Drug Testing of Foster, Adoptive Parents Proposed

OCTOBER 19, 2006 - Posted at 7:41 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state official proposes testing foster parents and prospective adoptive parents for illegal drug use.  Sheryl Alexander of the state Division of Children and Family Services says it would help ensure the safety of the children.  But a member of an advisory board for the division says some parents would consider drug testing as offensive and might be discouraged from applying to care for a child.

The proposal calls for all foster parent and adoptive parent applicants to undergo drug testing for illegal, controlled substances.  The testing would be performed by the contractor the agency now uses to test its employees.  At $25 per test, the policy would cost the state about $64,000 per year.

No final action has been taken on the proposal.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)