“We’ve made great strides by moving toward prevention-focused services, but it’s crucial to ensure we do a better job of preparing foster youth for a successful transition to adulthood. . . thousands of children entrusted to the foster care system are searching for direction, answers, and hope—and America must deliver.”
In an op-ed for Fox News, Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) and former First Lady Melania Trump highlight National Foster Care Month and Republican efforts to support families and give older foster youth the tools they need to thrive as they transition to independence.
CLICK HERE to read the full op-ed.
Republicans led efforts to support foster youth during the pandemic:
“Over the course of the pandemic, we partnered to advance meaningful policies that improve the lives of children. We led solutions, including the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, to provide timely, commonsense relief that is making a real difference in young people’s lives—especially older foster youth who would have aged out of care without our support.”
We must prepare foster youth to succeed in adulthood:
“Our support must include preparing children to succeed as adults. We must equip these young Americans with the skills they need to reach their full potential through economic empowerment, and especially through expanded access to resources in the fields of science, technology, and the trades. The 20,000 youth who age out of foster care each year must have the tools to develop professional skills to thrive as adults.”
Republicans support strengthening supports for families and kinship caregivers:
“This year, several child welfare programs that serve the 407,000 youth in care are set to expire. Congress must examine these programs and implement improvements to make them work better for our nation’s youth and families. Accordingly, in addition to supporting older foster youth, one major priority must be kinship care.
“As millions of families can attest, relative caregiving is the next best alternative to maintaining the core family unit. Nationwide, 2.7 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren, a seven percent increase since 2009. Of these grandparents, about one-fifth have incomes that fall below the poverty line.”