The Texas Legislature’s 2015 session has reached the stage where important policy decisions are being made, and today, we were very pleased to see SB1407 pass the full Senate.
Sponsored by Senator Charles Schwertner, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, SB1407 will achieve the long overdue goal of implementing normalcy for youth in foster care by allowing foster parents to be parents. The bill establishes a “reasonable and prudent” parent standard to guide decision-making by foster parents and affords liability protection for decisions made within the scope of that standard. Our advocacy partner, Texas CASA, has done an outstanding job of leading efforts to develop and advance this important bill with our help.
When the bill was heard in committee, several young adults who had recently aged out of the foster care system were the star witnesses, including Michael Whitley, a participant in our BeREAL Austin program! Michael and the other resilient and inspiring young adults who testified made a compelling case for this legislation, and we are excited for the bill’s progress.
On to the House of Representatives we go – stay tuned for further progress reports on this and other important policy issues!