Friday, May 06, 2005

HB 511: Rights of a Foster Child

H.B. 511, P.N. 549 (MUNDY) This would create the Foster Children Rights Act.
A foster child would have the right to be treated with fairness, dignity, and respect, to be free from discrimination, harassment, corporal punishment, unreasonable restraint, and abuse (be it physical, sexual, emotional, or other), to live in a safe, healthy and comfortable home, to be properly nourished, to be provided clean and appropriate clothing, to receive medical, dental, behavioral, mental health, and abuse and addiction services as needed, to be free from unreasonable searches of belongings and mail (including electronic mail), to contact and visit family members consistent with the family service plan (if not prohibited by court order), to participate in religious services of the child’s preference if this can be reasonably accommodated, to have the child’s culture maintained and reflected if this can be reasonably accommodated, to receive appropriate education, to receive age-appropriate work and job skills to prepare for independent living if this can be reasonably accommodated, to attend court hearings relevant to the child’s case, to be allowed to receive and contribute to the family service plan if the child is 14 years old or older, to have confidentiality as consistent with law, to receive preferred placement with kin or a previous foster parent if this in the child’s best interest and needs, to exercise appropriate parental decision making over a foster child’s own child if the foster child has a child, and to confidentially contact the Public Welfare Department with complaints about alleged violations of these rights. Each foster child and foster parent would be provided with a copy of these rights by the agency providing foster services.


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