02.26.16

Peters Joins Colleagues to Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help More Foster Children Find Homes

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today announced that he joined his colleagues Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Al Franken (D-MN) in introducing bipartisan legislation to streamline the process for placing children in foster homes or adoptive families across state lines. The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act would provide resources for states to adapt a standardized electronic centralized interstate system, known as the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE), by 2022 to expedite the placement of children in foster care or adoptions across state lines. In Michigan, there were 15,000 children in the foster care system in 2013.

“Children deserve the support of a loving family, but thousands of kids spend as many as three years in foster care waiting to be adopted,” said Senator Gary Peters. “I’m proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation expanding the NEICE system to every state. This legislation will help facilitate the placement foster youth with families across state borders, make processing more efficient, and most importantly, help children find their forever families that much sooner.”

States currently use outdated paper-based administrative systems that are unnecessarily slow, differ state-by-state and lack adequate transparency measures for children being places in foster or adoptive homes in other states. The NEICE system has already proven to be effective in the five states and District of Columbia which are currently using the program, reducing the time it takes to place a child in a home across state lines by a month and a half and creating more transparency by giving states a platform to exchange data quickly and securely. 

Peters is a member of the Foster Youth Caucus and the Congressional Adoption Caucus, which both work to ensure all children have the love and support of a permanent family.