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Copy of Policy Timeline-Foster Care System
Transcript of Copy of Policy Timeline-Foster Care System
Petra M. Gonzales
California State University East Bay
Dr. Mavis Braxton
Social Welfare Policy
March 11, 2015
1601 - The Poor Law
The Elizabethan Poor Law is established. Built on the experiments of the earlier Henrician Poor Law (1536) and the Parish Poor Rate (1572), this legislation becomes the major codification of dealing with poor and disadvantaged people for more than 200 years. It also becomes the basis for dealing with poor people in colonial America. The Poor Law keeps the administration of poor relief at the local level, taxes people in each parish to pay for their own poor parishioners, establishes apprentice programs for poor children, develops workhouses for dependent people, and deals harshly and punitively with able-bodied poor people.
1853 - Free Foster Home Movement
Charles Loring Brace began the free foster home movement. A minister and director of the New York Children's Aid Society, Brace was concerned about the large number of immigrant children sleeping in the streets of New York. He devised a plan to provide them homes by advertising in the South and West for families willing to provide free homes for these children, whether for charitable reasons or whatever help these children could be to them. In many cases, these children were placed in circumstances similar to indenture. However, Brace's daring and creative action became the foundation for the foster care movement as it exists today.
The earliest forms of foster care were found in the Testament. Early Christian church records also show children were boarded with "worthy widows" who were paid by collections from the congregation.
In 1636, less than thirty years after the founding of the Jamestown Colony, at the age of seven, Benjamin Eaton became this nation's first foster child.
In 1807 the first case of child abuse in foster care brought attention to the nation because the child was represented by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). There was no such organization to that protected abused children.
The American colonies and state governments modeled their public assistance for the poor on the Elizabethan Poor Laws and the Law of Settlement and Removal.
1790 - First Orphanage in US
The first publicly funded orphanage in the United States is established in Charleston, South Carolina.
1834 - The New Poor Law
The new Poor Law is established in England to reform the Elizabethan Poor Law (1601). The underlying emphasis of the new law is on self-reliance. Public assistance is not considered a right, and government is not seen as responsible for unemployed people. The principle of "less eligibility" (a recipient of aid can never receive as much as does the lowest-paid worker) is enforced.
1909 - First White House Conference on welfare of Dependent Children
The first in a series of White House Conferences on Children and Youth, this gathering brought together 200 leaders in children’s issues to discuss the negative effects of institutional care for dependent and neglected children. The Conference concluded with a list of proposals that acknowledged the importance of keeping children in their own homes; called for foster family care; and advocated for State oversight of foster homes, adoption agencies, and medical care for foster children. The conferees also endorsed the creation of a Federal children’s bureau, a sentiment that President Roosevelt echoed in a letter to Congress shortly after the conference ended.
The U.S. Children’s Bureau is created, headed by social worker and former Hull House resident Julia Lathrop.
The Children’s Bureau was tasked with administering and enforcing the nation’s first Federal child labor law, signed by President Woodrow Wilson on September 1, 1916. This marked the first time that the Bureau’s authority was extended beyond its original mandate to “investigate and report.
Published by the Institute for Government Research, The Problem of Indian Administration (commonly known as the Meriam Report) took issue with the removal of very young children from their homes and Tribes for placement at assimilation-model boarding schools. The report found conditions at the schools to be “grossly inadequate,” with problems including overcrowding, disease, insufficient medical care, long hours of domestic work, and not enough nutritious food. It suggested that cooperative relationships with public and private organizations, including the Children’s Bureau, could better inform the Indian Service’s work. Cooperation between the two agencies would be established in the decades to come.
1921 - Maternity and Infancy Act
The Maternity and Infancy Act provided States with other first Federal grants for human services.
Before the program ended in 1929, services reached an estimated 700,000 pregnant women and more than 4 million children, many in rural areas. The Act was credited with reducing infant mortality rates and paving the way for later Federal-State child and family programs
1929c-1941 - The Great Depression
Throughout the Great Depression, the Children’s Bureau played important roles both in documenting the conditions facing the Nation’s children, youth, and families and in designing relief efforts.
1935 - Social Security Act
Children’s Bureau leaders Grace Abbott, Katharine Lenroot, and Martha Eliot worked together to draft key sections of the Social Security Act (SSA). Title V of the final bill, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935, granted the Bureau responsibility for administering three key children’s programs: maternal and child health services, medical care for crippled children, and child welfare services. With SSA funding, the Bureau’s grants to States would increase from $337,371 in 1930 to nearly $11 million by the end of the decade
1938 - Fair Labor Standards Act
Passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act on June 4, 1938, represented a major victory for the Children’s Bureau and its partners in seeking Federal regulation of child labor. The Act set a minimum age of 16 for general full-time employment and 18 in certain dangerous occupations. These standards had first been established by the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1935. The Fair Labor Standards Act reenacted those codes and put a “floor under wages and a ceiling over hours of work” in interstate businesses. The Children’s Bureau worked with State departments of labor and education to enforce the law’s child labor provisions.
