Bush signs foster care bill into law | VailDaily.com

Bush signs foster care bill into law

WASHINGTON – President Bush signed legislation Tuesday to allow for-profit therapeutic foster care agencies to receive federal assistance.The bill, which passed the House 408-1 on Nov. 9, ends a restriction where only nonprofit groups can get federal money to help recruit and train families that accept children with special medical, psychological, emotional and social needs.Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., sponsor of the legislation in the House, said that in his state, 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 nonprofit groups receiving funds from Medicaid and Health and Human Services Department programs.Cole said the bill does not require states to contract with for-profit agencies.House Democrats supported the bill, but characterized it as offering minor benefits to vulnerable children at a time Republicans are working on a giant budget-cutting bill that targets spending levels for several social service programs.Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., sponsored the bill when it passed the Senate on Oct. 19 by unanimous consent.—On the Net:Information on the bill, S. 1894, can be found at http://thomas.loc.gov/Vail, Colorado

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