In August 2013 the 83rd Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 427, which amended Human Resources Code 42.056 and 43.004 by adding FBI fingerprint check requirements for persons ages 14 years old and older who are affiliated with general residential operations, child-placing agencies, independent foster home, and independent foster group homes who were previously required to have a Department of Public Safety (DPS) name-based criminal history check, but not an FBI fingerprint check. Senate Bill 427 affects Act H.R. 6893 both positively and negatively as it amends parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act to connect and support relative caregivers, improve outcomes for children in foster care, provide for tribal foster care and adoption access, improve incentive for adoption, and for other purposes (H.R. 6893).
This legislative summary has been prepared in recommendation of reforming Senate Bill 427. Senate Bill 427 has negatively impacted some families that are referred to Texas’ Fostering Connections program because of its new implementation of new FBI fingerprint rules. This summary will advocate change by speaking further about the issues that have plagued these families since its implementation (Grace 2003) September 1, 2013.
Senate Bill 427 was implemented to decrease the chances of re victimizing children in DFPS custody who have been identified and placed in substitute care. The bill exaggerates problems for the families requiring the assistance of other family members to reach the permanency goal for these children.
According to Table 3-13 in Child Maltreatment 2012, 81.5% of children are abused by parent(s). Another 12% of child victims are abused by others who provide care for them or that the children are acquainted with. The chart also identifies 6.5% of child victims are unfamiliar with their abusers. Senate Bill 427 was implemented because of these facts, and to decrease the chances of re-victimization of child victims. Senate Bill 427 could decrease abuse significantly if household members or frequent visitors of the home are known abusers or have been identified through legalities as being abusers. This fact would be considered a pro for allowing Senate Bill 427 to stay as is. However, the bill also affects persons with felonies or other charges that are not associated with victimizing children. Grandparents caring for grandchildren, for example, often rely on other family members, friends, and neighbors for support financially or emotionally. Another con to Senate Bill 427 is that it calls for not only background checks, but FBI fingerprints for any family member residing in the home other than foster children 14 years of age and older and any frequent visitors of the home including minor or adult children of the…