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Reported Plan Requiring Foster Care Couples to Marry Raises Concerns

Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Carr Kittel (KIT-el) is raising questions about possible changes to the state’s foster care program. As Heartland Health Monitor’s Jim McLean reports, the judge is concerned the state may soon require foster-care couples to be married.

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Judge Kittel outlined her concerns in a letter to officials at the Kansas Department of Children and Families. She says requiring all couples providing foster to marry…would reduce the number of foster homes at a time when there are near record numbers of children in the system.   Representative Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican, has similar concerns. She says they’re based on reports she’s getting from people who work in the foster care system.   D-C-F Spokesperson Theresa Freed confirms the agency is conducting a top-to-bottom review of the foster care program. But she says no decisions have been made on new policies.   “We are in the early stages of conducting a long and thorough process of review and deliberation of the program,” said Freed.   The changes being discussed are said to be a part of Governor Sam Brownback’s ongoing efforts to use state policy to promote marriage.   I’m Jim McLean.


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