South Carolina Granted Waiver for Faith-Based Foster Placement

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) granted a waiver requested by South Carolina’s governor from an Obama-era anti-discrimination rule that applied to foster care placement agencies.

Specifically, the regulation would have required Miracle Hill Ministries, the largest foster placement agency in the state, to place children in non-Christian homes, contrary to its religious beliefs and in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The waiver is conditioned on the agency referring potential foster parents to another foster placement agency that will place children in non-Christian homes.

Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said in a statement, “ We applaud HHS for their effort to protect faith-based foster care providers, and we urge HHS and the Trump administration to continue their efforts to undo this discriminatory regulation in order to preserve the freedom of these providers to continue their important work.”

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