Ros-Lehtinen & DeLauro Introduce Measure to Protect Infants and Toddlers in Foster Care
Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Rosa L. DeLauro introduced a measure that protects infants and toddlers in foster care. The legislation is titled the Safe Babies Act of 2007.
Infants and toddlers are the fastest growing category of children entering foster care and the most vulnerable to the effects of maltreatment. Separation from parents, sometimes suddenly and always traumatically, coupled with the damaging experiences that have precipitated out-of-home placement, can leave infants and toddlers dramatically impaired in their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.
"Our commitment to a child's education reminds us of the work that still needs to be done in order to ensure that all Americans have the tools they need in order to succeed in elementary, secondary school, and beyond," said Ros-Lehtinen. "It is so important that families take an active role in the development of their children. Parents provide the tools to our youth to mold them into individuals who will become successful and prosper. As parents, leaders, and educators, we are committed to ensuring our children the knowledge that we know will prove vital in their future success. This legislation would accomplish that."
This legislation takes critical first steps to mend the relationships that determine the children's experience of life," said DeLauro. "There is no question that foster care is a challenging experience for all children, but for infants and toddlers who are already vulnerable, the experience has been proven to have long-term growth effects. Our bill empowers the child's point of entry into the foster care system - the judge - to provide services children need to ease this transition."