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Children, Youth, and Families
In Georgia, there are thousands of children in foster care. Nationwide, more than half a million children are living in foster care. 12,000,000 Americans spend time in foster care and every year more than 24,000 youth turn age 18 while in foster care. Child welfare services share a common goal of finding safe, stable, and loving homes for these young people. Unfortunately, this dream is not always realized.

At a young age, when most are still relying on financial and emotional support from their parents and family, these young people have no one to fall back on. Foster youth continue to struggle to find housing, health care, education, livable wages, jobs, security, and stability.  We must do all we can to help children living in foster care join loving families and I look forward to supporting reforms this year. Children in foster care have waited long enough.

As a member on the Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I have made a commitment to protect and improve the future of those in the child welfare system. I proudly sponsored H. Res. 1208 (Statement), which recognizes former foster youth and their efforts to reform and improve the foster care system. In addition, H. Res. 1208 (Bill Text) also calls for review of federal and state programs conducted under Title IV of the Social Security Act that would improve services to help former foster care youth succeed in their transition to adulthood and independence.

I strongly support legislation that remedies the care system through-

  • Establishing subsidized guardianship programs as a means for achieving permanency for children in long-term foster care
  • Requiring States to take specific steps to promote educational stability for foster youth
  • Extending eligibility for foster care through age 21
  • Extending Medicaid coverage to current and former foster youth through age 21

Some of the significant legislative proposals aimed at reforming the child welfare system that I have cosponsored include:

  • H. Res. 1185, recognizing National Foster Care Awareness Month - Statement
  • H.R. 5466, the Investment in Kids' Instruction, Development and Support Act (Invest in KIDS Act)
  • H.R. 2188, the Kinship Caregiver Support Act
  • H.R. 1376, the Medicaid Foster Care Coverage Act of 2007
  • H.R. 4688,the Tribal Foster Care and Adoption Access Act of 2007
  • H.R.6307, the Fostering Connections to Success Act
 
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