Progress slowly reveals hope for foster children in need

Story by Valeria Najera, News Editor

 The increase in addiction to drugs or alcohol is forcing child services to step in and take children away. Many states are struggling to find homes for these foster kids, and the shortages of affordable housing are just adding to the problem. The new proposed regulation gives hope to foster care advocates to make it easier for foster care parents to get a license.

  The new proposed regulation is based on public comments collected by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The regulation would not require foster parents to own a car or a certain number of rooms of a specific size. Standards will now be based on the safety of children instead of what a parent’s salary is.

  “I believe that it should be approved because foster kids are in need of a home. The rules should be more flexible because some rules are too strict,” Vanessa Juarez (10) said.

  Some people argue that having looser rules would make it easier for people who want the role for the incentives. Unfortunately, this can lead to child abuse by the foster parent. According to ABC News, for every week in 2006, nearly 60,000 children in the United States were reported as abused or neglected. The idea of abuse with foster kids is nothing new.

  “I think the new regulation should not be approved. The job of choosing a home for a child should not be taken lightly,” Jamyah Jackson (10) said.

  Some states have already updated their licensing standards to make it more accessible to become a foster parent. Last year, California made it possible for grandparents or extended family members to get a license and receive the same treatment as non-relative foster parents. This is an excellent step up from how it used to be: paying a complete stranger $700 a month but not being able to do the same for the child’s grandmother.

  “The regulations should stay the same and not be modified, because I have a sister that lived in a foster home with other kids. She told me horrible stories of how they were treated which were not good,” Solen Hanna (10) said.

  There has to be a balance; strict regulation should not exclude committed foster parents, but there should be enough security to make sure the people becoming foster parents are fit for the job. At the end of the day, there are not enough homes available. People could help if they keep up with the new proposed regulations or if they just get informed before voting; the children are paying the cost.