On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Foster America celebrated the launch of its fellowship program with government leaders, social innovators, and friends at Sonoma Wine Bar in Washington, D.C. Founder and CEO Sherry Lachman delivered welcoming remarks and introduced special guests Senator Al Franken and the Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Rafael López, who both spoke about the importance of Foster America's work to spark innovation in the child welfare system.
Senator Franken spoke about Sherry's lifelong commitment to improving the lives of our nation's most vulnerable children and reflected on his work with Sherry to advance child welfare reform when she served as his education counsel. He said one of his proudest legislative achievements as a senator was passing a bill that allows children to remain in their original schools if they move to different districts due to foster care placement. Senator Franken closed by encouraging everyone in attendance to support Foster America's efforts to help transform the child welfare system.
Commissioner López applauded Foster America's vision for change and stressed the urgency of its work given the challenges the child welfare system faces nationwide. As a leader in the child welfare sector, Commissioner López sees Foster America as a part of a small but critical movement of innovation within the field.
Foster America is especially grateful to Host Committee members Sarah Bolton, Amanda Beaumont, Ashley Eden, Joy Silvern, and Simone Hardeman-Jones for making this event possible. We are encouraged by and deeply appreciative of the initial support we have received and we are excited to build a network of reformers both within and outside of the child welfare system who will work together to make a difference for vulnerable children and families.