Fischer sponsors bipartisan Foster Care Stabilization Act

U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) recently introduced a bipartisan bill that would authorize grants to nonprofit foster care stabilization agencies to provide emergency relief to foster care youth and bolster pre-placement services. 

“Having already faced significant hardships, foster kids deserve our full support and care,” Sen. Fischer said. “I’m proud to introduce legislation that will help to increase the resources available to kids transitioning into the foster care system to ensure their needs are better met.” 

The Foster Care Stabilization Act of 2022, S. 4762, which Sen. Fischer sponsored on Aug. 3 with lead original cosponsor U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), would authorize the award of three demonstration grants of not more than $1 million to foster care stabilization agencies to provide a variety of emergency relief services to foster youth and to improve pre-placement services for foster youth waiting for placement, according to the text of the bill.

Under S. 4762, a foster care stabilization agency that receives a grant would have three years to spend funds and would have to return any unused grant funds to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS).

The HHS demonstration grants could be used to hire personnel; secure clothing or personal necessities for foster youth; purchase food and food preparation equipment for foster youth; offer services to prevent and respond to child abuse; and address other emergency assistance needed to promote the safety and self-sufficiency of foster youth, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Fischer’s office.

The Nebraska Foster Care Closet, the Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center, the National Association of Counsel for Children, and the Child Welfare League of America endorsed the measure, which has been referred for consideration to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

S. 4762 is the companion bill to the same-named H.R. 6656, introduced on Feb. 9 by U.S. Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Karen Bass (D-CA).