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Sen. Nancy Detert Testifies Before U.S. Congress About Florida’s ‘Normalcy’ Law for Foster Kids

Florida Sen. Nancy Detert

Florida Senator Nancy Detert testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Human Resources of the Committee on Ways and Means about the new law in Florida to allow children in foster care to live more normal lives. Florida HB 215, is called the “normalcy” bill because it gives foster parents more power and less liability in approving normal activities for their foster kids. It was signed into law last month by Gov. Rick Scott.

Detert also testified about SB 1036. This bill will extend care for foster children until age 21 for those young adults who choose to remain in the system. The bill passed both chambers of the Legislature, and will be presented to Gov. Scott for signing. Read Detert’s full testimony here.

With only 5 minutes to speak, in part here’s what Detert said:

“I learned early in my legislative career that if you want to make good law, you listen to the people whose lives are going to be affected by that law and if you want to know what’s going on in the foster care system – you ask the kids who are in the system and the young adults who have aged out of the system.

“In Florida, we are fortunate to have a group of older teens and young adults known as Florida Youth SHINE. Youth SHINE is a peer driven organization that empowers young advocates across the state who regularly identify the challenges and help create solutions related to growing up in the child welfare system. Membership is open to all children and young adults between 13-24 years of age who were ever involved with Florida’s child welfare system.

“One of their goals is to share their stories and experiences in order to improve the system of care for those children currently in care and for those who have yet to enter care. They are always available to educate key policy makers and organizations throughout Florida on key issues related to growing up in foster care. During this past legislative session, more than 40 members met with 60 legislators and testified at 14 committee meetings in order to support legislation that will affect the lives of over 19,000 children and young adults.”

Thank you, Senator Detert, for believing so strongly in the youth of Florida, and the members of Florida Youth SHINE.

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