tv National Governors Association Winter Meeting - Jamie Dimon and Childrens... CSPAN February 26, 2019 8:37am-10:16am EST
captioning performed by vitac >> maybe not a four-year degree, maybe not a four-career college but a credential, something. so -- but yet the majority of americans don't have that. so what do we say to people who just have that high school degree who want a good paying job who can't feed their family on $12 an hour? how do we, you know, doo he will with that? >> i think it's true. technology is the best thing that ever happened to mankind. the notion that technology is a bad thing is a bad idea, it's why we live longer, why we have this wealthy prosperous nation of ours, it's why the health --
it's why everything is better. if you don't believe me go back 100 years. my grandparents were greek immigrants, they came here with the shirt on their back and dirt. they didn't inherit any wealth. if you lived to -- if you got to one you might live to 50. so everything is much better and we should acknowledge that, but it is true that we are leaving behind segments of society who don't have the education. my wife was working now she has, i think, 100 interns and kids going to various schools and internships where they are going to get well paying jobs. companies do it, we train people at the start of the job, you're doing at the at the yoofrd univ of rhode island, university of maryland. it's going to have to be local. people worry about this. we have 8 million tar and truck -- taxi and truck drivers in america. if somehow ai is able to get self-driving, boom, people making $65,000 a year out of work. that's not going to work really well and, therefore, we have to have a retraining, relocation, income assistance if it happened
too fast. remember this has been happening our whole lives, but it's possible to be too fast. at jpmorgan, for example, we are looking today at we know that ai will reduce the people in call centers and operating centers so we are going to be really prepared so that use attrition, let it come down, retrain them to do other jobs, there are tons of other jobs we need to be done and even retrain them to get jobs at other companies. so we know that in phoenix or, you know, in this city they want coding, in this city fleb bot particulars, in this have i -- we will pay our people to get trained to get another job and equal paying job. it's not going to work if you have a family making $65,000 a year and there is an available job at $25,000. that's just not going to work. so, again, i think all of these things go back to training, skills, apprenticeships, internships, lifelong education that would work for americans. >> i want to weigh in on that particularly on workforce, job training or some other topic?
>> first off, i am so sorry i can't speak for all the governors, but sorry about that outburst here, that was uncalled for. we appreciate you coming and sharing your thoughts with us. >> thank you. >> so regarding the getting capital -- [ applause ] >> so as far as encouraging capital getting to our small businesses, our minority businesses, what you did a very good job of explaining how our economy is moving with the small entrepreneurs, is there anything we can do from a state banking regulatory environment or a federal regulatory environment to ease the burden on large banks and our community banks, whether it's tier one capital ratios? where do you think the balance is there protecting the taxpayers and the insurance versus encouraging, you know, access to capital in our small businesses? >> one of the things that i should mention about america's
strengths and if you get to go around the world you see these kind of things, we have the best, widest, deepest, most transparent financial markets ever. better than anybody and it's part of the economic strength that's going to flywheel this thing. big ones, small ones, we bank in certain countries and move $6 trillion a day, venture capital, private equity, small business, small binks. it is true and i'm sympathetic with one of the small banks, they would tell you it's the cost of regulation. this he have more compliance officers and loan officers. it's the fear of pissing off the local examiner. it's not even dodd/frank, it's just they're told we don't want any more of those types of loans. it's the litigation cost if you're wrong. so a lot of banks they stay away from anything which might create a litigation cost because it's so capricious and arbitrary. i think it's probably the achilles' heel of america, too. it's ruining self responsibility and the punishment doesn't fit the crime, et cetera.
local regulations. again, we should applaud entrepreneurs, applaud small businesspeople, applaud job creators and so one of the things -- we have 5,000 branches and we are going to put these big screens in all these branches to have people like general ray ordiano or great small businessperson or governor, if we can get 50 small businesspeople in every branch that's 25,000 people and to talk about what works and what doesn't work. the other thing, by the way, is we partner with a lot of people. so we're doing this great work in detroit, but we have people on the ground at a not for profit who is working with the entrepreneur about what they need to learn to get more traditional bank financing, budgets, leases, how you sign a deal with the federal government, hiring people, where do you place the branch, where do you place their next business to maximize traffic? so a lot of things are done to foster entrepreneurship at a local level and change the regulations and get easier this these community banks.
>> governor carney. >> in your response to governor hogan's question at the onset you mentioned we're failing inner city kids and referenced your wife's great work in new york city. have you learned -- i think it's a problem in every small town, city and large city across the country. have you learned anything through your work there that you can help us with with respect to our efforts for educating inner city kids? >> yeah, we should send you some information, but what we know already is that internships, apprenticeships, work. the businesses have to have it certified, it's got to count for college credit or high school college and to the extent -- i don't believe in unpaid internships, if you can afford it it's unfair to have kids work for free, there's something that bothers me about that. it's got to be the local level and you've got to get help from the community college. in one of these towns the community college they like the idea but they won't certify the position. so if you go to germany or switzerland these kids get --
what they do in that about machine tooling, coding, they get college credit for it. so it opens up all these horizons for them. so it really is at the local level working with the schools, high schools, community colleges. we have to convert high schools back to not just learning about life, but leaving with a livelihood. we used to be very good at that. remember we had these vocational schools and, you know, all over the country and they might teach welding or construction or electrical -- not engineering, but electrical work, you know, how houses can be wired. there are 7 million jobs open in america today, most are well paying and they are not being filled. these things have to -- we have to get cracking at that because it would do a great thing to do. >> governor bullock. >> jamie, it's heartening as you talk about what jpmorgan is doing as it relates to ai and changes and actually making sure that workers are retrained even if they are not at your own
company. not enough companies necessarily are looking at sort of that long-term social contract. how do we either the state or federal level incentivize businesses to be investing in worker training and even more so than they're investing in business equipment or robots? and also how do we deincentivize the growth of independent contractors? >> those are good questions. i do think this is a somewhat legitimate issue about long term thinking. for jpmorgan i never worry about quarterly profits, i worry about people, systems, technology, products, services, cost. of course we make a huge amount of mistakes but we build for the long term. we've urged companies and i think the brt recommended this, don't forecast quarterly earnings. have quarterly numbers, be transparent, but earnings is a tip of the iceberg, you know, prices are changing, the weather changes, almost impossible to forecast and companies get their
back up against the wall, disappoint people. i think part of that is also, again, class action suits, litigation, people are so -- but i think businesses want to do the right thing for the long run, i think businesses attract what they deserve. if you're overreacting to short term -- you know, warren buffett talks about the earnings things as being an important thing. he never worries about it. you have shareholders including your pension plan and stuff like that. here is another one, here is an inconsistency, hypocrisy in america. a lot of state-owned pension plans will come up to me and want to know exactly what we're doing for the long run, for my employees, for this -- we tell them and they want to know about compensation, which i think is all legitimate. they then turn around and invest in hedge funds and things like that that get paid 20% of the profits of that year. so very often they're incenting exactly the behavior they say they don't want themselves. so, you know, if shareholders
