Young Touts Social Impact Partnerships and Foster Care Bills Included in Continuing Resolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) spoke on the Senator floor in support his two bipartisan, bicameral bills included in the continuing resolution that is expected to be voted on today. The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay For Results Act and the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act are bills Senator Young has been developing for more than six years, beginning during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The continuing resolution we will vote on today is not perfect,” said Senator Young. “I remain concerned about our spending levels, and I maintain that we need to take long-term action for the fiscal health of our country. But with our commitment to our military, and the inclusion of these two important pieces of legislation, I will be voting for this measure for the good of all Hoosier children, families, and communities.”
The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act empowers the public and private sectors to implement evidence-based social and public health interventions to address some of the nation’s most pressing social challenges. One example is the Nurse Family Partnership in Indianapolis, which helps connect registered nurses with low-income pregnant women to ensure both mom and baby are healthy throughout pregnancy and through the infant’s life.
The Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act expedites the time it takes to place children into loving homes by modernizing the outdated interstate child placement process. This legislation incentivizes states to connect to an electronic interstate case-processing system that will reduce the time it takes to place children into homes.
Click here or the image below to watch Senator Young’s floor speech.
Senator Young Speech Transcript:
I’d like to take a moment, Mr. President, to speak in support of two pieces of legislation I introduced that are included in the continuing resolution we will vote on today:
The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay For Results Act, and the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act.
Both of these bills are very important to Hoosiers, and I am glad that we will finally see them become law after six years of working in a bipartisan way to get them across the finish line.
Let me tell you why these two measures are so important to Hoosiers and really to all Americans.
The Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act empowers our public and private sectors to implement evidence-based social and public health interventions to address some of our nation’s most pressing social challenges.
Now, America has a celebrated and vibrant civil society. We have a history of not turning first to government to solve some of our thorniest social and public health challenges – but instead turning to our neighbors. Turning to our local communities. Perhaps our local not-for-profit groups or our community heroes. And we discover that often times they are better situated to address these thorny challenges than our government programs.
That’s not to suggest in the slightest that government doesn’t have a very important role in addressing these broad social challenges. Government can indeed make a difference, but so can these other organizations.
We have a growing evidence base – this is without any partisan tinge to it – it is broadly agreed that we have a growing evidence base of those things that are working to address things like homelessness – to address things like asthma in low income communities - to get the long term unemployed back into the workforce. You name the social ill and there is likely a not-for-profit group or even a for-profit group in each of our individual states which is making a meaningful difference on this front.
So the challenge is how to we scale up these evidence based interventions in an era of scarce resources.
Well, because social impact partnerships are focused on achieving results, tax payer money is only paid out when desired outcomes are met.
And government payments are made possible because when you really help somebody – when you really are able to help them achieve their goals and turn around their lives – that frees up government money. So we use those avoided costs, those future government savings, to pay back those who invest in scaling up things that really work to improve lives.
Let me give you an example, one example of what has also been called “pay for success.”
There is a service in Indianapolis that connects registered nurses with low-income pregnant women. The Nurse Family Partnership helps ensure both mom and baby are healthy throughout pregnancy and through the infant’s life. They hit specific metrics that save the federal government money.
Under this legislation, a philanthropic organization like Indiana’s Lilly Foundation could invest in the Nurse Family Partnership to scale up their work. As long as the metrics continue to be met – as long as success is achieved - the investor is paid a return out of those future government savings.
Well it makes a whole lot of sense, which is why it passed unanimously out of the House of Representatives previously, and why I believe it will be passed into law after passing this chamber and being signed into law by the President in coming days.
Social-impact partnerships address our moral responsibilities to ensure that social programs actually improve recipients’ lives, and do so in a fiscally prudent manner.
They also respond to the imperative of improving our economic health by harnessing the capabilities of every able-bodied citizen.
We ought to be treating every American like they are an asset to be realized, not a liability to be written off. Not a consumer of programs, but somebody with real potential. We want every American to achieve their full human potential.
So to recap, who’s going to benefit? The recipients of these services through the public-private partnership will benefit. The least among us. Taxpayers will benefit. Every American will benefit as our communities become strengthened, as more enter the workforce, as public health is improved and so forth.
The next bipartisan measure, which I expect to get across the finish line today is the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act. This bill expedites the time it takes to place children into loving homes.
And we’ll see why it’s so important and so timely that we pass this legislation today as well.
Thousands of children in my state of Indiana have lost loving parents to opioid addiction.
I’ve seen it up close and personal. I used to represent Scott County, Indiana. This was ground zero in our state for the opioid epidemic. It made national news – not in a good way. So many good people have been adversely impacted in this community, and I know there are communities like this across the country that are being impacted to varying degrees by the opioid crisis.
I fear that if we do nothing we’ll lose thousands in the next generation as well.
Modernizing the outdated interstate child placement process is one of a number of proposals that are urgently needed.
This legislation will incentivize states to connect to an electronic interstate case-processing system that has already achieved substantial reductions in the time it takes to place these children into homes.
Now frankly, before I dove into this, I just assumed that our foster care system was digitized, that it had found its way into the 21st century. That we weren’t using paper files that were being mailed back and forth several times to process adoptions. Especially under these very trying circumstances, but that’s not the case.
We need to make sure that for a child, they spend less time being shuffled from foster home to foster home and this legislation will achieve that.
We need to make sure that children who are taken in and out of school – without a set routine – that that situation is put to an end.
For children caught up in a system struggling to meet community needs, we should do everything possible to get them immediately placed in the setting that’s best for them, regardless of state boundary lines.
So in summary, Mr. President, these bipartisan, bicameral bills were developed over six years, beginning during my time in the House.
I consulted with key stakeholders to make sure there would be broad support - and there is – and had countless discussions with Hoosiers and other experts about how to tackle these challenges.
The continuing resolution we will vote on today is not perfect. I remain concerned about our spending levels, and I maintain that we need to take long-term action for the fiscal health of our country. But with our commitment to our military, and the inclusion of these two important pieces of legislation, I will be voting for the CR for the good of all Hoosier children, families, and communities.
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