A collaboration between a Fishers Girl Scout troop, a local nonprofit and State Sen. Kyle Walker (R-Lawrence) created legislation to help foster care children work through trauma.
If passed, Senate Bill 151 would allow foster children and families free access to Indiana state parks and reduced admission to statewide museums. Foster Success, is a local nonprofit that offers resources and programs for foster youth. President and CEO Maggie Stevens said the partnership with Walker was formed before the 2022 legislative session with work to build resources to support older foster youth – things like accessing driver’s licenses and auto insurance.
"All those things that we need are so critical for them to be able to get to their jobs, to get to school and to participate in our communities here in Indiana," Stevens said.
Grace Link is a member of Girl Scout Troop 1937, which worked on including the state park admission in the bill. She said she knows fun activities and recreation are important in the healing process for foster children.
“All of our lives have been touched by foster kids and we can’t understand the hardships that they go through. But we’ve heard of them, Link said. "I feel as though that kids our age should be able to do their childhood and have the same opportunities we have."
The troop introduced the bill as part of earning their Girl Scout silver award, the highest honor Girl Scout Cadettes can earn for girls in grades 6 through 8.
SB 151 was approved in the Senate 49-0 in late January and was referred to the House on Feb. 2.