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Politics

Information Available on New Foster Care Law

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/informatio_610.mp3

A new booklet is available to help parents and caregivers understand Missouri's new foster care law. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

THE LAW MAKES NUMEROUS CHANGES TO THE STATE'S CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM.

TO HELP MISSOURIANS SORT THROUGH THE CHANGES, THE NON-PARTISAN ADVOCACY GROUP CITIZENS FOR MISSOURI'S CHILDREN HAS PUBLISHED A BOOKLET EXPLAINING HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS.

RUTH EHRESMAN IS THE POLICY DIRECTOR FOR THE GROUP.

THE BOOKLET INCLUDES A GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND A CHART SHOWING WHO MAKES DECISIONS ABOUT CHILD CUSTODY AND WELFARE.

IT ALSO INCLUDES INFORMATION ON HOW MISSOURI RANKED IN FOURTEEN CATEGORIES OF CHILD WELFARE ACCORDING TO THE CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES REVIEW.

EHRESMAN SAYS IT'S NOT SURPRISING THAT MISSOURI FAILED IN NINE OF THE FOURTEEN CATEGORIES.

THE BOOKLET ALSO GIVES STATISTICS ON THE NUMBER OF CALLS MADE TO THE STATE'S ABUSE AND NEGLECT HOTLINE, SEEKING TO DISPELL SOME OF THE MYTHS THAT SOME PARENTS MAY HAVE ABOUT THE WAY THE STATE HANDLES HOTLINE CALLS.

BUT MANY PARENTS SAY THEY DO HAVE LEGITIMIATE GRIPES ABOUT HOW INVESTIGATIONS INTO HOTLINE CALLS.

EHRESMAN SAYS SHE'S SYMPATHETIC TO THOSE PARENTS.

THE POLICY BRIEF ALSO OUTLINES THE ROLE OF PRIVATE AGENCIES AND CHILDREN'S SERVICES WORKERS UNDER THE NEW LAW.

EHRESMAN SAYS EVEN THOUGH THE LAW IS NOW IN PLACE, IT DOESN'T MEAN THE WORK OF IMPROVING THE SYSTEM IS COMPLETE.

IF YOU WANT TO READ INFORMATION ON THE STATE'S CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM PRODUCED BY THE NON-PARTISAN GROUP CITIZENS FOR MISSOURI'S CHILDREN, IT'S AVAILABLE ONLINE AT MOKIDS.ORG.