Protecting Foster ChildrenFrom Secondhand SmokeHouse Bill 661 (2007) Delegate Jon Cardin With Delegates Barnes, Boteler, Burns, Feldman, Frush, Hubbard, Kach, N. King, Kramer, Morhaim, Nathan-Pulliam, Pena-Melnyk, Rice, and Taylor
What Does HB 661 Require? Requires the Social Services Administration to promulgate regulations that would: • Require the Department of Social Services to consider secondhand smoke exposure when developing a permanency plan for a child; and • Require foster parents to protect foster children from exposure to secondhand smoke.
What Does HB 661 NOT Do? The bill does not: • Prevent DSS from prioritizing family placements and reunification; • Prohibit smokers from serving as foster parents. Rather, the bill leaves discretion in the Social Services Administration to design regulations that will maximize protection of children and minimize alienation of foster parents.
Who Supports HB 661? Department of Human Resources Maryland Association of Resources for Families and Youth (MARFY) Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke (KIISS) American Association for Respiratory Care MD/DC Society for Respiratory Care American Cancer Society American Lung Association (Maryland) American Heart Association
Rachel Grunberger and Margalit Weinblatt, student attorneys with the Center for Tobacco Regulation at the University of Maryland School of Law, will provide more details about the impact of secondhand smoke on children and how other states have successfully implemented smoking restrictions in foster homes. • And Dr. Michael Dean, author of Empty Cribs—The Impact of Smoking on Child Health (2007), will tell us a little more about the negative health consequences, particularly death from SIDS, on infants exposed to secondhand smoke.