On October 7, 2008, The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L.-351) was signed into law. The Act is an omnibus child welfare bill that amends both Title IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act. The intent of the law is to improve the well-being of children served by public child welfare agencies.
The Fostering Connections Act establishes new federal funding options for states including a Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program. The law also adds new requirements regarding education and health care for children in foster care to qualify for federal funding sources. In addition, the Fostering Connections Act offers $15 million in grant opportunities for states through Family Connection Grants . The new law also extends federal support for youth up to the age of 21 and extends direct federal child welfare funding to tribal child welfare agencies.
The NGA Center, in partnership with Casey Family Programs, produced a series of webcasts related to safely reducing the number of children in foster care.
This webcast provided a brief overview of the Fostering Connections Act and options and challenges for states as they consider implementing the provisions of the law, particularly the kinship guardian assistance program. This web cast featured:
- Larry Brown, consultant, Larry Brown Associates
- Rutledge Q. Hutson, director, Child Welfare Policy, Center for Law and Social Policy
- Cathy Mols, executive director, Maryland Department of Human Resources, Social Services Administration
- ABA Legal Center on Foster Care and Education Website
- ABA Questions and Answers – Education Provisions in the Fostering Connections Act
- Fostering Connections Act, PL 110-351
- Fostering Connections Act Major Provisions
- Congressional Research Service Report on Fostering Connections Act
- Administration for Children and Families Program Instruction 08-05
This webcast provided an overview of the issue and examples of how leaders in states, the legal community, and youth themselves are responding to this important and complex issue and featured:
- Krista Penrod, youth advocate, Iowa
- Andrea Khoury, project manager, Bar-Youth Empowerment Project, ABA Center on Children and the Law
- Michelle Chalmers, program manager, The Homecoming Project