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House gives initial approval to a bill that would reshape foster care

April 9, 2003
By: Elizabeth Gill
State Capital Bureau

The House gave initial approval to a bill that would reshape the state's children's foster care service. Elizabeth Gill has the story in Jefferson City:

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One change to the system would be the way the state's abuse hotline is set up.

Traditionally, all types of suspected abuse cases were called into the same hotline causing an unmanageable volume of calls.

The new system would split the hotline into two lines - one for urgent calls about abuse and neglect, another for child well being calls for handling issues that are less threatening.

The bill's sponsor, House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, credited House members with improving the bill through the nearly 20 amendments proposed during the debate.

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Contents: "Thank you all for the work you have done and hopefully we are doing something that is good for families, good for parents and good for kids."

The bill would require criminal background check on any potential foster parent and any school administrator such as teacher, aides and bus drivers.

Additionally, if a child dies or is seriously injured while in foster care, case workers could be charged with a misdemeanor for violating laws related to child abuse.

From the State Captiol, I'm Elizabeth Gill, KMOX news.