Significant Federal Statutes





Housing Assistance for Foster Teens
Public Law No. 106-377.
Housing and Urban Development FY2001 Appropriations Bill

The HUD appropriations bill, signed into law by the President on October 27, 2000, expands the family unification program, which allows parents in the child welfare system to receive Section 8 certificates if housing is the only issue preventing reunification.  The program has been expanded to include “eligible youths who have attained at least 18 years of age and not more than 21 years of age and who have left foster care at age 16 or older.”  Full text


Use of Restraints and Seclusion
Public Law No. 106-310.
Children’s Health Act of 2000

The Children’s Health Act of 2000, signed into law on October 17, 2000, establishes national standards that restrict the use of restraints and seclusion in all psychiatric facilities that receive federal funds and in “non-medical community-based facilities for children and youth.”   In those settings, the use of restraints and seclusion will now be restricted to emergency safety situations.  The sponsors of this bill included three Connecticut Congresspersons, Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Full text


Strengthening Abuse and Neglect
S. 2272
Courts Act of 2000 (SANCA)

This legislation, which was signed into law on October 17, 2000, is a follow-up to the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 that facilitates moving foster children into safe, permanent homes.  SANCA reforms court procedure to improve the administrative efficiency and effectiveness of abuse and neglect courts through grants to courts to create computerized case tracking system, implementation of innovative strategies to reduce caseloads and eliminate backlogs of children waiting to be adopted, expansion of the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program to offer the necessary support to children and the courts. Full text


Fostering Connections
HR 6893 

2004—IDEA reauthorization
Requires all special education teachers to hold at least a bachelors degree and full state certification.
Places a two-year statute of limitations on parents ability file a complaint or request a hearing regarding childs treatment.
Requires review of relevant records by parents and school officials within 10 days of a child’s change of placement for disciplinary reasons.
Full text     Short summary




No Child Left Behind Act

Requires all students to take annual assessment tests although states can make reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities. Special-education teachers must be “highly qualified” in core subjects they teach. At left, President Bush talking up the law at an Arkansas school.




IDEA reauthorization

Expands school administrators authority to discipline special education students in certain situations to include removal to alternative education settings for up to 45 days. Prohibits cutting off educational services to special-education students who are expelled.




Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Revised and renamed version of 1975 law adds autism and traumatic brain injury to categories of special education. Calls for transition services to help older students prepare for post-secondary education, employment and independent living.



Education for All Handicapped Children Act

Requires school districts receiving federal funds to provide a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to special-needs children. Mandates creation of an individualized education program for such students. Establishes procedures for parents to challenge related decisions about their children.



Elementary and Secondary Education Act (Amendments)

Creates Bureau of Education of the Handicapped. Establishes federal grants to help educate special-needs students with disabilities in local schools rather than state institutions.





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