A change in state policy to expedite placing children eligible for foster care with families or loved ones was approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee Monday.
“This legislation will help keep Idaho family together even though times have become very difficult,” said Rep. Sharon Block, R-Twin Falls, who worked on the legislation that received a 68-0 vote in the House March 5. The changes could help the Department of Health and Welfare place children in new homes within 48 hours, and would put family members at the top of the list for placement, followed by non-relatives with a significant relationship with the child. Foster care would be the third option.
“I think this is an answer to their prayers,” said Georgia Mackey with the Idaho Kincare Coalition, which advocates for relatives that are raising children.
Senators on the committee supported the effort unanimously. “God bless you to all those grandparents willing to take on care of your grandchildren,” said Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d’Alene. “It is a very difficult task.”