Washington State Sen. Pam Roach (R-rural Auburn) has submitted Senate Bill 5653 requiring more detailed information on foster parents.
"We have many wonderful people who give of their time and resources to be foster parents for many troubled and fragile children," said Roach. "But sometimes the foster parent might not possess the skills, attitude, or background needed to appropriately care for our state's at-risk children."
In support of Senate Bill 5653 and other legislation, Senator Roach is planning a families first rally on Feb. 5 in the Capitol Rotunda at noon.
"As citizens, we are all responsible for the care of foster children," Roach said. "While some step forward to unselfishly do the job, we all must be confident that proper care will be given these precious children."
Roach's proposal would require the department to maintain foster care information, including any record of misdemeanor or felony convictions, educational attainment, employment history, and marital or domestic partnership history. This information will be available for public review upon request.
"The public should have access to basic information concerning the pool of individuals who have been approved for out-of-home placement," said Roach.
"While there are many good foster parent/child relationships, we hear in the news almost weekly of abuse that occurs within the foster care system," she said. "All providers should be screened, and we know the current screening is too minimal and also closed to public scrutiny."