At this time of the year, as Americans gather with their families to share the warmth and generous spirit of the holidays, we are reminded of those children who do not have families to love and support them. Throughout her adult life, Hillary has worked to help children in foster care. She believes that children in foster care are “our children,” that they face unique challenges, and that they deserve permanent loving homes. For over thirty-five years, Hillary has fought for policies that will give all children in foster care the opportunity to fulfill their God-given potential.
As a young law student, Hillary worked at the Yale New Haven Hospital, helping to develop approaches for determining when child abuse was occurring and what steps to take. As First Lady, Hillary helped enact the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which doubled the number of adoptions out of foster care. Achieving that goal represented enormous progress. Yet still 514,000 children are in foster care, and this year, more than 24,000 children aged out of foster care – the highest number since states began keeping track in 1998. Today, Hillary is announcing a plan to redouble our efforts – again to double the number of children adopted out of foster care from 50,000 to 100,000 over five years – and to restore the foster care system to its original intent – a temporary home, not a home for life.
In order to achieve this goal, Hillary will reform the way our nation funds child welfare services. In theory, these systems are supposed to encourage “permanency”: a permanent loving relationship—with birth parents whenever possible, and if that is impossible, in another permanent home. Yet in practice, we create the wrong incentives, funding states heavily based on the number of children in foster care. As a result, states lose out if they succeed in keeping families together in the first place or in moving children toward adoption. And funds are tightly tied to foster care, so that states can not invest in preventing foster care placement, for example by providing emergency housing for a family on the verge of eviction. As President, Hillary will preserve the entitlement for children in foster care, yet at the same time create more flexibility and new resources so that states can put the interests of children first.
Through her new approach, she’ll prevent many children from entering foster care in the first place by giving their families the help they need before a crisis occurs. When children must be removed from a family, she will move the system towards making foster care temporary so that the child can return home safely and quickly. And when a child can’t return home, Hillary will work to ensure prompt adoption, or in some cases, a permanent home with a family member. In every case, she will make sure families have what they need to do what only families can do: keep children safe and loved.
Promoting a Loving Family for Every Child <--- Click here to read the plan