Amer Foster Care Improvement Act Introduced in House of Representatives
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | January 23, 2013 — The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), is proud to announce Representative John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.)'s introduction of H.R. 102, the “Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act of 2013.” The Act will enhance the existing federal policy of encouraging state foster care programs to place children in the care of willing and able relatives. This legislation accomplishes this goal by requiring States that receive federal funding for foster care programs to add certain procedural enhancements to their foster care programs so as to ensure a more fair placement decision-making process.
For over two decades ADC has worked with the Amer family throughout their ordeal. The introduction of this bill is a culmination of a journey that started nearly 30 years ago in Dearborn, MI. ADC has been working on the introduction of the bill and welcomes the dedication shown by Congressman Conyers throughout the whole process. Read more about the struggles of this Arab American family.
ADC Legal and Policy Director Abed Ayoub states, “It is our hope that the bill can gain enough bipartisan support to become law. It is imperative that all children, regardless of race or ethnicity, are protected. We commend Congressman Conyers for introducing the bill and Congressman Gary Peters for co-signing. We urge all Americans to contact your member of Congress and voice your support for this important legislation.”
In a statement provided to ADC, Congressman John Conyers, “The best interests of the child should always be the overriding consideration when making foster care placement decisions. That standard, however, should also require foster care agencies to give special preference to placing a child with relatives, where the child can be raised in the same culture or religion as his or her own, all other things being equal.”
TAKE ACTION: Tell your Member of Congress to Support H.R. 102!
The Rehab and Ahmed Amer Foster Care Improvement Act of 2013 would require that a State, within 90 days after it makes a foster care placement decision, to provide notice of such decision to the following affected parties:
- the child’s parents;
- relatives who have informed the State of their interest in caring for the child;
- the guardian; the guardian ad litem of the child;
- the attorney for the child;
- the attorney for each parent of the child;
- the prosecutor involved; and
- the child if he or she is able to express an opinion regarding placement.
Additionally, States must establish procedures that:
- allow any of the parties who receive notice of the State’s placement decision to request, within f