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Statement On Bill To Approve Demonstration Projects Designed To Test Innovative Strategies In State Child Welfare Programs

Rep. Jim McDermott

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Mr. Speaker, today, I reintroduced legislation that would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to grant State waivers from certain Federal requirements under the foster care and adoption programs, so States can test innovative strategies to serve children better. Representative Geoff Davis (R-KY) is an original cosponsor of the bill. The legislation is identical to the bill I introduced in September 2010, which passed the House last fall by voice vote. Child welfare waivers will allow interested States to test interventions that help children and families, but they are only a first step toward the comprehensive child welfare financing reform that began with the Fostering Connections Act of 2008. Additional resources and improvements are needed to ensure we provide critical services to all children and families at risk.

I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve this important goal.