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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, November 26, 2017 1:00 am

Indiana House drive to help foster families

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

The Indiana House kicked off its annual charity drive last week, choosing to highlight the need for foster families.

“Children need a family that loves them and cares for them and gives them an education so that they can get a job and have a good life,” said 11-year-old AJ Young. “That is what my parents did for me.”

He was a foster child who was adopted by an Indiana couple.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, announced the House is partnering with the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy and its Institute for Excellence during the 2018 legislative session. The nonprofit organization serves more than 4,600 children every day in foster homes, group homes and treatment facilities, and works closely with the Indiana Department of Child Services to improve children's lives.

“We have too many children across Indiana who are waiting for a foster or adoptive family,” Bosma said. “Through our partnership with IARCA, we want to encourage more Hoosiers to open their hearts and change a life through fostering or adopting.”

In Indiana, nearly twice as many children are in the foster care system than there are available foster homes, according to the Department of Child Services.

To help spread awareness and encourage more Hoosiers to consider fostering or adopting, legislators and IARCA launched a social media campaign using #FosterHopeIndiana and a new website, www.FosterHopeIndiana.org, with information for anyone looking for ways to help.

Bosma said assistance could be in the way of supplies, a monetary donation or becoming a foster family.

On Jan. 24, lawmakers plan to fill diaper bags with donated items during the association's annual day at the Statehouse. And a traveling photo exhibit featuring portraits of children in need of adoptive families will be featured outside the House Chamber throughout the legislative session. According to the Department of Child Services, about 150 children are available for adoption in Indiana at any given time.

Recorder joins state panel

Gov. Eric Holcomb recently appointed Allen County Recorder Anita Mather to the state's new Electronic Recording Commission.

Mather is among five members of the commission, which was established this year by the Uniform Real Property Electronic Recording Act. Commission members, three of whom are county recorders, will set standards for electronic documents for real property, including information security protections.

Miller set to run

Democrat Kyle Miller of Fort Wayne has announced he will run for the Indiana House District 81 seat held by Rep. Martin Carbaugh, R-Fort Wayne.

Miller set up a crowdfunding page on CROWDPAC and has a Facebook page for his campaign.

“It's been five years since voters elected Martin Carbaugh in the 81st district. Since that time, we've really seen nothing of substance come from his 3 terms. Our wages are still stagnant, we're actively destroying public education, and we're consistently rated one of the poorest and unhealthiest states in the nation. We must do better,” Miller said on the crowdfunding page.

Miller supports raising the minimum wage, funneling more incentives to small businesses, fully funding public education and legalizing medical marijuana.

Democrats to talk about terrorism

Terrorism will be the topic Monday at the Allen County Democratic Party's Gray Matters political forum, which is open to the public.

The forum will be at 6 p.m. Monday at party headquarters, 7301 Decatur Road, Fort Wayne. Light refreshments will be served.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.