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;
- eliminate administrative barriers to ensure that foster youth and other highly mobile youth are able to graduate on time and with their peers;
- ensure that there is adequate and appropriate housing to support every youth participating in extended foster care;
- collect data on youth accessing extended foster care and barriers to re-entry;
- support families diverted from the child welfare system in accessing available resources;
- address limitation on resource family capacity to ensure siblings are able to be placed together;
- 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.
Implementation Guidance & Other Resources
The Alliance offers these online resources for those who are most affected by recent reforms: