myU OneStop


Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare

Foster care legislation in the U.S. Congress

| No Comments

Last update: 8-19-2011 (updates highlighted in yellow)

This is a list of current foster care-related bills in the U.S. Congress. Although I attempted to ensure that it is an exhaustive list, I may have missed one or more. If you know of a foster care-related bill that is not in this list, please let me know! Also, please feel free to put your insight into these bills in a comment below.

*Please note that some of these bills were also in the previous post on adoption-related legislation, due to the fact that often legislation takes into account both program areas.*

Senate BillStatusNext Steps
A resolution recognizing "National Foster Care Month" (S. Res 203) as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system, and encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.5-26-11: Agreed toResolution now takes effect
Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2011 (S. 420)
House equivalent: H.R. 2012: Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2011
A bill to support the establishment or expansion and operation of programs using a network of public and private community entities to provide mentoring for children in foster care.
2-28-11: Referred to Committee on Finance.Committee must review/vote
Child Protection Improvements Act of 2011 (S. 645)
House equivalent: H.R. 1360: Child Protection Improvements Act of 2011
A bill to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system [there is a small section pertaining to potential adoptive/foster parents].
3-17-11: Referred to Committee on the Judiciary.Committee must review/vote
Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act of 2011 (S. 961)
A bill to create the income security conditions (including extension of foster care/adoption/kinship care payments through age 20) and family supports needed to ensure permanency for the Nation's unaccompanied youth and youth in foster care, and for other purposes. Also expands eligibility and increases funding for Chafee services.
5-12-11: Referred to Committee on Finance.Committee must review/vote
State Child Welfare Innovation Act (S. 1013)
A bill to renew the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to approve demonstration projects designed to test innovative strategies in State child welfare programs that are likely to promote the objectives of part B (Child and Family Services) or E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA).
5-17-11: Referred to Committee on Finance.Committee must review/vote
Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act (S. 1031)
House equivalent: H.R. 2013: Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act
A bill to empower States with programmatic flexibility and financial predictability to improve their Medicaid programs and State Children's Health Insurance Programs by ensuring better health care for low-income pregnant women, children, and families, and for elderly individuals and disabled individuals in need of long-term care services and supports, whose income and resources are insufficient to meet the costs of necessary medical services. Includes requirement that each state will ensure that all Title IV-E-eligible children are automatically eligible for medical assistance, and that training of foster parents in supportive and behavioral modification skills will be included.
5-19-11: Referred to Committee on Finance.Committee must review/vote
Partners for Stable Families and Foster Youth Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse Act (S. 1234)
A bill to amend part B of title IV of the Social Security Act to reauthorize grants to assist children affected by methamphetamine or other substance abuse under the promoting safe and stable families program.
6-20-11: Referred to Committee on Finance.Committee must review/vote
HELP Separated Children Act (S. 1399)
House equivalent: H.R. 2607: HELP Separated Children Act
A bill to protect children affected by immigration enforcement actions, and for other purposes.
7-21-11: Referred to Committee on the Judiciary.Committee must review/vote

House BillStatusNext Steps
Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act of 2011 (H.R. 616)
To provide that 4 of the 12 weeks of parental leave [for birth or placement of child through adoption or foster care] made available to a Federal employee shall be paid leave, and for other purposes.
2-10-11: Referred to House House AdministrationCommittee must review/vote
To renew the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to approve demonstration projects designed to test innovative strategies in State child welfare programs (H.R. 1194) that are likely to promote the objectives of part B (Child and Family Services) or E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSA).6-6-11: In Senate; referred to Committee on FinancePassed House; Senate needs to vote
Child Protection Improvements Act of 2011 (H.R. 1360)
Senate equivalent: S. 645: Child Protection Improvements Act of 2011
To amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system [there is a small section pertaining to potential adoptive/foster parents].
7-11-11: House Committee on the Judiciary: Referred to Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, & Homeland Security.Committee must review/vote
Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 1681)
To prohibit discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.
5-3-11: Referred to House Committee on Ways & Means.Committee must review/vote
Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2011 (H.R. 2012)
Senate equivalent: S. 420: Foster Care Mentoring Act of 2011
To support the establishment or expansion and operation of programs using a network of public and private community entities to provide mentoring for children in foster care.
5-26-11: Referred to House Education & the WorkforceCommittee must review/vote
Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act (H.R. 2013)
Senate equivalent: S. 1031: Medicaid Improvement and State Empowerment Act
To empower States with programmatic flexibility and financial predictability to improve their Medicaid programs and State Children's Health Insurance Programs by ensuring better health care for low-income pregnant women, children, and families, and for elderly individuals and disabled individuals in need of long-term care services and supports, whose income and resources are insufficient to meet the costs of necessary medical services. Includes requirement that each state will ensure that all Title IV-E-eligible children are automatically eligible for medical assistance, and that training of foster parents in supportive and behavioral modification skills will be included.
6-3-11: House Natural Resources: Referred to Subcommittee Indian & Alaska Native AffairsCommittee must review/vote
To authorize the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a study on the recruitment and retention of foster parents (H.R. 2022) in the United States.
This bill is included in H.R. 2790, Child and Family Services Extension and Enhancement Act, introduced 8-2-11.
5-26-11: Referred to House Committee on Ways & Means.Committee must review/vote
Look-back Elimination Act of 2011 (H.R. 2063)
To eliminate the requirement that, to be eligible for foster care maintenance payments, a child would have been eligible for aid under the former program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children at the time of removal from the home.
5-31-11: Referred to House Committee on Ways & Means.Committee must review/vote
HELP Separated Children Act (H.R. 2607)
Senate equivalent: S. 1399: HELP Separated Children Act
To provide protection for children affected by the immigration laws of the United States, and for other purposes.
7-21-11: Referred to House Ways & MeansCommittee must review/vote
Child and Family Services Extension and Enhancement Act (H.R. 2790)
To amend part B of title IV of the Social Security Act to extend the child and family services program through fiscal year 2016 (with some modifications related to child development concerns), and for other purposes; includes H.R. 2022, which authorizes study on recruitment and retention of foster/adoptive/kin parents and caregivers.
8-5-11: Sponsor introductory remarks on measure. (CR E1504) (In House Committee on Ways & Means)Committee must review/vote, which will occur in September
H.R. 2818
To provide temporary housing during school breaks to students who are homeless or in foster care.
8-12-11: Introduced. Needs to be put in committee

Leave a comment

Archives