Bill Inspired by Foster Care Youth Becomes Law

June 6, 2018

A Caucus Event 2018-01-16 Formica Suzio Youth at the Capitol Forum (18 of 22)


Bill Inspired by Foster Care Youth Becomes Law

On June 4, 2018 Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law Senate Bill 323 An Act Requiring Notice Prior to the Transfer of a Child to a New Out-of-Home Placement. The legislation requires enhanced notification for foster care youth prior to being transferred out of their homes.  State Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) advocated for the bill and applauded the overwhelming bipartisan support for the measure.

“I am thrilled to see that the voices of some of Connecticut’s most vulnerable children are being heard,” said Sen. Formica. “This bill was a direct result of youth in the foster care system coming to the Capitol and speaking about their experiences, their challenges and their ideas to improve the system. It was an honor to meet these students and work to make their idea a reality. Transitioning into a new foster care placement is a stressful and challenging experience. The more notice we can give to these children, the better their experiences will be and the better outcomes we will see over the long term.”

The new law requires the Department of Children and Families to notify children before they are transferred to a new out-of-home placement so that they can prepare for transfers in the foster care system. Under this bill, DCF would be required to provide written notice to a child at least ten days prior to a home transfer. The exception for notification would be if there is an emergency situation that requires a child be moved immediately.

“As someone who has worked with youth in foster care from both the clinical side and as an advocate, I am deeply grateful both for Sen. Formica’s leadership on Bill 323 and his compassion and warmth in his engagement with these young people. His work has changed lives,” said Nicole Updegrove, Associate Policy Fellow at CT Voices for Children.

“Sen. Formica is a true champion for children and his work on this bill will improve the lives of so many youth in the state,” said Lauren Ruth, Advocacy Director at CT Voices for Children.

“I thank Sen. Formica for his leadership on this bill. His work will have an important impact on the lives of children and youth,” said Ellen Shemitz, Executive Director of CT Voices for Children.

“This bill becoming law would not have been possible without Sen. Formica. I admire and appreciate his leadership,” said Stephanie Luczak, Policy Fellow at CT Voices for Children.Sen. Formica asked the Children’s Committee to raise this bill earlier this year after he met with a group of current and former foster youth advocates who came to the Capitol on Youth at the Capitol Day, organized by CT Voices for Children. At this event, Sen. Formica spoke with many young people who were part of the state’s foster care system who discussed their own personal experiences including transitioning between foster homes, group homes, and other residential placements. One of their recommendations was to improve the system by addressing notification time between transfers, as this bill now proposes.