(May 20) – Gov. Jared Polis signed a bipartisan bill today sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Rep. Monica Duran that outlines protections for siblings when they are placed in foster care passed unanimously out of the House.
“Siblings share a special, lifelong bond often being each others’ first friends, and foster care should not change people’s status as siblings,” said Rep. Singer, D-Longmont. “These kids are survivors of abuse and have done nothing wrong. This bill says we should do everything in our power to keep siblings connected to each other.”
HB19-1288 strongly emphasizes the importance of the sibling relationship to youth in foster care. It outlines protections that siblings should receive, such as placing siblings together, having regular contact and communication, and having their relationship encouraged despite their involvement in the foster care system.
“Many studies have shown that relationships with siblings benefit their emotional and mental well-being,” said Rep. Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “This new law was brought to us by foster youth who got through the horrible experience of being ripped away from their siblings. We need to keep these kids together and avoid any further mental trauma to them.”