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Recognizing the benefit of placing children in foster care with friends and family, the state is speeding up certification for kin willing to take them in. The emergency credential has long been available in most “kinship care” situations, but not if the children were placed in foster care voluntarily by their parents, as juvenile delinquents or as persons in need of supervision (PINS). Now it applies to all children in the system. Instead of waiting up to four months, prospective foster parents can now get an emergency credential in hours, once the city finishes a basic house inspection and conducts a background check to make sure there is no record of child abuse or neglect in the home. The rest of the procedure, such as finger printing and mandated training, can be done later. Mike Arsham, executive director of the Child Welfare Organizing Project, an advocacy organization, praised the change. “Anything that moves ACS in the direction of making better and increased use of kinship is a positive step,” he said.
(X. Rong)

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