Estes cosponsors bipartisan, bicameral bill to fund child welfare reform services

Rep. Ron Estes

U.S. Rep. Ron Estes (R-KS) on Tuesday introduced a bipartisan, bicameral bill to provide states with federal funding to implement the Family First Prevention Services (FFPS) Act, which became law last year.

“I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation and support efforts to strengthen foster care in our state and around the country,” Rep. Estes said.

The congressman is among 12 original cosponsors of the Family First Transition Act, H.R. 4980, which he unveiled this week with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and members including U.S. Reps. Jacki Walorski (R-IN), Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Don Bacon (R-NE).

The same-named S. 2777 also was introduced on Nov. 5 by U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

If enacted, the measure would authorize a total of $500 million in one-time funding to states that are implementing the FFPS Act, which includes reforms to support children in foster care and to help prevent children from needing to enter the foster care system.

“The Family First Transition Act provides needed funding for states to support children at risk or already in foster care, including $4.7 million for Kansas,” said Rep. Estes, a member of the U.S. House Ways and Means Worker and Family Support Subcommittee.

Additionally, the bill would build upon the law by providing insurance to states with child welfare demonstration projects that ended on Oct. 1, 2019 so they don’t face a financial shortfall as they transition to the new law, among other provisions, according to the text of the bill.

H.R. 4980 is under consideration by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, while the U.S. Senate Finance Committee is reviewing S. 2777.