MTPR

foster care

The big state budget bill landed on Governor Steve Bullock’s desk Monday, one of the final acts of the 2017 legislative session, which was gaveled to a close Friday.

MTPR’s Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney joins us for a look at what Montana lawmakers did and didn’t accomplish since convening in January.

Bill Would Give Foster Children More Say In Planning Their Future

Feb 13, 2017
Helena resident Lina Havron shared a story of a foster child named Charlie during testimony on the bill Monday.
Freddy Monares

Lawmakers in Helena are considering a bill that would allow foster children over the age of 14 to be involved in the planning process about their living situation as they age out of foster care.

Rep. Kim Dudik, D - Missoula
Mike Albans

A new bill would give Montana’s Child and Family Services Division more time to informally resolve child abuse cases before they are referred to the courts.

If passed, the bill would provide additional funding  for a child abuse pilot project passed by the legislature in 2015.

Montana Capitol, Helena
Mike Albans

Today, a so-called Bill of Rights for kids in foster care and the parents that take care of them got its first hearing in the state legislature. Although guidelines outlining those rights already exist now, they’re just administrative policy and not a part of state law.

The Protect Montana Kids Commission listening to stories of child abuse, abandonment and neglect
Corin Cates-Carney

Montana’s child protection system is in dire straits. The number of kids entering foster care has skyrocketed and caseworkers are overwhelmed. Last year, 14 children died across the state despite reports of abuse being made to authorities.

A house bill set to be heard on Thursday morning aims to help.

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