AFN Applauds the Legislature and Governor for Passage of Bill Protecting Alaska’s Foster Children
Streamlines proceedings involving children in Alaska’s foster care system
The Alaska Federation of Natives commends the Alaska State Legislature for passing HB 200, a bill that streamlines proceedings involving children in Alaska’s foster care system, and Governor Walker for committing to signing it into law.
“This is great news for Alaskan children and families,” said AFN President Julie Kitka. “This law will have a swift and positive effect on children in state custody and the families trying to adopt them.”
“It also means more Alaska Native children will find permanent homes within their heritage and culture,” Kitka said.
AFN applauds the governor and the legislators for working on this important piece of legislation during the special session.
Adoption of a Child in State Custody Bill, HB 200, will:
- Remove the barriers that prevent Alaska Native families from adopting Native children in state custody
- Implement a “one judge, one family” model, by combining up to four civil legal proceedings within one judge’s purview
- Provide for increased accessibility to the child custody court system
- Improve assistance for an already difficult legal process
AFN especially thanks Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services Valarie Davidson for laying the groundwork to HB 200 by quickly implementing emergency regulations that became permanent; and Christy Lawton, Director of the Office of Children’s Services, for her excellent stewardship of this legislation.
The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) is the largest statewide Native organization in Alaska. Founded in 1966, AFN celebrates its 50th year in 2016. Its membership includes 185 federally recognized tribes, 153 village corporations, 12 regional corporations, and 12 regional nonprofit and tribal consortiums that contract and compact to run federal and state programs. AFN is governed by a 38-member board, which is elected by its membership at the annual convention held each October. The mission of AFN is to enhance and promote the cultural, economic and political voice of the entire Alaska Native community. Learn more at www.nativefederation.org.
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