Spears-Turner Distinguished Professor Mark Testa has been appointed by Governor Pat McCrory to the Permanency Innovation Initiative Oversight Committee. His term begins immediately and runs through June 2015.
On July 26, 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly approved the biennium State budget. The budget included “A Family for Every Child,” which has three provisions. The three provisions include restoring funding to the Adoption Promotion Fund, establishing the Permanency Innovation Initiative (PII) Fund and creating a Permanency Innovation Initiative Oversight Committee. The overall intent of A Family for Every Child is to improve permanency outcomes for children and reduce the costs associated with foster care.
A Family for Every Child appropriated $1,000,000 for the 2013-2014 fiscal year and $2,750,000 for the 2014-2015 fiscal year to establish the Permanency Innovation Initiative (PII) Fund for services provided by the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina. The PII Fund will be administered by the Department of Health and Human Services to support a demonstration project to improve permanency outcomes for children living in foster care, improve engagement with biological relatives of children in foster care, and reduce costs associated with maintaining children in foster care. In implementing these goals, the PII Fund supports the following strategies: Child Specific Adoption Recruitment, Family Finding, and permanency focused training services.
The charge to the Committee is to implement a data tracking methodology to gauge the success of the initiative, develop a cost-benefit methodology, oversee implementation fidelity, and recommend other policies that may positively impact family permanence and child well-being. The Committee is co-chaired by Senator Tamara Barringer and Representative Marilyn Avila. It held its first meeting on April 16 in Raleigh and will meet quarterly.
“North Carolina is moving forward. Your service will make an immediate and positive impact upon the changes we are making in our state,” wrote Gov. McCrory in a letter to Testa. “We need leaders such as you in public service to help promote our vision and realization of a better North Carolina.”