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Fostering Connections to Success Act

Location: Washington, DC

FOSTERING CONNECTIONS TO SUCCESS ACT -- (House of Representatives - June 24, 2008)


Mr. COOPER. I thank my friend Mr. McDermott for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this bill. It does great work to help our foster children nationwide. It's long overdue, many of these reforms, and, thankfully, it's paid for. As a Blue Dog, my colleagues know that I am focused on fiscal responsibility issues. So this bill does good not only for the foster kids, but also it does not injure our budget.

I hope that people realize that while this bill is a very positive step, it is an incremental step. There is so much more that we need to do to improve our foster care and adoption system. My friend from Washington (Mr. McDermott) has a very comprehensive bill in this regard. We need to look at that. First we are going to have to figure out a way to pay for it. But investing in kids is an investment in our own future.

In my opinion, the area of foster care is perhaps the most broken area of Federal law. So let's not use this small step we are taking today as a reason for inaction in the future. Let's use it as a stepping stone to bigger, better, bolder reforms that would help the half million children who are in government supervision today. There are 10,000 in Tennessee alone, and we're not doing justice by these children.

Today's bill will help with kinship care and helping them get care when they have aged out of the system at 19, 20, 21, but there is so much more that we need to do.

So I thank my friend the gentleman from Washington (Mr. McDermott) for his amazing leadership in this year. It's an accomplishment what we are doing today. I urge all Members to support it. But this is just the beginning.


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