WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Neal Dunn, M.D. (FL-02) introduced the Cottage Homes to Improve Lives for Dependents (CHILD) Act (H.R. 8443). Children in the welfare system are some of our most vulnerable, especially in the time of COVID-19. Community care centers for at-risk children in transition have lost their status to receive the federal funding that is vital for operations. This bill will ensure that “cottage home care” facilities, like the Florida Sheriff Youth Ranches, be added as a 5th specified placement option in the child welfare system.
“The Florida Sheriff Youth Ranches and others have done an outstanding job going beyond basic care and providing a sense of security, guidance, and belonging to children coming from difficult circumstances. Funding for these organizations and vital services to vulnerable children and families must not be interrupted. Every child in the system should have adequate resources necessary to achieve safety and permanency. My bill is an investment in the future of this nation,” said Dr. Dunn.
Representative Dunn was joined by Representative Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) in leading the fight to support these community care centers.
“A good foster home is vital for children. With the impact of COVID-19, ensuring those children are placed in safe environments is more important now than ever. I’m proud to co-sponsor the C.H.I.L.D. Act, which provides the necessary resources for home environments for families and children in need,” said Rep. Hastings.
“The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is excited about this legislation. There are quality programs around our country who are perfectly situated to serve families in crisis. When you look at the child welfare system and you see pressure pushing it back 20 years to a time when children were sleeping in hotel rooms and staff offices due to a lack of quality places to live, you have to step up and say enough!” states Youth Ranches President Bill Frye. “We are grateful to Dr. Dunn and Rep. Hastings for understanding the need to provide warm homes and caring adults for children in crisis and introducing this bill.”