Bipartisan caucus remains committed to protecting the rights and improving the welfare of 400,000 children in foster care and 20,000 young adults aging out

WASHINGTON, DC — One of the largest bipartisan caucuses in Congress will be led by a new group of co-chairs from both sides of the aisle who are committed to confronting challenges facing the nation’s child welfare system and finding effective ways to support foster youth.

Beginning in January, the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY) will be co-chaired by Congressmembers Gwen Moore (D-WI), Don Bacon (R-NE), Sydney Kamlager (D-CA), and Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA).

“My organizing principle has been to focus on the most vulnerable, which is why supporting the health and well-being of foster youth has remained a legislative priority of mine. I am excited for this opportunity to build on the great work that has been done by my dear friend and former colleague Karen Bass and, in a bipartisan way, keep working to help some of our nation’s most vulnerable.  This effort will be guided by continuing to engage with and listening to those with lived experience and other critical stakeholders as we work to uplift their critical needs,” said CCFY Co-Chair Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI).

Incoming freshman Rep. Sydney Kamlager (D-CA), who’s succeeding CCFY Founder and former co-chair Karen Bass, had this to say.

“Our nation’s foster youth deserve stable childhoods that set them up for success. Transforming the child welfare system and providing adequate support are keys to that success. I’m thrilled about becoming a Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth Co-Chair. It will allow me to find legislative ways to support and gain important insights from foster youth and National Foster Youth Institute staff during its Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day. I can’t wait to learn from their lived experience,” Rep. Kamlager said.

Since her first term in Congress, former CCFY Co-Chair and Founder Karen Bass was instrumental in its success in advocating for foster youth and amplifying their voices in various ways.

“The Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth will always work on behalf of the nearly half million young people in our nation’s child welfare system,” said former Co-Chair Karen Bass. “During my time co-chairing the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, we met with hundreds of current and former foster youth, secured millions in funding for programs that support vulnerable children and families, and raised the overall awareness of Congress about the unique needs of foster youth, those who have aged out of foster care, and the professionals working within the child welfare system. I know with Congressmembers Bacon, Moore, Scanlan, and Kamlager leading, the Caucus, one of the largest bipartisan caucuses in Congress, will continue to move the needle on this important issue.”

In recent years, caucus members have been instrumental in seeking funding to support current foster youth and those transitioning out of care. They’ve written critical pieces of legislation like Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, the Timely Mental Health for Foster Youth Act, the Foster Youth, and Driving Act, the Dosha “DJay” Joi Immediate Coverage for Former Foster Youth Act, the Help Grandfamilies Prevent Child Abuse Act, and more.”

Nearly 400,000 children are in our nation’s foster care system and Caucus leaders will continue working to enact innovative policies that make life better for this vulnerable but resilient population.

The Caucus will continue learning essential lessons from foster youth during hearings, briefings, Listening Tours, and the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day, co-hosted by CCFY and the National Foster Youth Institute.


For More Information:

Rev. Jason Carson Wilson, Associate Communications Director

National Foster Youth Institute

[email protected]

(202) 536-2359