are doing that then companies are going to react. so in america this is a major thing we've gone from 8,000 public companies to 4,000 public companies. we are driving them private because of all of these issues, regulations, litigation, short-term incentives, it makes it hard for companies to think long term. so we've just got to bring back the notion of thinking long term, explaining it. larry fink at black rock wrote a thing about that we should describe to you what we're doing. we're opening -- now we've gotten permission to 40 new branches, that's 4,000 people directly, that's going to be another 8,000 people indirectly. when we go into baltimore, prince george's county, ward 7, ward 8, we go in with all of jpmorgan, we open a branch, philanthropy, education for people who need financial education, charity, we do the whole thing. like the big share about amazon, it wasn't just the 25,000 jobs amazon was going to do, it was probably going to be 100,000
jobs spo rg it. they would have gone from low skilled to high ask ild to consultants and lawyers to restaurants and bashers and construction workers and -- that's the shame. that's what they lost. the whole ecosystem that creates jobs and furthers interest and, you know, cities -- cities and states act that way, we will be long term users. i was no new york city in 1974 and we had our financial crisis and crime and all these terrible things. ten fortune 50 companies left the city in a five-year period, exxon which went to dallas, jcpenney went to texas, american airlines left. it was amazing, companies were just leaving. so cities and states can foster an attractive environment and then help you guys do the other parts. i think business is not to blah i'm for all these bad outcomes, i think business could do more to help fix the bad outcomes. >> what about the deincentivizing or discouraging independent contractors? >> i think that's a valid point. so our whole detroit effort
started when lee saunders who once afsme i was talking to him about a corporate governance issue with jpmorgan. he said i don't care about that. in detroit my workers are going to retire and lose their pension plans. he said the average pension plans for someone who has worked for 35 years is $20,000 and they don't get social security. i didn't know that. i said, that's terrible. we're a huge bank in detroit, i said i'm going to help you. we have become friends and we try to help give the city -- why we made this huge effort in detroit, one of our home towns, where we came from and -- but they also -- you came to see me at one point and extra end that we had outsourced janitorial jobs and guards and we did and andy stern, people said don't meet with him. i will meet with anybody, i'm not afraid to talk to anybody about anything. he said you did it and the guard is the same guard that shows up, they get the same pay, you pay the independent firm $2,000 or
$3,000 or $4,000. the reason it's profitable for them and you is they took away their medical. i took back all those guards, all of them. jpmorgan does not need to make its profit off the backs of the medical stuff for our guards. some companies, by the way, no the in that position. they can't afford medical. so i'm very sympathetic. i tell all these people, all the do gooders, go run u.s. steel during the tough times, it's much tougher. there you're survival, when you're trying to fight for survival it's different. companies can try to be good corporate citizens, train your own people, don't outsource something where you only way you will save money is don't give them medical. treat people with respect. jpmorgan we subsidize 90% of people who make under $60,000 medical, we -- and then we make it freer with health accounts, et cetera. i went out and i found out one day that our 401(k) we gave these huge matches and all the money is going to our wealthy paid people so i limited the
match to the higher paid people. i asked the question one day, why don't people put money in? we give them free money, with he match it two to one or three to one. 40,000 people weren't putting money in. i did an analysis. why? they are all people making $40,000 a year. they needed the money. it wasn't they were dumb. so we started that we automatically gave them 7 $50 in their isn't. you make under $60,000 a year we open a 401 for $750 for you. if you put more money in we match it to help pair the lower paid folks for critical to the success of jpmorgan. there are things that people can do and some companies do, jawboning, shares best ideas, those are the best ideas i can have. >> you mentioned all those companies leaving new york and you mentioned amazon which we're working hard to try to steal over at maryland. the request he is what do we have to do to get jpmorgan? >> well, you did a good thing right from the start because you elected larry hogan. when you are a company -- of course you want to go to places
where you're welcome, they listen to you, you have an open conversation, make it better. we have a great relationship with most of the states here, texas -- texas jobs are going like this, delaware, utah, you name it. it literally is to be a welcoming place and consistent. it's consistent. we have to go around the world. if governments are hugely inconsistent you tend to stay away. think of parts of. you were. >> we talked a little bit about this back stage and you and i both feel passionately about it. the american public today is deeply divided along political lines and you have to navigate both through the court of public opinion, you have 250,000 employees, i think, in the private enterprise. how do you approach a collaboration and cooperation with the government in such a polarized time? >> this may surprise you, but obviously family is the most important thing to me, my wife and my children. i have three daughters and four
granddaughters, i don't know how that happened, but the next most important thing is the united states of america. it is still the shining city on the hill. if you don't believe me, spend a couple weeks on the road with me in other parts of the world. it's not even close. so i'm a huge patriot that way and i think that is what we need to do, focus on what is good for the united states and not always what's parochial, but i forgot your specific question. >> talking about the polarization. you talked about some of the things that you thought were the problem. >> i try -- well, we've just -- it's more federal government than most and i always try to listen to both sides and try to understand where they may be right. when i hear about lower paid, they're right. when i hear about we are know not doing job -- they're right. inner city schools they're right. slogans are not policy. governors learn that right away, you can get elected saying anything you want about the rich, the poor, taxes, but if you don't get the roads fixed and you don't get the hospitals working and get kids jobs you
will fail as a governor or mayor. i try to listen. like i said, i've met with union leaders, i'm responsive when they complain about something like that. on the other hand, and we write extensively on public policy. you see jpmorgan chase we educate the world about economy. we go to mexico and argentina, how you develop capital markets, develop entrepreneurship, get your universities. we want to foster a healthy economic environment and it is part of my job. i have never been conflicted ever, i don't buy this thing about that companies only care about shareholder value. that's just not true. i care -- most of the ceos i know would agree with me is that you have to do a great job for employees to do a good job for customers. if i don't serve my customers right they don't come back and right is better, faster, quicker, cheaper and more next year than this year. if we are not good in communities you don't want us there. and i don't look at jpmorgan -- we operate in 2,000 little
cities around the world, but i treat it exactly the same as if you own the corner bakery store, that corner bakery store is a community citizen. they hire kids in the summer, get the ice off the front so someone doesn't break their leg, participate in the local little league or church or mosque or synagogue or something like that because that's our community. that's how you teach people. i think just because you're big doesn't mean you should stop doing that. so i've never been conflicted between the two but i remind people if i don't build a healthy vibrant company then it's just all talk. i have to have a healthy vibrant company first and then i can do all these other good things. all the things we talk about doing, skills around the world, entrepreneur of color funds, we're doing special things to advance black leaders inside our company. our people love this. they feel, my god, not only are we doing a good job for customers but for our communities. they get to do video hours. i think it lifts up everybody. >> governor sisilak. >> what do you think could be
