Bush signs foster care bill into law

Wednesday, November 23rd 2005, 6:15 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush signs legislation to allow for-profit therapeutic foster care agencies to receive federal assistance.

The bill -- sponsored by Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole -- passed the House earlier this month. It ends a restriction where only non-profit groups can get federal money to help recruit and train families that accept children with special medical, psychological, emotional and social needs.

Cole says that in Oklahoma, five of the 15 agencies that provide therapeutic foster care services operate under a for-profit model.

In many states these agencies contract with the state government to place and support children in appropriate homes, with non-profit groups receiving funds from Medicaid and Health and Human Services Department programs.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe sponsored the bill when it passed the Senate last month by unanimous consent.