Don’t Give Foster Care Agencies a #LicenseToDiscriminate!

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South Carolina is facing a severe shortage of homes for the more than 4,500 children in foster care. Yet the state has requested a federal waiver that would further limit available homes by allowing discrimination against prospective foster care parents.

The waiver, if granted, would permit foster care agencies to deny applications of Jewish, LGBTQ, Muslim, or others on the basis of religious belief. One South Carolina agency, Miracle Hill Ministries, reportedly turned away a Jewish applicant based on religious grounds.

“This waiver is a blatant attempt to sanction discrimination,” said Christina Wilson Remlin, lead counsel at Children’s Rights. “No child should be denied a safe and loving home simply because a prospective parent does not pass a religious or moral litmus test.”

Children’s Rights will continue to work with its partners to advocate for children in state care. Last month, we led a coalition of 20 leading nonprofit children’s organizations and advocates urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reject this waiver. In our letter, we explain that the requested waiver would permit federally-funded discrimination based on religious belief in violation of the First Amendment.

We cannot allow the federal government to condone South Carolina’s attempt to discriminate against families who could provide safe and loving homes to children who so desperately need them. Please sign and share our petition to Roger Severino, Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health & Human Services. The safety of our children hangs in the balance.