Reps. Davis and Walorski Recognize Continued need to Support Foster Youth
Washington, D.C.- September 30, 2021, Representative Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Representative Jackie Walorski (R-IN) issued the following statement on the last day of fiscal year 2021 recognizing the continued needs of foster youth during the public health emergency as some temporary service options and protections for older foster youth expire.
In December 2020, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Representatives Davis and Walorski, also known as the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, was enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The legislation included a prohibition against foster youth being required to age out of care and provided additional flexibilities to serve those youth during the pandemic, as well as funding to states to absorb costs. Those provisions were authorized through September 30, 2021.
“Foster youth continue to face substantial hardships due to the pandemic-related economic and health crises. As tens of thousands of youth experience the expiration of temporary protections from exiting care, Rep. Walorski and I remain committed to working together to help provide the stability and certainty needed. It is the earnest advocacy of current and former foster youth that helped enact the original emergency pandemic protections and the Chafee program flexibilities that improved the circumstances of thousands of young people. We thank you for your advocacy for policies to help you remain safe. We understand the urgency, and we are working bipartisanly on a path forward to resume key provisions from the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act that helped so many during the emergency.” --Worker and Family Support Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL)
“As our nation recovers from the COVID pandemic, we must continue our work to protect foster youth. The flexibilities created in the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act provided much-needed stability for vulnerable youth, and Chairman Davis and I are committed to working together to find a path forward. Foster youth and families, at-risk pregnant women and mothers, and kinship caregivers, such as grandparents raising grandchildren, already face unique challenges in normal times. The pandemic has only added to the obstacles they must overcome to achieve the American Dream. We will continue to advance our bipartisan efforts to provide stability and certainty for our nation’s foster youth.” --Worker and Family Support Republican Leader Jackie Walorski (R-IN)
BACKGROUND: Nearly 20,000 youth age out of foster care each year. While, the COVID-19 pandemic presents difficulties for all Americans, foster youth are particularly vulnerable without reliable or stable adults and other supports in their lives. The moratorium expired on Sept. 30th.
Representative Davis represents the 7th Congressional District of Illinois and Chairs the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support within the Committee on Ways and Means, with broad jurisdiction over child welfare.
Representative Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as Republican Leader of the Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support within the Committee on Ways and Means.