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News From

State Senator

Anthony Musto

Assistant Majority Leader

Representing Bridgeport, Monroe & Trumbull

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Contact: Dan Doyle
860-240-8633

March 22, 2012

Musto: Bills Ensure Regular Sibling & DCF Visits for Foster Kids

Key committee approves measures to preserve sibling ties, monitor & assist foster families

Two pieces of legislation addressing the needs of foster children and both their biological and adoptive families passed the General Assembly’s Human Services Committee today, said committee Co-Chair Senator Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull).

When two or more siblings enter the care of the state Department of Children and Families (DCF), they are not always able to be placed with the same foster family. Senate Bill 156 would require that foster children visit with their siblings at least once a week on average, provided the visits would be in the children’s best interests.

“Entering the state’s foster care system is never easy for a child, and it often occurs in the context of other difficult and life-changing events. For foster children, siblings can be a great source of comfort and a mutual connection to each other’s earlier lives. Preserving family ties, whenever possible, should always be a top priority,” said Senator Musto.

“At around the age of 6 I was taken into care for the first time. It was scary. I was young, innocent, and confused. What would happen? Where was I going? Will I see my brothers and sisters? These questions weighted heavily on my mind . . . DCF did their part in making sure that we had monthly (or at least bi-monthly) visit, however it simply was not enough to build or maintain a solid relationship,” said Alixes Rosado, a 23 year old who grew up in the care of the state.

In a separate effort to improve Connecticut’s system of foster care, Senate Bill 294 would require a DCF worker to visit foster families and their children at least once every 60 days, rather than 90 days under current policy.

“More regular DCF visits to foster families are in the best interest of both children and parents. The children know that they have someone watching out for them, and the parents know they have the support they need as well. This is a minimum—in many cases DCF will visit much more often—but at least some ongoing contact is necessary to ensure that both the children and the parents are doing well,” Senator Musto said.

State Senator Anthony Musto represents the 22nd District towns of Trumbull, Bridgeport and Monroe. He is Senate Chair of the Human Services Committee.

 

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