SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Local foster youth are urging Oregon lawmakers to pass a bill that would help foster children know their rights. Senate Bill 123 would serve two crucial functions for foster children.
The bill would require the state to present and explain the rights of foster children when a child enters a foster home. It would also provide a hotline for children to call when they need help.
The Oregon Foster Youth Connection has created a legislative committee to allow foster children to advocate for the bill’s passage. The youth on the committee say that many foster children are unaware of their rights.
“It’s a lot harder to get through the system, an already difficult system, if you don’t know your rights,” said Corvallis foster youth Royce Markley.
“I didn’t find out that we had rights until I was 13, and to me, I feel that something was taken away from me,” said Springfield foster youth Delaine Boyd.
Proponents of the bill said that this potential law would provide a critical piece of communication that would empower thousands of foster children.
Local youth we spoke with said it’s going to be a long process, but they feel confident that lawmakers will pass the bill.