Neal, Davis, Pascrell Statement on GAO Foster Care Report
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 release of a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on LGBTQ+ youth in the foster care system and ways the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can assist states in supporting these youth:
“We greatly appreciate GAO conducting this thorough study and helping us identify ways to better support LGBTQ+ foster youth as well as foster youth’s religious beliefs. The Biden Administration has already taken critical steps to reverse discriminatory Trump-era policies that were harmful to LGBTQ+ foster youth and families. Today’s report highlights additional ways Congress and HHS can ensure that states support and protect foster youth in their care, and make sure all young people receive affirming placements and appropriate health care. We’ve heard directly from youth with lived experience about how the right placements and supports make all the difference for their future success. The challenges and opportunities that GAO has identified will inform our ongoing work to support foster youth, and we plan to work closely with the Biden Administration to build on its efforts to reduce discrimination and enhance protections across the nation.”
The full GAO report is available HERE.
In January of 2019, Subcommittee on Worker & Family Support 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.