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AAP Statement on Introduction of Family Stability and Kinship Care Act

8/5/2015 by: Sandra G. Hassink, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act, introduced today in the Senate. Children in foster care and those at-risk for entering the foster care system experience disproportionate exposure to trauma and often have complex medical needs.

"This legislation makes critical improvements to the child welfare system, allowing easier access to coordinated, high quality, trauma-informed health and social services. The bill provides for new investments and acknowledges the important role of prevention including parenting skills training and mental health services. These and other services offered to children and their caregivers enable children to stay with their families. Importantly, the bill also establishes a framework to ensure the ongoing safety of children receiving these services.

"Every child needs nurturing, stable relationships, particularly children in foster care. The Family Stability and Kinship Care Act is a needed step forward in a continuing dialogue to improve the ways in which we serve children and families living under adverse conditions. The AAP thanks Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) for their leadership to advance this critical legislation. The future of children in foster care, and those at-risk for entering it, depends on our ability to meet their most basic foundations of health."

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.