The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, co-chaired by Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), has now formally launched. The stated goal of the Caucus is to reduce the number of children in foster care “by proactively strengthening families and supporting permanency through adoption and kinship care.” The four co-chairs are joined by 32 other Congressmen and Congresswomen from both parties who are official Caucus members.
One of the first actions the Caucus will take is to travel the country on a Listening Tour beginning in 2012 to hear from those involved in the child welfare system directly. The tour’s schedule has not yet been developed and Caucus members are soliciting ideas of places to go and people to meet in order to better understand the child welfare system’s current issues and needs. CWLA members are doing important work in all 50 states and have the firsthand experience and knowledge that these Members of Congress are seeking. This is a great opportunity for CWLA members to contact the Caucus and share their suggestions.