1941-1945 - WW II
The demands of World War II resulted in some significant changes in society, including a relaxation of child labor standards, increased juvenile delinquency, and large-scale entry of women into the workforce—all issues that the Children’s Bureau would confront in subsequent decades.
1950-1953 - Korean War
The United States entered the conflict in Korea in June of 1950; when U.S. forces withdrew 3 years later, thousands of children orphaned by the conflict were left behind. National interest in the fate of these children, many of whom were fathered by American soldiers, sparked the first significant wave of international adoptions in the United States.
1955 - Senator Kefauver (TN) holds oversight hearings on adoption practices
Senator Estes Kefauver initiated the Senate Judiciary Committee’s first hearings about deceptive and abusive private adoption practices in 1955. These hearings, and the shocking testimony of birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted people, were a significant factor in the development of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children to protect children being placed across State lines for foster care or adoption.
1956 - Increase in child population
By the mid-1950s, the United States was experiencing a sharp increase in the child population due to continuing declines in infant mortality rates (to an average of 26.6 deaths per 1,000 live births) and the post-WWII “baby boom.” In 1956, the child population reached 57 million. The growing ratio of children to adults would create new challenges in the decades to come, including exacerbating worker shortages in many fields.
1961 - President's Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime
President Kennedy formed the President’s Committee on Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Crime in 1961 to review, evaluate, and coordinate Federal activities and to recommend more effective prevention and treatment methods. The Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act was passed soon after, creating a 3-year program of Federal grants and technical assistance. Additional grants were authorized by later legislation, including the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention and Control Act of 1968. Throughout the 1960s, the Children’s Bureau helped administer grant programs, provided technical assistance to grantees, and created training materials on the subject, although oversight of juvenile delinquency programs gradually moved to other areas within the Federal Government.
1962 - Public Welfare Amendments
Public Welfare Amendments of 1962 made significant changes to the child welfare provisions (title V) of the Social Security Act. Among these, the bill made permanent a 1961 provision authorizing Federal matching funds to States on behalf of children in foster care. In return, States were required to develop a plan for each child in foster care, including periodic reviews of the necessity for care, and provide services to expedite children’s safe return home. The law created administrative links between child welfare and public assistance programs that would have implications for decades to come.
1963 - Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments
The Children’s Bureau’s efforts to prevent and treat mental retardation gained momentum in 1962 when President Kennedy named a 24-member panel to develop a “comprehensive and coordinated attack” on the issue. This led to the passage of the 1963 Maternal and Child Health and Mental Retardation Planning Amendments, which authorized new grants for maternity and infant care and research projects aimed at reducing mental retardation, as well as grants for the development of comprehensive State plans with the same goal. The Maternity and Infant Care Projects were established in April 1964. By 1968, 53 projects were providing regular prenatal appointments, nutrition counseling, transportation and homemaker assistance, and hospital births for low-income mothers in target areas such as crowded urban ghettoes.
1965 - Economic Opportunity Act
President Johnson’s Economic Opportunity Act, a keystone of his War on Poverty, provided new work opportunity programs as well as education and other supports for struggling families. These programs enhanced the Children’s Bureau’s work on behalf of children by providing critical supports for children, youth, and their families.
1970 - The Children’s Bureau initiates an effort to increase adoption for African-American children.
In 1970, the Children’s Bureau initiated a multiyear, nationwide recruitment effort to help develop adoption resources for African-American children and children of mixed racial background. They began by conducting interviews with 100 adoptive parents, agency representatives, and African-American organizations in five cities—New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles—to explore what might be done to enhance recruitment efforts. Transracial and subsidized adoptions were among the potential solutions discussed with respondents; the implications of these would continue to be explored in the decades to come.
1974 - Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) and creation of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN)
CAPTA, signed by President Nixon on January 31, 1974, marked the beginning of a new national response to the problem of child abuse and neglect. The legislation provided Federal assistance to States for prevention, identification, and treatment programs and created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (now known as the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect) within the Children’s Bureau to serve as a Federal focal point for CAPTA activities. Today CAPTA, most recently reauthorized in 2010, continues to provide minimum standards for child maltreatment definitions and support States’ prevention and intervention efforts.
1978 - Indian Child Welfare Act
Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to protect the best interests of children and promote the stability and security of Indian Tribes and Native families. A 1976 study by the Association on American Indian Affairs showed that 25 to 35 percent of Indian children were being removed from their homes by State courts and welfare agencies. The vast majority (85 percent) of these were placed in non-Indian homes or institutions, resulting in lost ties between children and their communities. ICWA granted jurisdiction to the Tribe in child custody and adoption matters involving Native American children.
1980 - Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act
Thanks to the efforts of national advocacy groups, adoptive parent organizations, foster parents and children, several Members of Congress, and Children’s Bureau leadership and staff, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (P.L. 96-272) was signed by President Carter on June 17, 1980. This groundbreaking law reflected a new Federal emphasis on permanence for children. Among its requirements were the first Federal adoption assistance for children with special needs and a mandate for States to make “reasonable efforts” to prevent foster care placement or to return children home as quickly as possible. It would be many years before the child welfare system reaped the law’s full benefits.
