Victory for Brothers and Sisters in Connecticut Foster Care

Back • May 18, 2012 • Uncategorized

SiblingsI am very happy to report that the sibling visitation bill I blogged about two weeks ago, Senate Bill 156, passed the Connecticut House of Representatives early last Wednesday morning, only 23 hours before the legislative session ended.  The legislation—now Public Act 12-71—which would increase visitation for separated siblings in foster care, heads to Governor Malloy’s desk for his signature.

Passage of this legislation means that children in foster care who are not placed together will be able to visit each other regularly and maintain strong bonds during a difficult time in their lives.  Youth in foster care have identified sibling contact as a top priority, and policymakers heard them and took action.  

Once again, I want to thank the many leaders in state government who pushed for the bill: Sen. Terry Gerratana, Rep. Diana Urban, Rep. Toni Walker, Rep. Lile Gibbons, Sen. Len Fasano, Sen. Toni Harp, Sen. Don Williams. Sen. Martin Looney, Sen. Len Suzio, Rep. Terrie Wood, many of their legislative colleagues (including 30 cosponsors), and Commissioner Joette Katz of DCF. 

In addition, thanks to the many citizens who responded to Susan Campbell’s column in the Hartford Courant  by contacting their legislators, asking them to support the bill.  She later reported on her blog that one legislator even received a phone call from his mother, explaining to him why the bill was so important.

Finally, last but not least, thank you to the many young people who spoke out on this issue.  From Foster Youth Capitol Day, to the public hearing on the bill, to the final weeks of the campaign, young people were the bill’s most prominent and most convincing supporters.  It would never have been possible without your voices!