Casey Family Programs statement on the death of U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski
We at Casey Family Programs are saddened by the deaths of Indiana Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two members of her staff in a car crash August 3, 2022. Congresswoman Walorski, as the Ranking Member of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, was a committed champion of legislation supporting children and families. This was a continuation of her life’s work to improve the lives of others. While working in Congress to help children and families, she was generous with her time when meeting with Casey Family Programs leadership and staff, as well as with alumni of foster care with whom she engaged.
Congresswoman Walorski was instrumental in the passage of the landmark Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 and subsequent legislation for implementation of the Act. This act promises to help countless families in safely raising their children at home and in their own communities.
In 2019, she joined other leaders to urge action on the prevention services clearinghouse so that states could implement the Family First Act in a timely manner. And, working with Congressman Danny Davis, she introduced and led passage of the Family First Transition Act.
Noting the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic had on children, families and youth who had aged out of foster care, she was instrumental in getting child welfare provisions included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which provided resources to address challenges amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic. These included funding for prevention services, support for kin and relative caregivers, resources to support courts, and resources and flexibilities to address challenges experienced by older youth in foster care, and those aging out of foster care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her work over the years, Congresswoman Walorski supported measures to modernize the interstate placement of children in foster care, was previously the chair of the Subcommittee on Agriculture (which works on nutrition issues, including food stamps), was a co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus and shared concerns about the impact of the opioid epidemic on communities in her home state of Indiana.
She had a history of passion for issues impacting children and families, and her advice was sought by members of Congress who were interested in learning more about how local agencies and organizations could work together to prevent children from entering foster care by providing services for families in need.
Congresswoman Walorski leaves an important legacy that will be felt by children and families across the nation long into the future.