Presentation on theme: "Legislation to ensure safe, permanent, and nurturing families for all children, by preserving, reunifying and creating families. In 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Legislation to ensure safe, permanent, and nurturing families for all children, by preserving, reunifying and creating families. In 2014
WHAT’S WRONG? Globally, the number of children without families increases every day. Children have a right to be loved, to grow up in a family, their biological family or another one, in their country, or somewhere else. Families, all over the world, are out there with open homes and open hearts, wanting to take them in. We are failing the children.
SCIENCE PROVES THE DAMAGE Scientific studies prove that children’s brains don’t develop properly without consistent parental care and connection. Children who cannot bond with a parental figure during the first years of life experience toxic stress which often leads to profound, permanent damage. Children without families experience toxic stress which often leads to permanent damage!!
SCIENCE PROVES THE DAMAGE Reduced brain activity Reduced IQ Smaller brain Mental health problems Inability to attach Difficulty earning a living SOME RECOVERY POSSIBLE TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE A PICTURE OF THE NEUROLOGICAL IMPACT ON A CHILD’S BRAIN FROM INSTITUTIONALIZATION
THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM NO RELIABLE DATA AVAILABLE BECAUSE NO ONE COUNTS. No one knows how many children live without families: In institutions, On the streets, In refugee camps, As asylum seekers or stateless people…
BUT INDICATORS SHOW NEED ON THE RISE Note: Double orphans counted here are children whose parents are both dead. BUT, these figures do not include children in institutions, street children, refugee or asylee or stateless children.
MEANWHILE, ADOPTIONS TO U.S. FALLING YEAR AFTER YEAR This is a symptom of a much larger problem. International adoption isn’t THE answer. It’s one answer among many. But we are failing at using all of them and a generation of children is being destroyed…
THE SEEDS OF CHANGE
NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON CHILDREN IN ADVERSITY Strong Beginnings Families First Freedom from violence, exploitation National Action Plan Objectives
USG ACTION PLAN FOR CHILDREN IN ADVERSITY Strong Beginnings Family First Freedom from violence, abuse, exploitation Save The Children CARE PLAN Int 1,000 Days Child Fund World Vision Amensty Int. USAID Gen Dev USAID NRM USAID OFDA USAID PRH USAID OHA USAID HIDN USAID FFP USAID OAPA USAID ME USAID EGAT USAID DCOF USAID LAC USAID E&E USAID ASIA USAID AFR PEACE CORP GH/HIV DOS TIP DOS PRM DOS IO DOS DRL DOS CI DOS AF LABOR ILAB HHS NIH HHS HRSA HHS HRSA HHS CDC DEFENSE OSD/PSO DEFENSE DHAPP AGRICULTURE FAS DHS USCIS UNICEF Save The Children World Vision UNICEF Child Protection
THE PROBLEM U.S. foreign policy implementation doesn’t further the core American value that children belong in families -- biological or adoptive. Families are the bedrock of any society, yet: The number of children without families is rising. The USG doesn’t focus sufficient resources on identifying children living without families and finding them families. The USG doesn’t facilitate international adoption. It impedes it.
CHILDREN IN FAMILIES FIRST (CHIFF) Addresses the problems by: 1.Supporting the implementation of the 2012 ACTION PLAN ON CHILDREN IN ADVERSITY: A Framework for International Assistance, with particular focus on objective two – Families First. 2.Realigning and expanding the roles the U.S. Government plays in international adoption, so that this tool of protection for children living without families can be revitalized.
WHAT CHIFF DOES Family Preservation Family Reunification Domestic Adoption I nternational Adoption Millions of children living without families. In orphanages or other institutions As street children As refugees As stateless people Weak Government Child Welfare Systems Counting Prioritizing Registering Finding Solutions Where this legislation will help LACK OF DATA
HOW CHIFF DOES IT NEW THINGS New organization with expanded mandate within the Department of State focused on International Child Welfare. New, interagency, annual reporting requirement on children without families. New Center for Excellence on Children in Adversity and associated spending authority to jump-start implementation the National Action Plan, with special emphasis on objective two – Families First.
HOW CHIFF DOES IT CHANGED THINGS Streamlines and realigns international adoption processing and procedures as follows: DOS -- Diplomatic leadership, engagements, and programming, integrating the priority of permanence for children USAID -- Child welfare development programming integrating the priority of permanence for children USCIS -- All case processing in international adoptions up to the immigrant visa, streamlined and simplified procedures, accreditation of U.S. adoption service providers
WHAT CHIFF ACHIEVES U.S. leadership on our core value of families first Improved child welfare systems around the world Timely and better protection for children through Family preservation Family reunification Domestic and Kinship adoption International adoption Fewer children in institutions or on the streets Revitalized international adoptions to the U.S.