edit: This bill was finally signed on December 27th.
With the advocacy and support of thousands of young leaders across the country, Congress passed the long-awaited $900 billion stimulus bill late last night — and it has been sent to the President for his signature. In addition to direct stimulus payments of $600 to eligible individuals, the bill also includes the Supporting Foster Youth & Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947).
Introduced by Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), the bill provides: emergency support and new flexibility for young people in foster care; home visiting for at-risk pregnant and parenting families; foster care prevention funds; and other critical child welfare services through the end of 2021.
Key components include:
- An additional $350 million for the John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood (Chafee);
- An additional $50 million for Chafee Education and Training Vouchers (ETV) [waiving the state match for these funds] and:
- increases the maximum ETV award amount from $5,000 to $12,000 per youth for training and postsecondary education for eligible youth in foster care;
- raises the maximum age of ETV eligibility through 26 for Chafee-eligible former foster youth
- Additional Chafee program flexibility for older older youth in foster care by:
- suspending certain training and postsecondary education requirements
- clarifying that under these provisions the Chafee ETV vouchers may be used to maintain training and postsecondary education costs, as well as to support programs to allow foster youth to drive, and
- Lifting the 30 percent spending cap on housing costs
- Allowing older youth “aging out” of foster care to continue to receive foster care supports and services during the pandemic, or if they have already aged out during this period, return to care
- Waiving the state match for Family First Prevention Services until the end of the public emergency health period; and
- An additional $85 million in FY 2021 funding for the MaryLee Allen Promoting Safe and Stable Families program which provides states with funding for community-based family support and other prevention services.