COLUMBUS–Senator Peggy Lehner (R–Kettering) announced the Ohio Senate today passed legislation that would revise and improve Ohio’s foster care laws.  Senate Bill 152 would make common sense reforms that encourage a more stable foster care environment, and would normalize the experience of youth in foster care.
“This bill represents an important step toward improving the lives of nearly 13,000 foster children in Ohio, and relieving the burden on foster caregivers,” Senator Lehner said. “This legislation addresses some of the most urgent issues faced by foster children and caregivers.”
Senate Bill 152 would normalize the experience of youth in foster care by allowing foster caregivers to use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in permitting foster children to participate in certain activities. Under current law foster children are often unable to participate in normal peer activities, such as spending the night at a friend’s house. This legislation would remove that barrier by ensuring that agencies and foster parents would not be held unfairly liable for participation in extracurricular, enrichment and social activities.
A result of the Ohio Attorney General’s Foster Care Advisory Group discussions and recommendations, this legislation gives foster caregivers a voice in court hearings regarding a child’s return to the biological family by requiring the appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem.
Additionally, the bill includes other common sense measures encouraging more stable and permanent foster homes and creating a medical registry that allows doctors to have access to a foster child’s medical records.
Senate Bill 152 will now proceed to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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