National Organization Supports Foster Care Tax Credit Act

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The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities strongly supports the Foster Care Tax Credit Act, introduced to Congress by U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) on March 4, 2015. This legislation would provide additional tax relief to foster parents and help cover the actual costs of caring for a foster child.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities strongly supports the Foster Care Tax Credit Act, introduced to Congress by U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) on March 4, 2015.

This legislation would provide additional tax relief to foster parents and help cover the actual costs of caring for a foster child by establishing an inflation-adjusted, refundable tax credit of up to $1,000 per year, per foster child. This credit is prorated by the number of months a foster child is in a family’s care.

The Alliance is a national organization dedicated to achieving a vision of a healthy society and strong communities for all children, adults, and families. The Alliance’s national member network of nearly 500 nonprofits includes numerous organizations working to provide children safe and loving homes with exceptional foster parents in hundreds of communities.

The benefits afforded to foster care families through the Foster Care Tax Credit Act will attempt to alleviate the struggle to recruit and retain enough foster families to ensure each child is placed in a family-like setting. Caring for a child in foster care can be more expensive than caring for biological children. Children placed into foster care often have experienced significant emotional and physical trauma and have higher incidences of medical and behavioral health issues, resulting in additional costs to parents.

Katherine Astrich, senior vice president of public policy for the Alliance, said the Alliance supports the bill because qualified, caring foster parents are the key to ensuring the well-being of children who cannot find safety in their own homes. “This bill will remove some barriers for loving and qualified individuals to become foster parents,” said Astrich.

Astrich also said that without such foster parents, children can end up in group homes instead of the family-based settings where children have the best chance to thrive.

“The sponsors of this bill, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Tim Kaine, have proposed a sound way to assist people in becoming foster parents. The Alliance thanks them for their dedication to this important issue and to the children in foster care,” Astrich said.

The bill also directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Treasury, to increase outreach and education to state and Indian tribal foster care agencies and to educate foster families on the tax benefits available.

For questions on the bill, contact Megan DesCamps in Sen. Heitkamp’s office at megan_descamps(at)heitkamp.senate(dot)gov or 202-224-2043.

Go to alliance1.org for more information on the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

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