done better to enhance financial literacy in our schools? we have lost a generation, this he don't understand the cost of credit, budgeting process, and then we throw them in the world without any foundation. >> so i think -- when i was a young ceo of bank one they asked me to go talk to kids in third or fourth grade, i read them a little book. i said this isn't going to work. they don't understand what i'm talking about, i certainly don't understand where they're coming from. you've got to teach it in schools. if i were all of you i would take in every high school, maybe start earlier, basic financial education. what is a rainy day fund, when do you need life insurance, what is a bank account, how can you avoid payday lenders? i do another thing, nutrition and health. walk a couple miles a day. because those two things will be critical for the future of society. we are -- we do it extensively but you can't rely on just -- i think it needs to be done in churches, schools. we actually -- now on our app, if you are a chase client, we
give you -- you can buy and sell stock for free and we give you for free tools that you can use to look at retirements and things like that, but do you know what's become really popular? you get for free your credit score. so you open it up, look at your credit score and how can you improve it? you can improve it by having a $400 a day rainy fund, pay this next bill coming up on time. 10 million people signed up for it and we haven't marketed it. people are dying to have it. when we go to ward 7, ward 8, try something different. have wine and cheese for single mothers who can bring their kids in and educate them about a rainy day fund. just a rainy day fund. just how you start investment, what's a 401(k), and so i think we have to do it because we've done a bad job and we're going to try everything. we're going to test everything but i think it should start in the schools. >> you made a comment earlier and we all know this that there are millions of open jobs, many people who want jobs and they
are not getting matched up. some of it i find is that companies are still searching for people that have the four-year college degree when they don't actually need the four-year college degree to do that job. so how do we deal with that? >> it's toe alley true. when people say something like that to me, i don't know it, i go study it and i did. it's true. companies became lazy so they said college will be required. it was just an easy scale, just an easy screen. >> the screen. >> so think of tellers, it's not required. so we went back at jpmorgan and took the college required off of tens of thousands of jobs. >> good for you. >> it's not required. worse than that, a lot of college kids if they go become a teller, do you think they want to be a teller? probably not. so there's turnover, attrition, but i will make you a bet the kids that graduate high school or community college and get that $35,000 a year job with medical, pension, 401(k), you know, they are thrilled and they move up the ladder.
like the guy -- my wife was in the room and a guy stood -- a woman stood up with all her jewelry and said, those are just starter jobs, they're dead end jobs and he stood up, he was an attractive black man. he said, ma'am, i started as a teller at jpmorgan, i'm now a manager director and i'm responsible for hiring 40,000 people a year. i am so proud of what i've accomplished and what this company has done for me. so things like that we have to tell the story. tell the story. >> last question. >> but the brt should look at that, too. >> it's a big issue. >> to take it out where it's not necessary. we went to the fdic, mcwilliams, and we told her we can't hire felons who didn't do serious crimes, we can't fire felons in our industry by regulatory statute effectively. she changed t we're hiring felons now. peter shear was in detroit yesterday, there was a picture of him with a felon who is working for us to say thank you.
give people a chance. if you paid your time in society, you have a second chance. so there are all these things we can do. >> good for you. good for you. [ applause ] >> governor little? >> housing affordability, there's lots of state programs and federal programs. governor bullock has a first time homeowner savings account where you can save money tax-free now. obviously if you are in a state without income tax it's not helpful. if the federal government would do it would be more helpful. what do you think the solution is to the housing affordability issue? >> one of our economists did a study which showed that affordable housing is least affordable and least available in the places that have the most land use restrictions. okay? so our regulations made it very hard to build affordable housing. we do a billion dollars a year affordable housing, equity, debt and things like that. the other thing is we did a study that showed if you had a rainy day fund the chance of a mortgage default is like 20% if
you have exact same credit stuff. so teaching people education is important. but we messed up the mortgage business. after the crisis, you know, we massively overreacted, there are 3,000 federal, state and local origination and servicing requirements. we send you a bill. 3,000. the cost of that we think is 30 base points to mortgages. because of that mortgages are less available, less affordable and more expensive. then litigation on top of that. most banks have gotten out of fha lending, but the people being hurt, we think it's a trillion dollars of net new mortgages are self-employed, immigrant, prior default, younger and poorer. these are not subprime, these are just not giving a chance to those people for those things. fix the mortgage market, look at your local zoning rules, education, those we will get more people living in homes. >> so we are just about out of time. i want to thank you so much for joining us. this has been a fantastic panel and i appreciate the way you've
been so open with us in covering a range of topics. i will, again, thank you for your partnership on the new skills for youth program, it's been fantastic. those governors who don't know about it, i'd encourage you to learn about it. we've started internships, apprenticeships, career and technical education, i can't thank you enough for your partnership. but with that i'd like to give you, you know, a couple of minutes to offer any closing remarks. >> so the only closing remarks is we can fix all this. i don't know exactly how to fix the federal system, but we can fix all this if we roll up our sleeves, get in the room, listen to each other, analyze it, come up with really good policy and you all -- you are politicians, you have to convert that policy into educating and moving the population with you, it doesn't work when they don't. that's obviously not my expertise, but that kind of stuff works. the last thought, i appreciate the fact that -- i mean, i know a lot of the governors in this room, those of you who have done a great job for your communities and mayors, it's great you're doing this. i hope when you get together privately you shed the democrat/republican thing and
just worry about what works for america because we can make it a better country for everybody. >> here here. thank you. >> thank you very much. [ applause ] >> over a half million children are currently in foster care. the county puts these on because they can match a lot of kids and parents quickly. >> look at the big kids. >> everybody is avoiding them. i'm going to say hi. >> they're teenagers, they use drugs and watch people playing video games on youtube. >> fyi, we can all hear you. it's okay, i will mingy with the kiddies and don't give it another thought. bye-bye. >> she was cool. >> lizzie comes with two younger siblings. >> three kids? too much. >> oh, my god. >> they are adorable. >> why would you show us that? that's wrong. >> here we are. >> make yourself at home because you are at home. >> do you like clippers. >> i'm more of a lakers fan. >> oh, no. >> you hit me because i like the clippers. >> i think the clippers are
awesome. they were smart for trading blake griffin, their best player. >> let me fix it. >> thanks, daddy. >> i just got my first daddy. >> you suck. i want some of that. hey, honey, can i help you with anything? >> nope. ♪ >> i'm going to give you guys a couple seconds to sit down. or not. my name is charlie baker, i'm the governor of massachusetts and i'm the vice chair of the health and human services committee and i want to welcome you all to this conversation about child welfare, specifically rethinking child welfare, the one thing i would say about that is we are constantly in the process of rethinking the way we deal with,
