The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 11 former foster youths who completed Congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, with support from the Sara Start Fund.
Each of the FYI participants crafted a carefully researched policy recommendation during their time in Washington. Today, we highlight the recommendation of Tony Parsons, 22, a pre-law undergraduate student at Michigan State University.
Reduce the instances in which children below the age of three receive multiple placements in foster care by making three changes to federal policy:
- The Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) currently mandates (with some caveats) a termination of parental rights (TPR) if a child is in care for 15 out of the most recent 22 months. Parsons would replace that timeline for children under three with a mandate to TPR after an infant or toddler has been in care for nine consecutive months.
- Require states to report how many times each child moves placements cumulatively while in care, and how many placements each child had within 365 days.
- Amend ASFA to guarantee any foster parent that has been a “primary caregiver” for an infant or toddler to have a voice in dependency court proceedings.