Recent/Pending Federal Legislation

Legislation Relating to Abuse/Neglect, Foster Care, Adoption, Guardianship, Trafficking, and Mandatory Reporting (June 2012)

U.S. House of Representatives Legislation

Bill # Name Synopsis Author Status
H.R. 6192 Foster Children Self Support Act To ensure that foster children are able to use their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits to address their needs and improve their lives. Rep. Pete Stark
Co-Sponsor:
Rep. Langevin
Dead from 111th Congress- Waiting to be reintroduced.
H.R. 6193 (introducing in 110th Congress) Foster Youth Financial Security Act To require States to take certain additional steps to assist children in foster care in making the transition to independent living, and for other purposes. Rep. Langevin
Co-Sponsor:
Rep. Stark
On hold until the limited related provisions for ID theft in the Child Welfare Improvement and Innovation Act are implemented and evaluated.
H.R. 3333 Foster Children Opportunity Act To amend part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to require States to help alien children in the child welfare system apply for all available forms of immigration relief, and for other purposes. Rep. Pete Stark Introduced Nov. 3, 2011, referred to committee.
H.R. 1681 Every Child Deserves a Family Act Prohibits the discrimination in adoption or foster care placements based on the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of a prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved. Rep. Pete Stark Introduced 5/3/11= no updates/action.
H.R. 32 Homeless Children and Youth Act Amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to redefine “homeless,” “homeless individual,” or “homeless person” to include: (1) a child or youth who has been verified as homeless by a local educational agency (LEA) homeless liaison, and the family of such child or youth; (2) a youth verified as homeless by the director (or a designee) of a program funded under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act; (3) a child verified as homeless by the program director (or designee) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and the child’s family; and (4) a child verified as homeless by the Head Start program director (or designee) under the Head Start Act, and the child’s family. Rep. Judy Biggert Introduced 1/5/11= no action since
H.R. 1253 Educational Success for Children and youth Without Homes Act Amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act’s program of grants to states and, through them, subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) for the education of homeless youths to accomplish various goals, including (1) ensuring that homeless youth do not lose credits earned in other schools and are not segregated into separate schools or programs without schools; (2) requiring states, LEAs, and schools to promote success for homeless youth by holding them to the same achievement standards as other students and removing barriers to their full participation in all classes and school activities; (3) requiring schools to immediately enroll homeless youth despite unpaid fees or missed application or enrollment deadlines; (4) requiring LEAs to coordinate services provided to homeless and disabled youth; (5) protect the privacy of information about a homeless youth’s living situation. Rep. Judy Biggert
Senator Patty Murray
Introduced in House and Senate March, 2011 No action since.
H.R. 2230 Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act Creates a trust fund to be known as the “Transnational Assistance Fund,” out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, amounts equivalent to 25 percent of the taxes received in the Treasury that the Secretary of the Treasury determines are attributed to Internet gambling. Rep. Jim McDermott Introduced 6/16/11- no action
H.R. 2063 Look-Back Elimination Act Eliminates the requirement that to be eligible for foster care maintenance payments, a child would have been eligible for aid under the former program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children at the time of removal from the home. Rep. John Lewis Introduced 5/31/11- no action
H.R. 242 Recognizing May as “National Foster Care Month: Recognizes May as National Foster Care Month to provide an opportunity to acknowledge the accomplishments of the child welfare workforce, foster parents, advocacy community, and mentors and the positive impact they have on children’s lives. Rep. Karen Bass Introduced 5/3/11 (passed in a different format in 2009)
H.R. 2193 Julia Carson Responsible
Fatherhood and Healthy Families
Act of 2011
Amends title IV of the Social Security Act to ensure funding for grants to promote responsible fatherhood and strengthen low-income families, and for other purposes. Rep. Davis, Danny Introduced: 6/15/2011- referred to committee 9/11, no action
H.R. 2370 Strengthening the Child
Welfare Response to Human Trafficking Act
Amends part E of title IV of the Social Security Act to better enable State child welfare agencies to prevent human trafficking of children and serve the needs of children who are victims of human trafficking, and for other purposes. Rep. Karen Bass Introduced 8/1/2011- referred to committee, no action
H.R. 3873 Enhancing the Quality of Parental Legal Representation Act To provide funds to State courts for the provision of legal representation to parents and legal guardians with respect to child welfare cases. Rep. Gwen Moore Introduced 2/1/12- no action
.H.R. 3589 H.R.3589: Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act of 2011.
To authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 for the Trafficking Victims Protection act of 200, and for other purposes Rep. Christopher Smith Introduced 12/7/11- referred to committee, no action.
H.R. 4111 To amend the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income certain State foster care payments
To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude from gross income certain State foster care program payments made to the biological parents of disabled children Rep. Raymond Green Introduced 2/29/12- referred to committee, no action
H.R. 3653 Protect Our Kids Act of 2011 A bill to establish a commission to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect. Rep. Lloyd Doggett Introduced 12/13/11- referred to committee, no action.
H.R. 4970 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 Various provisions impacting maltreated children and children living in families with d.v. Rep. Sandy Adams Introduced 4/27/12, passed house 5/16/12
.H.R. 5871 A Plus Act To amend the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to provide improvements to such Act, including provisions to ensure educational stability for children in foster care. Rep. Karen Bass Introduced and referred to committee 3/31/12

