Walorski, Davis Applaud Inclusion of Foster Youth Support in COVID-19 Relief Bill

Monday, December 21, 2020

Walorski, Davis Applaud Inclusion of Foster Youth Support in COVID-19 Relief Bill

Bipartisan Provisions Will Assist Foster Youth, Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Other Vulnerable Families

WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Ranking Member Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Chairman Danny Davis (D-Ill.) today applauded the inclusion of the Supporting Foster Youth & Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947) in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

While the COVID-19 pandemic presents difficulties for all Americans, foster youth are particularly subject to instability given that they are typically without reliable adults and other supports in their lives. We know that nearly 20,000 youth “age out” of foster care each year, and youth who aged out of care during this national emergency have reported high rates of homelessness, food and economic insecurity, and are at risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus.

As a direct response to the COVID-19 crisis, Ranking Member Walorski and Chairman Davis introduced the bipartisan H.R. 7947 to provide emergency temporary supports and flexibilities for older foster youth, grandparents raising grandchildren and other kinship families, home visiting for at-risk pregnant and parenting families, foster care prevention services, and other child welfare services through the end of fiscal year 2021.

“This is a major victory for some of America’s most vulnerable children and families, who will have additional support to get through the coronavirus crisis and build a stronger, more stable future,” Ranking Member Walorski said. “Foster youth and families, at-risk pregnant women and mothers, and kinship caregivers such as grandparents raising grandchildren already face unique challenges in normal times. The pandemic has only added to the obstacles they must overcome to achieve the American Dream – but help will soon be on the way. I’m grateful to Chairman Davis for his partnership in building on past reforms with this targeted relief to help families thrive.”

“I am especially proud of this bipartisan legislation, which will provide the necessary emergency resources and supports that foster youth and families need to weather this storm,” Chairman Davis said. “This bill was crafted in direct response to what foster youth in our communities have been telling us they need, right now, in order to be okay during the pandemic.”

The Supporting Foster Youth & Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947) has been endorsed by hundreds of national, state, and local organizations, including organizations representing current and former foster youth.

  • The provisions are located in Division X of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, the section-by-section summary of which can be found HERE.
  • A fact sheet on H.R. 7947 is available HERE.
  • A list of groups that have endorsed H.R. 7947 can be found HERE.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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