STATEHOUSE (Feb. 20, 2018) – A bill authored by State Sen. Jon Ford (R-Terre Haute) that would require the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) to enact a foster parent bill of rights passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives by a vote of 94-0.
“After meeting with foster parents and DCS last summer, it was clear that collaboration and open communication is needed between the two groups,” Ford said. “This bill will facilitate that conversation and will result in a foster parent bill of rights. Foster parents put an incredible amount of time and love into the children they foster, and they need to be informed of their rights within the child welfare system.”
Senate Enrolled Act 233 would require DCS to form a working group made of current foster parents, child-placing agencies and other individuals and organizations with expertise in foster care services. The group would develop and update a statement of the rights and responsibilities of a foster parent. DCS would also be required to develop a plan to distribute to current and prospective foster parents, and make the document available to the public on the department’s website.
Kristi Cundiff, Administrator and CEO of Indiana Foster and Adoptive Parents Resource and Advocacy Group, Inc. (IFAAP), thanked the General Assembly for moving this bill forward.
“IFAAP is extremely grateful for the support received from the Indiana Senate and House of Representatives,” Cundiff said. “We thank Sen. Ford for authoring this bill – this the first step in better communication between DCS and foster parents in Indiana.”
SEA 233 will now be considered by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
A high-resolution photo of State Sen. Jon Ford is available by clicking here.