Bill to protect foster children backed by Sen. Griffo passes Assembly, Senate
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - 2:34 pm

Legislation to protect foster children in St. Lawrence County from being placed in unsuitable homes co-drafted by Sen. Joseph Griffo has been approved in the state Senate and Assembly.

Griffo, (R-Rome), represents the 47th Senate District, which includes Massena, Brasher, Norfolk, Stockholm, Potsdam, Pierrepont, Russell, Clifton, Fine and Pitcairn.

The bill is designed to remedy the situation where there is no formal system in place to require an agency to review and evaluate an applicant’s history if the applicant were to apply to another agency to take in foster children, according to a news release.

“The state is responsible for the safety and security of every child placed in their care,” said Griffo. “We already had some good screening requirements in place, but there were still ways for bad foster parents to take advantage of the system due to a lack of communication between local agencies and the state Office of Children and Family Services. We’re going to make sure those two groups are now talking, so that we can further ensure that children are being placed in good homes. I thank Assemblywoman Rozic for her advocacy and urge the governor to sign this bill.”

The bill would require agencies to consult with the Office of Children and Family Services whether a foster parent’s application has been certified or revoked, or if a child was removed from the home. In such instances where a child was removed, the agency would be responsible for determining whether or not the foster parent should be re-certified and the home re-opened.

The legislation was co-drafted by Assembly woman Nily Rozic (D, WF-Queens).

The bill now goes to the governor to be signed into law.