Delighted to see the Missouri General Assembly pass both #SB819 and #SB800! We worked hard last year to develop many of these measures and to collaborate with #moleg to pass them. Together, they do a LOT for foster care & adoption in Missouri. Here's a (partial) rundown: /1
Every Missouri child should be in a safe, stable, loving home. Provisions in SB819 & SB800 protect kids from abuse/neglect; support foster parents caring for kids in crisis; make MO a great state for adoption; & recognize the God-given potential of MO's foster children. /2
These bills retain data from child abuse/neglect reports that investigators use to protect kids; improve information-sharing across state lines where appropriate; strengthen provisions to terminate parental rights in cases of sexual abuse. /3
They allow judges overseeing foster care to modify custody as needed for kids' interests; establish a timeline for establishing paternity so kids don't get stuck in the system; and streamline referral for kids affected by drugs/alcohol. /4
This legislation makes foster parent fingerprints/background checks safer & more efficient; protects privacy of foster families' medical/financial/personal info; & sets up a task force to improve how foster families are recruited, retained, & licensed. /5
It makes permanent a new policy that foster kids will no longer be charged to get usable copies of their own birth certificates; & allows teenagers in foster care to set up their own bank accounts so they can begin to earn and save money. /6
The legislation aligns foster children's medical care with the schedule recommended by @AmerAcadPeds so that they get medical care as needed & appropriate; and promotes trauma-informed care across the state. /7
I'm particularly excited about the measures that promote adoption. One simple change made in these bills allows adoptive families and adopted kids to openly discuss their adoption experiences. /8
Also, if you're a birth parent in MO with kids in state custody, right now you can't decide that adoption's best for them, choose their adoptive family, & maintain a continuing role in their lives after their adoption. This legislation changes that. /9
It allows birth parents to consent to adoption & creates post-adoption contact agreements (already in use in about 1/2 of other US states), so that birth parents can maintain a relationship where it's safe and healthy to do so. /10
These bills also allow private attorneys to file for termination of parental rights & adoption. That's important bc right now, MO has a backlog of ~1300 kids in foster care who have adoptive families waiting on the state to do paperwork. That's 10% of the kids in the system. /11
.@DSS_Missouri included eliminating this backlog in their strategic priorities; this measure will help with that, & prevent it building up again. This ensures that kids who have a loving adoptive home & family waiting can make it permanent as quickly as possible. /12
Every step we take to improve how we protect & care for our vulnerable kids matters. We have more to do, but this month's legislation is a terrific step forward. To everyone in the General Assembly, @GovGreitensMO's office, & beyond who worked on these changes: THANK YOU! /13

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More from @SheenaGreitens

Sep 4, 2018
Happy Tuesday! Lots of debate and opinions recently on how scholars are responding to pressure from China - but until now, no data/systematic evidence. To change that, @rorytruex and I did a survey of 500+ academics who work on China. Here's what we found: /1
Repression of foreign scholars doing research in China is rare, but real. Here are the stats:
18% have had a publication censored in China;
26% have been denied access to an archive;
9% report have “invited for tea” to explain their work to the authorities. /2
~5% have had trouble getting a visa; temporary visa “difficulty” or one-off denial is more common than long-term blacklisting, which has happened to 1-2% (~10-12 ppl). /3
Read 13 tweets
May 21, 2018
Last week, two bills passed the MO General Assembly that are great news for kids in foster care & for foster care & adoption in Missouri. You can read a summary here:…
We spent most of last year meeting with advocates from all over the State of Missouri to hear about what needed to be done differently. I'm grateful to everyone who played a part in that research process. /2
I'm also grateful to everyone in @EricGreitens office & @DSS_Missouri who worked to turn these ideas into actual legislative proposals: @willscharf @MaddieMcMillian @ToddScott2 @JennaeMNeustadt @TheJakeBuxton @CaitlinNWhaley @tjdeckerone @SteveCorsi @parkerwbriden /3
Read 9 tweets

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