Monday, October 28, 2013

Legislation relating to Family, Children, Foster and Adoption

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The following information summary is provided by the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth provides a forum for Members of Congress to discuss and develop policy recommendations to strengthen the child welfare system and improve the overall well-being of youth and families.
There are more than 424,000 youth in the foster care system and thousands more who have experienced abuse and neglect. We need to develop approaches to ensuer that our nation's vulnerable, yet resilient, youth are provided with  the opportunities and support necessary to succeed.
- Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Co-chairs
May you find Strength in Your Higher Power,
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Last updated October 2013
  • Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act of 2013 (H.R 102)
Rep. John Conyers(D-MI-13)
  -  Requires for states to contact the adult relatives of children removed from parental custody
  -  Staff contact:                    
  • State Foster Program Payments (H.R 286)
Rep. Green, Gene [D-TX-29]
  -  Provides difficulty of care payments for biological parents of children with disabilities
  -  Staff contact:
Rep. Wilson, Frederica S. [D-FL-24]
  -  Requires state child welfare agencies to report information on missing or abducted foster children promptly to local law enforcement agencies
  -  Staff contact:
  • Enhancing the Quality of Parental Legal Representation Act of 2013 (H.R 1096)
Rep. Moore, Gwen [D-WI-4]
  -  Provides legal representation for parents and legal guardians during child welfare cases
  -  Staff contact:
  • Dave Thomas Adoption Act of 2013 (H.R 1476)
Rep. King, Peter T. [R-NY-2]
  -  Allows for penalty-free withdrawals from Individual Retirement plans for adoption expenses. This bill will allow individuals to withdraw up to $10,000 from their IRA in order to cover qualified adoption expenses.
  -  Staff contact:
  • Strengthening the Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2013 (H.R 1732)
Rep. Bass, Karen [D-CA-37], Rep. Marino, Tom [R-PA-10], & Rep. McDermott, Jim [D-WA-7]
  -  Provides child welfare employees with appropriate tools to effectively serve and prevent child victims of trafficking and those at risk. It also requires states to report numbers of trafficking victims.
  -  Staff contact:
  • Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R 2028)
Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5]
  -  Prohibits discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any individuals who wish to be adoptive or foster parents.
  -  Staff contact:
  • Foster Children Opportunity Act (H.R 2036)
Rep. O'Rourke, Beto [D-TX-16]
  -  Ensures that children in the foster care system are screened and identified for eligibility for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and other relief options as quickly as possible.  It will also provide technical assistance and resources to court and child welfare staff to carry out this new requirement.
  -  Staff contact:
  • Foster Youth Higher Education Act (H.R 2108)
Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5]
  -  Allows students to indicate on their FAFSA application that they are or were in the foster cares system so that they may be eligible for federal program assistance
  -   Staff contact:
Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5]
  -  Eliminates the requirement to have been previously eligible  under the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children program, which is a predecessor to be eligible for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program
  -  Staff contact:
  • Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of  2013 (H.R 2144)
Rep. Braley, Bruce L. [D-IA-1]
  -  Amends the Internal Revenue Code to make the tax credit for adoption expenses refundable.
  -  Staff contact:
  • Families for Foster Youth Stamps Act of 2013 (H.R 2149)
Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13]
  -  Requires that in a timeline of four years, the USPS will provide issuance and sale of a semipostal to increase funding for programs that improve permanent homes for foster care youth
  -  Staff contact:
  • Adoption Tax Credit Tribal Parity Act of 2013 (H.R 2332)
Rep. Kilmer, Derek [D-WA-6]
  -  Allows Indian tribes to make the determination that a child is a child with  special needs for purposes of the adoption tax credit.
  -  Staff Contact:
  • Help Separated Families Act of 2013 (H.R 2604)
Rep. Roybal-Allard, Lucille [D-CA-40]
  -  Requires the state plan for foster care and adoption assistance to notify relatives seeking placement of a child that their immigration status will not be questioned.
  -  Staff contact:
  • The Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2013
(H.R 2439)
Rep. Kuster, Ann (D-NH-2)

 - Promotes permanent families for children, privacy and safety for unwed mothers, responsible fatherhood, and security for adoptive parents by establishing a National Responsible Father Registry
 - Staff:
  • Child Sex Trafficking Data and Response Act of 2013 (H.R 2744)
Rep. Paulsen, Erik (R-MN-3)
 - Better enables State child welfare agencies to prevent sex trafficking of children and serve the needs of children who are victims of sex trafficking.
 - Staff:
  • Guardian Stability for Children Act (H.R 2979)
Rep. Doggett, Lloyd (D-TX-35)
 - Helps ensure greater stability for children cared for by guardians and kinship providers. Keeps kids out of foster care by ensuring guardian can be replaced by successor guardian when necessary
 - Staff Contact:
  • Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013
(H.R. 3092) Signed into law!
Rep. Guthrie, Brett (R-KY-2)

- Amends the Missing Children's Assistance to declare that many missing children are runaways. Requires annual report be sent to President and Congress. Authorizes additional uses for annual grant awarded to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- Staff Contact:
  • Promoting Adoption and Legal Guardianship for Children in Foster Care Act
(H.R. 3205) Signed into law!
Rep. Camp, Dave (R-MI-4)

-Reauthorizes the Adoption Incentives program for 3 years, encouraging the adoption of more children from foster care
- Staff Contact:

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