to be used by the county to the governing body of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians for the cost of implementing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.

Representative Lenczewski

Minnesota

SB 666, Chap. 106

Allows certain foster children between the ages of 18 and 21 to request, and requires the local agency to develop, a specific plan related to the foster child's vocational, educational, social, or maturational needs, and must ensure that any foster care, housing, or counseling benefits are consistent with that plan.

Senator John Marty

Minnesota

SB 1503, Chap. 163

Establishes that the responsible social services agency shall make diligent efforts to identify and locate both parents of any child who is the subject of child welfare proceedings, as well as conduct a relative search to identify and provide notice to adult relatives. Diligent efforts include asking the custodial or known parent to identify any nonresident parent of the child and provide information that can be used to verify the nonresident parent's identity. Efforts also must be made to place siblings removed from their home in the same home for foster care, adoption, or transfer permanent legal and physical custody to a relative.

Senator Torres

Missouri

HB 154

Requires the state to make diligent efforts to contact and locate the grandparents of a child for emergency placement, except when the children's division determines this to not be in the best interest of the child. Defines "diligent efforts" to include a good faith attempt documented in writing by the children's division, which exercises reasonable efforts and care to utilize all available services and resources related to meeting the ongoing health and safety needs of the child, to locate a grandparent or grandparents of the child. Creates a "Foster Care Education Bill of Rights" which designates an educational liaison from each school district to each child in foster care. Establishes that each child placing agency shall promote the educational stability for foster care children when making placement decision by considering their current school attendance area. 

Representative Ruestman

Missouri

SB 291

Creates a "Foster Care Education Bill of Rights" which designates an educational liaison from each school district to each child in foster care. Establishes that each child placing agency shall promote the educational stability for foster care children when making placement decision by considering their current school attendance area.  

Senator Shields

New Mexico

SB 248, Chap. 239

Includes in the New Mexico Children's Code that prior to the foster child's 18th birthday the court shall review the transition plan and determine whether the department has made reasonable efforts to have a complete transition plan for the youth.

Senator Ortiz

New York

AB 153, Chap. 53

Makes appropriations for the support of government - Education, Labor and Family Assistance Budget, including appropriations for developing and implementation of a new subsidized kinship guardianship program consistent with the federal fostering connections to success and increasing adoptions act of 2008.

Office of the Governor

North Dakota

HB 1094, Chap. 267

Determines that within thirty days after the removal of a child from the custody of the parent or parents of the child, due diligence to identify and provide notice to all parents, grandparents, and any other adult relative suggested by the parents and grandparents, shall be exercised. Establishes that siblings shall be placed in the same foster care, relative, guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless it is determined that the joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings. Provides for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings for those siblings removed from their home who are not jointly placed.

Human Services Committee; Rep. Delzer and Sen. Erbele

Oklahoma

HB 1734, Chap. 338

Creates a Passport Program in the Department of Human Services (DHS) to compile education, medical, and behavioral health records for children in protective custody, kinship care, and foster care. Determines that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Department of Education, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services shall cooperate with DHS to establish the Passport Program. The Passport shall accompany each child to wherever the child resides so long as the child is in the custody of the Department.

Representative Peters

Oklahoma

SB 339, Chap. 160

Requires the court, at the emergency custody hearing of the child, to mandate the parent, legal guardian, or custodian to list all parents and relatives as potential placements for the child. Requires the Department to exercise due diligence to identify all relatives of the child and notify them that the child has been removed from their parent's custody and alert them to the requirements to becoming a potential foster care provider for the child. Requires the Department to make reasonable efforts to place any siblings in state custody together and provide for frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction in the case of siblings who have been removed and who are not placed together.

Senator Anderson

Texas

HB 1151, Chap. 1118

Develops the permanency care assistance program which will provide for the reimbursement of the nonrecurring expenses a kinship provider incurs in obtaining permanent managing conservatorship of a foster child; the program must conform to the requirements for federal assistance as required by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.  Establishes that the department shall include training in trauma-informed programs and services in any training the department provides to foster parents, adoptive parents, kinship caregivers, and department caseworkers; the department shall pay for the training with gifts, donations, and grants and any federal money available through the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. Extends foster care payments after a youth is age 18. 

