Not only does my bill allow foster children to attend the school best equipped to serve them, but it would also give these children, often for the first time in their lives, a chance at some stability even if when they change homes. As a foster mother of 23 children, I have experienced first-hand the need for stability in a foster child’s life. Children in foster care face a number of challenges that other adolescents don’t face. Many of them have endured abuse or neglect and often their first foster home placement isn’t their last. Instead of separating foster children from trusted friends and teachers, we should give them the opportunity to stay at a school if it is fulfilling their needs. At a time when they need stability the most, we should strive to meet that need
The School Choice for Foster Kids Act ensures the school voucher section of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program—currently reserved only for older kids — includes foster children of all ages and allows foster parents to receive appropriate funds to transport their child to their original school or choose a school that can best meet their child’s needs. This will allow foster children to remain at their original school, regardless of any foster home placement changes, and receive quality, uninterrupted educations.
The American Humane expressed support for this bill because they believe it will “allow foster families to choose what school is in the best interest of the child and allow them to provide the child with the stability they need.” I am thrilled to have the support of American Humane and appreciate their partnership on this issue near and dear to my heart.