Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Members of the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee took a bipartisan step to eliminate unnecessary barriers that keep youth in foster care from participating in normal, everyday activities. In a letter to State child welfare administrators, the Members encouraged child welfare professionals to provide additional attention to helping reduce barriers that disproportionately affect the lives of children in the foster care system. In a hearing on this topic held on May 9, 2013, Subcommittee Members learned how many youth in foster care face bureaucratic and other barriers that keep them from playing sports, spending time with friends, getting a driver’s license, or getting a job. The letter requests States to review their policies and restrictions on the activities of youth in foster care, and encourages State officials to share with Members of the Subcommittee their thoughts on how Federal laws or policies may affect this problem.
Writing about a list of burdensome restrictions facing some foster youth, Members of the Subcommittee state in the letter that, “As parents and grandparents, we are concerned that this list and other examples in the hearing testimony we received suggests that too often the foster care system not only prevents kids from leading normal lives, but that it takes away exactly the sorts of activities that they need to grow and develop into happy, healthy, and productive adults.”
A copy of the letter is available here.