A new Bill of Rights would protect the rights of Foster Parents. State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier participated in remote formal session for the House of Representatives on Thursday. She joined her colleagues in voting to pass H.4841 An Act relative to accountability for vulnerable children and families.

The Foster Parent Bill of Rights offers a range of protections for foster parents, such as:

• Anti-discrimination protections
• Greater confidentiality
• Training
• More information on the child prior to placement and the opportunity to provide helpful information after placements
• Increased transparency from DCF on reviews, funding resources, and removals
• Involvement in the child’s plan creation

Under the bill, foster parents would be treated as a respected member of the team…

I couldn’t be happier to have now in statute the fact that foster parents will be treated as a respected member of the professional team. Those that open their hearts and their homes to our most vulnerable children are the very core of the child welfare system and just like with anyone else, if you want to recruit and retain them, they need to have positive experiences. Sadly, that is not usually the case. ~ Representative Farley-Bouvier

 

It’s a win for all foster parents across Massachusetts and for the future of the Department of Children and Families. Especially in this time era of COVID when significantly more strain is being placed on foster families, it is incredibly important to do all we can to retain them.

Foster parents are a crucial part of the Department of Children and Family and deserve to be protected. Passage of the bill by the House of Representatives is the first step towards both protecting and retaining foster parents in Massachusetts.