Summers bill to keep Hoosier children out of the foster care system passes out of Indiana House

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INDIANAPOLIS – Earlier today, State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) successfully passed her kinship care bill out of the Indiana House of Representatives. The proposal would establish a Kinship Care Oversight Committee to investigate all aspects of kinship care in Indiana by studying relevant data and providing recommendations to the state’s Department of Child Services (DCS).

The legislation passed out of the House and now heads to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.

A kinship caregiver is a person who suddenly takes the responsibility of providing full-time care to a child, in most cases being a family member like an aunt, uncle or grandparent.

“This legislative body often cites the decrease in the number of children in need of government assistance,” Summers said. “However, what most fail to realize is that this is, in part, due to kinship care and those special family members assuming responsibility of children who would otherwise end up in our foster care system.

“I am thrilled to see this legislation pass out of the House today, and believe this is a great step forward to help mend some of the difficulties that come with kinship caregiving. The Kinship Care Oversight Committee will help determine the needs of this community by gathering data and forming policy recommendations that will lead to keeping more Hoosier families together and fewer children in our foster care system.”

This isn’t the first time that Summers or House Democrats have successfully addressed issues related to kinship care in Indiana. Last year, Summers authored House Bill 1249 that requires DCS to submit an annual report to the Indiana General Assembly detailing the practices and partnerships developed by the Indiana Kinship Care Navigator Program to assist Indiana caregivers.

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