House unanimously passes Rep. Hargrove’s bill to help foster children
Rep. Mark Hargrove's bill to speed up the termination of parental rights for some children who have been in foster care for at least one year unanimously passed in the House today.
Instead of waiting for the normal 15 months of out-of-home care to pass for a child whose parents have had no contact with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) or service providers, House Bill 1800 would require filing a termination petition after 12 months.
“I strongly value parental rights,” said Hargrove, R-Covington. “But when it is clear that a child's birth parents have no interest in reunification, we need to more quickly enable that child to find a permanent, loving home with their foster or other adoptive parents. With a typical stay in foster care lasting 33 months, this is a small, but important step in the right direction for the stability and well-being of these children.”
The proposal was approved unanimously in the House Early Learning and Human Services Committee on Feb. 17. With today's House approval, the bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration. The 2015 session is scheduled to adjourn April 26.
###Washington State House Republican Communications