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Home > Advocacy > Adoption > Quotations on the Passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act H.R. 6893


Quotations on the Passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act H.R. 6893

Christine James-Brown, President and CEO of CWLA
"This is an historic moment for foster children and families. We congratulate Congress on their effort! The kinship benefits and breaking the link to the old AFDC program are major steps forward and necessary as we strive to improve the child welfare system. This legislation helps to connect the dots and places children who have experienced abuse and neglect on a more stable path to a secure environment and stability in their young lives and leading to successful adulthood.

"We give special thanks to Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL) in the House for introducing the legislation and to Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA) for leading the effort in the Senate. Their efforts will strengthen supports for supports and mean better life for many children in America."

Representative Jim McDermott (D-WA)
"This one is for America's children. We managed to craft a bi-partisan, bi-cameral bill that makes major strides in reforming- and, therefore, better caring for America's vulnerable children.

The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (H.R. 6893) now goes to the President to either veto or sign it into law. America's children and foster care system deserve for this bill to be signed into law by the President as soon as it reaches his desk." 1

"This is landmark legislation, the most significant step forward on behalf of foster children in at least 10 years. It is bi-partisan and bi-cameral and a testament to our ability to work together for the common good. Children are America's future and today we are making an investment in their future and ours." 2

Representative Jerry Weller (R-IL)
"This legislation will help thousands of children who otherwise might spend years living with strangers in foster care, by increasing the chances they are cared for by a relative or by a loving, adoptive family. It also will result in improved services for children who remain in foster care, including Native American children who often face the steepest hurdles. Both are longtime priorities of mine, which I am proud to see included in this historic legislation." 3

Representative Danny Davis (D-IL)
"Today is a good day for the more than 4 1/2 million grandparents in this Nation who are raising over 6 million children. Today is a good day for the 80,000 grandparents in Illinois who are raising their young grandchildren, and the 36,500 who are living with kinship caregivers. These families have told Members of Congress for years that they needed more support and that the system wasn't working for many children, and especially for African American kids. Today we can tell them that we heard you and we are doing something about it."-Congressional Record

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
"Thousands of children - especially children with special needs and older children - will be able to move from foster care to adoptive homes under this bill. Grandparents and other relatives will receive the support and resources they need to foster a child in their own family. And, Indian Tribes will finally have the same access to federal foster care and adoption dollars that states currently receive. This legislation will pave a path to success for countless children in foster care who only dream of these opportunities today. I look forward to seeing this very important bill become law." 4

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
"Improving opportunities for children and young adults is one of the most important things we can do as a society, and it's been a priority of mine for a long time" Grassley said. "This bill proves that Congress can work out bipartisan compromises and that the House and Senate can work together, too. With passage of this bill, which includes major provisions that were in the legislation I introduced in May, Congress is recognizing that safe and stable homes and families are fundamental to the quality of life and a brighter future for all children. The reforms in this legislation will improve the foster care and adoption system across the country. The bill is the most far-reaching child welfare reform measure to pass Congress in a decade. The sooner we get the changes into law, the more quickly foster children and families will have access to a better foster care and adoption system." 5

"Children in foster care are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Improving their options for a permanent home has long been a priority of mine," Grassley said. "I'm glad my colleagues and I were able to work together on this bipartisan, bicameral compromise. This package includes a number of provisions from my bill, the Improved Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act of 2008, which the Senate Finance Committee marked up earlier this month. The bill that passed tonight represents the most significant and far-reaching child welfare reform measure to pass the Congress in a decade. The sooner we get these changes into law, the faster children and families will experience a better foster care and adoption system." 6

April Curtis
"This legislation is a major step in the right direction for young people in foster care. Expanding services to age 21 is vitally important. So many young people in foster care at age 18 are struggling to finish high school, and face all the challenges of transitioning to adulthood without the supports and advantages that other youth have. This bill is basically being realistic. It's saying let's support these kids like we do all the other kids." April Curtis emancipated from foster care in 2001. She currently serves on the board of directors for CWLA and is in graduate school at the University of Chicago.

Children's Defense Fund
"There is nothing more important to children than family. CDF applauds Congress for reaching across party lines and stepping forward to improve the lives of our nation's children and offering these most vulnerable children meaningful family connections. Compared to those who have not been in foster care, these youth are more likely to become homeless, unemployed or to be incarcerated, and more likely to have physical, developmental and mental health challenges. This bill offers them new hope. These improvements are a vivid example of how by working together we can improve all of our lives by putting children first." - Marian Wright Edelman, CDF President 7

Generations United
The bill is bi-partisan compromise between the House and Senate that includes many of the provisions of the Kinship Caregiver Support Act. The bill is a significant recognition of the contribution grandparents and other relatives make in raising the nation's children. The president still must sign the bill, and there will be significant work to implement the bill fully, but it is nonetheless a historic day for grandfamilies. 8

National Indian Child Welfare Association
"Implementation of this legislation will transform child welfare services for thousands of American Indian and Alaska Native children. Tribes will be able to pay for foster and kinship care, recruit and train caregivers, and most importantly, insure the safety, sense of belonging, and well-being of their children." - Terry Cross, Executive Director of NICWA

"American Indian and Alaskan Native children have been waiting a long time for the same protections and support afforded to other children in foster care. We commend the members of the Senate and House who have worked in a bi-partisan fashion to make this possible and urge the President to sign the legislation into law soon." - Maurice Lyons, President of NICWA 9 Sources

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  3. Available online. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. back
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