Foster Care & Adoption
Congressmember Karen Bass is one of the lead legislators in Congress when it comes to our child welfare system.
During her first term, she founded the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth to protect and promote the welfare of all children in foster care. The Caucus also develops transformative legislation overhauling the nation's foster care system as well as serve as a key advocacy arm within government for the needs of foster children all across the country.
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Youth enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP have access to oral health care but the utilization of oral care services varies by state and many foster youth fall through the cracks of care because oral health care is often treated as optional coverage. Tooth decay is the most common chronic condition among US children. The Foster Youth Dental Act seeks to improve continuity of oral health care services for current and eligible former foster youth by expanding the age requirement and providing incentives for dental providers to serve eligible youth.
While the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth and their colleagues in Congress continue to advocate for federal COVID-19 relief for transition-age foster youth, they also encourage Governors to support these young people as they manage their state responses to the pandemic.
Read the letter here or below.
Read the full letter here or below.
“Foster youth may be particularly vulnerable to financial hardship and food and housing insecurity during this time,” they wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. “To address these unique challenges, we respectfully request that you include provisions in the next legislative package addressing COVID-19 to provide temporary assistance for this population, including support for housing, healthcare, nutrition, and other basic needs.”
Family First Transition Act
The bill drew on the Family First Transition and Support Act of 2019, which was introduced by the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth in May.
“Each year our participants have a real hand in making change – from CHAFEE grant extensions, to the passage of the Family First Act just last year, this group’s voices have changed our child welfare system forever,” said Rep. Bass. “The reality is this: when the government removes children from their parents, the government becomes that child’s parent. Too often, the government forgets this commitment and life goes on for those not in the child welfare system. But for those in it, they come to feel trapped and forgotten.”