The field of child welfare is brimming with policy proposals and legislation that could dramatically change the way the federal government invests in foster care and families on the brink. What’s more, some appear to have bipartisan support or the potential for it. This is a guide to the various reform-minded work happening on federal child welfare policy at the moment.
On Saturday November 23rd, an estimated 4,500 children in foster care will find their forever families on National Adoption Day. This annual one-day event has made the dreams of thousands of children come true by working with policymakers, practitioners and advocates to finalize adoptions and create and celebrate adoptive families.
|Angels in Adoption: What does family mean to you?|
At CCAI’s recent Angels in Adoption gala, we asked each of our awardees and presenters to submit a family photo along with a quote explaining what family means to them. To join in our celebration of National Adoption Day on November 23rd, would you consider submitting your own family’s photo and quote to email@example.com with “ Family Photo” in the subject line? We might just post it in an upcoming CCAI blog!
Successful program focusing on working with LGBT parents, will now increase agency competency in working with LGBT children and youth – The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with the Dave Thomas Foundation and the National CASA Foundation, today announced the expansion of the highly successful All Children – All Families (ACAF) project. ACAF was established in 2006 to remove barriers faced by prospective LGBT foster and adoptive parents and has worked closely with more than 70 agencies nationwide serving nearly 40,000 families. The new ACAF will increase the programmatic focus on safety, permanency, and well-being for LGBT youth, who among the 400,000 in our nation’s foster care system.
Several members of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth presented and listened to testimonies at a hearing focused on preventing trafficking of youth in the foster care system. Many of the solutions, such as the Caucus’s Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act, aim to improve the child welfare system to prevent exploitation and serve foster youth victims. Former foster youth Withelma “T” Ortiz Walker Pettigrew’s gave a powerful testimony at the hearing. T also spoke to MSNBC about this critical issue.
Moving out of the foster care system can be a difficult transition. Many young people lack the financial and emotional support to succeed when they turn 18 and leave the system. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 240,000 teens exited foster care just last year alone.
One man is walking through the central coast to raise awareness of aging out. “Aging out is when foster kids become 18, there is seemingly no support for them,” said Billy Boylan, Founder of Aging Out USA. Boylan’s parents both died from cancer. He then went into the foster care system and at times, was homeless. When he aged out of the system, he says finding a support system is essential and it can be a tough transition for many.
He expects to take a year and a half to complete his journey around the country
As a foster parent of twelve years, Dr. John DeGarmo understands greatly the realities of being burned out. “Indeed, there have been those times where I have been completely exhausted, both mentally and physically. My November blog addresses these dangers, as well as offers a few strategies designed to combat this problem.”
Al Roker kicks off National Adoption Month with a touching story about a boy’s birth mother and adoptive mother who have not only connected with each other, but have grown a strong family bond.
Please consider forwarding this blog to other Permanency Champions and those that could use a healthy dose of Permanency. Take care and keep up the Permanency work – Our children, youth, young adults, families and communities are depending on it!