Neal, Davis, and Pascrell Applaud HHS Reversal of Discriminatory Trump-Era Foster Care Policy

Nov 18, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), released following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will revoke Trump Administration state waivers that permitted discrimination within the child welfare system based on religion and sexual orientation, resulting in negative consequences for LGBTQ children and families:

“Thanks to the Biden Administration, more qualified, compassionate families will be able to serve as foster parents, and more foster children will find placement in safe, affirming, and loving homes. It is essential we shield young people in the foster care system from the kind of discrimination and harm the Trump Administration’s waiver permitted. Today’s welcome news shows that HHS is recommitting to protecting the wellbeing of children in its charge.

“Our late colleague John Lewis helped lead the Committee’s work on this issue, and we think of him today as justice is delivered for particularly vulnerable foster kids and families.”

In January of 2019, Subcommittee Chairman Davis and then-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight, the late John Lewis (D-GA), launched an investigation into the Trump Administration’s granting of a waiver to South Carolina that allowed federal funds to be spent in a discriminatory manner within the state’s child welfare system. Last year, Committee Democratic staff released a report entitled “Children at Risk: The Trump Administration’s Waiver of Foster Care Nondiscrimination Requirements,” which found that in approving this waiver, the Trump Administration deliberately caused HHS to fail its mandate to act in the best interest of abused and neglected children.