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Bill Would Create A New Type Of Foster Home In Kansas

A bill in the Kansas Legislature would create a new class of foster homes. They would have to be heterosexual couples married at least seven years, with no tobacco or alcohol in the home, and they would have to attend a regular social gathering like church. The families would be paid more than other foster care providers.

Republican state Sen. Forrest Knox, who is a licensed foster parent, says the foster care system in Kansas needs some changes. He believes these requirements will provide the best environment for kids.

“Every single one is aimed at the situation these children find themselves in and trying to help them to overcome that and find security,” says Knox.

Knox now says he’s willing to back off the increased pay the families would receive and just rely on people volunteering for the job.

Democratic Sen. Pat Pettey raised concerns that this creates a tiered system where some homes are perceived as better than others. She also has concerns that the new type of foster homes would only need to meet Knox’s specified rules, not all the same requirements of a regular foster home.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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