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Representative Davis and Senator Casey Mark Foster Care Month with Multiple Bills to Improve Economic and Educational Well-being of Foster Youth

On May 23, 2019, Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA) marked National Foster Care Month with a suite of bills to strengthen the economic and educational well-being of foster youth and their families. The five bills improve federal higher education, tax, Social Security, and cash assistance laws to improve resources and reduce barriers for foster youth and their families.

Davis said, “According to the latest estimates (2017) there are more than 440,000 youth living in foster care.  Experts agree that the best support for youth in foster care is a family setting.  We know that there is a shortage of such homes and too many children are in group homes and for those living in such a family setting there is an acute need for additional support for those foster families. My Congressional District has one of the highest percentages of children being raised by grandparents in the country, followed closely by two other Chicago Districts. One in five young people who age out of the system will become homeless. One in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving foster care and more than 40% of youth who age out won’t complete high school. These bills are designed to provide some of those resources and reduce some of those barriers for the almost quarter million children who enter and exit foster care each year."

* The Fostering Success in Higher Education Act (Joseph Morelle (D-NY) is co-lead on this bill) would invest $150 million annually to improve college access, retention, and completion rates for foster and homeless youth by substantially improving state capacity to enroll and graduate these students from higher education.


* The Improved Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act would help foster youth secure and maintain stable employment by encouraging private businesses to hire these young workers with tax credits via the existing Working Opportunity Tax Credit.  Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY) and Senator Robert Portman (R-OH) join Rep. Davis and Senator Casey in championing this bill.

* The Grandfamilies Act would improve Federal policies to increase financial and informational resources for necessities like housing and groceries for children and their grandfamily caregivers by removing barriers with Social Security law and Temporary Assistance of Needy Families grants, promoting national resources like a National Technical Assistance Center on Grandfamilies, and encouraging state leadership to support grandfamilies and temporary guardianship laws.

* The Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act would strengthen families, remove income as a barrier to adoption, and help vulnerable children join permanent, loving families by making the current Adoption Tax Credit fully refundable. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE), and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) join Rep. Davis and Senator Casey in championing this bill.

* The Foster Opportunity EITC Act would improve economic well-being, reduce poverty, and increase labor-force participation of millions of young workers – including foster youth, homeless youth, apprentices, and job training graduates - by enhancing Earned Income Tax C Credit benefits for childless workers, expanding eligibility age from 19 to 68, and allowing working foster and homeless youth eligibility starting at age 18 and while full-time students.

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