|Targeted News Service|
This bipartisan legislation reflects agreements reached between the
The following are key provisions of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, which was introduced in the House today by Chairman Camp and Ranking Member Levin, accompanied by Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman
Title I: Protecting Youth at Risk of Sex Trafficking
* Requires state child welfare agencies to identify, document, and determine appropriate services for children in foster care or who are otherwise involved in the child welfare system who are victims of child sex trafficking or at risk of becoming victims.
* Requires state child welfare agencies to promote "normalcy" for youth in foster care so these children can more easily participate in age appropriate social, scholastic and enrichment activities.
* Ends "Another Planned Permanent Living Arrangement" (APPLA) for foster youth under age 16, thereby ending the practice of deeming young children as expected to age out of foster care; for tribal youth, this change is effective after three years.
* Requires states to regularly review the permanency goal for children over the age of 16 with an APPLA designation and ensure such youth are able to engage in age-appropriate activities;
* Requires children age 14 and older (down from age 16) to be involved in their case planning, including by consulting with trusted adults of the child's choosing.
* Requires states to provide children in foster care with a list of their rights.
* Requires states to provide children who emancipate after being in foster care for at least 6 months with (1) a birth certificate, (2) a social security card, (3) health records and insurance information and (4) a driver's license or state ID.
Title II: Improving Adoption Incentives
* Improves the adoption incentives program and extends it for three years.
* Among other changes, uses the rate of increase in adoptions to judge state performance instead of the number (this would ensure that incentives are rewarded based on continued improvements in performance as foster care caseloads decline).
* For the first time provides incentive awards for guardianship placements, while providing larger incentives to states for increasing adoptions of older youth who are the hardest to adopt.
* The new award structure and other changes would be phased in over three years, increasingly prioritizing recent improvement over past performance in increasing adoptions and guardianship placements.
* Extends the expiring Family Connection Grants demonstration program for one additional year.