support and work with some of the most at risk families and kids in our states. we should be because in many respects these are some of our greatest challenges and they represent in many cases the difference between opportunity and no opportunity for kids who in many cases through no fault of their own end up in a particularly difficult spot. i just want to make a couple quick comments before i introduce the chair of the committee, oregon governor kate brown. the first is i think one of the most important things we need to do to be successful in this space is recognize that our social workers who do much of the workday to day with families and with these kids need to be supported and that means making the investments that are required to ensure that they're managing a reasonable number of cases, reasonable number of families. the second is to make sure they have the clinical support that they need to support them as they make decisions with respect
to the needs and the concerns and the -- in many cases psychological and medical issues that these kids and their families are often dealing with. and to the extent we can peel a lot of the administrative work away from the social workers so that they can really focus on doing social work and not on doing paperwork, we are going to dramatically improve their ability to do the work that they need to do. the second thing and we try -- all of those things, by the way, are things we've worked pretty successfully on in massachusetts. the second thing we need to be better at is understanding and recognizing the role and the importance of placement and permanence when to comes to these kids. the more we can do to give them a sense of certainty about their future the better off they will be. whether that's working harder to develop kinship opportunities where kids who have a mom or a dad or both who have problems end up staying with or being supported by and living with a family member or ending up
dealing with circumstances, situations where we move kids in a reasonable time frame from some sort of state of uncertainty to a more certain state with respect to adoption or some other permanent relationship the more likely they are to be successful. and then the third thing i want to mention is the work that we can all do to learn from each other with respect to those things that have ultimately determined the longitudinal success of these kids. historically states have not done a great job with respect to tracking what happens with respect to a lot of these kids and their families. the more we do to track this over time so we can figure out which things really make a difference for them and for their families, the better off we are all going to be. this is a terrific panel, i think we are all going to learn a great deal from you, but as i said at the beginning if you are not rethinking your child welfare policies and programs every year you ought to be because this is the sort of thing where there's constant
room for improvement and constant room for chance and opportunity for kids. i say all the time that talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not. the more that we can do to help make sure that these kids and their families have those opportunities the better off they and we collectively will be. with that i want to turn it over to my tag team partner on this committee for the last several years, oregon governor kate brown and i have rotated between chairing and vice chairing the health and human services committee. she is now the chair and i want to introduce her now. kate? [ applause ] >> thank you, governor baker, for your extraordinary leadership on this issue and so many others. good afternoon, everyone, i am honored to be here with you this afternoon and very excited about this panel. as governors we have a truly unique opportunity to reenvision
the way our child welfare system works and ways to better meet the needs of our children and families. for me this is a very personal issue. i first started practicing law in the juvenile justice arena representing children and families in the foster care system. i then continued my work in this arena as a legislator and now i have this opportunity as governor. in my state we have 1.5 times the national average the number of children in our foster care system. so we're tackling those issues within our child welfare system, but as governor i'm really focused on how we can address the root causes. the reason why we're seeing so many children come into the foster care system. so i am delighted to be introducing our panel that has been -- that are experts in the area and that are really focused on reducing the number of children safely that are in our foster care system and hopefully better serve our children and
families throughout the united states. so our moderator is dr. jeremy cowenban he is an author, advocate and expert in child welfare and juvenile justice. he is the president and ceo of children's village which cares for children through family support, community engagement and short-term residential interventions. sean anders is a renowned writer and director who recently turned his personal experience with most foster care and adoption into the film "instant family" starring mark wahlberg and rose burn. governor bevin has made significant strides in kentucky, streamlining and improving the child well fare system with focus on improving adoption timelines and serving children and families impacted by the opioid crisis.
and first lady edwards, she's focused on transforming the foster care system in louisiana, particularly focused on expecting foster parents with community supports and fostering cross-agency collaboration. i'd like to welcome our panelists to the stage. please give them a round of applause. [ applause ] >> okay. thank you for this opportunity, first lady edwards, governor bevin, sean, thank you for joining us. before i ask you a few questions and kind of we start talking about the work that we need to do together let me set the stage as a practitioner. when it comes to helping children the persist wasn't theme in the united states has been that we often needlessly
separate children from the one thing that they love and need the most, which is their parents, their siblings and their family. in the united states family separation has always been disproportionate. poor families and those families that society values the least are at the greatest risk to losing their children. few of us in this room would ever lose our children to the foster care system. in the early 1800s in new york city where i work the children we served the ones that were separated were initially jews and nonenglish speaking european immigrants. by the late 1800s and well into the first part of the 20th century they were largely irish catholic. today and for the last two decades most jurisdictions have seen an overrepresentation of black and native children in foster care. black children enter the system
faster, stay longer and often exit with the worst outcomes. no question about that. in 2017 about 23,000 children aged out of foster care when they turned 18 or 21, depending on the state that they lived in. we believe another 25,000 aged out in 2018 and at least the same number will age out this year. let me tell you something about these kids that are aging out. many who age out spend at least five to seven years in the foster care system prior to aging out. the lucky ones, we think about 50% of that group, actually return to the very same families that we kept them away from because that's all they had. the other 50% are struggling to survive, some are couch surfing as we spoke about earlier. our girls are in very risky transient relationships and they almost all remain dependent on
government and charity. let me also add that among this group and for this group that ages out, we promised them a family and we never gave them one. we never did. and many others never knew family. they actually came of age in institutions and group homes, including places like the children's village. 70% to 75% of the children that are separated from family are removed for neglect and not physical or sexual abuse. i know the general public thinks our kids are being removed for physical and sexual abuse. that's not true. parents substance abuse is growing because of the opioid crisis, but the circumstances of neglect are most closely associated with poverty and abject poverty. that's it. so let me conclude my remarks by making two comments. children do best in families, we
are here to talk about that, the importance of family. in this great nation we have more than enough families to care for all our children who are removed into foster care, including children with complex needs, no doubt about it. but one thing we must do and i hope we will get to talk about it a little bit more, we must begin treating those amazing foster families that step up as true partners. we do a horrible job at that. we can do more and if anyone is interested the champs campaign, fosteringchamps.org talk about things we can do together. with their help and only with their help can we transform the system. i will also add that group homes and institutions can play a role and they're needed, but they can never be a place where kids grow up. the key to healing, as we all know, is the love and belonging of family. that's it. or as my mother often reminds me, relationships heal.
