Older Youth Advocacy & #UpChafee

Join #UPCHAFEE Campaign to Urge Congress to Support Older Youth from Foster Care during the COVID-19 Crisis

Child welfare advocates, policy partners, and young people have come together through the #UpChafee campaign to highlight the urgent needs of youth in and aging out of foster care during the COVID-19 crisis.  Partners involved in the #UpChafee Campaign are asking federal and state policymakers to take swift action to provide help to youth for housing, food and critical supportive programs and services to ensure young people transitioning to adulthood in foster care are able to survive the hardships caused by the crisis.

Partners include: FosterClub, Juvenile Law Center, Youth Law Center, and Youth Villages

This page offers federal and state policy information and advocacy tools created by #UpChafee partners to assist in advocacy efforts.

Federal Information and Tools 

Several bills are pending in Congress that would provide support to young people in and aging out of foster care. See here for an legislative summary of the pending bills: 

  • H. R. 6848, Pandemic Protection for Transition Aged Youth Act, introduced by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Bacon (R-NE), Rep. Langevin (D-RI), Mrs. Lawrence (D-MI), and Mr. Mitchell (R-MI).
  • H.R.6766A bill to temporarily modify the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for other purposes, introduced by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
  • H.R. 6800, The Heroes Act, introduced by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • The Child Welfare Emergency Assistance Act, introduced by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kamala D. Harris (D-CA), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).  See here for a bill summary.

See here for federal advocacy tools to join in urging Congress to take action on to meet the needs of these young people, including: 

Policy 1: Increase Chafee Funding by 500 Million

Policy 2: Extend the Age of Eligibility for Chafee Aftercare Services to Age 23 for All Youth

Policy 3: Suspend Participation Requirements for Young People in Extended Foster Care

Policy 4: Place a Moratorium on Discharges from the Foster Care System for Youth Ages 18-21

Policy 5: Allow States to Draw Down Title IV-E funds until a Young Person Reaches age 22

Additional federal tools: 

State Information and Tools 

  • Overview of State Executive Orders and Administrative Actions Supporting Older Youth in & Leaving Foster Care
    • Illinois, Alaska, Rhode Island, California, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, Connecticut, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, South Carolina, Wisconsin.
  • Examples of State Advocacy
    • Alaska, California, Connecticut, D.C., Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island. 
  • Tools for State Advocacy
    • New.  Summary of federal guidance on action states can take to support the needs of youth in and leaving foster care during the pandemic. This information comes from the series of guidance documents that have been issued by ACF since March 2020. Document here.
    • Summary of federal guidance on serving older youth in (and aging out of) foster care issued by the Administration on Children and Families and suggestions for leveraging guidance in state advocacy. Document here.
    • Examples of State-Based Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Requests to Respond to COVID-19 Crisis. Document here.
    • Template Letter to State Leaders to Advocate for Policy Reforms for Older Youth In Response to COVID-19.

Sample Tweets

#COVID19 crisis is hurting young people in college who are transitioning from #FosterCare. They are dealing with dorm closures and nowhere to go, loss of jobs and elimination of campus meals. Congress needs to #UPChafee #ChildwelfareCOVID

Young people in and leaving #FosterCare are incredibly vulnerable and being hit hard by the #COVID19pandemic #SupportFosterYouth #WithoutFamilyToTurnTo #UPChafee #ChildWelfareCOVID

We need Congress to #UpChafee now and support youth from #FosterCare. #ChildWelfareCOVID #COVID19

Youth who age out of #FosterCare depend on federal Chafee funds as a vital lifeline. Chafee funding was already stretched thin prior to the crisis, but this lifeline has never been more important to help young people survive the #COVID19 crisis. #ChildWelfareCOVID

Young people in #FosterCare and those who exited #WithoutFamilyToTurnTo are being hit hard by #COVID19. They need Congress to #UPChafee #ChildWelfareCOVID

We have a special responsibility to young people who reach adulthood in foster care. Foster youth need – and deserve – support of Congress now more than ever. #UPChafee by $500m to keep our promise to youth from #FosterCare. #ChildWelfareCOVID