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.
More on Foster Care & Adoption
Youth enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP have access to oral health care but the use of oral care services varies by state and many foster youth fall through the cracks of care because states often treat oral health care coverage as optional. 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 increasing the eligibility age, expanding the covered oral health treatment, and providing incentives for dental providers to serve eligible youth.
“Today marks one year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic,” said Rep. Karen Bass. “Around that time, it was common to hear that covid-19 would be a great equalizer. The thought was that no one had ever been exposed to the disease before, so everyone was vulnerable. But data gathered over the past year has revealed that to be untrue. One of our most vulnerable populations, young people in the child welfare system, have been impacted disproportionately by this pandemic.
“This pandemic has exposed the most vulnerable populations in our country – especially the nearly half a million young people in our child welfare system and those who ‘age out’ of foster care every year. This bill will provide emergency temporary supports and flexibilities for older foster youth, grandparents raising grandchildren & other kinship families, home visiting for at-risk pregnant & parenting families, foster care prevention services, and other child welfare services through the end of 2021.
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.