that's the magic bond. relationships heal. children should never belong to government or to a charity, even a charity like children's village. government and charity can never be a substitute for the love of family. we are also on the cusp of some fundamental change in funding, it's called the family -- the family first prevention services act that president trump signed in 2018. while not perfect, the family first actually changes the perverse financial incentive that existed in federal funding. because until family first was signed, the only way you could draw down funding, the states could draw down funding was to actually remove a child from a family. so unless you remove the child from the family you were not eligible for that funding. with family first, while not perfect, we think we can begin to build that preventive base that early intervention that our communities so need and maybe
the number of children that are removed for neglect can begin to drop faster than we've begun to see. and when separation is needed, and there will be times, there are always times when we have to separate kids, family first will allow us to build a family support network to keep them rather than institution or a group home. that's the context for the conversation. let me ask you a couple questions. first lady edwards, governor bevin, you've put your reputations out on this, right? it's the least sexy of topics that you can pick. child welfare, things are bound to go wrong, the media stories are never about the good things you do in child welfare, it's always about what went wrong. we admire your leadership. what are you most proud of? first lady edwards, what are you most proud of in louisiana since you've stuck your neck out and said i'm behind kids and you
often talk about our kids. >> one of the things i'm most proud of is my husband john bell we had wards who said he would not tolerate cuts to dcfs. that one statement gave the caseworkers and all those people involved in that program gave them a little backbone and that really started the trickle down where more people were listens and gave them hope really because the caseworkers themselves we all know that they don't get paid enough and they do some amazing work and more hours than we can even imagine, but to give them work and really start equipping them with what they need through even more programming and things that help them, but, you know, that and the fact that we started our louisiana fosters website, we had two summits at the mansion to bring in people from all over the state to sit at the table and discuss what things check do to change and just starting that
dialogue. and that's what i'm most proud of. >> governor bevin? >> let me just say one thing to everybody that's in here. thank you for being here. for the governors sitting here, you had the option of walking out of the room and not paying attention to this. this isn't necessarily a sexy topic, theres no political constituency that's served by addressing this, most of the people we're talking about the vast majority of the children are completely ineligible to vote. i would?ity that there are a few less sexy things that you can address but we won't go there now. the bottom line is this is something that's got to be addressed. we have in america 450 some odd thousand children in the foster care system, it's a little more than 1% of our population and to your point if we can't find within ourselves the ability to come along side and be part of this solution, then we are not making a very valiant effort. all the things we wrestle with not the least of which is where we find funding for their
various programs they come at the expense of not fixing this issue at the front end and not wrapping around what you described in terms of early intervention is the wrapping around of a troubled situation, bringing the services that we always have but are not always well applied, they often are applied at the end of the funnel of trouble instead of at the top end. so i just am grateful to each and every one of you and i want to draw your attention to one thing before i forget there's at each one of the tables of governors and we have some more in the back of the room that will be given out is a one pager, just ten things that every governor and anybody who cares about this issue and any state role should know. they include things like how many kids are in your foster care system, what is the average wait time for someone to be adopted? you know, how many kids are aging out of your foster care system every year? just -- how many people are living with family in what's, you know, often referred to as kinship care or maybe something
else? how many such things exist in your states? if you don't know these ten basic things you're really failing to appreciate both the cost and opportunity cost. the one thing you mentioned and i will touch on real quick and we can move to the next topic. you mentioned the cost to society of these young people once they age out. the average young person who ages out of foster care at the age of 18 without having a permanent family will cost it's been estimated and i think it's probably conservative, more than $300,000 per person over the course of their life utilizing services that if we gave them the opportunity to be the solution and not the problem, could have been reversed. 34% of those who age out at the age of 18 lfd an adverse interaction with the criminal justice system by the time they are 19. 19 years old. for women and you alluded to it
is almost a statistical given that their lives will be taken advantage of, that they will be trafficked, abused, end up living in poverty as will their children. we are failing at a rate and to a degree that we cannot afford literally financially or otherwise, society alley, people alley, morally to fail. we can't afford it. it's a problem when it's 1% of our kids that they have the absolute capacity to resolve this and as a fraction of the price of actually fixing it once it's broken at the bottom. the final tiny thing i will mention that you alluded to and we talked about wrapping around and helping families, one thing i would challenge, it's not necessarily disagreeing with you but challenging the notion of there are some instances where the family, the biological family, is not the best solution for the child and the earlier and quicker and more
definitively and permanently that is determined in the development of that child the better for all concerned. so this, again, is maybe something we can talk about a bit more. >> we agree. we think there are times when that decision needs to be made early. it's not a perfect science, though. we have to work really hard at getting this right. and in those occasions we should also expand our search to extended family first before we go out. but you're right, there's plenty of room here for improvement, governor. thank you. sean, the governor and the first lady both set us up a little bit to talk about aging out teens and teens in the system. i mean, you captured this story so well in your movie, you introduce such humor. tell us about the teens. you've met some teens, right, you and your wife, you had some interactions in the system, you went on to be adopted parents of three siblings. >> yeah. >> where are we failing with our teens and why are we failing so
often? why is it that people are so afraid of our teenagers? >> well, that's the perfect question and i'm obviously not an expert, i'm a filmmaker, and an adoptive dad. >> you are a great storyteller. >> thank you. i'm also the only person here wearing jeans so that's -- >> the rest of us are jealous. >> that lowers the bar for my qualifications right there. but, no, the last thing that you said there, why are they afraid? and that's -- i can't even stress enough how huge that is. when you talk about all of these -- everything else that we're doing almost falls underneath that. people are afraid of kids in care. i was. my wife and i went to an adoption fair, you saw a little clip of a version of it that's in the movie, we did not want to go anywhere near the teenagers because we were scared and we just thought we're barely ready to be parents let alone be parents of a teenager. like as it happens in the movie,
we wound up meeting this 16-year-old girl who was -- you could just tell there was just something kind of amazing about her. we met her brother and sister and we with a lot of fear and trepidation we wrote them down on our sheet and we were mashed with them. in our true story that didn't come to fruition because those kids had been in care for about four years, they were very much holding out hope that their mom was still coming for them and they decided or refused -- because it was an adoptive placement and they decided to refuse the placement. they called us a short time later and said by the way there are these other three siblings and those are my kids who i love dearly and are the best thing that ever happened to me. when i came time to make the movie i wanted to of a story of a teenager in the movie because i knew where the need was there. so in order to tell that story honestly we sat down with a lot of families and a lot of kids and a lot of kids who are now grown who were adopted as teenagers and many of them became part of our film making
