For the last few months I’ve been developing a policy agenda for Voices for Georgia’s Children that centers around disconnected and vulnerable youth. A lot of that work will focus on the education system but Voices is committed to an even broader approach when it comes to our most disenfranchised children. Included in any definition of disconnected and vulnerable youth would certainly be children involved in the state foster care system and therefore Voices is supporting HB 1085, a bill dropped earlier this week by Representative Katie Dempsey (R-Floyd) on behalf of the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS).

One issue of particular concern to Voices is that of connection; connection to family, to community and to educational supports to ensure youth enter adulthood ready and able to thrive. For that reason, Voices supports the proposed HB 1085. We believe that the addition to the juvenile code of provisions specifically addressing the needs of children in foster care related to sibling relationships, educational stability and the development of written transitional living plans are good for the children of Georgia.

A key impetus for HB 1085 is compliance with the Federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act (P.L. 110-351). For more information take a look at the website of the Fostering Connections National Resource Center.