CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, March 22, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 4472, the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 4472 was introduced on February 4, 2016, by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) and was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, which ordered the bill reported by voice vote on March 16, 2016.
H.R. 4472 requires states to use an electronic processing system for the interstate placement of foster children, the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE), by 2026 to reduce waiting times when moving foster children across state lines. The bill reserves $5 million for state grants from existing child welfare discretionary funding to help with the IT costs of connecting to the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise.
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is statutory law and contract between all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which establishes uniform legal and administrative procedures governing the interstate placement of children. The Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (AAICPC) was established in 1974 and has authority under ICPC to “promulgate rules and regulations to carry out more effectively the terms and provisions of this compact.”
The National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise is a cloud-based electronic system for exchanging the data and documents needed to place children across state lines as outlined by the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). Launched in November 2013 as a pilot project with six states, NEICE significantly shortened the time it takes to place children across state lines, and saved participating states thousands of dollars in mailing and copying costs. States using this electronic interstate case-processing system have been able to reduce from 24 business days to 13 business days the time it takes to identify a family for a child and prepare the paperwork required to start the ICPC process. For a map of states currently participating or planning to participate in NEICE click here.
According to the bill sponsor, “Thousands of children in my state have lost loving parents to opiate addiction, and I fear if we do nothing, we’ll lose thousands in the next generation, too. Modernizing the outdated interstate child placement process is one of a number of proposals that are urgently needed. It will help alleviate the strain on the foster care system. It will more quickly get children placed into loving homes where a set routine and stability will help them cope. Tragedy compounded by extended stints in various foster arrangements has proven detrimental to a child’s future. For children caught up in a system struggling to meet community needs, we should do everything possible to get them immediately placed in the setting that’s best for them, regardless of state boundary lines.”
 See AAICPC, About
 Original States include: Nevada, Indiana, Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia
 See AAICPC, National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise
 See H.R. 4472, Section 2(8)
 See Rep. Todd Young Press Release, “Young, Grassley introduce bicameral legislation to lessen toll of drug epidemic on children,” February 24, 2016.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate is currently not available; however, a preliminary estimate projects that enacting H.R. 4472 will have no effect on discretionary or direct spending.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.