PoliticsWednesday 06.26.24

Paris Hilton testifies on residential foster care facilities hurting "innocent kids who have not committed crimes."

Socialite and reality TV star Paris Hilton shared powerful testimony Wednesday on residential foster care facilities in the U.S. hurting “innocent kids who have not committed crimes,” and advocated for strengthening child welfare programs.

“Today, residential facilities are continuing to warehouse over 50,000 foster youth and unknown number of adopted youth in lockdown facilities,” Hilton said at a hearing with the House Ways and Means Committee. “Innocent kids who have not committed crimes, kids whose parents didn't have resources to support them, kids whose parents passed away, kids who have already experienced trauma.”

Hilton criticized the “$23 billion-a-year industry” of foster care facilities for caring only about “dollar signs,” and described the struggles children being held at them face.

“It costs approximately $800 to $1,000 per day to place a foster youth in a facility, significantly more expensive than serving them in their own communities,” Hilton said. “What is more important? Protecting business profits or protecting foster youth lives?”

“Why can't we as a society see that these kids are hurting? They need love and kindness, not beatings and restraints,” Hilton continued. “As a mom, these stories break my heart.”

Hilton urged Congress to reauthorize Title IV-B of the Social Security Act, which would expand resources to children in foster care facilities. She also advocated for the Stop Institutional Child Abuse Act.

“I am here to be the voice for the children whose voices can't be heard,” Hilton said. “The treatment these kids have had to endure is criminal. These kids deserve to grow up in safe, family-centered environments. I will not stop until America's youth is safe.”

Recount Wire