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Mission & Goals
With more than 424,000 children and older youth in the nation’s foster care system, the number of children who exit the foster care system without finding a permanent family has increased over the years by nearly 29,500. The experiences of youth transitioning out of the foster care system place them at a higher risk for unemployment, poor educational outcomes, health issues, early parenthood, long-term dependency on public assistance, increased rates of incarceration, and homelessness.
Co-chaired by Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), Congressman Tom Marino (R-PA), Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the newly created bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will work to protect and promote the welfare of all children in foster care and those who have “aged out” of the system. The Caucus will provide a forum for Members to discuss the challenges facing all foster youth and develop policy recommendations for improving child welfare outcomes in five focus areas: Safety; Permanency; Well Being; Educational Opportunities; and Youth, Family, and Community Engagement.
The Caucus will examine reforming the child welfare system. The current system’s primary focus is on families already identified as child abuse and/or neglect cases. In other instances, removal is not the only answer and more should be done to help strengthen families. The Caucus’ ultimate goal is to reduce the number of children in care.