To improve permanency, this legislation creates additional funding to support the Adoption Opportunities Program and the State Court Improvement Program (CIP). The Adoption Opportunities Program targets programs improving permanency outcomes for youth in foster care through adoption, guardianship, or kinship care. The CIP targets improving the quality of legal representation for youth, reducing caseloads, updating systems to be more efficient, and overall steps to improve the court’s role in achieving safe, stable and permanent homes for children. Fifty percent of the sales will be used to fund the Adoption Opportunities Program and the other fifty percent will be used to fund the CIP.
“This initiative is part of an ongoing effort to raise awareness about kids who are in the foster care system and in need of permanent, loving homes, or who have grown up in the system and face young adulthood without the valuable structure of having come from a permanent, loving home,” Grassley said. “I appreciate the bipartisan leadership committed to addressing these issues and hope for strong support for the foster youth stamp.”
“We have more than 400,000 children in our foster care system, the majority of whom spend more than three years without a permanent home. We must do more to support these children and connect them to safe, loving and permanent families,” Landrieu said. “This stamp will give people the option to pay just a few cents more for postage, but make a big difference in the lives of foster youth. These funds will be used to support the Adoption Opportunities Program and the State Court Improvement Program, both of which are successful initiatives to improve outcomes for foster youth. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this commonsense and important legislation.”
The foster care community includes more than 400,000 children nationwide. Since 1988, May has been designated National Foster Care Month to help raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system and encourage Congress to implement policies to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Grassley and Landrieu are co-founders and continue to co-chair the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth to give voice to the children who have grown up in the system and identify gaps that could be addressed with policy changes and citizen involvement.