NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 74
(Senate - May 26, 2011)

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[Page S3462]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


                       NATIONAL FOSTER CARE MONTH

  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senate 
proceed to S. Res. 203, submitted earlier today.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the resolution by title.
  The bill clerk read as follows:

       A resolution (S. Res. 203) recognizing ``National Foster 
     Care Month'' as an opportunity to raise awareness about the 
     challenges of children in the foster care system, and 
     encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives 
     of children in the foster care system.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the 
resolution.
  Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the 
resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to 
reconsider be laid upon the table, with no intervening action or 
debate, and any statements relating to the matter be printed in the 
Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The resolution (S. Res. 203) was agreed to.
  The preamble was agreed to.
  The resolution, with its preamble, reads as follows:

                              S. Res. 203

       Whereas ``National Foster Care Month'' was established more 
     than 20 years ago to bring foster care issues to the 
     forefront, to highlight the importance of permanency for 
     every child, and to recognize the essential role that foster 
     parents, social workers, and advocates have in the lives of 
     children in foster care throughout the United States;
       Whereas all children deserve a safe, loving, and permanent 
     home;
       Whereas the primary goal of the foster care system is to 
     ensure the safety and well-being of children while working to 
     provide a safe, loving, and permanent home for each child;
       Whereas there are approximately 420,000 children living in 
     foster care;
       Whereas there are 115,000 children in foster care awaiting 
     adoption;
       Whereas 57,000 children are adopted out of foster care each 
     year;
       Whereas children of color are more likely to stay in the 
     foster care system for longer periods of time and are less 
     likely to be reunited with their biological families;
       Whereas the number of available foster homes is declining, 
     and there are only 2.8 foster homes for every 10 children in 
     foster care;
       Whereas children entering foster care often confront the 
     widespread misperception that children in foster care are 
     disruptive, unruly, and dangerous, even though placement in 
     foster care is based on the actions of a parent or guardian, 
     not the child;
       Whereas foster care is intended to be a temporary 
     placement, but children remain in the foster care system for 
     an average of 2 years;
       Whereas children in foster care experience an average of 3 
     different placements, which often leads to disruption of 
     routines, and the need to change schools and move away from 
     siblings, extended families, and familiar surroundings;
       Whereas more than 29,000 youth ``age out'' of foster care 
     without a legal permanent connection to an adult or family;
       Whereas the number of youth who ``age out'' of foster care 
     has steadily increased for the past decade;
       Whereas children who ``age out'' of foster care lack the 
     security or support of a biological or adoptive family and 
     frequently struggle to secure affordable housing, obtain 
     health insurance, pursue higher education, and acquire 
     adequate employment;
       Whereas on average, 8.5 percent of the positions in child 
     protective services remain vacant;
       Whereas due to heavy caseloads and limited resources, the 
     average tenure for a worker in child protection services is 
     just 3 years;
       Whereas States, localities, and communities should be 
     encouraged to invest resources in preventative and 
     reunification services and post-permanency programs to ensure 
     that more children in foster care are provided with safe, 
     loving, and permanent placements;
       Whereas the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing 
     Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351; 122 Stat. 3949) 
     provides for new investments and services to improve the 
     outcomes of children and families in the foster care system; 
     and
       Whereas much remains to be done to ensure that all children 
     have a safe, loving, nurturing, and permanent family, 
     regardless of age or special needs: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) recognizes ``National Foster Care Month'' as an 
     opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges that 
     children in the foster care system face;
       (2) encourages Congress to implement policy to improve the 
     lives of children in the foster care system;
       (3) supports the designation of May as ``National Foster 
     Care Month'';
       (4) acknowledges the special needs of children in the 
     foster care system;
       (5) honors the commitment and dedication of the individuals 
     who work tirelessly to provide assistance and services to 
     children in the foster care system; and
       (6) reaffirms the need to continue working to improve the 
     outcomes of all children in the foster care system through 
     title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) 
     and other programs designed to help children in the foster 
     care system reunite with their biological parents or, if the 
     children cannot be reunited with their biological parents, 
     find permanent, safe, and loving homes.

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