States receive about a trillion dollars every year to care for foster children, but the agencies have become greedy. A report published last year found that foster care agencies in at least 49 states and Washington, D.C., apply for Social Security on behalf of foster children who are eligible for death, disability, or veterans’ benefits. The agencies then keep the money without notifying the children, their family, or their lawyers. The Marshall Project/NPR report shows that it is legal for state agencies to apply to the Social Security Department to financially represent children in custody, and that ‘Almost all agencies said they take kids’ money as reimbursement for the cost of foster care’. Democratic Rep. Danny K. Davis of Illinois sponsored federal legislation that would have prohibited state agencies from using foster children’s Social Security benefits. Congress didn’t move. Davis plans to reintroduce the legislation that will require the money goes to the children it is owed to, and that relatives be notified so that they can financially represent the children and make sure benefits go to the youth when they age out of the system. Nebraska, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Minnesota, and Hawaii plan to pass legislation on behalf of foster children who should receive benefits. New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C have passed legislation.
State agencies already have their hand in the Social Security “cookie jar” before they ever apply for the social security benefits that are owed to the children. ASFA is the adoption and safe families act set up by Hillary Clinton in 1997. ASFA is set up under CAPTA which is the child abuse and prevention act of 1974 and is set up under the Mondale Act of 1974. CAPTA will tell you how the system is set up. ASFA will show you the money. Also, look up “adoption incentive payments“.
Read more by Alexandra Arriga, Decades after foster care, she learned she was owed benefits. Where did the money go?
Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state. The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.