Rep. Jon Hardister Files Bipartisan Legislation to Enhance Foster Care Services
Raleigh, NC– Today Rep. Jon Hardister (R- Guilford, Majority Whip) filed HB 102 – Enhance Permanency Innovation Initiative. He was joined by Reps. Sarah Stevens (R-Surry, Speaker Pro Tempore), Josh Dobson (R-McDowell), and Amos Quick (D-Guilford).
The bill would increase funding for the Permanency Innovation Initiative by allocating an additional $2,250,000 in recurring funds to the program. This would bring total state funding for the Permanency Initiative to approximately $4.3 million.
These funds would be appropriated to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which then would be dispersed to the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina for the implementation of the Permanency Initiative. The Children’s Home Society also receives federal funding as well as private funding for this program.
The Permanency Initiative was established by the General Assembly in 2013 as a partnership with DHHS, county DSS and the Children’s Home Society. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is one of the key private partners that provides funding for the program.
The goal of the program is to improve permanency outcomes for youth in foster care and reduce the number of children who age out without a permanent family. The services include adoption recruitment, family engagement, and professional training. The program now has 42 recruiters who can serve all 100 counties and more than 700 children per year. Studies have shown that the program has had tremendous success in achieving its goals.
“It is an honor to play a role in our efforts to enhance this program,” Hardister said. “The Permanency Initiative has a proven track record of results. Our goal is to improve the lives of foster care children by expanding access to permanency and stability.”
“This legislation allows us to continue our commitment to improving the lives of children who are truly in need,” Stevens said.
“This bill will allow more children across the state to be served and provide more family education and support services to further improve the permanency outcomes of children in foster care,” Dobson said. “I am proud to sponsor this along with Rep. Hardister and am excited about the positive impacts it will provide for these children and families.”
“Strengthening our foster care system with a particular emphasis on maintaining relative and biological ties will provide for better outcomes for those youth who are in need of support,” Quick said. “As these youth have better experiences and support, they grow up to become productive and contributing members of North Carolina’s vibrant future.”
“The Permanency Innovation Initiative is entering its sixth year and has been very successful,” said Brian Maness, President & CEO of the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina. “This initiative is a model for evidence informed policy making, effective public and private partnership, and it has achieved positive outcome for children and families. We are now partnering with county DSS agencies to serve more than 500 of the oldest and longest waiting children in foster care. Our goal is to find these children a safe and permanent family, which we have accomplished for 300 children. We want to thank the thoughtful leaders at the General Assembly, as well as, our DSS partners for their commitment to these children.”
“The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is proud to partner with North Carolina in assuring safe, loving and permanent homes for every child in need,” said Rita Soronen, President & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “The Permanency Innovation Initiative is critical to this effort.”
The bill can be viewed at the following link: