On April 28, the President signed a proclamation recognizing May as national foster care month.
The President said in his proclamation:
“The success of our country tomorrow depends on the well-being of our children today. As a Nation, we have a duty to empower each child so they have the same sense of promise and possibility as any other young person — no matter who they are, where they come from, or what their circumstances are. Foster youth deserve the security and strong support structures they need to achieve their dreams. During National Foster Care Month, we lift up our Nation’s foster children, celebrate the selfless men and women who embrace children in the foster care system, and we recommit to helping more children find permanency so they can feel stable, grounded, and free to fulfill their limitless potential.”
He went on to say that
“…Only half of children in foster care complete high school by age 18, and less than 5 percent graduate college. Young people who age out of foster care without a permanent home are often at higher risk of entering the criminal justice system, and they can face greater challenges to completing an education, obtaining high-quality health care, and securing gainful employment…. These difficult outcomes are often exaggerated further when children are placed in group homes…. I have proposed allowing child welfare agencies to use Federal funds to provide critical services and shelter to foster youth who have aged out of the system until they are 23. …..
He went on to highlight other Administration budget proposals and Administration priorities including better oversight of prescription medication, urging states to extend Medicaid coverage to age 26 for children that aged out of foster care including those youth that aged out in other states, and the Administration’s efforts to ban discrimination toward foster and adoptive parents based on race, background, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Medicaid, due to the ACA, does extend to age 26 for a young person who aged out of care but the current law makes it a state option in those instances where a young person moves to another state than the one they aged out in. The Administration has also taken on efforts by some states to restrict placements in gay and lesbian households.