President Trump signed an executive order to improve the child welfare system by fostering the placement of America’s children with safe and loving families, via reforms to resources, parternships and oversight. The order works in tandem with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), under the umbrella of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), to ensure that the funds legislated via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to states, territories, and tribes in support of child welfare are distributed fairly. The CARES Act approved $45 million in support of this effort.
To date, there are approximately 430,000 children in the foster care system, but 124,000 of those children have a plan for adoption but have not been placed with a forever family.
“It is the goal of the United States to promote a child welfare system that reduces the need to place children into foster care; achieves safe permanency for those children who must come into foster care, and does so more quickly and more effectively; places appropriate focus on children who are waiting for adoption, especially those who are 9 years and older, are in sibling groups, or have disabilities; and decreases the proportion of young adults who age out of the foster care system,” the order reads.
The order also aims to facilitate partnerships between public and private agencies, and tasks HHS Secretary Alex Azar with providing appropriate resources to caregivers. The administration as a whole has made the promotion of adoption a high priority.
“President Trump’s executive order demonstrates how his administration has prioritized placing each of America’s foster kids with the loving, permanent family they deserve. Since the President took office, we have focused on promoting adoption unlike any previous administration, and we’ve begun to see results,” Sec. Azar said. “The President’s executive order lays out bold reforms for our work with states, communities, and faith-based partners to build a brighter future for American kids who are in foster care or in crisis.”
This executive order has potential to improve the lives of children in need, and utilizes federal funding and resources effectively.