Representative Thompson

Texas

HB 704, Chap. 96

Adds a section to the Family Code establishing extended jurisdiction over a foster youth, if the youth requests it, after the youth’s 18th birthday. Allows a court to conduct placement review hearings for a child in the managing conservatorship of the state after the child's 18th birthday until the child's 21st birthday.

Representative Rose

Texas

SB 2080, Chap. 1238

Allows the department to continue to pay the cost of foster care after a youth is age 18 until age 22. Extends adoption assistance to a child’s adoptive parents after age 18 and until age 21 if the original adoption assistance agreement was first entered after the youth was age 16. Develops the permanency care assistance program which authorizes foster care payments for relative caregivers who meet the eligibility criteria under federal and state law and department rule. Permanency care assistance may be extended after age 18 and until age 21 if the original agreement was first entered after the youth was age 16.

Senator Uresti

Texas

SB 2248, Chapter 850

Establishes education transition assistance to a student in substitute care. This transition assistance includes ensuring that school records are transferred within a set timeframe and developing systems to ease the transition for the student during the first two weeks of enrollment at a new school.

Senator Zaffirini

Utah

HB 63

Amends education requirements related to enrollment and attendance in order to comply with the requirements of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act.  Requires a court to attempt to keep sibling groups of minors together, if keeping the sibling group together is practicable and in accordance with the best interest of the minors.

Representative Harper

Washington

HB 1961, Chap. 235

Expands the current relative guardianship program by providing adoption support benefits, or subsidized relative guardianship benefits on behalf of youth ages eighteen to twenty-one who achieved permanency through adoption or a subsidized relative guardianship at age sixteen or older. Allows for the continued foster care or group care and necessary support and transition services to youth ages eighteen to twenty-one years who are enrolled and participating in a post high school academic or vocational program.  Expands foster care up to age 21 for youth who are enrolled and participating in a postsecondary or vocational educational program or who are engaged in employment for eighty hours or more per month. Allows for the continued foster care or group care and necessary support and transition services to youth ages eighteen to twenty-one years who are enrolled and participating in a post high school academic or vocational program.

Representatives Roberts

Washington

HB 1938, Chap. 234

Directs the court reviewing and approving an adoption agreement to encourage consideration of providing post-adoption contact between siblings who will be separated by the adoption. Requires the court to inquire of attorneys and Guardian ad Litems representing children in adoption and other custody matters about the potential benefit of continuing contact between siblings and the potential detriment of severing contact. Requires the pre-adoption home study report to verify that discussions with adoptive parents included the relevance of sibling relationships.

Representatives Roberts, Kagi, Angel, Walsh, Dunshee, Pettigrew, Green, Goodman, Haler and Kenney

Wisconsin

SB 347, Act 79

Requires agency to conduct diligent search for all relatives and provide notice to adult relatives when a child is removed from the parental home and provide information on how they may support the child or provide care.  Requires reasonable efforts to place siblings together, or, if siblings are not placed together, requires that agency provides for frequent visitation and ongoing interaction.  Establishes that during the 90 day period immediately prior to a child aging out of foster care that a caseworker must provide the child with assistance and support in developing a transition plan which includes plans for housing, education, health care, and work force supports.

Senator Jauch and Representative Dexter

Wyoming

SB 103, Chap. 196

Establishes that notice be served of child protective proceedings, regarding a child who is alleged to have been abused or neglected, to a non-custodial parent or putative father who has not had parental rights to the child removed by a court, and who is not alleged in the petition to have abused or neglected the child.

Senator Ross

 


 

For more information please contact Sheri Steisel at sheri.steisel@ncsl.org or Nina Williams-Mbengue at nina.mbengue@ncsl.org or 303-856-1559.

 

 

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