process. i guess the main message and i don't want to take up too much time, but anything in your individual pr efforts where you can get away from grim statistics and all of these things that -- that frighten people and just make people get feelings of pity and fear and trepidation when they think about these kids, any way that you can focus on story and let people tell their stories and let the kids tell their stories because when a kid comes out and tells -- who roots for a kid more or who roots for any character more than a child who is overcoming adversity and goes on to do great things. so any way -- you know, any chances you have to tell those stories and just make all of us less afraid of these kids, that will go a long way. >> thank you. let me switch this up a little bit. first lady edwards, when we were speaking in the green room you
spoke about your workforce and that's not a question we had planned to get into, but are you comfortable talking a little bit about the workforce? we have people on the front lines making tough risks, somet losing their entire career when things go wrong and we need our governors and our first ladies and our leaders to stand behind our workforce while demanding accountability and you've done a pretty incredible job in your state in driving that message forward. can you describe what you're doing and what you're seeing and are there things we should take away from it. >> i think when our governor put our secretary of department of children and family services in that position, that was a big move, because she had been in the system and been working with this for so many decades and so just she along brought so much, you know, to that office and so in that regard, so just dealing with the caseworkers and i mentioned it earlier but giving them what they need, training
that they need, you know, we're really -- so many of you heard of tbir training, training them but also, you know, helping them train other people dealing straight, you know, with a child whether it's a teacher, a person in a classroom, you know that everyday teacher doesn't understand the foster child maybe and in a room of 25 and thousand to deal with that child and how to be a support system for that child but teaching -- getting -- working with our caseworkers and really lifting them up in their profession i think we've been able to reduce the turnover from 23% to 13% just in two years so that's pretty big. >> to all of you, that's a stunning statistic in our field. [ applause ] thank you, thank you, mrs. edwards. thank you for being willing to stand behind the workforce because a strong workforce is the only way that we keep and support those kids and those foster parents. governor, you say a lot of interesting things but there are
some things you say that resonate with me. you have questioned government's ability to get the job done, in fact, there was -- i heard you say that, you know, why would we demand and insist government be the solution in this child welfare situation when it never has been and i was reminded of my first experience when i was appointed at children's village, i was so excited to bring my mom who has been my inspiration to see my new position, and she walked around the massive campus, 180, 200 acres right outside new york city, beautiful and we walked around and as we went home she said, son, that's terrible. do those kids actually grow up there? is that -- are you in charge of this? are you -- and she's the one that reminded me, she said, look, government and charity can never be a solution to this. you have private partners in
kentucky that you are working with. what are your expectations of them? >> it isn't -- the reality is government does have a role. everything i've said i do agree. they should be raised by family and not the government but government facilitates to reward this and something you touched on that you all have done in louisiana outstanding that we tried to do as well in my very first budget address gave publicly in my state of the commonwealth address raises to all the social workers and acknowledged them singled some out and invited them to be there, talked about their stories, why? because they are struggling. this is a thankless underpaid emotionally demanding job and they feel sometimes frustrated by the inaction of people in positions like ours. in acknowledging this and rewarding them and encouraging you asked about what kind of partnerships we look for. i'll brag on one not in our state because i've been amazed
by it. go into any jordan's furniture in new england and in massachusetts, you walk into this, a place that's well known up there, they have these amazing -- used to be books and now video displays of kids and you see kids that are just looking for a family to love them and you see their stories and you get a backdrop. these are people -- i don't know that government ever asked them to do it. i'll bet it didn't. this is a private company who took it upon themselves to say what is our role to be a good corporate citizen to stand in the gap and so we do have others, as well, in kentucky. one thing that i did as well, you made a great point about marketing and pr. we just elevate this, then the solution existing. it exists in this room and with everybody we know. it does. the reality is how is it that we make people aware of this situation? one thing i did when every one of us as governors once a year gets up and tells the people in
our state how it's going. it's usually us standing there and everyone trying to stake stay awake and wait till we're done and tell about good things and i'm knocking us a little -- these things tend to be fairly static. i showed a big picture on a screen while i was doing this and it showed a picture of a family, a mother and father and three kids and every one had a number on their t-shirt and their numbers ranked from 900 and some to some four-digit number and these were the number of days that these individuals had waited to get to resolution as it related to either their desire to adopt or their desire to be adopted. it was ridiculous. it was three to four years each and yet there was a 100% desire on both ends to make it happen. and this was kind of shocking and sobering to people but then i literally had that family come in wearing those t-shirts and walk right up onto the dais and take over my state of the commonwealth address and speak to the entire elected assembly
in the commonwealth of kentucky. do you think that had a pretty powerful impact on making this elevating it in awareness of the 138 men and women who will pass laws to make change? you bet. far more than anything i could have ever done in the next couple weeks after that, we passed one of the most comprehensive child care bills in the history of america. it's house bill 1 from 2018 in kentucky. look at it. it's not perfect like you mentioned. there is no perfect anything but there are things in it if you're not doing it i will encourage you to copy it. if you have ideas we can steal from you please tell us hb-1, 2018 is how you put this out and get things done and it breaks down the barriers of time so that we can get these kids to your point and the impetus of this question to the homes and not the institutions that will turn them into productive
citizens. >> great. so, all my prepared questions are gone because the governor and the first lady keep driving this conversation the way it should be. let's talk about storytelling and changing the narrative. governor bevin, you took a chance. you got those t-shirts printed. you elevated the discussion. sean, you're the storyteller. you bring this to life. you bring humor and reality together. what can we do more of? what are we missing here in telling the story because the media stories don't tell the story, right? they talk about things that do go wrong, often human tragedy that's scary. sometimes we are wrong, sometimes it's just something that we could not have controlled no matter how hard we worked together. things did go wrong. you know the system. what can we learn from you? you're the expert in storytelling? what do we need to hear from you? >> well, the stories around foster care tend to fall into
two baskets. either the grim, you know, you should do something because this is so terrible or they fall into the basket of sort of has that sort of rosy sheen of charity on it and things like seeing a real family in front of people, hearing their stories and more than anything, what i can't stress enough is involved former foster youth, foster alumni in whatever programs you have because when these kids go on to, you know, whether they do great things like play for the patriots or, you know, someone like tiffany haddish who can get up in front of the world and speak candidly, any time they can own their story, there's so much shame wrapped around these kids and any time they can own their story and just come out and say, you know what, i was in this situation through no fault of my own, i got passed around from family to family. i have issues to work out because of it. it made me stronger.
