Arizona foster care measure advances

Arizona

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PHOENIX – The Arizona House of Representatives has advanced a crucial piece of legislation that will alleviate the backlog in the placement of the more than 14,000 children in our state awaiting transition to foster homes. SB1108 (foster home licensure; immunizations) will provide Arizona with the flexibility to place the state’s foster children with qualified foster families.

 

The need for the legislation, co-sponsored by District 1 Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Peoria), arose when Ms. Lesko learned of the dilemma of a constituent couple. They had decided to not immunize their children after their oldest suffered a severe medical reaction to a vaccination series. They later inquired about becoming foster parents and were told to not bother if they were not going to fully vaccinate their biological children.

The bill will provide the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) with the authority to grant parents who have chosen to not vaccinate their own children with state foster home licensure. It will allow DES to decide, on a case by case basis, where a foster child can be placed based on the best interests of the child.

“This is another prime example of how a constituent’s issue can be efficiently solved by the collaboration between my House and Senate Colleagues. I’m very pleased to help accelerate the transition of children out of crisis ridden foster care and into loving homes.” stated Rep. Lesko.

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