As President of the Texas Foster Family Association I am currently sitting on a Foster Care Improvements Committee with TexProtects… (basically they lobby for foster care legislation). They asked me what were some of the issues they might consider lobbying for.
These were the ones I suggested:
- The state raises post-adoption subsidy rates to match foster care reimbursement Level of Care rates (thus more families with higher level care children might consider adoption instead of them lingering in foster care).
- The state fun the extension of benefits for foster youth who extended care and were adopted (allowing extended care children who become adopted to continue receiving their extended care subsidy until they are 21, providing them with the funds to make “launching” decision i.e., buy a car, have a deposit for an apartment, etc.)
- The state should fund regional Foster Parent Ombudsmans.
- The state should re-instate the “Non-reocurring adoption subsidy” to its original (pre tax cuts of 2012) rate of $1500 per child. All other 2012 foster care tax cuts were restored EXCEPT this one!
- The state fund a public relations campaign for recruitment of foster familise, potentially from the reorganization of the FAD program.
- Increase funding for preparation for adult living services to serve youth up to the age of 23 and remove the age restriction on the Education and Training Voucher program.
I don’t know if TexProtects will adopt any of these suggestons as part of their foster care lobbying efforts for this next session so TFFA may need to hire our own lobbyist for foster families. If you have any suggestions (additional needs or names of potential lobbyists) please contact me.
Further, if you want to serve on the Texas Foster Family Association’s public policy committee, please let me know!