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Testimony: Foster Parents Statements of Rights and Responsibilities Amendment Act of 2016

Senior Policy Attorney Damon King testified before the DC Council’s Committee on Health and Human Services regarding the “Foster Parents Statements of Rights and Responsibilities Amendment Act of 2016.” The bill requires the District’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) to establish a Statements of Rights and Responsibilities for foster parents. It also requires CFSA to develop an implementation plan for the dissemination of the Statements of Rights and Responsibilities and procedures for receiving and handling complaints made by foster parents.

In his testimony, Damon expressed support for the bill and highlighted the shortage of foster parents for DC’s foster care system, which limits CFSA’s ability to match children with the foster parents who are best equipped to care for them and meet their needs.

While CFSA has set important goals to address this issue, Damon stated:

… [I]f we are to build the type of foster care system that consistently meets the needs of all children who come into care, we cannot only focus on the number of new foster homes we add or the model of foster care we employ. We must also look at how we can ensure that foster parents feel fully supported in their interactions with the agency. This is an important part of equipping foster parents to care for their foster children, and also, of ensuring that the agency retains the foster parents it recruits.

Click below to read his full testimony.