Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act

DEVILS LAKE NEWSROOM SPECIAL REPORT

BISMARK - North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer joined South Carolina Senator Tim Scott in introducing the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, legislation to protect child welfare providers from being discriminated against for acting in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs.

“Anyone trying to improve the lives of struggling children should never have to choose between helping kids and violating their personal religious beliefs in order to comply with bureaucratic regulations,”  Cramer said. “Our bill ensures child welfare providers can continue to operate and defend themselves properly without the threat of discriminatory government rules hanging over their heads.”

Raising a child has never been easy, and parents have always worried about their children when they left home for school or work. Today parents are concerned about the welfare of their children within the home as well because of the insidious dangers associated with the internet and social media. To determine the top concerns among parents about children’s health, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the findings of the University of Michigan’s  C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health . The poll asked respondents who are parents of children up to 18 years to assess their level of concern for how child health topics might impact their kids. The highest proportion of parents were “very concerned” about bullying/cyberbullying, internet safety, and stress.  Motor vehicle accidents and school violence were the next greatest concerns for parents. The latter issue has been brought into stark relief with the number of school shootings in recent years --  one of the ways American life has changed over the last decade .

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act prohibits federal, state, and local government agencies that receive federal adoption assistance funding from discriminating against child welfare service providers based on the providers’ unwillingness to take action contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs. 

Senators Cramer and Scott are joined on the bill by with Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Roy Blunt (R-Mo), Mike Braun (R-IN), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), John Cornyn (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), James Risch (R-ID), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Rick Scott (R-FL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS). Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

Supporting organizations include Heritage Action, Family Research Council, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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