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MODERNIZING THE INTERSTATE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE ACT

 Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to join Congressman Todd Young in leading H.R. 4472, the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act.

   I joined my friend from Indiana in introducing H.R. 4472 because it would help us make progress on an important issue: reducing the barriers and delays that continue to exist when the best new home for a child is in a different State than the unsafe home the child had to leave.

   Given that my Congressional District has one of the highest percentages of grandparents raising grandchildren in the Nation, followed closely by two other Congressional Districts in Illinois, child welfare issues are very personal to my constituents, to Chicago, and to my home State.

   Removing barriers that delay or prevent interstate child placements is a long-time, bipartisan goal within Congress. This bill addresses an important factor in those delays: the ability of State computer systems to link up to process the paperwork. The current paper-based system is antiquated and slow.

   As part of an HHS pilot project, seven States and the District of Columbia currently participate in the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise, or NEICE, an online tool that allows State office systems to talk to each other and process interstate placements more quickly. I am very proud of the fact that Illinois is one of these States.

   An early evaluation found that this system reduced waiting times for affected children by about one-third. Ten other States have already announced plans to join the exchange over the next 2 years. H.R. 4472 would accelerate the number of participating States in the short run and ensure that all States participate in the long run.

   The Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, George Sheldon, often emphasizes that we need to operate in kid time, not adult time, meaning that we need to recognize the urgency of restoring permanency for children in child welfare, rather than allowing adult bureaucracy to impede permanency.

   Modernizing the technology to increase efficiencies and quicken placements is common sense and respects the urgency of finding permanent, loving homes for children.

   I am grateful to Mr. Young of Indiana for ensuring that the bill expands

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    repName Danny K. Davis  
    helpWithFedAgencyAddress Chicago District Office
    2813-15 W. Fifth Avenue
    Chicago, Illinois 60612
     
    district 7th District of Illinois  
    academyUSCitizenDate July 1, 2017  
    academyAgeDate July 1, 2017  
    academyApplicationDueDate October 20, 2017  
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    repDistrict 7  
    repState Illinois  
    repDistrictText 7th  
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