Legislative language introduced by U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) in May calling for meaningful efforts to examine how best to increase recruitment and retention of foster parents was included in the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act. The bill cleared the Ways and Means Committee today, and will be voted on by the House of Representatives later this month.
The Bass legislation calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to study the recruitment and retention of foster parents of children served by any foster care program.
"We as a society should be judged on how we treat children that are not our own," said U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. "Too many children in our communities are not raised by their parents or families, and we must open doors of opportunity for them. Even in this partisan political environment, I am pleased that we all agree that protecting some of the most vulnerable children in the country is an issue of shared concern."
Bass is a long-time advocate for strengthening the foster care system.
The Ways and Means bill sets out to improve child welfare programs now providing $700 million per year to fund child protective services, child abuse prevention activities, and initiatives to support at-risk families and adoption.
The bill will be before the Ways and Means Committee in September and then voted on by the House of Representatives shortly thereafter.