12/28/17 – State Representative Mark Born says effort are being made to enhance the state foster care system. Born recently discussed a new commission tasked with looking into the foster care system when he was our guest on WBEV’s Community Comment. He says throughout the year, the committee toured the state to get input on improving the child welfare system and also held public hearings on the matter. Earlier this month, the findings of the task force resulted in the introduction of 14 bi-partisan bills to begin addressing areas of improvement. He says there is between three-and-four-million in additional revenue that some of the bills seek to begin several pilot programs that target local relief. Born says reforms to the child care system that will allow those who work in the field to operate more efficiently are also addressed in the bills. He says more money was put into the 2018 state budget to better help fund the families who aid children in foster care. The Beaver Dam Republican says while money is one of the biggest issues, there are other challenges facing the foster care system. He says the system is facing a lack of families who are able to help as well as challenges with the system itself to support families and children through the process. Born says more funds should be directed to councilors who support host families and their foster children. According to the task force’s most recent study, more than 7,000 children were placed in foster care in 2015 and, if that trajectory continues, more than 10,000 children will be in need of homes by 2023.