For the Children: Lawmakers Work With Foster Care Alumnus to Make Policy

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By Oklahoma Institute for Child
Advocacy CEO Joe Dorman

The legislative session is moving quickly,  and lawmakers are now busy working in their assigned committees to sort through relevant bills and resolutions. I am pleased to say that our legislators have filed many bills that seek to directly impact and improve child well-being. In fact, two of those bills have been the result of a collaboration between elected officials and one of our OICA advocates, a young man who is an alumnus of the foster care system in Oklahoma.  

The first of those is House Bill 2331, which proposes the creation of the Families Actively Made for Independent-Living-Aged Youth (FAMILY) Act.  The FAMILY Act would help keep siblings in foster care together by assisting with the additional pay for those with therapeutic needs and providing the same payment for those without the need for additional support.  The bill would also create the Children Belong with Families Act, which creates a division under the Department of Human Services (DHS) to aid in decreasing the amount of homeless youth in the state.  This has become a growing problem in recent years and the hope is that early intervention will help reduce the percentages with homelessness.

 

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