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Foster Care Qualifications Considered
Sen. Gelser is not done tinkering

Senator Sara Gelser (D-Corvallis) thinks she has some . The question first came to light in the 2018 session when she attempted to make an amendment to SB 1540 to allow 13-year-olds legal consensual sex.

Now Senator Gelser has introduced SB 562 allowing foster kids to be placed in unstable questionable homes under the care of individuals of any age or orientation.

The Oregon Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Division currently has age requirements for certification to become a foster parent. For certification an individual is required to be 21 years of age, unless there is a tribal or relative relationship where an exception can be granted for those between the ages of 18-21.

SB 562 prohibits disqualifying individuals from providing child welfare services based on certain characteristics: (a) For the sole reason that the individual received child welfare services as a child or youth; (b) For the sole reason that the individual is a person with a disability; or (c) On the basis of race, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression or disability.

When children can’t remain in their home safely, they are already traumatized. SB 562 shifts the focus from the best interest of the child to unrelated anti-discriminatory rights of unrelated adults that have no vested interest in the child. Foster children need stable homes that don’t complicate their lives with adult issues. That should be the focus.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The bill also codifies state policy on preventing retaliation when individuals report adverse experiences within the child welfare system: "It is the policy of this state that a child, ward or youth may not be prohibited from, disciplined for or retaliated against for publicly or privately speaking about the child, ward or youth’s experience receiving child welfare services."

Senator Gelser testified that there is no current policy that a child can’t talk, so this appears to be a preventive measure -- creating a problem to be fixed.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-02-22 10:06:44Last Update: 2021-02-22 11:34:33



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