Earlier this month, Gov. Bill Walker joined representatives from Facing Foster Care in Alaska to sign House Bill 151. It's a landmark bill with a great story behind it.
First, the bill. HB 151 will greatly improve Alaska's foster care system. Introduced by Rep. Les Gara, himself a former foster youth, it addresses both the needs of child protection staff and the needs of youth in foster care.
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We're hiring! We've partnered with UAA's Child Welfare Academy to create the Office of Youth Empowerment and are looking for a dynamic candidate to coordinate the new office.
House Bill 151 sponsored by State Representative Les Gara passed the legislature this session and is waiting for the Governor's signature. This landmark child welfare legislation is set to drastically improve Alaska's Child welfare system by setting a caseload standard for child protection staff, increasing training and promoting family engagement. Check out our efforts to raise awareness and promote change by engaging foster youth and alumni in advocacy:
Historic Passage of House Bill 151
Watch yesterday’s historic passage of House Bill 151. It’s at the 33 min. mark. This Bill sets a caseload standard for state child protection staff, promotes youth and family engagement in case planning, sibling contact, family resilience, and promote safe and stable families throughout AK.
May is National Foster Care Month. Get involved! Become a foster parent, mentor, or donate to an organization that supports children and youth in foster care.
Children thrive when they are connected to their family and culture. To that end, DHSS has made great strides to improve our child welfare system and reduce the number of kids removed from their homes. For the first time since 2012, more children are leaving OCS custody each month than entering the system. This means we are strengthening families and finding more permanent homes for children who come through the OCS system.
Representative Don Young Cosponsored legislation introduced yesterday, to ease access to higher education and reduce barriers for foster and homeless youth.
An open letter to Senator Murkowski from (us) Facing Foster Care in Alaska and the National Juvenile Law Center.
Right now, Alaska has a record high number of youth in foster care — 3,099 as of August 2017. Sen. Murkowski has long been a champion for these youth. We urge her to be such a champion now and to vote against this devastating bill. This bill has the same provisions as the previous similar efforts where Medicaid is concerned: block grants and per capita spending. For the same reasons, this bill must be defeated.
One of the bright spots in the state budget for the fiscal year that began Saturday is that it will fund 31 new positions in the Office of Children's Services. This came about largely through the efforts of the Legislature's leading expert on child protective services, Anchorage Rep. Les Gara. His office identified surplus public assistance funds in a review of the health budget and proposed reallocating $3.3 million.