New Bill Aims At Tightening Foster Parent Training - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

New Bill Aims At Tightening Foster Parent Training

Wichita Falls, TX - Texas lawmakers are making one last push to file bills before the March 13. deadline. 

One of those bills aims at increasing the amount of training for foster parents.

Newschannel 6 reached out to a local foster parent about this proposed bill. They believe this new bill is a step in the right direction, but opponents believe it will only toughen the foster care screening process.

The House Human Services Committee began discussing Rep. Cindy Burkett of Sunnyvale, bill in a meeting on Monday. While committee members took no action and there was little opposition, some have concerns that it will make an already difficult recruitment of foster parent even more difficult. 

Texas only requires state foster care recruits to receive 35 hours of training but potential parents retained through private contractors only have to go through 16 hours. 

If the bill is passed, it would more than double that requirement and local foster parents believe the move will benefit parents and children longterm.

"We're looking forward to the requirements, so it is a positive. i think we do increase the number of hours necessary for training, because then that allows a chance to train on more topics," said pat dierschke, local foster parent. 

Dierschke told Newschannel 6 one of the key needs for fostering in Texas is sibling groups, to foster siblings. He said it's an area he believes lacks in training. 

Currently, parents receive training about each individual child and the trauma they go through, but when it comes to bringing in more than one child from the same family he said it creates a new dynamic that a new parent may have a more difficult time handling.

This proposed bill comes after 13 children died while in the custody of child Protective Services between 2013-14. 

So far legislatures have filed approximately 4,000 bills, but expect that number to drastically increase by the end of the week.   

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6
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