here's what i'm doing with my life now. it makes the kids believe, hey, i don't have to fall into the stereotype of this kid who is going to get lost in the gears of society and it makes equally as important it makes the general population see them differently and not be quite so afraid of them. if somebody -- so if you tell somebody, you know what, i've been -- i saw this movie called "instant family" and ininspired me to get involved in the foster care system instead of your friends and family saying, ooh, i don't know if that's a good idea that they might be more supportive. in fact, we were talking earlier one thing i've been saying all over the country, if you get pregnant and you go to a dinner party and tell people you're expecting, nobody goes, ooh, you think that's a good idea? that kid could grow up to steal your car? i don't know if you should do that but they just expect that the sky's the limit. just going to be nothing but ponies and rainbows yet in you
get involved in the system the first place people go to in their minds, oooh, trouble, trouble, trouble so anything we can do to thapg that through story and one other thing, the ad council, they've been working on new ads around foster care and they're doing great work. they're very compelling. like i saw one of them 30 seconds long. i was in tears by the time it was over so -- >> thank you. first lady edwards, you've done a lot of this work -- >> i wanted to add to that about the children and the young people presenting, so we started in 2017, louisiana institute of children families, a great group of people, louisiana started that off of the national group ccai, but to have these young people come during session and walk around and talk to our legislature and get in front of them and be on committees and talk about the aging out and raising it to 21 and it's a powerful -- you know, for them to speak of their own experiences, that is the seller. i mean, you know, for them to
say i've been in 20 different homes, and now, you know, i was handed to a blue folder and said, you know, here you are, it's been nice knowing you and you're out on the streets and after that time so for them to come and present that and talk to the people that make the decision is extremely powerful. >> well, speaking of which, we have a gentleman here, adrian macklemore. where are you at? we met him through the course of making the movie. he works for the nekc foundation and grew up in the foster care system and also in his home state of ohio he's part of a youth advisory board that is amazing that i think everybody could learn something from where they get foster alumni together to advise on all kinds of topics so feel free to chat him up. >> governor bevin, let me -- did you -- >> i was going to make one point. again, it sounds like these are repetitions on a thing.
my wife, the first lady started something called the fly lc which sounds kind of cool too and would work in every state because it's the first lady's youth leadership council but it comprised of exactly folks like this and one of the first things that was done is they said, we said to them what are we not doing from your perspective? the first two things they brought forward are now the law in kentucky which is and i'll bet it's the state -- the case in many of your states that kids in foster system without the approval of their birth parent who may or may not either choose to or be in a position to give permission for them to get a driver's license at 16 could not even be considered until they were an adult and these kids couldn't even get a driver's license. that's insane and i guarantee it's in a number of your states already. and for good intention but really no good reason. and so that was one of the first things they said is why can't we
drive? we can't get jobs? we can't have a life so they brought that forward. that was taken care of. fictive kin, google it up. we don't need to discuss it now other than to say it is not available in every state. it should be. in short measure it allows someone who is not family but a trusted coach or teacher or a neighbor or pastor to for a temporary period of time with no financial or legal specifically mandated responsibility be able to provide for that child on an interim basis while the parent might be on parole or going through rehab or what have you, the ability to stand in the gap and that and the driver's license bill have changed the lives of so many, it took nothing, you bring these kids in and have them talk to legislators and things get done. the other thing too about the voices, there's a guy, you named frank harshaw in kentucky owns a
large train dealership. he was a foster care kid. there's someone like him in every one of your states. find someone who has been there and been blessed like you have and risen up and done extraordinary things and have then in turn warranted to give back. give them the opportunity to do it. they will be great advocates and they will also find other folks back to your earlier question who can be partners in this. because the solutions are out there. we just need to empower people with the ability to get plugged in. this is 1% and some change of our entire population we can do this. >> good. we've got about ten minutes left. i want to jump off something you said, sean. and i want to ask you the question first, governor bevin then first lady edwards. you reminded us these kids don't come -- they come into care for due to no fault of their own but very quickly they get labelled as bad, as broken, as troublemakers. and we need to own some of that
because we are the ones that take them away from their family. governor bevin, you have a large inclusive family. you adopted, is it four. >> four. four of our nine children. >> four of your nine children. i know you make it easy. i watched you on videos. but, hey, look, i'm a parent of three. i know there is nothing easy with kids. what -- was there anything struckive in your -- and the first lady's experience as adoptive parents that would remind us that these kids are just normal kids that want to be loved unconditionally by at least one person, right? somebody to love them. talk to us about it and first lady, edwards, i want you to think about your own children and talk to us about what you do and what the governor does. >> i'll keep it tight and made me laugh at the beginning when you said people's response was to be afraid of teenagers. heck, if you've ever had a teenager doesn't matter whether they were born to you or not you
were probably afraid of them at some point or at least they wanted you to be. the bottom line it doesn't come with a ma'am whether born to you or adopted. the reality in some measure through adoption you have more ability to have an awareness of what's coming than when they're born to you, to your point. and so to that end what kis need is someone to love them. in short measure years ago more than ten years ago my wife and i tried to adopt a child out of the foster care system and to make a very long story short at the end of well over a year and multiple fingerprints and checking and home studies and inspections and thousands of dollars being sent all over the place, sometimes duplicative and sometimes because something expired and you had to go back and do it again because by the time the next -- it was insane and at the end of all of that we were told that, you know what, you already have five children that's enough because this child would be the sixth child and she wouldn't get enough attention. it's better for her to stay in the system. she was 11 years old. she had been in 14 homes.
