mission of the CWLA to promote the well-being of children, youth, and
Two early versions shared many points, which were incorporated into
the final bill. Primary is the reauthorization of the adoptions incentives
program, with increased incentives for the adoption of special-needs
HILL children and children age 9 and older, which was set to expire this fiscal year.
This reauthorization was the impetus for the entire legislative package.
With the bill, Title IV-E funds are more accessible. States are given the
option to use Title IV-E funds for relative kinship placements, an expansion
from the current situation, where only relatives who are licensed as foster
parents can receive support from Title IV-E funds. Additionally, changes in
the bill will allow tribal governments to apply directly for Title IV-E foster
care and adoption assistance funding, eliminating the current extra step that
requires tribal communities to go through a state system for those funds.
States will also have the option to extend federal foster care funding to
At the end of the 110th Congress, the “most sig- youth up to age 21 under the new legislation. States will decide to what age
nificant child welfare legislation in a decade” support can be given, and will also have the chance to require
was passed by both houses and signed into independent-living settings in care institutions with youth
law by the president. The Fostering Connections 18 or older. Another provision in the bill for younger,
to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, H.R. school-aged children compels states to ensure they are still
6893, passed the House of Representatives by attending school—remaining in their same schools as long
voice vote September 17, passed the Senate as it is in their best interest, and being enrolled immedi-
by unanimous consent September 22, and ately in a new school if not. The cost of transportation can
was signed by President George W. Bush on Jim McDermott
be included in the foster care maintenance payments.
October 7 as Public Law No. 110–351. Movement started in late June when Representatives Jim
“It is amazing that we were able to get this McDermott (D-WA) and Jerry Weller (R-IL), the chair and
through,” said John Sciamanna, codirector of ranking member of the Subcommittee on Income Support
Government Affairs at CWLA. “Everybody and Family Security, introduced H.R. 6307, the Fostering
joined hands on this—in both parties and in Connections to Success Ac