New standards for foster parents are now the state law. The state is requiring more information to be gathered about people who want to become foster parents. The Children’s Division of the Social Services Department has run background checks by name for prospective foster and adoptive parents. Earlier this year it started checking fingerprints. The new law makes those fingerprint checks mandatory. Division Director Fred Simmons says the fingerprinting and expanded checks does not make it harder to become a foster parent; it just gives the foster parent system more protection. He says the process should not delay the awarding of a child to a foster or adoptive parent. Simmons say the training and assessment of each family is a two or three month process anyway and that will give the State Highway Patrol time to process the prints and report back with its findings.
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