Idaho lawmakers back proposed foster care reform

Posted at 12:37 PM, Feb 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 14:37:01-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A Legislative panel introduced a measure Thursday that would implement major reforms in the Idaho foster care program in response to complaints lodged against the program last week.

Republican Rep. Christy Perry, of Nampa, says the new legislation would allow judges to oversee adoptions, while implementing a timeframe for relatives to apply to care for a child.

Perry says the measure isn't an indictment of the Department of Health and Welfare, but was brought about after many foster care parents testified against the department in an emotionally-charged hearing last week.

Tom Shanahan, the department's communication director, says foster care reform is one of their top priorities, but other stakeholders, like law enforcement, should also be included in the discussion.

The measure must now clear a legislative hearing.