U.S. Senate Legislation

Bill # Name Synopsis Author Status

S. 1509
Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act A bill to provide incentives for States to improve the well-being of children in the child welfare system through systemic reforms and innovations, increased collaboration between State agencies, and incorporation of higher standards of accountability. Sen. Ron Wyden Introduced 8/2/11- no action
S. 961 Foster Care Mentoring Act Section 101 amends the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 671(a), to ensure that a child may not be placed in foster care solely because the family with which the child is living is homeless, is living in substandard housing, or is living in a dwelling unit that is experiencing severe physical problems. It also ensures that states work with the family and state housing authorities to secure permanent housing for a family that includes a minor child and is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Sen. John Kerry Introduced 5/12/11- no action
S. 420 Educational Success for Children and Youth Without Homes Act Amends part B (Child-Welfare Services) of title IV of the Social Security Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to award grants to states to support the establishment or expansion and operation of programs using networks of public and private community entities to provide mentoring for children in foster care. Authorizes a grant award directly to a political subdivision if the subdivision serves a substantial number of foster care youth. Sen. Mary Landrieu
Rep. Karen Bass
Introduced 5/26/11- no action
S. 571 Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act Amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act’s program of grants to states and, through them, subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) for the education of homeless youths to accomplish various goals, including (1)
ensuring that homeless youth do not lose credits earned in other schools and are not segregated into separate schools or programs without schools; (2) requiring states, LEAs, and schools to promote success for homeless youth by holding them to the same achievement standards as other students and removing barriers to their full participation in all classes and school activities; (3) requiring schools to immediately enroll homeless youth despite unpaid fees or missed application or enrollment deadlines; (4) requiring LEAs to coordinate services provided to homeless and disabled youth; (5) protect the privacy of information about a homeless youth’s living situation.
Sen. Patty Murray
Rep. Judy Biggert
Introduced 3/14/11- no action
S. 596 State Child Welfare Innovation Act A bill to establish a grant program to benefit victims of sex trafficking. In particular, this bill amends Section 3702 of the Crime Control Act of 1990 by adding a requirement to notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children of each report received relating to a child reported missing from a foster care family or childcare institution. Sen. Ron Wyden Introduced 3/16/11
Earlier version passed house with changes: Dec 21, 2010
S. 1013 Partners for Stable Families and Foster Youth Affected by Methamphetamine or Other Substance Abuse Act Renews the authority of the Secretary of Health and Human Services to approve demonstration projects designed to test innovative strategies in State child welfare programs. States may apply for a grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in order to receive a waiver for existing title IV-E foster care funds. To demonstrate eligibility, a State must identify particular goals such as increasing permanency, positive outcomes, and preventing child abuse and neglect for children in foster care. A state must also demonstrate implemented or planned child welfare program improvement policies. Sen. Max Baucus Introduced 5/17/11- no action
S. 1234 Trafficking Victims Protection
Reauthorization Act
Amends Title IV, Part B of the Social Security Act to reauthorize grants to assist children affected by methamphetamine or other substance abuse under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program. The Secretary of Health and Human Services must evaluate the effectiveness of the grants no later than December 31, 2017 with regard to whether the grants have been successful in achieving the goals of safety, permanence, and family stability. Sen. Chuck Grassley Introduced 6/20/11- no action
S.1301 A Resolution Expressing
the Sense of the Senate that
Children Should have a Safe Home
Companion bill to H.R. 2830. Amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to require each Department of State regional bureau to annually submit a list of goals for combating trafficking in
persons (trafficking) for each country in its geographic area of responsibility. Authorizes the Secretary of State to appoint anti-trafficking officers at U.S. embassies. Directs the President to establish programs with foreign governments and civil society to enhance anti-trafficking capacity. Provides a model state criminal law protection for child trafficking
victims and survivors. Section 404 provides access to foster care and unaccompanied refugee minor protections for certain U visa (a visa for US immigrants who are victims of criminal activity) recipients
Sen. Leahy, Patrick J. Introduced: 6/29/2011- report filed 11/17/11- no action.
S. Res. 378 A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that children should have a safe, loving, nurturing, and permanent family and that it is the policy of the United States that family reunification, kinship care, or domestic and intercountry adop. A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that children should have a safe, loving, nurturing, and permanent family and that it is the policy of the United States that family reunification, kinship care, or domestic and intercountry adoption promotes permanency and stability to a greater degree than long-term institutionalization and long-term, continually disrupted foster care. Sen. Mary Landrieu Introduced 2/15/12- passed by simple resolution 2/15/12
S. 1984 Protect our Kids Act of 2011 A bill to establish a commission to develop a national strategy and recommendations for reducing fatalities resulting from child abuse and neglect. Sen. John Kerry Introduced 12/13/11
S. Res. 462 A resolution recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges faced by children in the foster care system, acknowledging the dedication of foster care parents, advocates, and workers… A resolution recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges faced by children in the foster care system, acknowledging the dedication of foster care parents, advocates, and workers… Sen. Mary Landrieu Introduced 5/16/12, passed, simple resolution 6/4/12
S. 2262 Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act To provide for funding to learn more about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, determine best practices for prevention of FASD and determine a strategy to provide effective services for those children determined to have suffered the effects of FASD. Sen. Tim Johnson Introduced 3/29/12