Bill To Raise Child Limit For Foster Families Sent To Senate

Jan 15, 2018

A bill that would raise the limit on children in a foster family from five to six is headed to the Senate floor. It passed the Senate Family and Children Services committee unanimously last week.

Cathy Graham, executive director of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy, testified in favor of the bill. She says increasing the limit could help the Department of Child Services in emergency placements.

“I think for emergency purposes, if you can have the home licensed upfront for six, you might be able to get children in that home more quickly, rather than for them to have to be overnight in a DCS office,” Graham says.

While there was no testimony against the bill, Sen. Erin Houchin (R-Salem) expressed concerns.

“I do have a concern that there are some foster families that feel pressure to take children, when they are not adequately prepared for that,” Houchin says.

But bill sponsor, Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington), says that’s better than the alternative.

“I would feel a little more comfortable to have a child in a stressed household for a short period of time – a night, two nights – as opposed to the floor of a DCS office,” Zay says.

The limit was lowered in 2011, from eight children in a home down to five.