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Republican Leaders Press Biden Administration for Answers on How Ongoing Border Crisis is Impacting American Foster Children

April 16, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Republican Ways and Means leaders wrote to request that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General investigate the extent to which children in the U.S. foster care system are being impacted by the need for placements for unaccompanied children.

With over 18,800 migrant children crossing the southern border in March of this year, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) response to the recent surge in migrant children crossing the border calls into question contracting practices that result in unaccompanied children being transferred to facilities and homes currently being used as foster care placements.

The letter was signed by Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Republican Leader Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee Republican Leader Mike Kelly (R-PA). Read the full letter here.

“Foster children and youth already face challenges related to a national shortage of foster parents, as well as limited availability of more permanent placements into other appropriate care settings. The surge of unaccompanied children at the border is a humanitarian crisis, and not benign in its impact on the well-being of the vulnerable children that each state in this country works to protect and keep safe every day,” said the Republican leaders.

The United States currently has greater than 400,000 children and youth in foster care nationwide, and recent press reports from Washington State about foster youth forced to vacate their residence to provide accommodations for unaccompanied migrant children are cause for a broader investigation into the impact on the foster care system nationally.