No amount of government involvement can replace the greatest drivers of American life and prosperity: our families, friends, neighbors, and communities. Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed six bills that help put family decision-making and communities - not the federal government - at the center of the foster care system, and begin to help more Americans move from welfare to work.
Here's a quick breakdown of the bills that passed, with my support:
What we passed: Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act
- What it does: Reduces the time it takes to place foster children across state lines with a family member, foster parent, or adoptive parent by requiring states to implement the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) system for exchanging information.
What we passed: Reducing Barriers for Relative Foster Parents Act
- What it does: Reviews and improves relative foster family home licensing standards to place more children with relatives rather than with foster parents.
What we passed: Improving Services for Older Youth in Foster Care Act
- What it does: Expands eligibility for the Chafee Foster Care program to better support older foster youth in making the transition to adulthood.
What we passed: Supporting Families in Substance Abuse Treatment Act
- What it does: Helps keep families together as parents seek treatment for addiction.
What we passed: Partnership Grants to Strengthen Families Affected by Parental Substance Abuse Act
- What it does: Strengthens regional partnership grants to more effectively help communities address the impacts of substance abuse.
What we passed: Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act
Why these bills matter:
- What it does: Encourages employer led partnerships with state and local agencies to hire recipients from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, providing recipients with highly valued work experience and on the job training.
Too often, today's foster care system focuses on using foster care as the ultimate solution - instead of keeping families together and delivering the best results for children. These bills put a child's well being and safety over numbers and quotas
. They also work to connect out-of-work Americans with employers, moving forward with solutions to help in bridging the unemployment gap.
These six bills are all part of the House Republican's agenda for a better way -- a better way to bridge the unemployment gap, improve upward mobility, reduce poverty, and build a more confident America
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