Federal Child Welfare Legislation 2015-2016.
First Focus. State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC).
Published: February 2016
State Policy Advocacy and Reform Center (SPARC)
This report summarizes federal legislation impacting child welfare services that was passed or is pending from 2015-2016. It begins by describing the Every Student Succeeds Act signed into law on December 10, 2015 that reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and include key provisions for students in foster care that promote school stability and success. It notes the law requires collaboration between educational and child welfare partners to prevent students in foster care form needlessly changing schools, allow for the immediate enrollment and transfer of records if a child does change schools, and creates points-of contact who are in charge of ensuring effective implementation of the new provisions. Pending legislation is then summarized including: the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act, the National Child Protection Training Act, a bill to amend title 10 of the U.S. Code to require prompt notification of State child protective services by military and civilian personnel of the U.S. Department of Defense required by law to report suspected instances of child abuse and neglect, the Family Unification, Preservation, and Modernization Act, the Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act, the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act of 2015, the Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth Act, the Family First Act, the Foster Youth Independence Act of 2015, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, and the Strengthening Child Welfare Response to Trafficking Act of 2015.
child welfare reform; child welfare services; federal laws; proposed legislation; foster children; schools; child placement; postsecondary education; child health