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Foster care: Tough times bring tough questions

October 16. 2017 10:01PM

All of the children entering the New Hampshire foster care system are facing tough challenges that could define the rest of their lives.

Foster parents come into the lives of these children when they are in most need of safety, stability, and love.

As the legislative committee examines how to clean up the mess at the Division of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), it has tasked a subcommittee with reviewing how to strengthen the state’s foster care system.

There are simply not enough foster homes available for every child who needs one. Advocates say that frustrated foster parents are leaving the system.

If the answers were easy, we’d have them already. The best interests of the child are always paramount, but defining the rights and responsibilities of foster families who open their homes to children in need might help New Hampshire recruit and retain more foster parents. A subcommittee is considering two versions of a Bill of Rights for foster parents.

However the law is changed, DCYF needs to be reformed to provide both support and oversight of foster homes. The foster care subcommittee hopes to meet next week. We wish it well in tackling this complicated and important problem.

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