I am thrilled to share with you some exciting news. Yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously passed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. The Act will help thousands of children and youth by promoting permanent families for children in foster care through relative guardianship and adoption and helping with access to other supportive services for grandparent-and other relative-headed families.
The bill is the most significant federal recognition to date of the contribution grandparents and other relatives make in raising our nation’s children. The Senate and House deserve credit for taking this groundbreaking and bi-partisan action: one that dramatically increases the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of children and their families. You can click here for a full summary.
Thank you to everyone for all their hard work in making calls, writing letters, and visiting with their legislators to pass this bill through Congress. Your stories brought this issue to life for your Members of Congress and inspired them to act.
In addition to your hard work, there are a number of legislators who deserve our gratitude. Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Representatives Danny K. Davis (D-IL) and Timothy Johnson (R-IL) were early and steadfast champions of legislation to support grandfamilies with the first introduction of the Kinship Caregiver Support Act over four years ago, many provisions of which were included in this final bill. Their consistent advocacy combined with the strong leadership of Senate Finance Committee Chairman, Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), and Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee leaders Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL) made this landmark legislation a reality.
This was truly a team effort from everyone and was many years in the making. I can't wait for the President to sign the bill into law and starting the celebrations.