Fact Sheet: Administration Actions to Support Youth in Foster Care

In conjunction with National Foster Care Month, seven federal agencies announced the following actions to improve outcomes for our nation’s children and youth who are or have been in foster care:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Administration for Children and Families (ACF) 

  • Throughout the month of May:  Released discretionary funding opportunities.
  • May 1: Launched National Foster Care Month website
  • May 5: Highlighted the tools to protect those in foster care from credit reporting problems that were released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • May 30: Released guidance to state, tribal and territorial child welfare agencies to encourage child welfare agencies and others that work with immigrant families with a child in foster care to engage in case planning activities that ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of all children in foster care, including those whose parent(s) may be at risk of, or are, being detained or removed.
  • May 30: Released an Information Memorandum on the responsibilities and opportunities states have to prevent and address the practice of rehoming of adopted children.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

  • May 14: Held a joint webinar with ACF and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to discuss resources to support efforts to address trauma and promote well-being of children in foster care.
  • May 22: Conducted webinar with Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign outreach and enrollment grantees and partners.
    • Explained policies and offered outreach strategies to ensure that children and youth keep Medicaid coverage when they transition home after foster care and when they age out.  Speakers included representatives from CMS, ACF and foster care stakeholder organizations.

U.S. Department of Education

  • May 30: Released a letter emphasizing the role Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) play in partnership with child welfare to increase educational stability for children and youth in foster care.
  • May 30: Posted a web page that consolidates information available to education authorities who work with foster children and youth.
  • Forthcoming: Plan to release guidance on the Uninterrupted Scholars Act regarding the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records between educational agencies and child welfare agencies.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • May 28: Issued promising practices for the use of Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers for youth and families involved in foster care.
    • These FAQs will help local jurisdictions using FUP vouchers to clarify policies and strategies for making the best use of these vouchers to improve outcomes for youth and families.
  • May 28: Issued reports from the study of Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care.
    • Reports include: a literature review of housing models for youth aging out of care; a monograph describing the extent to which communities currently use Family Unification Program (FUP) vouchers to serve youth; a research brief on evaluating housing models for youth; and a final report summarizing findings across the study components.  This study will help us understand the current landscape of housing opportunities for youth aging out of care, offer a set of program improvements that would make FUP more accessible to youth, and suggest methods for building the evidence base on the best way to package housing and services interventions to improve the lives of youth transitioning from foster care. 
  • May 29: Released a joint letter with ACF on improving coordination between housing authorities and child welfare systems.
    • By stressing this collaboration, HUD and ACF will help local communities create pathways for improving housing and well-being outcomes for youth and families in the child welfare system.

U.S. Department of Justice

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

  • May 14: Re-released four-part webinar series on cross-over youth.
    • The Crossover Youth Practice Model was developed in an effort to document research and best practices related to improving outcomes for youth who are dually-involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
  • May 30: Announced joint work on cross-over youth design study.
    • This study will investigate the extent to which state and local jurisdictions’ juvenile justice and child welfare data can be used to develop estimates of dual-system involvement. 

U.S. Department of Labor

  • May 28: Released a Training and Employment Notice.
    • Letter informs and educates front-line staff working with youth in foster care about the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program and opportunities to support increased educational and employment outcomes for foster youth.

U.S. Department of the Interior

  • April 14, 2014:  Announced interagency collaboration on updates to the BIA Child Protection Handbook.
    • The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) first developed the Child Protection Handbook in 2006. The handbook gives guidance to BIA social workers, case managers, and others who touch the lives of children by providing important information related to the protection of Native American children.  The handbook’s updated version is a more comprehensive resource and includes standards and procedures for child abuse prevention, investigation, and treatment services.  It also includes culturally appropriate best-practice approaches to the treatment of child abuse and neglect.
  • Indian Child Welfare Act Guidelines for State Courts listening sessions and comment period.
    • Three listening sessions were held over March and April.
    • The department is currently reviewing nationwide comments.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

  • May 29: Released the following information and resources about Special Immigrant Juvenile status, an immigration classification that allows eligible children to immediately apply for lawful permanent resident status.  Abused, neglected and abandoned children in foster care, who do not have legal immigration status, may be eligible.
    • Immigration Relief for Abused Children: Information for Juvenile Court Judges, Child Welfare Workers, and Others Working with Abused Children (Brochure)
    • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Child Welfare Workers (Flier)
    • Special Immigrant Juvenile Status: Information for Juvenile Courts (Flier)