California Foster Care Bill Passes Key Committee
[SACRAMENTO, CA] - The Human Services Committee of the California State Assembly Tuesday approved a bill to protect foster children in the state from discriminatory treatment, including discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV/AIDS status.
The bill passed on a party-line vote of 4-2.
The legislation would prohibit discrimination and harassment against foster youth, foster parents, other foster household members, and foster agency staff based on a number of factors, including race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and HIV/AIDS status. In addition, the bill requires foster parents and other caregivers to receive training on the nondiscrimination requirements. The legislation is the follow-up to a bill passed last year by the legislature which was vetoed by Governor Davis.
The bill, by Assemblymember Judy Chu, is sponsored by the California Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and is supported by the California Alliance for Pride and Equality.
"LGBT youth routinely face discrimination, harassment and abuse at school, from their birth parents, and from peers ? and then many go on to face even more discriminatory and abusive treatment within the foster care system," said Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of CAPE.
"This bill makes an important statement about the value of all foster children by prohibiting discrimination and harassment and taking steps to ensure that the promise of nondiscrimination becomes a reality."