Indiana Child Welfare Bill clears major hurdle

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A child welfare bill is moving on after passing through an Indiana Senate committee hearing Monday.

Senate Bill 1 would require the Department of Child Services change policy to focus on the best interest of the child instead of the best interest of a parent-child relationship. It would also give foster parents a voice in court.

Foster mom Kristi Cundiff says another part of the bill would require DCS to contact a former foster family first if a child re-enters the system. Cundiff says she cared for a child ten years ago who was just recently sent back to her because he, once again, needed a stable and loving home.

“If you have a prior relationship to a child, it would only make common sense to reach out to that former family and say hey, you know, we’ve got your kiddo that you had in foster care back in care, would you be willing to take them?”

Cundiff and other child advocates say they are optimistic this bill will make it into law this session.

Senate Bill 1 now heads to the full Senate.

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