Valley mom ineligible to foster kids; changes law and gets her way

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on May 17, 2013 at 9:13 PM

Updated Friday, May 17 at 9:20 PM

PHOENIX -- Susann Van Tienderen and her husband Dan love their biological babies and would now like to foster children.

The state is in desperate need of more Van Tienderens.

There are 14,000 kids without homes.

"We have lots of love and attention to give to kids," said Van Tienderen.

When we spoke to the stay at home mom last year, her family wasn't eligible under Arizona law to foster kids because her own children aren't fully vaccinated for personal reasons.

"When you have children that are sleeping on floors in CPS offices or when you have children crammed into shelters, I think kids would be better off in a loving home," said Van Tienderen.

So the Van Tienderens decided to right what they saw as a wrong and made some phone calls.

State Senator Nancy K. Barto sponsored a bill to change the law.

"In the Senate the bill passed with almost unanimous votes. I think everyone agrees that when a foster child themselves are vaccinated they're protected, so it's really a non-issue as sure as safety goes," said Barto.

Governor Jan Brewer also signed off on the bill this month.

Parents no longer have to fully vaccinate their own kids to foster.

The law will go into affect sometime in October.

The Van Tienderens will foster a child as soon as the law allows.

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