Trump Signs Executive Order Expanding HHS Efforts To Help Foster Children
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The mainstream media has many believing that Republicans and Democrats can't agree on anything.
And to an extent, there's some truth to that.
But President Donald Trump and his administration have been working with Democrats on a nationwide plan to provide further assistance to foster care children -- and they just got it done.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is praising a recent executive order issued by Trump that directs the Department of Health and Human Services to further assist foster care children.
"We are grateful to President Trump and his administration for their commitment to strengthening and improving America’s foster care system through this executive order," Edwards said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners at the federal level to set more adoption records in Louisiana and find permanent homes for our children.”
“It is the goal of the United States to promote a child welfare system that reduces the need to place children into foster care,” the order states. "Achieves safe permanency for those children who must come into foster care, and does so more quickly and more effectively; places appropriate focus on children who are waiting for the adoption, especially those who are 9 years and older, are in sibling groups, or have disabilities; and decreases the proportion of young adults who age out of the foster care system.”
HHS Secretary Alex Azar said, “Since the president took office, we have focused on promoting adoption unlike any previous administration, and we’ve begun to see results. The president’s executive order lays out bold reforms for our work with states, communities, and faith-based partners to build a brighter future for American kids who are in foster care or in crisis.”
The order bolstering partnerships among state and local organizations has received the support of Republican governors (Arizona, Georgia, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas) and Democratic governors (Kansas, Louisiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island), according to HHS. The department says it plans to follow up with 20 more states, asking their governments to work more with non-profits.
More than 400,000 children are currently in the foster care system. Among them, more than 124,000 children are waiting for the adoption, with nearly 6 out of 10 (58.4 percent) already legally eligible for adoption.
HHS also issued a new rule streamlining what more than half of the states have said are burdensome and intrusive foster care practices introduced by the former administration. The new rule change is expected to save $42.9 million a year.
Elizabeth Darling, commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth, and Families said, "By improving this data collection, it streamlines reporting requirements that make it easier for child welfare workers to serve foster youth and allows states to more easily facilitate adoptions. We are taking important steps forward in protecting the health and well-being of kids.”