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Recap: CLM Testifies in Support of Foster Care Liability Insurance

July 13, 2023

July 13, 2023


On June 27th, CLM's Executive Director Rachel Gwaltney and CLM member Robert Costa from Justice Resource Institute testified in support of An Act clarifying insurance liability for foster care providers (H.1600/S.1134).

Rachel explained that over the past several years, community-based nonprofit organizations have had to reduce services and even consider shutting down due to unaffordable insurance. This has impacted the foster care system in Massachusetts because the number of insurers willing to offer foster care liability insurance in the state has reduced to one standard market carrier, eliminating marketplace competition and pushing up costs of insurance premiums specifically for the foster care services portion of providers’ coverage plans.

"[Added operating costs] reduce the number of foster homes available and exacerbate the already severe placement crisis within our child welfare system, especially for the most medically complex children who are typically served by community-based providers."

- Rachel Gwaltney testifies in support of Foster Care Liability Insurance

This legislation aims to tackle this problem by ensuring that liability for negligence by DCF or another third party cannot be assigned to the contracted provider when the provider is not at fault. This clarification of accountability will help insurance providers remain in this market, increase the pool of insurance options and, ultimately, drive down costs.

CLM would like to thank Robert for sharing his perspective on why the passage of this legislation is so crucial. As the Director of the Intensive Foster Care and Adoption Program at Justice Resource Institute, Robert explained the big impact this bill will specifically have on providers, and in turn, on the children, teens, and young adults foster care providers serve.

Read CLM's complete written testimony here.

**To listen to their testimony, go to the 1 hour and 46 minute mark of the hearing's recording, which can be found here.**

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