Sacramento - Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announces he and his Republican colleagues submitted a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom today urging him to take the necessary steps – both short and long-term – to ensure the adoptions of foster youth interrupted by COVID 19 be completed in a timely fashion.
“It’s Christmas and I can think of nothing more meaningful to a child waiting for a permanent, loving home than to know there are ‘grown-ups’ who see their need and stand ready to help,” said Wilk. “COVID 19 has been a cruel turn of events for many of us, but none so much as the foster youth who were on track for adoption prior to the pandemic. Court shutdowns, delays in processing, and a host of other COVID related issues have left these innocent children without the certainty of a home … something every child deserves.”
In 2019, Wilk authored the Foster Youth Enrichment Grant, a measure that would provide money for activities such as sports, music, tutoring, etc… Wilk has also hosted numerous roundtables with foster youth throughout the 21st Senate District.
Below is the text of the letter submitted to the governor:
December 22, 2020
The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor of California
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Governor Newsom:
It is our understanding that, at about the time California implemented your first COVID-related stay-at-home order back in March of this year, the state had approximately 7,200 foster children awaiting adoption, with roughly a third in a pre-adoptive setting. As a result of your various stay-at-home orders and guidance, dependency courts across the state ground to a halt, and we have heard reports of backlogs that have delayed or prevented children who were otherwise on the path to permanency from being placed in their forever homes. With all the emotional, social, and health burdens presented this year to families and children across this state, the best Christmas gift a foster child can receive is a forever home and you have the capability to help give that to them.
Study after study shows that, for children who have entered the child welfare system and for whom family reunification is not an option, permanent placement offers the best chance for these youth to transition into healthy, happy, and productive adults. While we understand finding suitable permanent placements for these youth does not happen overnight, we are concerned that California is not doing everything in its power to remove both short-term and long-term impediments to placement.
Accordingly, we strongly urge you to take those steps necessary – both short-term and long-term – to ensure these youth in dire need of permanent placements are placed in their forever homes in a timely fashion. If achieving this requires legislative action, Senate Republicans stand ready to work with you and the majority party to enact those changes necessary to make this a reality. These children are the future of California, and they deserve nothing less than immediate support.
We look forward to your reply and to working with you. Please contact me with any questions at (916) 651-4016 or Senator.Grove@senate.ca.gov.
(Signatures of Senators)