(Apr. 18) – A bipartisan bill 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.
“Foster care should not change people’s status as siblings. We know that siblings share a special, lifelong bond often being each others’ first friends, ” said Rep. Singer, D-Longmont, chair of the House Public Health Care & Human Services committee. “If siblings cannot be placed together, then they should be able to receive regular updates about each other and have consistent, frequent contact, and that’s what this bill tackles.”
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 bill was brought to us by foster youth who go 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.”
The bill was unanimously approved in the House and now heads to the Senate.