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New Bill Informs Foster Kids’ Rights

Children's ServicesSALEM, Ore. — Governor Kitzhaber signed a bill making it mandatory for foster kids to know their basic rights.

Thursday, the governor signed Senate Bill 123-A. Even though some existing laws already recognize foster kids’ rights, the bill forces foster parents to post signs or documents explaining rights to things such as clothes, food and safety. The bill will also require an appointed official to keep track of violations in foster homes.

“You have the right to be heard, you have the right to ask questions, and this gives kids the same opportunity and only be able to ask somebody outside of their home,” explained Rob Holmbeck from the Jackson County Foster Parent Association.

The Department of Human Services is partnering with Oregon Foster Youth Connection to distribute information to foster kids. The law will take effect January 2014.