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​Children’s Advocates Worry over Possible Changes to Kansas Foster Care

A state legislative committee is meeting today to review foster care policies and that is causing concern among some child welfare advocates that the state will stop placing children with gay couples and unmarried people. House Democrat Jim Ward thinks the foster care program under Governor Sam Brownback is suffering partly because of ideological bias.

“Denying the ability to be foster families because you don’t like who a person lives with or how they’re married or whether they’re part of the faith-based network, that’s problematic.” Ward said. “That’s going to reduce the number of available foster families and create a crisis for the children who need them.” DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed says the review will cover a wide range of topics but says no decision has been made on changes to the criteria used to approve foster homes. “We’re in the process of reviewing the entire licensing program to determine areas for improvement.” Freed said. “Our goal is to provide greater safety and well-being for children and so, no decisions have been made.” Children’s welfare advocates say a decision to stop placing abused and neglected children with gay or unmarried couples would worsen the shortage of available foster families. 

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