COLUMBUS— State Senator Bill Coley
(R-Liberty Township) this week stood in front of the Senate Health, Human Services and Medicaid Committee
to give sponsor testimony on Senate Bill 6
, which would allow charitable organizations such as Safe Families for Children
to continue to provide their services in Ohio.
Joint-sponsored by Majority Whip Jay Hottinger
(R-Newark), the organization is widely seen as an alternative to foster care and a better way to keep families intact.
The Safe Families program allows a parent in a crisis situation to temporarily request that their children be hosted by a fully screened and vetted "host family" for an agreed-to period of time. Under current law, some states have questioned its legality and have blurred the lines between foster care and the Safe Families program.
"The goal of this program is to strengthen and preserve biological families in a natural, community-focused way that is free from the burdensome processes of government," said Coley. "Clarifying in the law that this program is a legal and viable alternative to foster care is an important step toward more united families in Ohio. I am proud that the Senate President has identified this legislation as one of our top 10 priorities for the 133rd General Assembly, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in both the Senate and the House to see its swift passage."
Circumstances that may qualify a family to become a part of the program are incarceration, temporary incapacitation, medical or mental health treatment, military service or other similar temporary circumstances that may prevent a family from taking adequate care of a child for a period of time.
For more information on Senate Bill 6, please contact Senator Coley's office at (614) 466-8072, email Coley@OhioSenate.gov
or visit the Ohio Legislature's website by clicking here