House Passes Moul Bills to Improve Outcomes for Displaced Children
HARRISBURG – The House today approved two bills sponsored by Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams/Franklin), vice chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee, which aim to improve outcomes for displaced children who are in foster care or otherwise being served by county Children and Youth agencies. 
House Bill 1075 would require county social service agencies or their contracted providers to conduct on-going efforts to locate relatives of children who have been removed from their homes and/or are accepted for services by the county Children and Youth agency. House Bill 1076 would require county agencies to offer families who are receiving Children and Youth services the opportunity to engage in family conferencing and planning sessions to determine the best course of action for the child.

“I know of cases where children grew up in institutions or in foster care when they had relatives who would have taken them in had they known about them,” said Moul. “Under House Bill 1075, family finding would occur at least annually, and could be discontinued only if the child’s involvement with the agency is terminated or if family finding no longer serves the best interest of the child.

“Once relatives of the displaced children have been identified, attempts would be made to engage those family members to work with child welfare officials in the planning and delivery of services for the child and, potentially, the placement of the child,” said Moul. “It is ideal for a displaced child to be placed in the home of a loving relative, if that is possible. The goal of my legislation is to build a network of support around these children and their family members to help create better, more stable outcomes for children.”

While some counties are already implementing these measures with remarkable success, current law only requires notification of family members or kin within 30 days of a child entering foster care. According to the Pennsylvania Partnership for Children, which endorses Moul’s legislation, identifying extended family when a child is accepted for services, helps agencies to avoid placing children in institutions or foster care.

Moul’s legislation would also provide some relief to taxpayers who shoulder the burden of costly, long-term placements for some children. Both bills are on their way to the Senate for consideration.

Representative Dan Moul
91st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Donna Pinkham
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