We’ve just come to the end of the 2nd week of Virginia’s 2023 General Assembly Session last Friday, and are thrilled with the progress already being made to improve the lives of children, youth, and families touched by the Foster Care System! Here’s a quick update on bills that have already been moving through the General Assembly successfully:
- SB923 (Favola) Kinship as Foster Care Prevention Program – this bill establishes a kinship care prevention program that provides supports to relatives caring for children who would otherwise have been placed in foster care. Kinship placements have been proven to be generally better placements for children and youth than placements with non-relatives in foster care. This bill, if passed, will provide supports both financial and otherwise to these families. UPDATE: This bill passed unanimously out of Senate Rehabilitation & Social Services Committee and will be heard in Senate Finance HHR subcommittee next.
- HB1403 (Tata) Higher Ed Housing for Former Foster Youth – this bill will require higher education programs to allow youth who have aged out of foster care to remain in school housing during holiday and summer breaks. Many youth who age out of foster care do not have the ability to return home or stay with family members during those breaks, making them homeless if they are not able to stay in their school housing. UPDATE: This bill has passed out of House Education Higher Education subcommittee as well as the full House Education committee unanimously. This bill is currently being read on the House floor and will hopefully pass the House within the next week.
CHSVA was also featured in a Virginia Mercury article for our work on Delegate Tata’s higher education housing for former foster youth bill. Take a few minutes to learn more about the work being done to reduce homelessness for former foster youth in college.
There is still plenty of work to do during this year’s 45-day long General Assembly session. Stay tuned for updates throughout session as we work on each of these initiatives. And as always, if you’re interested in getting involved in supporting this work, reach out to Cassie Baudean at email@example.com.