FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Laura Major
Email [email protected]
Phone 602-710-1135 x702
GOVERNOR DUCEY SIGNS BILL MODERNIZING ARIZONA CHILD PROTECTION SYSTEM
Reforms focus on teens, children with disabilities, and drug-exposed infants
PHOENIX, ARIZONA, April 27, 2019 – Yesterday, Governor Doug Ducey signed HB2378, legislation to improve learning for children in foster care with special education needs, streamline the adoption process for older teens, and provide new fatality data on the rising number of infant victims of drug abuse.
The legislation, sponsored by Representative Nancy Barto (R – LD15), provides critical updates to Arizona’s child protection system to better provide for innocent children of all ages, needs, and abilities. The bill was drafted by Generation Justice. 2378 makes the following critical updates:
1. Removes the barrier that prevents foster children with disabilities - about half of the foster care population - from obtaining special education services in public schools;
2. Streamlines the adoption process for teens by half, reducing the time to adoption from a year to six months, getting children into families, faster;
3. Requires the Department of Child Safety to track outcomes of the drug-exposed infants sent home by the department without legal protections or court oversight.
Representative Barto celebrated the passage of HB2378 saying, “I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with Generation Justice and my colleagues across the state to improve safety and opportunity for the children in Arizona’s foster care system. More than half of these children need special education services, and this reform ensures that they’ll receive the classroom help they need. The reforms also take an important first step in requiring the state to report on the outcomes for the thousands of drug-exposed infants born in Arizona.”
Through policy changes and its pro bono Children’s Law Clinic, Gen Justice is fighting to mend the broken child protection system and bring a permanent end to innocent children suffering violence. We are a 501c(3) charity and a recipient of GuideStar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency. Gen Justice is also a Qualified Foster Care Charitable Organization under Arizona law. Arizona taxpayers may receive an income tax credit for donations to Generation Justice up to $1,000.