New York, NY – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) strongly opposes the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) decision to grant a waiver authorizing a government-funded South Carolina foster agency to discriminate against prospective foster parents on the basis of religion. The waiver sanctions taxpayer-funded discrimination and harms foster children, one of society’s most vulnerable populations.
“With this waiver, Miracle Hill and other South Carolina foster agencies can can turn away otherwise qualified foster parents if they are Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, or LGBT—all while more children suffer. Neither the federal nor the state government should be financing discrimination. It’s unlawful and immoral,” said David Bernstein, President and CEO of JCPA. “Children should never be denied a safe, loving home simply because of a prospective parent’s faith, race, or sexual orientation, especially in a state where 4,600 children are already in foster care and an additional 1,500 foster homes are needed.”
Despite receiving taxpayer dollars, Miracle Hill Ministries requires that its employees, volunteers, and foster parents share its fundamentalist Christian faith, a policy that caught the South Carolina Department of Social Services’ attention after a Jewish woman was reportedly turned away due to her faith.
JCPA believes this waiver sets a dangerous precedent and will oppose this decision.