Foster care parents push for new laws - FOX Carolina 21

Foster care parents push for new laws

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Dan Bracken, a foster care advocate, with his two daughters. (FOX Carolina/ May 13, 2016) Dan Bracken, a foster care advocate, with his two daughters. (FOX Carolina/ May 13, 2016)

Dan Bracken is teaching his children a lesson on history and the solar system.

"For our children they've seen a world they don't necessarily get to see every day,"  Bracken said.

His children are home-schooled and he's a foster parent. "We have four children that are ours- and we're fostering a 5th right now," he said.

It's a calling that has also turned him into an advocate. Right now, state laws won't allow him to go on vacation with his foster child without a long approval process.

"This past fall we wanted to go apple picking as a family- just across the state line - we couldn't," Bracken said.

He's part of the support group Speak Up South Carolina: Voices for Foster Care Reform and so is his friend, Trey Ingram.

"A family is the best place for a child to grow and thrive," Ingram said.

He and others are supporting new proposed bills that would change foster care laws. One in particular, is called the Max 5 proposal.

"We're moving the cap from five children to eight," he said.

Right now, more than five children can't be in a home if another foster child wanted an overnight visit.

"We have four daughters of our own and we have a foster son," he said. "So, we're maxed out."

State Rep. Joshua Putnam drafted proposed bills to change some of these laws.

"It's a huge step in South Carolina," Putnam said.

One is proposed House Bill 4546.

"It allows foster kids the ability to have their hair cut, to go overnight," Putnam said. "All that has to be approved by a DSS case worker."

The other proposal, is House Bill 4492.

"It allows them to say what they believe is in the best interest of that foster child," Putnam said.

And foster parents believe it could be a lesson and healthy lifestyle change for foster children.

Right now H. 4546 and H. 4492 are being reviewed by the Senate.

If you're interested in becoming a foster care parent, click here.

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