A foster care reform bill, described as the most far-reaching child welfare legislation in a decade, has passed Congress. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley authored the bill and says "improving opportunities for children and young adults is one of the most important things we can do as a society."
Grassley says: "The bill is based on an initiative that I started to help states move more children from foster care to permanent, long-term loving homes. It will make it easier for kids with special needs to be adopted."
Grassley says today in Iowa, thousands of children are in foster care and many of them could move quickly into a guardianship arrangement under the bill. He says it will also make it easier for relatives like grandparents, aunts and uncles to adopt a child they’re watching over. He says the legislation makes it easier for foster children who "age out" at 18 to go to college or get vocational education.
The bill passed the Senate on Monday after clearing the House last week and heads now to President Bush.