2013 Fact Sheets on Family Finding and Family Conferencing Legislation
2013-14 Public Policy Recommendations
Fostering Connections 2012
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"Maximizing 'Fostering Connections' to Benefit Pennsylvania's Youth" is a Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children report that examines the societal and fiscal benefits Pennsylvania can achieve by fully implementing the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. The report, released in February 2012, details how implementing Fostering Connections can help more youth achieve permanency through adoption or legal guardianship and can help those who stay in foster care until age 21 make a successful transition to adulthood, while decreasing costs to the commonwealth.
Following the release of this report, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved - and Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law - two measures that fully implement Fostering Connections. Those measures are:
Act 80 of 2012, which makes revisions to the state's Welfare Code that are key to full implementation of Fostering Connections.
Act 91 of 2012, which makes corresponding changes to the commonwealth's Juvenile Act.
Together, these new laws will promote adoption and help older youth in foster care, while generating state and county savings and yielding millions in new federal funding. The changes will help more youth enter into permanent families and develop the ongoing personal relationships that have been shown to improve outcomes such as graduation rates, earnings potential and physical and mental health. Those youth who do not find a permanent home will have extended access to foster care resources to help them navigate the difficult transition to adulthood.
PPC appreciates the efforts of the numerous child advocates who voiced support for these critical changes
Gov. Corbett's "Fostering Connections" Proposal Can Benefit Pennsylvania's Foster Youth and Taxpayers (PDF)
Download the Fact Sheet (PDF)
Click here for a list of Citations/Sources (PDF)
News Coverage of Fostering Connections
Governor seeking to benefit foster youth and taxpayers (Examiner.com, Feb. 14)
Foster Care Support Could Be Extended in Pennsylvania (Essential Public Radio, Feb. 20)
Foster care: Corbett’s plan would be a win-win situation (Harrisburg Patriot-News, Feb. 23)
State budget proposal would extend aid to adoptive families (Valley News Dispatch/TribLive.com, March 4)
Pennsylvania's implementation of federal law allows youth to remain in foster care until age 21 (Harrisburg Patriot-News, July 14)
PA budget extends support to youth aging out of foster care (The Morning Call, July 30)
Post Adoption Contact Agreements
Senate Bill 1360 was signed on October 27th, 2010 by Governor Ed Rendell, which established Act 101 of 2010. This change in Pennsylvania's adoption law allows adoptive parents and birth relatives the option of entering into a post-adoption contact agreement so that a child's connection with siblings, grandparents, etc can be preserved following their adoption. About ten years ago the federal government asked states to amend their adoption statute to authorize voluntary post-adoption contact agreements in an effort to promote further adoption from foster care. This is because many youth in foster care resist adoption out of fear of losing all contact with birth relatives once the parental rights of their parents are severed. Pennsylvania now joins 23 other states that use these agreements in adoptions.
On November 24, 2010 Governor Ed Rendell signed HB 2338 into law establishing the Children in Foster Care Act. Pennsylvania now joins only a handful of states that have a "bill of rights" in statute for children in foster care. The act will ensure that all children, as well as their caregivers, are informed about basic protections and requirements of their care.
House Bill 2338 (P.N. 3385) - Children in Foster Care Act