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CWLA President Praises Senate Action on Major Child Welfare Legislation

For more information, contact
Joyce Johnson
Phone: 804/492-4519
Cell: 703/980-7641

September 10, 2008, Arlington, VA -- CWLA President and CEO Christine James Brown praised the action of the Senate Finance Committee this morning in passing the substitute Improvements in Adoption Incentives and Relative Guardianship Support Act (S 3038).

"Senators took a major step this morning in passing what could be the most significant child welfare legislation in more than a decade", said James Brown. "The fact that Senators and Members of the House are working across party and house lines is a clear indication that Congress recognizes the need to make significant improvements in our nation's child welfare system."

The Senate bill is part of a two-house strategy (S 3038 and HR 6307) that may eventually lead to one comprehensive child welfare bill that could be sent to the President before the end this month. Both bills reauthorize the adoption incentive program, extend access to federal funds to tribal governments, extend federal adoption assistance and foster care funds to some kinship families, allows states to extend foster care to age 21, and requires states to provide more stable access to education for foster children.

"While the two houses negotiate a final bill that address their differences we will continue to work with Congress over the next days to make sure this becomes a reality", commented James-Brown.

The major differences in the bill include a Senate provision that would eliminate the outdated eligibility requirements for adoption assistance, and House provisions that would allow private child welfare agencies access to federal training funds and a provision that would require better planning and provision of health services to children in foster care.

Founded in 1920, the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), is the pre-eminent organization dedicated to ensuring that disadvantaged and vulnerable children are protected from harm and have the tools and resources available to help them grow into happy and healthy adults.

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