House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman John Lewis (D-GA), Worker & Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis (D-IL), and Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) today condemned a final rule by the Trump Administration that guts key data points from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) modernization designed to improve outcomes for LGBTQ+, American Indian and Alaska Native foster youth.
"Now more than ever, vulnerable children need support. Yet, the Trump Administration chose in the middle of a global pandemic to plow ahead with a rule that undermines the core mission of the child welfare system to protect and care for kids," Wyden, Neal, Lewis and Davis said. "This isn't abstract numerical data collection. This is about making sure Congress has the tools it needs to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable children."
The Trump Administration rule issued today throws out important data points established in an Obama-era rule to modernize AFCARS data standards. The Trump rule specifically eliminates data collection related to LGBTQ+ foster and adoptive families in the child welfare system -- data that is essential to gauge recruitment and retention of diverse foster and adoptive families. The Trump rule also makes data reporting changes that undermine the intent of the Indian Child Welfare Act (IWCA) to keep tribal families together and to respect the unique needs of tribal communities.