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Government/Politics

Ohio bill would give foster children a "bill of rights"

Advocates for foster children on Zoom, talking about the bill
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Advocates for foster children on Zoom, talking about the bill

Democratic lawmakers sponsoring the legislation say it's needed to protect Ohio's foster kids

Two Democratic Ohio lawmakers are sponsoring what’s being called the “Foster Youth Bill of Rights” that they say will give at least 15,000 children in the state’s custody more knowledge about their options and give them more of a voice in their care. Statehouse correspondent Jo Ingles reports the bill is similar to laws passed in 20 other states.

Sen. Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) was herself in foster care as kid. She says children in the system need this legislation.

“The rights established in this bill would help keep foster youth safe, healthy and cared for while in the foster youth system. It’s also going to help educate foster youth of their rights,” Maharath says.

There are 31 rights listed in the bill, from being free from abuse to having privacy to living in a clean and safe environment. Maharath and fellow Democratic Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) say they’ve worked with former foster care children and their advocates when coming up with this legislation.

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