STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1471
RE: S.R. No. 46
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Health and Human Services, to which was referred S.R. No. 46 entitled:
"SENATE RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES TO IMMEDIATELY CEASE INTERCEPTING SOCIAL SECURITY PAYMENTS FOR CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Department of Human Services to:
(1) Immediately cease intercepting Social Security payments for children in foster care; and
(2) Deposit Social Security payments for foster children into savings accounts, which the children may access when they return to their families, are adopted, or age out of foster care.
Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Services.
Your Committee finds that roughly ten percent of foster children in the United States are entitled to Social Security benefits due to the death of their parents or a physical or mental disability. Your Committee further finds that the recent decision by New York City child welfare officials to deposit foster children's Social Security payments into savings accounts, which the children may access when they return to their families, are adopted, or age out of foster care, may help these children achieve financial independence after they age out of foster care. Therefore, this measure supports the financial well-being of foster children by requesting the Department of Human Services to follow the example set by New York City and deposit foster children's Social Security payments into savings accounts rather than intercepting these payments.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Health and Human Services that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 46 and recommends its adoption.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Health and Human Services,
JOY A. SAN BUENAVENTURA, Chair