Virginia, Senator Mason, Open Foster Care discussed on Transition Virginia

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In foster care so talk about a couple of parties real quick so You know the first lady is doing an incredible job especially with her preschool initiative Which you know. I was glad to support on the education sub In appropriations I think that Which is very well thought. Out To make insurance specially that we're working with the youngest and the least to make sure that they have the best shot you know a full robust education. And so she's doing in you know has done incredible work in that field. And she's an educator so her heart's in it and so I was glad to support her. Vpi initiative One of the things I worked on my first year and I'm still working on Senator Mason I actually are the CO chairs. The Oscar Caucus in Virginia in Virginia in They'll be doing New Hampshire here shortly. But two years ago we were forty-ninth of fifty in the country for foster care policies placements in the lake. Reunification all these different metrics. I mean we were just awful And so what our goal was and I was adopted. So that's something that I'm passionate about making sure kids. Have you know a kid in foster care should have every single opportunity every other kid? Has You know what I mean. They should go to school. They should be able to learn Without Struggle They should be able to. You know living normal everyday life and it's hard for kids and Fusco they're already ripped out of you know Their core situation and they're dealing with a lot of different situation so What our goals was when we started busker caucus was to work on setting policies. Fourth totally revamp that system so two years ago we were forty nine fifty and in the past two and a half years. We have done the most meaningful overhaul foster care and adoption policies since nineteen eighty two. And I wasn't born then so yeah Senator Mason is been incredible to work with He's really got a heart for this and we're not stopping so You know we've worked in close relative adoption to make sure we expand that definition of family You know the code never thought years ago that we would have grandparents or great grandparents raising children right Kind of offering that Kinship care is with the new term for that is So I passed the Kinship Guardianship Assistance. Act Two years ago to really work on Making sure that we can put their next of kin. Said set of some of them may be halfway across Virginia to Open Foster Care. Placement at upsetting. You know the root of their life so It's one of the main things I worked on. You know it's it's it's something I'm going to continue to work on whether it's a hot button issue or not. You know it's important to Virginia. That's excellent work. I hope you're able to continue that effort in the future. Lastly So last week we spoke briefly about the decriminalization bill which Just in the past few days since we published has now passed. So can you talk to us about why you joined a handful of other Republican? Legislators in making this a priority are you shocked not at all. I think it's the right thing do So I think there's a couple of reasons for this there are some real technical reasons And then there are probably a couple of other reasons. I talk about in a second but So when we were in the majority I was actually giving the appointment on the Forensic Science Board While back and if you knew the backlogs The state lab. It's it's absolutely incredible and you know one of the big issues. Obviously we know also the OPIOID crisis. I wanted to talk about how marijuana affects that in the court system and a testing situation. And why you know. I I think that Just from a strategic standpoint. It's really important. Actually so nuclear crisis is so incredible because people are making these drugs right so people don't realize when something gets an offer testing especially if he's going before a court of law what has to happen is there's a scientist you know over the state lab a couple blocks up. They have to go through and build the exact A format with that drug is out and provide that to the court will. The problem is almost every single. Opioid is mechanically different. There's there's different pieces of everything and so when someone else to go and testify before court of law. They have to break that completely down. Talk about what it is in. You know there's a backlog for major issues and I think that marijuana was one of them Backlog there so I think that Especially for mistake lab perspective. Think is important that they to the meat of their work And you know I think it's a great criminal justice reform initiative we need to keep criminals or committing crimes In Jail I just. I think that it's time that that we find people for just like the bill says we find people for Decriminalization instead of locking them up one final thing before we release you from our studio to let you go off and do all those lawmakers door something. This is something we say we do here called. Plug it where you can plug something. You can get marketing to something. Let people know about an organization or a bill or something that's on the horizon so go ahead and plug it hilarious. I got to I thought about an I said I gotTa do to so voices Virginia. Children that I talked about a little bit ago. they're a great organization that's really fostering policies To advance education initiatives for children in Virginia. False care initiatives and the like so building a great family to plug this particular organization. Bec- I I've been working very closely with them over the past couple of years legislation for Foscari adoption and they've been with me every step of the way and they care about Virginia's kids so they're important to me And then the other one is. Virginia's kids belong Former Secretary Komo's Janet Kelly. She worked in the McDonnell administration. She started working with. Virginia's kids belong in Virginia in what their goal is to work with all spheres of the community whether it be a private public churches businesses. Whatever so they can find a way to kind of plug in to this industry Whether it be putting together Foster kids for kids going into foster care working with churches or civic groups find more people are willing to be foster parents Working on people to ease The tumultuousness of the adoption process is so they're trying to work with public private business and government entities to be able to make sure they're nibbling at all all edges of the cookie to make sure that we do a better job with adoption foster care..

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