Trump Signs Order to Strengthen US Child Welfare System

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order to strengthen child welfare programs nationwide.

It will provide more support for adoption programs, foster care families, and families at-risk. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar hailed the order as a step toward "bold reforms." The goals are ambitious — curtailing child maltreatment, strengthening adoption programs, and encouraging supports for at-risk families so fewer children need to be separated from their homes and placed in foster care.

The executive order envisions three basic areas of reform:

  • Creating "robust partnerships" between state agencies and public, private, faith-based, and community organizations. The goals would include the development of community-based, abuse-prevention, and family support services and holding states accountable for recruiting an adequate number of foster and adoptive families.
  • Improving resources provided to caregivers and those in care. The order says HHS will increase the availability of trauma-informed training, support guardianship through funding and grants, and enhance support for kinship care and for the roughly 20,000 young people who age out of foster care each year.
  • Improving federal oversight over key statutory child welfare requirements. Among other steps, this proposal directs HHS to advise states on the possible use of federal funds to support high-quality legal representation for parents and children.

According to HHS, there are about 430,000 children now in the U.S. foster care system, including nearly 124,000 who are eligible for adoption,

Kimberly Offutt, Bethany Christian Services' national foster care adoption director appeared on the Thursday afternoon edition of CBN's Newswatch to discuss the president's executive order.  Offutt has unique insight as she has adopted four children from the foster care system. 

Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel

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