TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Foster parents say the state has taken a big first step in protecting kids with the completion of a Foster Parent Bill of Rights.
Indiana lawmakers passed a bill last session that required a group create the bill of rights. Senate Enrolled Act 223 was authored by State Senator Jon Ford.
Senator Ford said of the Foster Parent Bill of Rights completion, “I am proud Indiana now has a Foster Parent Bill of Rights. Foster parents selflessly take in the most vulnerable children in our state and deserve our full support every step of the way.”
The Foster Parent Bill of Rights is made up of five articles: Communication, Safety and Privacy, Support, Collaboration, and Respect.
Foster mom and advocate Kristi Cundiff says she is excited about the progress. Cundiff is the CEO of the Indiana Foster and Adoptive Parent Resources and Advocacy Group. She was one of the people who worked to create the Foster Parent Bill of Rights.
"It will give foster parents their expectation of what we need from them but it will also give the Department of Child Services the expectation of what foster parents need and how they can be supported by the department."
Cundiff says the bill of rights gives foster parents a voice and will be a much needed communication tool for working with the Department of Child Services.
Now, she says the work continues.
"We look to the representatives and we look to the senators to pass legislation that will back what is in the Foster Parent Bill of Rights."
Lawmakers will consider twelve new bills this coming session dealing with foster children.
The Foster Parent Bill of Rights can be found here.