Yesterday, in observance of National Adoption Month, U.S. Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) spoke at a national briefing sponsored by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which highlighted new efforts for foster care and international adoptions.
As Co-Chair of both the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, Rep. Bass provided insight on ways Congress can increase the number of adoptions of foster youth by providing additional financial assistance and support services to adoptive families, such as child care, respite services and parenting classes.
"It's incredibly important that we continue to engage in these meaningful discussions to identify the best practices and policy reforms necessary to help ensure safe and stable families both domestically and internationally," said Rep. Bass. "This session confirms President Obama's commitment to the welfare of our children and I am confident that the ideas expressed during this summit will contribute to improving this country's foster care and adoption systems.
Other speakers included, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, and Joshua DuBois, Executive Director, for the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In addition to the speaking program, leading child advocates, religious leaders and Obama Administration officials offered guidance on how individuals, and faith-based and neighborhood organizations can support adoption in their communities as well as share best practices on their efforts to promote adoption.
In addition to participating in briefings such as the one yesterday, Rep. Bass and other members of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will hold a listening tour in several cities around the nation to explore trends, best practices and challenges states may face in improving the child welfare systems in both rural and urban communities.