Legislation expedites approval of foster care homes

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Legislation expedites approval of foster care homes

CREATED Jan. 18, 2013

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The process to become a foster parent in Arizona could become quicker, that is, if a new piece of legislation being introduced in the legislature is passed.

House Bill 2074, is being sponsored by Representative Warren Petersen (R-Gilbert) along with other lawmakers including Rep. Ethan Orr (R-Tucson).

"I see this bill as more of a conversation starter, what's going on at Child Protective Services is an absolute nightmare, in my mind it's unacceptable and so what I would like to do is use this bill to start the conversation," he said.

The new rules would expedite the certification process of foster homes to no more than fourteen days if you meet these requirements:

- Have a credit score of at least 720

- An annual income of $80,000

- Married for at least ten years

- Have no criminal record

- Have raised a child to the age of the child you with to foster.

We asked Rep. Orr whether this was a fair system?

"[I'm] willing to look at changing those criteria, but if you have a process you have to have a criteria, and have something down on paper," he said.

Yvette Jackson, director of operations with Devereux Arizona, an agency that provides foster care services -- says she was surprised by the proposed requirements.
"As a social worker that makes me nervous, I want to know more about a person than their income to determine whether or not they are going to keep our children safe," she said.

But [she] says at least it's a start to addressing the bigger problem.

"We have to really impact this in a holistic way and attack this problem, there are so many layers to increasing foster families, and I think this is an effort to do that," she said.