WHERE 2:00 PM A-1, the State House
On Monday, November 16, 2009 the hearing on this legislation will be before the Joint Committee on Children and Families, Room A-1, slated to begin a 2:00 PM. Amending G.L.c. 119 Sec. 23 to better provide for children aging out of foster care at 18, without a permanent home, to comply with federal requirements would lead to a 50% reimbursement from the federal government, for something we are doing and should do more of. At present our state is not receiving these reimbursements, which these bills would cure.
The best estimate I have for what this reimbursement may be worth is that this year it “would have been” about $13 million but I have no way to audit that estimate; I don’t have access to the data set.
My only concern is “counting the chickens before they hatch” leading either the legislature or the governor to further cut the budget for foster care and adolescents. Otherwise, these are good bills that should pass before the end of the Legislative Session, which is next Friday, November 20, 2009. Fixing these technical requirements to qualify for these reimbursements is a good idea as is the improved clarity around transition planning.
Each of these bills are only 3 pages long, and worth a read; it looks like the State Senate and the House are already in agreement.
I support the legislature getting this done by passing @40 and H123 before the end of the Legislative Session on November 20, 2009.