Senator Monty Mason Sponsors Overhaul of Virginia’s Child Welfare System
Richmond—After a recent report to the General Assembly showed Virginia’s child welfare system in need of major change, Senator Monty Mason (D-Williamsburg) championed three bills this legislative session to undertake critical improvements.
Mason is also serving as Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s first-ever Foster Care Caucus.
Mason’s bills have all passed both the House of Delegates and Senate and await signature by the governor. SB1678, SB1679, and SB1720 will allow Virginia to access more federal dollars for prevention services and ensure that reasonable steps are taken to notify relatives of their potential eligibility to become kinship foster parents. Virginia’s rate of placing children with relatives in foster care is far below the national average.
Mason’s work is part of a bi-partisan effort to pass nine bills and two budget amendments that make the corrections outlined in the 2017 report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.
“We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable children in our communities,” Mason said. “These bills represent one of the largest overhauls of Virginia’s child welfare and foster care system in our time, and I’m proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make it possible. While our work to ensure equal opportunities and protection for all children of Virginia is not over, this legislation is an excellent step in the right direction to provide better outcomes for Virginia’s children.”
Mason is a longtime advocate for Virginia’s children, both as a volunteer and legislator.