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Fleming supports bill that legally defines kinship caregivers

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Today, Jan. 23, the House Chamber passed House Bill 1064 which will now go to the Senate for consideration. The bill will expand the legal definition of a foster parent to include both licensed and unlicensed kinship caregivers. House Bill 1064 also will update the Department of Child Services (DCS) proceedings for medical treatment records and adoption subsidies. 

State Rep. Rita Fleming (D- Jeffersonville) released the following statement celebrating the passage of House Bill 1064: 

“First, I would like to thank Rep. Dale DeVon for authoring this bill, and I’m grateful that he’s continued to raise awareness for the needs of our kinship caregivers. Our caregivers take in their relatives’ children at their most vulnerable – often with no prior planning. Many are retired grandparents who’ve taken in their grandchildren due to overdose addiction. I’m also asking that the state and local entities consider using the state’s opioid settlement funding to support our kinship caregivers. Caregivers should benefit from these funds since our children have been greatly impacted by the substance abuse crisis. 

“Within the past year, I’ve met with many caregivers who’ve shared their experiences. The common similarity is the significant legal and financial barriers they face in our state’s child welfare system. Our kinship caregivers are essential to the well-being of our youth, and they deserve our support. I’m thankful that we passed this bill for consideration in the Senate. This is the first step towards increasing support for our kinship caregivers, and I hope the momentum continues.”

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