1980 - Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance program
Enactment of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Amendments of 1980 establishes a new Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance entitlement program
1977-1984 - Foster care population decreases
During the early 1980s, the number of children in the U.S. foster care system declined by approximately 45 percent, from 502,000 in 1977 to 276,000 in 1984. This decline is generally attributed to the provisions of (and permanency planning philosophy behind) the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980.
1986-1993 - Independent Living Services
The availability of better quality data about children in foster care soon revealed that a growing number of older youth were “aging out” of the foster care system with little preparation or support. In 1986, Congress created the first Federal program to support Independent Living services: P.L. 99–272 required the Children’s Bureau to help States establish initiatives to prepare foster children ages 16 or over for a more successful adulthood. The program’s authorization was made permanent in 1993 and was later expanded through the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999.
1988 - National Foster Care Month
In 1988, the National Foster Parent Association persuaded Senator Strom Thurmond to introduce a resolution to proclaim May as National Foster Care Month. President George H.W. Bush issued an annual proclamation during each year of his presidency, providing an impetus for State, county, and city proclamations. The focus of these early efforts was appreciation and recognition of the tremendous contributions of foster parents across the nation.
1993 - Family Preservation and Support Services Act
President Clinton signed the Family Preservation and Support Services Program Act (P.L. 103-66) on August 10, 1993. This law authorized funding for services to help preserve, support, and reunify families in crisis. P.L. 103-66 also established the Court Improvement Program and provided funding for States to plan, design, or develop statewide automated child welfare information systems (SACWIS).
1994 - Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA)
Racial disproportionality of the foster care population prompted some prospective adoptive parents to advocate for passage of the Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) of 1994. This law prohibits the delay or denial of a child’s adoptive placement solely on the basis of the child or adoptive parent’s race and requires “diligent efforts” to recruit and retain foster and adoptive families that reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the children for whom homes are needed. Two years later, MEPA was amended to remove a provision that had allowed States to consider the child’s ethnic/cultural background (and the prospective parents’ ability to meet the child’s related needs) in placement decisions.
1999 - Chafee Foster Care Independence Program
Building on the Federal Independent Living program created in 1986, the Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-169) created the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program to enhance resources and strengthen State accountability for helping older youth leaving foster care to achieve self-sufficiency. This program provided increased funding and flexibility for States and Tribes to support young adults in a wide variety of ways, including help with education, employment, financial management, housing, and connections to caring adults.
2005 - US Hurricanes
In August and September of 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in Louisiana, resulting in the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States. During the chaotic period that followed, thousands of children and families in the child welfare system were displaced, and access to critical services and records was lost. The Children’s Bureau responded quickly, providing flexible funding to affected States and grants to its National Resource Centers to help rebuild child welfare services. One year after Katrina, in August 2006, the Bureau released updated disaster planning guidance and sponsored a Hurricane Summit to focus on preparedness.
2008 - Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act
Enacted October 7, 2008, the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L. 110-351) amended the Social Security Act to improve outcomes for children in foster care, connect and support relative caregivers, and offer incentives for adoption. The Act enhanced services for youth aging out of care and created new programs to help children and youth in or at-risk of entering foster care to reconnect with family members. It also provided the opportunity for federally recognized Indian Tribes, Tribal organizations, and Tribal consortia to directly operate a title IV-E program for the first time. The Bureau helped implement this requirement by conducting numerous outreach activities to Tribes, creating a National Resource Center for Tribes, and providing one-time grants of up to $300,000 for Tribes to develop a title IV-E plan.
2009 - Increase in children who were adopted
In February 2009, the Children’s Bureau announced that more than 10,000 of the 24,000 children who had been listed on the website since the site was launched had been placed for adoption. More than 60 percent of those children were at least 10 years old, 47 percent were African-American, and 20 percent were siblings adopted together. Less than 2 years later, the total number of featured children who had been adopted reached 15,000.
2010 - National Youth in Transition Database
The Foster Care Independence Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-169) required the Children’s Bureau to create a data collection system to track State Independent Living services for youth. After consultation with stakeholders and pilot-testing in several States, the Bureau began data collection for the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) in October 2010.
2012 - AB 12
Assembly Bill 12 (AB 12): California Fostering Connections Act was signed into law by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on September 30, 2010, and took effect on January 1, 2012. AB12 both includes a number of improvements to the Kin-GAP program and extends foster care supports and services to foster and probation youth ages 18 to 21
1928 - Meriam Report
1997 - Adoption and Safe Families Act
Signed into law on November 19, 1997, the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) was created to improve the safety of children, promote adoption and other permanent homes for children who need them, and support families. The law required child protection agencies to provide more timely assessment and intervention services to children and families in the child welfare system. While the legislation reaffirmed the importance of making reasonable efforts to preserve and reunify families, it also specified instances where reunification efforts did not have to be made. The law also required the Department of Health and Human Services to establish new outcome measures to monitor and improve State performance