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house Bill H.R. 4472

Do States Need an Electronic, Interstate System to Place Foster Children in Adoptive Homes?

Argument in favor

The federal government should encourage states to implement an electronic, interstate system for placing foster children that speeds up placement times while cutting administrative costs.

BTSundra's Opinion
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03/22/2016
The foster system, in many cases, simply places these children in the hands of people who want a tax deduction. If this measure helps these children find actual loving, caring families, so be it.
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Sid's Opinion
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03/22/2016
This makes a whole lot of sense since adoption and current foster care systems take years to get a child to a loving family.
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Emily's Opinion
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01/13/2017
I work in the area of child welfare law and have on too many occasions seen children living in limbo due to bureaucratic shortcomings. Technology should be levied to improve the lives of families.
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Argument opposed

The existing process for placing foster children with adoptive families in another state is not too time consuming, and states shouldn’t have to adopt an interstate placement system.

Ronald's Opinion
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04/28/2016
Not a function of the federal governmebt under the constutution
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jrs333's Opinion
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02/08/2016
Most of these state agencies are understaffed and overworked. A requirement like this more than some local/county agency can do. Plus it will be very expensive for some locals because they would have to start from scratch, like procuring the computers and then the networking ability. North Carolina has 100 counties and therefore 100 agencies to that would have to do this. Some locals are well advanced of other locals. This not the federal government job to begin with.
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pgshpak's Opinion
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03/22/2016
If this should happen, then let a private company do it. It will be cheaper and more effective. Why congress continuously tries to eliminate job opportunities like this is beyond me.
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What is House Bill H.R. 4472?

This bill would seek to reduce the amount of time it takes to place foster children with adoptive families, relatives, or in long-term placements across state lines by encouraging states to adopt a pilot program used in six states to achieve those goals. It would accomplish that by requiring states to have a centralized electronic case processing system to facilitate the timely and orderly interstate placement of foster children.

Grants would be authorized for states to develop a centralized system to expedite interstate placements of children in foster care, guardianship, or adoptive homes. A total of $5 million would be made available for fiscal year 2017, which would be reserved and remain available through fiscal year 2021.

Impact

Children in foster care, guardianship, or adoptive homes; adoptive families; and state family services agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4472

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) introduced this bill to reduce the amount of time it takes to place foster children with adoptive families out-of-state:

“Thousands of children in my state have lost loving parents to opiate addiction, and I fear if we do nothing, we’ll lose thousands in the next generation, too. Modernizing the outdated interstate child placement process is one of a number of proposals that are urgently needed.  It will help alleviate the strain on the foster care system.  It will more quickly get children placed into loving homes where a set routine and stability will help them cope. Tragedy compounded by extended stints in various foster arrangements has proven detrimental to a child’s future. For children caught up in a system struggling to meet community needs, we should do everything possible to get them immediately placed in the setting that’s best for them, regardless of state boundary lines.”

This legislation is cosponsored by six Republican and one Democratic lawmakers in the House.


Of Note: This legislation would encourage states to create a system to place foster children with out-of-state adoptive families by using an existing six-state pilot program as a template. Known as the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE), the pilot program has reduced interstate placement times by 30 percent — meaning those children spent about one and a half fewer months waiting to join an adoptive family. It has also been projected that states will save $1.6 million annually from reduced copying and mailing costs, plus additional savings in labor costs given that NEICE is an electronic system.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user stevendepolo)

AKA

Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act

Official Title

To amend title IV of the Social Security Act to require States to adopt a centralized electronic system to help expedite the placement of children in foster care or guardianship, or for adoption, across State lines, and to provide grants to aid States in developing such a system, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Finance
  • The house Passed March 22nd, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Worker and Family Support
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedFebruary 4th, 2016

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    The foster system, in many cases, simply places these children in the hands of people who want a tax deduction. If this measure helps these children find actual loving, caring families, so be it.
    Like (16)
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    This makes a whole lot of sense since adoption and current foster care systems take years to get a child to a loving family.
    Like (7)
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    Yes
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    Because I'm a future adopter and getting children families as quickly and efficiently as possible while avoiding too much limbo time for children, their families, and their prospective adoptive families.
    Like (3)
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    I work in the area of child welfare law and have on too many occasions seen children living in limbo due to bureaucratic shortcomings. Technology should be levied to improve the lives of families.
    Like (3)
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    As a foster parent who has looked at interstate adoption, yes, the system needs to be improved significantly. There are some states that have shortages of foster parents and this could help reduce the pressure on those states to find qualified families to participate as foster parents.
    Like (2)
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    Not a function of the federal governmebt under the constutution
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    Children need a stable home. Anything that would help them get that is welcome.
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    Anytime we can integrate technology in a cost effective manner, and speed up processes we should do so.
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    Not a federal issue!
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    If it's going to help kids get placed with loving families and improve the system, I don't see any problem with this
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    If it helps children to find a stable and loving home.
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    Absolutely no question, yes. The devastating impact the prolonged adoption process has on a child's development can be catastrophic. Anything we can do reduce this, within reason, should be done. Not only does this seem to be the socially appropriate thing to do (for a child's development), but it's efficient, too. Taking the moral argument out, the answer is still yes. Children who fall behind developmentally are much less likely (up to 30%) to finish high school, reducing their chances of later employment and increasing their likelihood of being on some form of welfare. So, even from a purely economic standpoint, this seems like a no-brainier.
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    I am a foster parent and hope to adopt some day. The system is deeply, fatally broken and fails children every day.
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    Most of these state agencies are understaffed and overworked. A requirement like this more than some local/county agency can do. Plus it will be very expensive for some locals because they would have to start from scratch, like procuring the computers and then the networking ability. North Carolina has 100 counties and therefore 100 agencies to that would have to do this. Some locals are well advanced of other locals. This not the federal government job to begin with.
    Like (1)
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    Foster children are wards of the state in which they reside. Suggesting an interstate option violates the rights of the state and of the child.
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    If this should happen, then let a private company do it. It will be cheaper and more effective. Why congress continuously tries to eliminate job opportunities like this is beyond me.
    Like (1)
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    Most foster children fine respectful adoptive families. But I am concerned with those few children being shopped around with abusive foster parents. An electronic tracking system could weed-out those abusive patients and allows to quickly track the children.
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    The adoption process needs to be electronically regulated not only for efficiency but also for safety. This process would allow agencies to keep track of adopted children even if they leave the state.
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    This would give adopted children more opportunities especially where a state has a better economy than another.
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