Update on “Child’s Best Hope Act”

Child’s Best Hope Advocates:

Update on “Child’s Best Hope Act”.    Over the holidays not much happened. These bills will be heard soon in the Senate Judiciary Committee and in the House Children Families and Seniors subcommittee.  The two bills are still different however we are working to get them identical.  It is very early in the process and the session hasn’t even begun yet.

I think both bills in House and Senate will solve the problem.  The House bill was negotiated with all interested parties.  The Senate bill was the GAL staring bill.  The challenge is that we have to get the bills identical to change the law.  As we go through the committee process they will become as close to identical as possible.  We are headed in the right direction.

There is much talk about removing the “presumptions”.  This standard appears nowhere in the dependency law and it may have unintended results since we all really want what is in the best interest of the child.  I anticipate the language will be shifting to focus on the child’s best interest.  I will continue to update you on the amendments to the current bill as they are filed.

The next hearing will be in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 12 at 3:00 in the Senate Office Building, room 110.  There are 4 bills to be heard and only an hour so we won’t have too much time to speak.  We really have about 10 total minutes by supporters. Of course it always helps to have organizations or people stand up and say they support the bill.  Let me know if you will be here.  It would be nice a foster parent or someone from foster parent association to give a short summary of their experience with adoption intervention.  I will want whoever wants to talk discuss with our General Counsel to make sure the focus is on the thing that will move the bill.

The Judiciary Committee members include Senators Diaz de la Portilla (Chair), Ring (Vice Chair), Aaron Bean, Benacquisto, Brandes, Joyner, Simmons, Wilton, Soto, and Stargel.

Let me know if you are considering coming to the hearing.  I will send you the amendments on Monday. Sorry for the short notice but it was just scheduled.  I see the bills in the House and Senate getting more aligned and feel great about where we are in the process and hopeful success.

Thanks for all your support.

Respectfully,

Alans Signature

Alan F. Abramowitz
Executive Director
Guardian ad Litem Program

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