Strengthening the family
Dear Friend -
Like you, I believe all life is precious and that the family is the single most important community to which we will ever belong.
As your representative, I am fighting to ensure policies protecting life and strengthening the family remain on the top of the priority list in Washington. I wanted to update you on several bills passed this week aimed at improving foster care services and supporting families.
H.R. 2847 – Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act
Summary: The bill would expand the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program, which provides assistance to youth who have aged out of foster care by increasing age eligibility, and providing educational and training vouchers for individuals until the age of 26.
H.R. 2866 – Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act
Summary: The bill would make it easier for relatives to become foster parents by removing barriers in foster care licensing, particularly related to housing standards. H.R. 2866 would encourage states to update licensing standards in order to increase the number of eligible relative foster parents.
H.R. 2742 – Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act
Summary: The bill would both decrease costs associated with child welfare case management and decrease delays in foster care placement by authorizing federal appropriations funding to help assist states to modernize their child welfare case management systems and encourage states to transition from paper to electronic processing systems that are compatible across states lines.
H.R. 2834 – Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act
Summary: The bill would apply to both intrastate and interstate agreements under the Regional Partnership Grants (RPG) program, which assists children who are in or at risk of being placed in the child welfare system because of their parents’ substance abuse. RPG funding helps to support family treatment drug courts, family-centered treatment, and other evidence-based substance abuse-related programs.
H.R. 2857 – Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act
Summary: The bill allows states to use Title IV-E reimbursements for qualified children who are placed with a parent in family-based residential drug treatment programs for up to 12 months. Both children and parents benefit when families remain intact while parents participate in family-based residential substance abuse treatment programs.
I supported passage of all of these important bills with the hope that they will make foster care more effective and ensure our young people grow up in safe, supportive environments.
I hope you will contact me any time an issue that concerns you is before Congress, especially if it involves policies aimed at protecting life and supporting families.
It's an honor to serve you and Virginia's First District in the People's House.