National Youth Advocate Program Meets with Sherrod Brown (D-OH) Advocating for the Rights of Foster Children, Families and Treatment Foster Care

(Hackensack, NJ, May 2009) – The Foster Family-based Treatment Association (FFTA) recently held a Public  Policy Institute and Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. on May 18-19. The two-day event included over 80 visits on Capitol Hill where attendees met with US Senators, Representatives and congressional staff. The goal for the event was to participate in health care reform discussions representing children, families and treatment foster care (TFC).

“I want to thank the offices of Sherrod Brown for their time and this opportunity to discuss the needs of Ohio’s most vulnerable children in treatment foster care.” said Edward Sparks of the National Youth Advocate Program based in Columbus, Ohio.

One objective of the congressional visits was to discuss with Congressional members new legislation that 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.

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. For more information about
FFTA, visit or call (800) 414-3382, extension 113, 121, or 118.

Established in 1978, the National Youth Advocate Program (NYAP) has provided cost effective, community based services and support to children, youth and families.  NYAP has established a reputation for creating innovative, community-based, family-focused programs that use community resources and greatly minimize the costs incurred by the counties and agencies we serve.