Child Welfare Ideas From the Experts, #8: Unfettered Access to Birth, Health, Identification Documents

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 Dominique Freeman, 23, a California native and current undergraduate student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The Proposal

Amend the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (H.R. 4980) – a pending piece of legislation with strong potential to pass in the fall – to require that states guarantee access to the following items for foster youths:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social security card
  • Health insurance information and medical records
  • Driver’s license or equivalent state-issued identification

Freeman also proposes that states be required to create an electronic database to store information and pertinent documents about foster children.

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