she is an adult somewhere. it probably has not turned out well. there was no logic. this is the first political job i've ever had. i was nowhere near the political world but i remember at the time thinking how outrageous that a family that could take care of five would be deemed as unable to take care of six and that it's better for that child to end up with nothing as a result and i thought something should be done about it. this is it. we're it. you're it. i mean we can do something about this. at the end of the day and the final thing i'll say on this, is that, yes, nine is a lot. governor dewine is here. you have eight children i think. he knows a little about a lot as do others in the room. the bottom line is of course, it's a lot but having more children than hands which is three or more is the equivalent -- it's the parenting equivalent of terminal velocity.
it doesn't matter if you fall from 100,000 or a thousand you hit a certain speed that's it. once you have more children than hands you are there. the only thing that will really change in your life with absolute certainty is what you drive and the cool factor of what you drive will go down rapidly. that said, nothing else really changes so it's 100% doable. and i would say this in closing, if you are not in a position to adopt or you are not in a position to foster, you know somebody that you could come alongside and help with an encouraging word, with a meal prepared, with an offer to be their backup so they can have a date night with the ability to say, listen, i notice you got three kids that the ages of mine were three years ago, i got a closet full of stuff why don't you come over, little simple stuff. this is so easily fixed if we all actually get engaged so my point is, is it a lot? sure. and let me just finally say the
true secret to me making it look easy is because of my wife. let's be completely honest about it. i get to make it look easy. she's the mother of nine children, got bless her but be part of the solution. >> how many points does he get for that? that's a lot of points. >> one point speaking of teenagers, until our oldest turned 20 a couple months ago, i had six -- seven teenagers in our house at one time, some born to us some not. six of them were girls so i'm just saying, it can be done. can be done. >> we all aspire to be like governor bevin but first lady edwards, every time i hear you speak, you describe children in foster care as our children. >> they are ours. >> you never forget to do that. talk to us about that. why is it so important to you to capture that image? >> because they are our children. you know, you were talking about the people that can wrap themselves around it.
you know, at any given time we have over 4,000 children in foster care in our state and i always say we have over 4,000 churches and at every church would recruit one family within that church and then one family wrap themselves around that child, we could do amazing things. we have a group in new orleans called crossroads nola and their church is using the faith based community and starting to duplicate this all across our state but they're recruiting families within the church and then the church wraps themselves around, you know, that family who is the adoptive family but some other programs, open table is doing some remarkable things in our state within the church and so getting people to wrap themselves around those foster parents and giving them the help and support they need. that's a big plus. that's -- especially when you have as many as you do but just to encourage one of the things that came out of our sum and our website, louisiana foster.org
was to have a place, a networking place where we have wonderful nonprofit groups, go bags, we spell it different, geaux. and braveheart, they're doing amazing things by collecting things in a bag where that child is taken and have a bag of goods they can take with them. just but networking and letting everybody know these things are available. that's what we wanted to do with the louisiana fosters is have a place where everybody can go and say, how can i help? i can't foster a child but i can help with resources or tutoring or help with some lessons of little league or dance but everybody can be a part of this equation. they just have to find out where they fit. >> thank you. >> we've got three mens left. let's take a minute each. sean, what is the takeaway? what's the takeaway? how do we change this? >> one other thing i wanted to mention we're working on with a group of foster alumni.
we're creating for lack of a better word a logo like a pride logo we will roll out. we'll try to really bring this thing nationwide and hopefully worldwide. right now kids in care, they carry a lot of shame. a lot of neatless shame and they are so strong, they're so tenacious, they are so resilient and they never get credit for these things that unfortunately come from a difficult place that when you are, you know, battling against great odds you also cultivate great qualities that you should be able to be proud of. so -- [ applause ] >> thank you. i want to talk to you about this for sure. thank you, all of you who are here to talk about it but we want to bring this out so that kids can have something on a hat, on a t-shirt, on, you know, wherever and a conversation piece so instead of being ashamed of who they are, that they can say, no, this
represents, you know, where i come from and i'm not ashamed of it and happy to tell you my story. >> thank you. governor bevin, 30 seconds then we'll give mrs. edwards a minute. >> i would simply say this again, thank you for being here. you are the solution. if you think nothing can be done about this, you're right. i beg to differ and i think we can do something about it and i think we will. i would simply say this, we are pouring all in in kentucky. we're happy to share anything that we are doing with any of you and we're happy to learn anything that you would like to share with us. this year in 2019 in kentucky every one of you governors and every first spouse will be invited to come to summits that will involve a whole lot of people that you know from the world that you come from who care about this and are pouring in. that will be an attraction in some measure but there are people who want to see solutions to trafficking and adoption and foster care needs. we're going to be having a number of summits and meetings in kentucky. we want every governor to come. please, you will find it time
well spent. we will be concentrated this this effort in the bottom line is, let's just get out there and fix it and thank you so much for having this panel. >> one of the things i failed to mention was our -- qpi was started. instead of piloting the program it was done statewide which has been a game changer. and so that's been so helpful. one of the things i said, our children, the foster children are our children. they are our future. if we don't invest in these children, our children, then we're not investing in our future so it's just a no-brainer so excited to be a part of this movement and elevating the conversation and making it less intimidating especially when it comes to teenagers and really just bringing the awareness and educating people on the whole -- >> i think you just did. >> thank you. thank you, everyone. [ applause ] >> thank you. >> good job. >> awesome.
♪ c-span 3 live on capitol hill for a hearing on prescription drug prices. it's being held by the senate finance committee. testifying today the ceos of major pharmaceutical companies at the witness table including astrazeneca, bristol-myers squibb, merck, johnson & johnson and pfizer. iowa senator chuck grassley there, the chair of the finance committee, the ranking member is ron wyden of oregon.