On Thursday, February 18, Legal Writing Professor Starla J. Williams
delivered a talk entitled Public Policy Implications of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
to students on the Harrisburg campus. Professor Williams focused on a new federal law designed to improve the lives of children and youth in foster care.
Professor Williams raised a number of important questions, such as; “Why can’t a relative caregiver become the legal guardian of a child in foster care?” and “Why do most Native Americans not qualify for the standard adoption subsidy?”
She explained that the last major reform for adoptions was the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. Former President George W. Bush passed Adoptions Act of 2008 on October 7, 2008. The new act allows more children to be taken out of foster care and put into safe and stable homes. The act also helps children of Native American and Alaskan decent to receive more funding than they were previously allotted. The act also provides funds to train those who work with the foster children such as court appointed special advocates (CASA) and new judges.
Williams formerly worked at a child welfare firm before coming to Widener Law’s Harrisburg campus.