In response to a second round of proposed amendments to regulations on foster home licensing, policy director Sharra Greer submitted comments on behalf of Children’s Law Center. Many of CLC’s concerns carry over from the first round of proposals and echo comments submitted at that time. These next comments also urge broader reform to truly facilitate placing foster children with kin, an important goal that offers more opportunity for children to succeed in both the short and long term. Suggestions include:
- Remove the “exigent circumstances” requirement, which limits the situations in which DC’s Child and Family Services Agency can expedite the licensing process for kin caregivers
- List licensing factors that can be considered “non-safety” requirements, which can sometimes be waived when placing children in a kin caregiver’s home, and add a timeline for making decisions about waivers
- Develop a separate licensing process for foster parents who already serve as “lifelong connections” for youth 18 to 20 years old
- Eliminate the proposed requirement for kin seeking temporary licenses to obtain a lead-based paint certificate and rely on existing regulations which require a certificate for foster parents seeking permanent licenses
- Reject a proposed change that would lessen visitation requirements for social workers by allowing visits from other personnel to satisfy the current visitation requirement
Read the complete comments (PDF).