Supportive Policies

Legislators are Listening

There are many proposed bill, enacted policies and new funding in foster care this year. Here are those that transition-age foster youth who read Voice of the Foster Care Community report identified as having the most potential impact on the issues raised by their peers, caregivers and workers, and could serve as a blueprint for other States.

The President’s 22-23 Budget

  • $7.5 Billion: Expand availability of mental health and substance abuse services
  • $700 Million: Crisis care services for people experiencing behavioral health crises
  • $100 Million: Increase over 10 years in Chafee funding to support youth transitioning from foster care
  • $50 Million: Expand the legal representation for children and families in the foster care system
  • 10% Increase: In matching funding for guardianship placements
  • Increase: Availability of foster care prevention services including funding for programs that address racial inequities in the child welfare system
  • Requirement: States to report on their use of informal kinship as an alternative to foster care which can deprive families of critical resources available if these families were included in foster care

Policies that address: Prioritizing Child Well-Being in Child Welfare
  • CA: CalAIM initiative to reform Medi-Cal service delivery, program and finance to improve outcomes and reduce health disparities for foster youth
  • FL: Family Navigator initiative to enhance the safety and well-being of Florida children after a report of potential child abuse or neglect
  • UT: SB171 - requires the Huntsman Mental Health Institute to develop a youth behavioral health curriculum for the Dept of Education to increase awareness about behavioral health challenges facing youth in the state
Policies that address: Structural Racism and Discrimination
  • CA: AB2655 - Blind Removal Pilot is a proposed pilot program across five counties to utilize a blind removal strategy to address racial disproportionality in child welfare
  • MN: H4122 - Racial Disparity in Shelters funds grants to address racial disparity of youth using shelter services
Policies that address: Stable, Permanent Families
  • AZ: Requires all parties involved in child placement proceedings to adhere to procedural time limits including a 90-day timeframe within which termination adjudication hearings must occur
  • DC, IN, WA: Several states are prioritizing in dependency court kinship placements and increasing payments, resources and services to kinship caregivers to be more in line or equal to non-relative caregivers
  • NM: H135 – Indian Family Protections Act institutionalizes protections for Native American children preventing their arbitrary removal from homes and their Tribes
Policies that address: Resource Scarcity and Inequity
  • FL: SB7024 - increases payment rate for relative and on-relative caregivers who take care of children in the foster care system
  • HI: S2481 - Office of Youth Services Youth Crisis Center Branch to provide immediate temporary shelter for youth at risk during times of crisis and create individualized service plans to assist them
  • PA: Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem - court may appoint a special advocate to represent the best interests of the child and to represent the child in court
Policies that address: Youth Self-Sufficiency
  • CA: Governor’s budget and AB1861 provides tax credits directly to transition-age foster youth (18-25) and provides employers with tax credits for hiring them
  • IL, MA, NJ, NY, WA: several states have homeless prevention initiatives that includes setting up task forces, developing online publicly available databases of available beds and shelters, and ensuring positive transition plans to prevent foster youth homelessness as they age out
  • MS: HB1313 - Fostering Access and Inspiring True Hope (or Faith) Scholarship Program provides free college and technical school tuition for foster youth
Policies that address: Involving those who Live and Work in the Child Welfare System in its Functioning
  • CA: State ACL 22-23 guidance - counties are required to invite parents and youth with lived experience onto their cross-sector collaboration/oversight bodies and to consult with them when developing local prevention plans
  • OH: HB4 - Youth Ombudsman Office to improve safeguards for youth experiencing abuse in biological, foster, adoptive, residential and group facilities. This new office will be led by a Youth Ombudsman who is appointed by the governor with advice from the youth-led OHIO Youth Advisory Board