Tag Archives: Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth

CCAI Foster Youth Offer Recommendations For Improvements to Child Welfare

The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s (CCAI) 2014 Foster Youth Internship (FYI) report,”Shaping Tomorrow with Today’s Minds”, was released on Wednesday, July 30. A group of interns finished up their summer work on Capitol Hill by unveiling the set of recommendations. The proposals were crafted by the 11 interns who, through their intern experiences observing the Washington process and by blending what they learned with their own personal experiences, developed a series area-specific changes to foster care.

Policy recommendations include:
• Giving Youth a Voice: Contact After Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
• Increasing Stability for Infants and Toddlers in Care
• Essential Documentation for Youth in Care
• Addressing the Trauma: Treating Children’s Mental Health with Screening and Assessments
• Creating Best Practice Standards for the Intersection of Immigration Enforcement and the Child Welfare
• Renewing the System’s Commitment to Child Well Being: Fostering Resilience through Trauma Informed
• Providing Comfort and Information to Children Transitioning into the System
• Stolen Pasts, Corrupted Futures: Preventing Identity Theft for Youth in Foster Care
• Empowering Foster Youth through Case Plan Trainings to Increase Youth’s Acceptance Rate of Extended Foster
• Helping Foster Youth Overcome Barriers to Employment
• Improving Educational Outcomes for Foster Youth: Special Education and Mental Health

The recommendations include a number of proposed changes to current federal law to address strengthen the protections for youth in care as well as proposals to strengthen current practices. To read and download a copy of the report go to the CCAI website under, Shaping Tomorrow with Today’s Minds

Foster Youth Caucus Introduces FERPA Bill, Rallies for Foster Youth Shadow Day

Yesterday the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth introduced the A+Plus Act, H.R. 5871, which will reform national education law to allow access to students’ records for children who are in foster care.  Currently, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), unintentionally hinders the educational success of students in foster care by creating a barrier between school records and the temporary guardians of the youth – the child welfare agencies.  Without access to a student’s records, child welfare agencies and social workers are limited in their ability to advocate for the youth’s educational success. The A+Plus Act will rectify this obstacle by granting child welfare agencies direct access to school records for youth in care. The legislation has been introduced by all four co-chairs of the caucus, Representatives Karen Bass (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), Jim McDermott (D-WA), and Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) and enjoys bipartisan support.

The caucus held a rally to support the bill and to celebrate Foster Youth Shadow Day in which 25 young people who emancipated from foster care spent the day with a Member of Congress. Many of the youth spoke at the rally in support of the legislation as well as other issues they hope to see addressed to improve the lives of young people who have experienced out-of-home care.

Bass spoke about how moved she was by the stories of the young people and how impressed she was with their advocacy. Marino shared with the audience his experience being a foster father to a teenager who will be emancipating soon.