The Senate sent a bill to the governor’s desk Thursday that aims to reform Indiana’s foster care system.
The legislation changes how foster parents interact with both the Department of Child Services and the court system.
And Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) says there was a lot of input.
“I appreciate the collaborative effort of the Department of Child Services, stakeholders, members of this caucus, members of the House and the juvenile judges,” Houchin says.
Among the changes: if a child is with foster parents for at least 12 months, those parents now have a voice in court proceedings and get priority placement if the child re-enters the system.
The measure also requires DCS and the courts to report to the General Assembly next year on progress in getting foster parents more involved in child welfare cases.