Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Washington, D.C.--Yesterday, we put out a call to action asking you to call your members of Congress urging them to support five pieces of legislation focused on child welfare reform. You all called, and last night the U.S. House of Representatives listened to your rally cry and passed those five bills.
As you all may remember, last year, together, we worked tirelessly calling on members of the Senate to vote to pass the Family First Prevention Services Act after it passed the House without challenge. You made calls, sent emails, posted blogs, wrote opinion pieces, and a number of you even flew to Washington, D.C. Many of us experienced a roller coaster of emotions as we watched the Family First Act battle to stay alive in the Senate. It was added and removed from other bills and in the end of the legislative session, to our disappointment, it became clear that the 114th Congress would not be passing the Family First Prevention Services Act.
However, to our surprise, on January 4, 2017, the second day of the 115th Congress, the House of Representatives introduced H.R.253 - Family First Prevention Services Act of 2017. This served as a signal that child welfare reform will remain within our grasp.
Although last night's votes were not an outright passage of the Family First Act, I am sure we can all stand together in applauding the U.S. House of Representatives in maintaining their commitment to protecting our nation's most vulnerable families. The five bills passed by the House offer a range of reforms to federal child welfare laws in an effort to produce systems that have greater flexibility in their capacity to meet the needs of children, families, and communities across the country.
Now it is time for the Senate to ACT! I ask you to join me in insisting that our Senate not only consider these five bills, but pick up where the left off last year and advance a comprehensive child welfare bill that dramatically shifts our nation towards one that protective protects children and supports families.
Click here to learn more about the bills passed by the House on 6/20/2017: https://fosteryouthcaucus-karenbass.house.gov/press-release/congressiona...
George Collins-White, policy specialist