You may have recently heard that after many months of working through a compromise on the Virginia State Budget, the General Assembly and the Governor have both officially adopted and enacted a new budget for Virginia for this fiscal year.
But what you may not have heard is what impact that budget has on Virginia’s most vulnerable children: children in foster care and youth who have aged out of foster care. Here are some highlights of what was included this year:
- Additional funding to stabilize the social services workforce through salary increases;
- Training and quality assurance programs for Local Departments of Social Services;
- Development of a collaborative partnership between local departments of social services to increase locally approved kinship caregivers and foster parents;
- Continued funding to support the Safe & Sound Taskforce established by the Governor; and
- Funding to pilot programs that will increase the number of foster care children adopted.
Each year that Virginia includes more funds to strategically help improve the lives of children and families touched by the foster care system is a step in the right direction and we are thrilled to see these investments this year.
While we are gearing up to advocate for even more improvements to our system during the 2024 General Assembly session, we’d love to hear your story and what improvements you’d like to see to the foster care system in Virginia. If you’re interested in getting involved in our advocacy work in this way, you can contact Cassie Baudean, Director of Policy and Strategic Operations at firstname.lastname@example.org.