year, the month of May is recognized as National
Foster Care Month. I thank my colleagues for once again unanimously
passing a resolution to recognize and bring awareness to the experiences of
youth and families in the foster care system.
month, organizations in Iowa and around the country have been working to
support youth in foster care, and the foster parents who open their homes to
kids in need.
2019, the most recent year for which data is available, there were over 426,000
kids in foster care in the United States. In Iowa alone, there were almost
stated in our resolution, Congress must continue to work towards real solutions
for these children, who face trauma, abuse and neglect.
recent years, lots of changes have been made to the way that child welfare
works. Congress passed the Family First
Prevention Services Act in 2018. The goal was to provide more services to
families before removing children from the home was needed.
bill also seeks to help kids who age out of foster care have access to more
support and successfully transition to adulthood and independence.
was glad to support this legislation and I hope that as it is implemented, we
see positive outcomes for kids and families.
children, no matter their circumstances, deserve a permanent, loving home, and
consistent, caring adults in their lives.
has shown that the presence of just one caring adult who is available for
advice, support and guidance can make a meaningful difference for children in
some kids, this may be a foster parent who maintains a relationship with a child
even after the temporary placement is over.
other kids, this may be an aunt or uncle, a family member who is willing to
shoulder the responsibility of providing a loving home.
may benefit from a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) or guardian
ad-litum. These are volunteers assigned to be a child’s advocate.
a system designed to protect children, often the child welfare system does not
give much opportunity for a child’s voice to be heard.
are often the only adults in a court proceeding who are exclusively advocating
for what the youth in foster care wants.
happy that this year for the first time, May 18th was National CASA/GAL
Volunteers Day, to honor the service of these volunteers.
salute all those who work tirelessly to support kids in foster care, in Iowa