ATLANTA (February 20, 2020) | Today, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and Sen. Matt Brass (R – Newnan) praised the passage of Senate Bill 335 in the Senate. SB 335, sponsored by Sen. Brass, would make changes to Georgia’s foster care system and strengthen support for foster families.

“Increasing support for our foster families has been a personal priority since I took office,” said Lt. Governor Duncan. “SB 355 is the first bill of several reforms we intend to pursue in order to move the needle and positively impact Georgia’s children in need. With these changes that streamline our foster care system, we are inviting future generations of foster parents to take part in this life-changing process. I want to thank Sen. Brass for his work on this measure and I look forward to working together to see it become law.”

“This bill will open the door for more qualified individuals to take that next step and become foster parents or use respite fostering as a stepping stone into foster parenting, and provide for Georgia’s children in need,” said Sen. Brass. “By reducing some of the training requirements for prospective foster parents, adding additional tracking procedures and allowing more child placing agencies to assist DFCS, we are providing more avenues of opportunity for foster parents to get connected with a child. I want to thank Lt. Governor Duncan for his dedicated leadership on this issue and his passion for giving our foster families the support they need to ensure children have safe and stable homes.”

SB 335 is designed to ensure that foster care cases move through Juvenile Court as expeditiously as possible. It further requires Juvenile Courts to submit reports that document their compliance with the required prioritization. This data is designed to highlight problems experienced by Juvenile Courts and inform any necessary changes or re-allocation of resources.

Additionally, SB 335 reduces regulations on foster care families by allowing The Georgia Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) to modify training requirements for experienced foster families and will allow foster children and foster parents or guardians to visit state parks for free.

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