On Tuesday, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) held their annual unveiling of their policy report.  The report and the panel of speakers are the result of the 2016 CCAI Foster Youth Internship Program® class. The policy report, Powerful Voices: Sharing Our Stories to Reform Child Welfare includes 22 policy recommendation by the 12 foster youth interns who spent the last six weeks on Capitol Hill.

Each intern took turns offering their legislative proposals based on what they had experienced in foster care along with some research while interning on Capitol Hill. The recommendations included the follow areas:

  • Kinship licensing and exemptions from some of the criminal background limitations
  • Substance abuse and family preservation
  • Reforms of adoption subsidy requirements when an adoption is relinquished
  • Foster care reimbursement rates
  • Extending the age of foster care in all states
  • Child welfare and juvenile justice collaboration
  • Better training for foster parents
  • Addressing the issue of running from foster care
  • Better attention to LGBTQ youth in care and training for caretakers
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Stabilizing foster care placements and better notification to youth in care
  • National awareness initiatives to increase the knowledge and needs of foster care

To learn more about CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship Program® and see read the recommendations here.