Policy and System-Wide Reform
Through our individual casework, the Alliance identifies trends that demonstrate systemic issues that deprive our clients of the services and stability that they need and are entitled to receive. By working toward solutions and improvements that affect entire segments of our client base, we more efficiently and effectively achieve our mission of achieving stability, equity and justice for all young people across the state. We also remain involved as new laws and policies are implemented to ensure that families and children across the state actually receive the benefit of any new laws or practices that result from our advocacy.
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Current Legislative & Policy Priorities
Children come into foster care in a moment of crisis. The goal of the child welfare system is to connect them immediately to a loving and stable family placement. To make that connection, families who are hoping to accept a child into their home must have immediate and ongoing access to critical supports and services, including those that address the consequences of trauma and abuse. That is why this year, the Alliance is focused on a package of reforms to ensure placement and school stability for young people in foster care. Specifically, these reforms aim to:
- fund transportation for students in foster care to their school of origin from the moment of placement and notify caregivers of the right to receive reimbursement for such transportation (download fact sheet);
- eliminate barriers to participation in extended foster care for those 18 to 21 (download fact sheet);
- ensure that there is adequate and appropriate housing to support every youth participating in extended foster care (download fact sheet);
- ensure that child and family teams are successful in engaging team members, identifying strengths and addressing the identified needs of the child and family;
- support families in accessing emergency funding at time of placement for the full period that resource family approval is pending;
- establish a 24-hour hotline and mobile response system to field calls from caregivers or from youth themselves in times of crisis (download fact sheet);
- provide child care assistance from the time of placement so that more families are able to accept placement of children in foster care, including sibling sets, and assist parenting foster youth with child care to support ongoing education and employment (download fact sheet);
- increase compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) for Native American children in out-of-home care.
Implementation Guidance & Other Resources
The Alliance offers these online resources for those who are most affected by recent reforms: