Kennedy Krieger Institute Officials Visit Capitol Hill: Foster Family-based Treatment Association Public Policy Institute and Advocacy Day

May 29, 2009
 

(Baltimore, MD) - The Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA) recently held the Public Policy Institute and Advocacy Day in Washington, DC, May 18-19. The two-day event included over 80 visits on Capitol Hill where attendees met with US Senators, Representatives, and staff. The goal for the event was to participate in health care reform discussions representing children, families and treatment foster care.

"I want to thank the offices of Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin, Representative Sarbanes, and Representative Krantovil for their time and this opportunity to discuss the needs of Maryland's most vulnerable children in treatment foster care," said Robert Basler, Director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute Therapeutic Foster Care Program in Baltimore.

One objective of congressional visits was to discuss with Congressional members new legislation which would strengthen treatment foster care services, delivery, and accountability. "The bill FFTA is presenting is extremely important to health care reform," states Laura Boyd, Ph.D., FFTA Public Policy & Government Relations Consultant. "We anticipate that requirements and policy expectations would be expanded, supporting the highest standards of treatment and care," she added.

There are approximately 50,000 TFC children in out-of-home care nationwide. This bill would provide options that best suit each state for Medicaid reimbursement to providers, while reducing expenditures for federal and state governments by serving children in community settings who do not need higher, more restrictive levels of care.

"This is the first time that our Institute included a visit to Capitol Hill. FFTA is intent on taking a leading role toward public policies that affect TFC," stated Ken Olson, FFTA Public Policy Committee Chair. The event, which took place during National Foster Care Month, exceeded last year's attendance record and began with a one-day instructional briefing, which included panel discussions on the topic at-hand.

About the Foster Family-based Treatment Association

Established in 1988, the nonprofit Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA) is the leading advocate for Treatment Foster Care (TFC) with 400 member agencies throughout North America. Generated by field-accepted program standards, agency professionals work with trained foster parents to provide individualized, intensive treatment for foster children diagnosed with serious emotional, behavioral, and medical difficulties in a family-based setting. For more information about FFTA, visit www.ffta.org or call (800) 414-3382, extension 113, 121, or 118.

About Kennedy Krieger Institute

Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD serves more than 13,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis. For more information on Kennedy Krieger Institute, visit www.kennedykrieger.org