Today, the “Children in Families First Act” (CHIFF) was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Mary Landrieu and a strong, bi-partisan coalition of Senators. CHIFF would effect significant reforms designed to help ensure that the U.S. government prioritizes family for children who lack it. Without growing the size of government, CHIFF would place special focus in U.S. policies and programs on family preservation, family reunification, and adoption.
Senator Landrieu first announced her plans for this legislation at the CAFO Summit this year in Nashville. See the video of her speech at Summit announcing CHIFF HERE or below:
Government can deliver many vital resources on a mass scale, from emergency food to medication and shelter. But children require more than physical goods alone to truly thrive. Most of all, children require the protection, love and nurture that family uniquely provides. It is understandable that government typically gravitates towards providing the physical things it is most able to deliver on a mass scale. But this isn’t enough for the millions of children in the world who lack families. CHIFF helps ensure that U.S. policy aligns with a simple truth that most every American shares: every child deserves a family.
As today’s CHIFF press release describes:
WHAT CHIFF DOES
- Prioritizes family as a key element of U.S. foreign policy so that every child can have a permanent, safe and nurturing family through family preservation, family reunification and family creation through kinship, domestic and international adoption.
- Realigns U.S. departments and agencies to support the objectives of the 2012 International Action Plan on Children in Adversity, which includes as a central goal that all children grow up in families.
- Reallocates a portion of existing international assistance funding for children so that it will do more to support family preservation, family reunification, and family creation through kinship, domestic and international adoption.
- Streamlines the roles of U.S. Government agencies in adoptions so that they will be better partners with states, the faith-based community, and accredited adoption agencies in their mission to unite children with families.
CAFO’s focus is not government or lobbying. We seek to inspire and equip the Church to be the primary answer for the needs of orphans, from adoption and fostering to support of orphan care worldwide. But we’re keenly aware that government policies can either enable or undercut the ability of churches, families and individuals to care effectively for orphans. So we seek to celebrate and support positive public policy like CHIFF.