Reform to help missing foster children receives unanimous support
HEADS TO ARIZONA GOVERNOR DOUG DUCEY FOR SIGNATURE
April 28, 2021
PHOENIX – Senate Bill 1019, sponsored by Arizona Sen. Nancy Barto, today passed the Arizona legislature unanimously and heads to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey for signature. The legislation adds a critical safeguard for Arizona’s foster children by making photo identification cards free for all children in state care.
“20,000 foster children disappear every year. I was shocked to learn how often photographs weren’t available to assist law enforcement in their searches,” said Rebecca Masterson, Gen Justice Chief Counsel. “Arizona unanimously recognized that this is unacceptable.”
Because a majority of missing foster children disappear from group homes, SB1019 requires Arizona group homes to obtain a state ID for all children in their care. If a child goes missing, the child’s photo and identifying information can immediately be uploaded to state and federal databases so the child can be found.
The law also makes a photo ID card free for any child in foster care. A foster family or kinship provider can now get the child in their care photograph identification free of charge, no matter the age of the child.
Gen Justice CEO, Darcy Olsen, said, “Most trafficked kids in America are from foster care. Law enforcement told us they needed photographs to fix this, so that’s what we did. Now, if a child goes missing from care, our officers have the tools they need.”
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