State lawmakers take a step closer to addressing the problems at the Division of Family Services disclosed when a southwest Missouri boy died while in state-approved foster care. House Speaker Catherine Hanaway of Warson Woods sponsored the legislation clearing the House on a 125-to-18 vote and moving back to the Senate. The bill seeks to address those two issues: ensuring the safety of children taken from their homes because of abuse and ensuring the state doesn’t step in when not warranted. It subjects state social service workers to termination if they abuse state policy. It requires conferences between workers and children to be taped, audio or video. It requires the state to privatize half of its children’s services by 2007. Concerns were raised after 2-year-old Dominic James died while with state approved foster parents.
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