July 27, 2011 - Bryan Samuels, Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, confirms the administration's commitment to LGBTQ foster youth in Out and About (7/25/11), noting that his department is "urging child welfare programs in every state to train their caseworkers and tailor their practices so that they are maximally responsive to the unique challenges of every child--including LGBTQ youth. Our intent is to ensure that every single young person has the opportunity to lead a healthy, productive life with the support of loving, respectful caregivers."
The San Diego North County Times (Freed, 7/26/11) reports on the lack of progress toward states developing plans for "the ongoing oversight and coordination of health care services for any child in a foster care placement," as mandated in the 2008 Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., attributes the lack of progress in part to the poor economy, saying, "We're living in a country where the common good has been lost, and nobody believes they should look after their brother or their sister. We are simply not getting it done."
In a followup article, the North County Times (Freed, 7/27/11) reports that Texas has already created their online health passport system for foster youth. "The comparative ease with which Texas officials were able to establish and operate a health passport system," the article notes, "can be at least partly explained by the fact that the Lone Star State, which has about 17,000 foster children, takes a more centralized and uniform approach to their care than does California," where "social workers answer to individual counties, each of which has its own policies and procedures. These differing procedures, critics say, can impede coordinated care as foster children are transferred out of county."
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