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Opinion: Foster care bill’s backers speak out

Judge shows a certificate of family membership to a family who legally adopted a child in 2014.
Judge shows a certificate of family membership to a family who legally adopted a child in 2014.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: The Family First Prevention Services Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives, will help keep families together by expanding access to mental health services, substance use treatment, and parenting supports.

( “Foster care bill needs work,” Editorial, Sept. 11)

And it’s consistent with California’s strategies to reduce the use of institutional care for children.

Despite your editorial board’s misgivings, the bill continues to invest in residential placements for youth with behavioral needs.

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Additionally, the legislation maintains the existing six-month window during which children may be placed with relatives without losing eligibility for future foster care payments.

We all agree. Kids are more successful when raised in stable families, not foster care.

This legislation modernizes the child welfare system and helps more children and families succeed.

Rafael López, Washington, D.C.

The writer is commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

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