Donna Christensen on Families & Children
Delegate to US House (VI-AL)
Encourage adoption of children in foster care.
Christensen co-sponsored Resolution on National Adoption Month
RESOLUTION: Supporting the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month by promoting national awareness of adoption and the children in foster care awaiting families, recognizing current programs and efforts designed to promote adoption, and encouraging people in the US to seek improved safety, permanency, and well-being for all children.
- Whereas there are 400,540 children in the foster care system in the US, approximately 104,000 of whom are waiting for families to adopt them;
- Whereas the number of youth who 'age out' of the foster care system by reaching adulthood without being placed in a permanent home has increased by more than 55% since 1999, and more than 27,000 foster youth 'aged out' of foster care during 2010;
- Whereas while 3 in 10 people in the United States have considered adoption, a majority of them have misconceptions about the process of adopting children from foster care and the children who are eligible for adoption;
Whereas 45% of people believe that children enter the foster care system because of juvenile delinquency, when in reality the vast majority of children in the foster care system were victims of neglect, abandonment, or abuse;
- Whereas 46% of people believe that foster care adoption is expensive, when in reality there is no substantial cost for adopting from foster care, and financial support in the form of an adoption assistance subsidy is available to adoptive families of eligible children adopted from foster care and continues after the adoption is finalized until the child is 18
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
Source: H.RES.809 12-HRes809 on Nov 15, 2012
- supports the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month;
- recognizes that every child in foster care deserves a permanent and loving family; and
- encourages the citizens of the United States to consider adoption of children in foster care who are waiting for a permanent, loving family.
More funding & services for victims of domestic violence.
Christensen co-sponsored Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.
Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
Source: S.47/H.R.11 13-HR0011 on Jan 22, 2013
I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed.
There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Sponsored recognition of National Foster Care Month.
Christensen signed Recognizing National Foster Care Month
RESOLUTION recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system, and encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Source: H.Res.577/S.Res.442 14_HRes577 on May 8, 2014
- Whereas there are approximately 400,000 children living in foster care;
- Whereas foster care is intended to be a temporary placement, but children remain in the foster care system for an average of 2 years;
- Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
- encourages Congress to implement policy to minimize the number of children entering the foster care system, to improve the lives of children in the foster care system, and to maximize the number of children exiting foster care to the protection of safe, loving, and permanent families;
- acknowledges the unique needs of children in the foster-care system;
- recognizes foster youth throughout the US for their ongoing tenacity, courage, and resilience while facing life
- acknowledges the exceptional alumni of the foster-care system who serve as advocates and role models for youth who remain in care;
- honors the commitment and dedication of the individuals who work tirelessly to provide assistance and services to children in the foster-care system; and
- reaffirms the need to continue working to improve the outcomes of all children in the foster-care system through parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act and other programs designed to
- support vulnerable families;
- invest in prevention and reunification services;
- promote guardianship, adoption, and other permanent placement opportunities in cases where reunification is not in the best interests of the child;
- adequately serve those children brought into the foster-care system; and
- facilitate the successful transition into adulthood for children that 'age-out' of the foster-care system.
Supported funding child care, child health, & child housing.
Christensen adopted the Women's Caucus policy agenda:
The teams of the Women’s Caucus are charged with advancing action on their designated issues in a bipartisan manner. Legislation from Team 6. CHILDREN’S ISSUES AND CHILD CARE:
Source: Women's Caucus Agenda-106th Congress 99-WC9 on Jul 15, 1999
- HR206—A bill to provide for greater access to child care services for Federal employees (Morella) [STATUS: enacted as part of the FY2000 Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill]
- HR1112—Kiddie Mac—A bill to authorize the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to insure mortgages for the acquisition, construction, or substantial rehabilitation of child care and development facilities and to establish the Children’s Development Commission to certify such facilities for such insurance, and for other purposes. (Maloney/Baker) STATUS: Hearing held, October 8, 1999
- (bipartisan portions of) HR1139, the ACCESS Act on Child Care Affordability (Tauscher)—A bill to expand the dependent care tax credit, to provide grants to business consortia,
and to establish a new Model State’s Early Learning Fund to support programs to improve early learning and the quality and safety of child care for children ages 0-5. (Tauscher)
- HR2486—Infant Crib Safety Act—A bill to provide for infant crib safety. (Tauscher/Greenwood)
- HR___ (not yet introduced)—Give a Child a Chance Omnibus Mental Health Bill—A bill to place more mental health and student service personnel (school counselors, social workers, or psychologists, and a school nurse) in the schools. The bill also specifies which academic qualifications are necessary for such professionals to be hired. The mental health personnel in the schools would provide assessment for mental health disorders that may be exhibited by a student. For a student that might require more in-depth treatment for serious disorders, the mental health professional would refer those students to an outside professional, with the permission of a parent or guardian. (Jackson-Lee)
Page last updated: Jan 27, 2017