Skip to Content

Butler’s Pilot Program Bill Aims To Streamline Foster Care

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Butler’s Pilot Program Bill Aims To Streamline Foster Care

Representative Ed Butler sponsoring a new Foster Care Pilot Program Bill that would use private entities to streamline the state’s foster care process.

Butler said the plan includes a five-year period of private agencies taking in 450 kids per year from the Department of Children’s Services. He said these agencies would assume all decision-making rights for those children, and find them care more efficiently.

“You will deal with them and them only,” Butler said. “And so you would do an interview with them, they would conduct the home inspections, they would place the child, etcetera. So, I think there will be many, many folks that would come back to the table so to speak, and be willing to foster.”

Butler said that as a business owner, he has seen the ways that the private sector can be more effective than the government, and at a lower cost to taxpayers. He said he has dealt with many constituents who have faced challenges working with the Division of Childrens Services and subsequently stopped fostering.

“A lot of them have on their staff, or even sometimes, in some cases, executive directors are former DCS case managers or did work at DCS at some point,” Butler said. “And so, in my opinion, those are very valuable entities because they understand the process already, not only from the state side but from the private side.”

Butler said many of these entities also have legal representation that works pro bono or at least at a discounted rate, allowing them more freedom to efficiently perform some of the most difficult work in the state. He said participating entities will be required to be licensed.

“My goal was is to utilize what we already have, the entities that we already have across the state,” Butler said. “Some of these entities are not large enough, or don’t have the staff, or are just not interested and that’s okay. And then we have some that are very interested in this Pilot Program, we’ve surveyed a number of them.”

He said many of the agencies surveyed already do a lot of the same work that DCS does. Butler said he has an additional piece of legislation that will create a review board made up of case managers, juvenile judges, and individuals who were formerly foster children or foster families. He said this board will hold the participating agencies accountable.

“I think it will utilize the private resources that we have and fill in a gap for what they’re lacking in the department right now,” Butler said.


The post Butler’s Pilot Program Bill Aims To Streamline Foster Care appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.