Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act
On October 7, 2008, President George Bush signed into law the most significant improvement to child welfare services in over a decade. As a result of the new law (P.L. 110-351), which was approved unanimously by both the House and the Senate, federal Title IV-E supports are now available for states to promote kinship and guardianship care, and states will also have the option to extend supports for foster youth up to age 21.
The law also calls for greater coordination and oversight of health care and educational services provided for foster children, and includes the gradual elimination of the financial criteria for the Title IV-E Adoption Assistance program. The law also strengthens the Adoption Incentives program allowing states to enhance their capacity to find permanent homes for children waiting to be adopted. Tribal nations–for the first time–will also benefit by having direct access to foster care supports.
Following the signing, former Voices President and CEO, Bill Bently, said in a press statement that “with more than 500,000 children in foster care nationwide, and 25,000 foster youth who “age-out” to live on their own, these young people cannot wait another day for the promise of secure, nuturing homes this measure offers. By signing this critically important legislation, the President has made it possible for hundreds of thousands of children in foster care to find permanent families.”
Available Resources for the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act:
This document is intended to help ensure full and prompt implementation of the improvements in the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act for children being raised by grandparents and other relatives. Download the entire document here or access the report by section here.
Frequently Asked Questions on the Provisions Designed to Impact Youth and Young Adults
Developed jointly by eight national organizations, this document is intended to help states with implementing provisions related to youth and young adults as part of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act when they become effective October 1, 2010.
The entire document is available here.
Guiding principles for implementation is available here.
Congressional Leaders Join Voices Network In Applauding the Law:
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA): “This comprehensive bi-partisan reform measure will address critical needs in the child welfare system and promote permanency and well-being outcomes for children and families across Pennsylvania and the nation,” said Joan L. Benso, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children. “This legislation recognizes that every child deserves a forever family.”
Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT): Karen Crompton, Executive Director of Voices for Utah Children lauded Hatch for his work on and support of the legislation, which the Senate passed late Monday. “I applaud the support of Senator Hatch to advance this vital legislation that represent the most significant improvement in services to help our nation’s most-vulnerable children,” Crompton said. “Through this effort, Congress has shown the ability to cross party lines to improve the lives of foster children who are currently awaiting a permanent home.”
Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE): “We appreciate the commitment made by Senator Neslon and his colleagues in paving the road to permanency for children and families,” said Kathy Moore, Executive Director of Voices for Children in Nebraska. “This bill is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise tumultuous year and we hope it is the first of several policy changes to come in 2009 which will improve the conditions for Nebraska’s vulnerable children.”
The Fostering Connections Resource Center is dedicated to providing timely and reliable tools and information on all aspects of the Fostering Connections Act to ensure that state, tribal and local decision makers are well-informed about the law and that they receive maximum support as they plan for and carry out its implementation.