Foster Care Bill of Rights

Governor Greitens signs the Foster Care Bill of Rights. To the left and right of Greitens are two children adopted by Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association Operations Director Amanda Towns, Nathan (left) and Joy (right) Towns. Also pictured are Sponsors Senator David Sater and Representative Franklin whom were both instrumental in the passing of the bill.

 

DeAnna Alonso
Executive Director, Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association

United Way of Central Missouri partner agency, Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association (CMFCAA), creates stability and permanence for abused and neglected children by empowering and advocating for foster and adoptive families in central Missouri.

As a former foster youth, I knew first-hand the need for an agency to provide for the needs of foster, adoptive, kinship, and guardianship youth and families. I founded Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association in 2007 out of the back of my Cavalier, with the help of caring foster and adoptive parents in our community. What began as a small support group has grown into a multifaceted organization that provides direct support, education, services and advocacy to foster and adoptive families in a 13 county central Missouri region. Currently Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association is assisting over 640 foster families, over 1400 foster children, and over 400 adopted children in central Missouri.

The Signing of Foster Care Bill of Rights into law this year was a huge milestone. As a sign of acknowledgement of our work, Governor Greitens and First Lady honored Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association with the opportunity to host the signing ceremony on Thursday, June 22.

Foster Care Bill of Rights, or Senate Bill 160, protects our children from neglect, abuse, trafficking and sex offenders. It also expands the network of safe public places for children by barring offenders from entering or loitering within 500 feet of museums.

The new law stipulates Department of Social Services keep reports of child abuse cases even if the abuser could not be apprehended due to insufficient evidence. Previously, they would destroy child abuse record if sufficient evidence were not found during the investigation. Children now also have the right to be informed, both verbally and in writing, of their rights before they are taken into custody by police or juvenile officers. In addition, Children Division is required to provide every school-aged foster child and foster parent age-appropriate explanation and orientation of the bill of rights. Every child-placing agency, residential care facility, and agency involved in the care and placement of foster children should also have the bill of rights posted in the office.

We are very grateful for the continued support of the Greitens family and we look forward to welcoming First Lady Dr. Sheena Greitens to our 9th Annual Forget Me Not Gala to support children looking for forever families who have lingered in foster care far too long. Join us on November 2 at the Capital Plaza Hotel. Doors open at 5:30 pm. More information can be found at www.ccfosteradopt.com.