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September 10th, 2008
Grijalva Calls Upon Senatorial Support for Foster Care Legislation

Washington, D.C. — Hailed as the most significant development in foster care in over a decade, the Fostering Connections to Success Act, (H.R. 6307) makes major strides in improving the lives and outcomes for America’s most vulnerable children.

Approved by the House earlier this session, the Fostering Connections to Success Act, introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), is now awaiting action in the Senate.

Key provisions in the legislation include addressing the Aging-Out provision whereby a foster child is cut off from all support at the age of 18 by extending federal foster care payments up to 21 years old, providing federal support for relatives caring for foster children, increasing access to foster care and adoption services to Native American tribes and improving the oversight of the health and education needs of children in foster care.

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva calls for support of this legislation that will improve the lives of our Nation’s foster children.

“We, as a society, are the legal guardians of foster children,” said Grijalva. “These are our children and the fact is we are failing too many of them. We must focus on shortcomings in the existing system that can disconnect foster children from the things they need most – family, support and school. We must not disconnect from these youth at 18, many of whom become homeless. We must not disconnect them from family. We must not disconnect them from receiving adequate health care. And we must not disconnect the assistance needed for Native American children who are removed from their homes. I call upon the Senate to pass this bill.”

The legislation will also provide new resources to ensure all child welfare workers have access to better training and improves incentives for States that increase the number of children adopted out of the foster care system.

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