Connections Vol. 1, 12.30.09
A New Year for Fostering Connections
Thank you for signing up for our Connections e-newsletter! As we close out 2009 and look ahead to 2010, we are optimistic that the new year will present opportunities to advance significantly the goals set forth by the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. In cooperation with a diverse set of partners, the Resource Center plans to work with dedicated state agency and tribal officials across the country to support implementation efforts. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you will be among the first to learn about new tools and resource available through the Resource Center and be apprised of state and tribal implementation progress. Please be a frequent visitor to our website to stay abreast of upcoming conferences and training events, join webinars and discussion forums, and find relevant federal and state policy and regulatory information.
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State and national resources on Fostering Connections Law
The Fostering Connections Resource Center is pleased to announce many state and national resources are now available on our website. This section features information of interest to state policymakers, professionals who work with children and families, advocates and others working to implement the law. The online library includes state-specific reports and analyses on the provisions of the Fostering Connections law, relevant state laws and policies, the latest federal child welfare data in every state, national and state contacts, and links to national resources and technical assistance. In addition, beginning in February 2010, the Fostering Connections Resource Center will track progress and post reports regarding implementation of the new law for every state and the District of Columbia.
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New Senate Caucus on Foster Youth
The formation of a new Senate Caucus on Foster Youth was recently announced at a 10-year anniversary of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Act event organized by FosterClub, Casey Family Programs and other co-hosts. Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), one of the lead sponsors of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, will chair the new caucus along with Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a longtime supporter of child welfare reforms and co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Congressional caucuses are formed to highlight the importance of an issue and to convene members of Congress who have a particular interest in a given topic. The new caucus will create a forum for Senators and their staff to learn about the unique needs of children in foster care and to discuss policy solutions.
At the Dec. 17 Chafee convening, national child welfare experts, public child welfare directors, advocates, policy makers and youth alumni leaders in Washington, D.C. met to discuss the successes and challenges of the Chafee Act and state efforts to implement the older youth provisions of Fostering Connections. State teams from 11 jurisdictions across the country participated. The convening included a meeting with Carmen Nazario, the newly-appointed Assistant Secretary for Children and Families, ACF, along with other national child welfare experts, researchers, and policymakers.
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