LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday enrolled Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to help ensure the best care and placement for foster children. The bill now heads to the governor to be signed into law.
“During my time in law enforcement, I saw some of the terrible situations many young children endure in Michigan,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “As a foster grandparent, I have also seen the strength that children possess to make it through hard times and the positive impact of keeping siblings together.
“I look forward to seeing the governor help us protect the cherished bond between siblings in foster care by signing this legislation.”
Senate Bill 483 would put a greater emphasis on sibling placement and visitation with siblings. If siblings could not be placed together, then a priority of sibling visitations and ongoing interaction would be arranged to ensure a sibling bond.
The bill would require frequent visitations between non-custodial, biological parents and their children unless the court determines that the parenting time would be harmful to the child.
“As long as there is no harm to a foster child seeing their biological parent, they should be able to spend time together and preserve their family bond,” Jones said.
Jones said that the University of Michigan Law School Legislation Clinic brought this issue to his attention.
“I have been working with them, the Children’s Law Section Council of the State Bar and the state Department of Health and Human Services to make sure that we are helping our foster children,” Jones said.