For the City Times
Submitted by Rep. Scott Krug
MADISON — State Representative Scott Krug (R-Rome) is proud to support the package of bills to help the children and families in the foster care system. The bills were the result of the work from the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care. The bill package had six hearings in various locations around the state and gained wide bi-partisan support, easily passing out of the Assembly.
“Children in the Foster Care system deserve, as much as anyone, a chance to prosper and grow in this great state.” said Rep.Krug. “Legislation in this package specifically aims to assist foster children attend college at our technical colleges or UW schools at no charge. I am passionate about education, it was an easy decision to support this bill package.” These students do qualify for financial aid packages but there can be a balance left over. Aging out of foster care leaves little to no ability to reach their educational goals while providing for daily living costs. This bill ensures we can provide a better future to many students.
In addition to helping foster youth attend college, the bipartisan proposals make improvements to the child welfare system by increasing supports for the child welfare agencies, caseworkers and foster parents. But the real meat of this bill package are the bills that provide additional services to foster children while they are in the system and when they age out of it. It is our duty and a priority to prevent children from entering the child welfare system in the first place, some of these bills focus on just that.
“As the opioid epidemic grows and grows the number of child welfare cases grows too,” said Rep. Krug. “Getting these children the help that they need to live successful productive lives is the number one goal.”
Just two years ago there were 7,482 children in the out-of-home placement program, according to the Department of Children and Families. Placements have risen nearly 20 percent over the past six years.
“The state needs to step up and help the growing numbers of children entering the Foster Care system. We are responding and we are taking action to do what we can,” said Rep. Krug. “I am hopeful I will have the chance to watch these bills soon become a reality.”
The passage of this bill package out of the Assembly is a huge win, but action still needs to be taken by the Senate as well as signed into law by the Governor.