An open letter to House Ways and Means members on H.R. 7947

Foster Success is one of 45 organizations who signed the following letter about the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act. A copy of the letter is below.

Representative Danny K. Davis, Chairman
Representative Jackie Walorski, Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support
Committee on Ways and Means
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Davis and Ranking Member Walorski:

The below Indiana child and family welfare agencies once again write to strongly support bipartisan legislation from your offices that will increase our ability to serve and support youth and their families across Indiana. The Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947) is another example of smart, responsive legislation that is targeted to pressing needs in our communities. We continue to be thankful for your leadership and commitment to collaboration as you ensure that federal child welfare policy and funding provide us the resources we need to deliver the services that Hoosier children and their families deserve.

As agencies that work with children and their families every day, we know how necessary the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act is. The stress and hardship that the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for our children and families is unprecedented. The practical provisions in this bill will:

  1. Help older youth navigate high rates of job loss, housing instability, and uncertain educational opportunities;
  2. Create needed flexibility and additional federal support for implementation of the prevention programs outlined by the Families First Prevention Services Act;
  3. Increase funding for services and programs to support birth, foster, adoptive and kinship families through additional support for the MaryLee Allen Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program;
  4. Make Kinship Navigator programs available to families statewide by waiving certain statutory requirements that can’t be met by states in the current environment and increasing federal investment in these programs; and,
  5. Help young parents succeed by making sure that home visiting programs have the resources and staff they need to provide uninterrupted services.

Like all of us, your subcommittee has been called upon to respond to unexpected, and sometimes unimaginable, crises since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to your collaborative leadership, the response has been urgent, targeted, and practical. The Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act is another example of this.

As agencies working everyday to navigate new challenges on top of the existing challenges our children and their families face, we proudly send this letter of support and thanks to two of our strongest champions for our nation’s families.

Sincerely,

Adult and Child Health
Bashor Children’s Home
CAPS – Child and Parent Services
Centerstone
Childplace Family Services
Children & Family Services, Corp
Children’s Bureau, Inc.
Choices Coordinated Care Services
Columbus Behavioral Center for Children and Adolescents Crisis Center, Inc
Damar Services
Embrace Consulting, LLC.
Family Ark
Family Community Connections
Families First Indiana
Family Focus
Family Solutions, Inc
Family Time
Family Works, Inc.
Foster Success
George Junior Republic in Indiana
Gibault Child Services
Group Homes for Children
Hoosier Families, Inc
Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy Indiana MENTOR
Life Choices Maternity & Youth Home
LifeSolutions Counseling, PC
Michiana Behavioral Health
Omni Visions in Indiana
Open Arms
Open Door Youth Services
Paddock View Residential Center, Inc. PSI Services of Indiana
SCAN, Inc
StepStone Family and Youth Services
T.C. Harris School
United Methodist Youth Home
The Villages of Indiana
White’s Residential and Family Services
Whitington Homes & Services for Children and Families Youth Encouragement Services, Inc.
Youth Services Bureau, Jay County
Youth Services Bureau of St. Joe County
Youth Villages

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