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Gov. Inslee signs Rep. Freeman's bill to help parents with disabilities into law

Gov. Jay Inslee signs Second Substitute House Bill No. 2616 on March 31, relating to parents with developmental disabilities involved in dependency proceedings.  - Courtesy photo/Aaron Barna, Legislative Support Services Staff Photographer
Gov. Jay Inslee signs Second Substitute House Bill No. 2616 on March 31, relating to parents with developmental disabilities involved in dependency proceedings.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/Aaron Barna, Legislative Support Services Staff Photographer

For the Reporter

Rep. Roger Freeman's (D-Federal Way, 30th Legislative District) statement on Gov. Jay Inslee's signing HB 2616 into law - an act giving parents with disabilities extra support and assistance:

"This new law is a victory for us all, but especially for parents with disabilities. Parenting is hard. As a father of two, I understand the difficulties. For a parent with disabilities, the challenges are even greater. This bill will give them access to the services they and their children deserve.

Parents with disabilities are a distinct community of Americans who struggle – solely because of their status – to retain custody of their children. We know that child removal rates for parents who have a psychiatric disability are as high as 70 to 80 percent and for parents with an intellectual disability, 40 to 80 percent. This is unjust.

"We know the best place for children is with their parents. But some parents need a little extra help. This law recognizes that and provides a new level of appreciation and respect to parents with disabilities. We have a long road ahead to ensure all Washington's families are treated equally, but this bill is a big step in the right direction."

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