VIRGINIA SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSES STUDENTS FOR LIFE-BACKED FOSTER CARE REFORM
Virginia recently flipped to a slim majority of pro-choice, Democrats. Democrats control both the House of Delegates, the Senate, and the executive branch, including the Governor’s office.
But last week, something amazing happened–the Virginia Senate passed, 40-0, legislation to speed up the foster care program. S.B. 501, which was written with the help of Students for Life Action and introduced by Republican state senator Bryce Reeves, would allow the state to approve more people to be home study inspectors; these people conduct the background checks on prospective foster care and adoptive parents.
Recently, the legislation even added a Democratic sponsor–state senator Jen Boysko.
Writing in Washington Times, Kristan Hawkins wrote, “Expanding the home study process would not harm children and would not make it more likely for abusive parents to slip through the cracks. The Virginia State Board of Social Services can still set the standards for a home study inspector and ensure that all inspectors are following the same protocol in addition to the unique experiences and training that a former doctor, nurse, teacher or law enforcement officer would bring to the job. However, passing this legislation will speed up the home study process, allowing children to be placed with loving foster and adoptive families faster than ever before. This is already the standard in seven states, where the state can license any individual, in theory, to conduct home studies. Alabama, a state frequently attacked for the passage of the Human Life Protection Act bill this spring, recently was able to speed up its foster care adoption placement system. According to the Alabaman Department of Human Resources, anyone hired by the government entity can become trained and approved to conduct home studies, and they have a mix of licensed and unlicensed social workers.
Students for Life Action has lobbied to support S.B. 501, including meeting with staff members, calling, and writing e-mails to support the legislation.
The legislation now moves into the House of Delegates