Social changes are the small events that shape modern politics and society; the people’s demands are the source of these changes. In just their first few months in office, the Biden administration has taken steps to support the foster care system, but we need to call for bigger, braver actions. Here at Umlaut, we understand that reaching out to readers like you is the first step of reform. Within his presidency, Biden and his cabinet should reorganize the foster care system and support our youth’s opinions. With better direction, we can lead America into a brighter future where all of our youth are empowered and strengthened.
Firstly, the foster care system needs centralized (government) planning, which would allow a more robust and stable environment for our youth. For example, California received about 2.5 trillion dollars in 2016 for foster care. Most of this money goes toward providing funds for foster parents (Title IV-E). On the other hand, Alabama received around 67 million dollars from the government yet has one of the best quality systems in terms of child placement safety. If the Biden administration were to create a federal funding plan, we could raise the standard of living for the nation’s foster youth in every state. Every foster child could have unconditional resources and support if the government had a universal funding system.
Moreover, we must call on the Biden administration to unite foster youth under a standard of care. We must define the expectations that extend to all foster systems and push the states to provide the highest quality care possible. Another aspect of organizing foster care involves a national database of our foster youth to ensure every child’s well-being. We hope that the Children’s Bureau can expand its records to include school performance, placement, doctor’s visits, abuse, neglect, and juvenile history. Ultimately, these are essential steps that the Biden administration can implement to uplift America through our foster youth.
Foster youth’s voices often go unheard. By promoting their opinions, we can make policies that create a direct and positive impact.
Notably, the National Foster Youth Institute wants to work with Biden to bring relevant views into the discussion. We need to magnify their voices within the foster care system to bring decisive change. Biden’s foster care plan remains unrefined, but we hope to shape this plan with our youth’s influence.
Similarly, The Imprint interviews twelve congress interns—all of whom have spent time in the system—on foster care. These individuals push for supporting education, empowering youth, focusing on well-being, and creating national foster records. They focus on college enrollment, mental health resources, a federal guideline for care, and a child-focused reunification system. Foster youth have firsthand experience dealing with the system’s issues. To ensure that the White House hears their voices, find out ways that you can advocate by reading below.
Overall, there are many steps that the Biden administration can take to mend foster care. By providing information and insight to the general public, we can propel that rapid change. There is a specific chain of events necessary for progress; education becomes advocacy, advocacy to recognition, recognition results in reform. Through today’s article, we hope that you are more informed about the possibilities of change. Organizing the system on a federal level and considering foster youths’ opinions are ideas that we wish to push into the future. Let’s advocate for progress, starting here.
The National Foster Youth Institute
The Court Appointed Special Advocates
Petitions for Change:
End Foster Care Discrimination
Direct Action for the Foster Care System: