COLUMBUS — State Rep. Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) Wednesday announced her legislation revising the requirements for foster caregiver training in Ohio now heads to Gov. Mike DeWine for his signature.
House Bill 8 will help potential foster parents to be trained, licensed, and approved more efficiently and effectively.
“Providing more flexibility for foster families will give them the ability to focus on taking care of children in need rather than jumping through unnecessary hoops that are required by current law,” said Manchester. “I’m thankful for the support of my colleagues in getting this bill passed.”
H.B. 8 eliminates the statutory mandate on pre-placement training hours, training hours and continuing education hours, as well as the statutory training plans, coursework and needs assessment requirements. Under the bill, up to 20 percent of the pre-placement training can be taken online.
The bill does not lower the standards to become a foster caregiver. Instead, it gives the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) the authority and flexibility to establish these standards.
There are currently more than 16,000 boys and girls in foster care in Ohio, a figure that has grown by 25 percent in recent years, driven by the addiction crisis. In 2018, a total of 26,737 were in foster care at one point or another.
These trends have resulted in a shortage of foster caregivers in Ohio, leaving children without a safe and healthy environment to heal from the trauma many of them have endured.
“The goal of this bipartisan legislation is to increase the number of foster caregivers in Ohio,” added Manchester. “By signing this bill into law, more children in our state can have a loving home.”
The House unanimously concurred with Senate amendments during session today. Once signed into law, the bill will go into effect after 90 days.
State Representative Susan Manchester is serving her first term in the Ohio House of Representatives. She serves the 84th District, which encompasses Mercer County, as well as portions of Auglaize, Darke and Shelby counties. For more information, contact the office of Rep. Manchester at 614-466-6344 or Rep84@ohiohouse.gov