Senator Forrest Knox of Kansas is hoping to set up the CARE family program to increase “normal” homes for children in foster care. The controversial senate bill, if passed, will offer a substantially higher rate of pay for foster parents who meet the criteria. What is the criteria? The couple must be a man and a woman who have been married for at least seven years and are faithful to each other. One of the parents must stay at home. No alcohol, tobacco, or illegal substances are allowed in the home. Additionally, these families will be either church-goers or mosque or synagogue attenders.

Those against the bill claim that good foster homes, even exceptional foster homes, can be created by single people, gay couples, and non-church-going drinkers and smokers. With many, if not most of the children in the foster system coming from homes where there is substance abuse, one of the purposes of the CARE family program is to provide a different environment where addictive substances are void.

Having been a foster parent himself, Senator Knox said that all of the children he and his wife fostered told them that theirs was the only “normal home” they’d been in. These foster children recounted horror stories from past foster homes. Senator Knox believes that bad foster homes exist now because of the way things are being run; foster parents are treated more like babysitters than parents. He believes that this new bill will change that.

More about Senate Bill 158 and those who support as well as those who oppose the bill may be read here.