The Biden administration is moving to make it easier for caregivers to include family members in the foster care system, requiring states to provide them with the same financial support that any other foster home would.
It also proposed a new regulation aimed at ensuring that LGBTQ+ children are protected from abuse in their foster homes because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to this, more than 391,000 children were in foster care in 2021 a report From the US Department of Health and Human Services. Many were removed from their homes and placed in foster care due to neglect, physical abuse, or drug abuse by parents. The average age of a child in foster care was 8 years.
The report said about 35% were placed in a relative’s home.
HHS released a final regulation on Wednesday that lets states simplify the process for family members to become caregivers.
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HHS has also created a proposed rule that would, among other things, require training of foster care providers on how to meet the needs of an LGBTQ+ child. States will be allowed to design those training programs.
That proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days before being finalized.
Another proposed rule would allow Native American tribes to be reimbursed for the legal costs of intervening in a state foster care court case over a child’s parental rights.