Barbour Proclaims "Month of the Child"

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said Monday he will sign two bills sent to him by the state Legislature that he says protect the most vulnerable members of society, children.

One is a $2,500 tax credit to help adoptive parents with the costs associated with adoption. He said compared with the cost to the Department of Human Services of keeping a foster child in the state system, the state will save money with this tax credit.

Barbour credited Sen. Alan Nunnelee with bringing the adoption tax credit to his attention in 2003.

Another bill increases the pool of available caseworkers by creating an alternative certification process for social workers. Barbour said this allows about 70 more caseworkers to be involved in the foster care system. He said the appropriations bill for DHS also provides a pay raise within the Division of Family and Children Services to help recruit and retain direct care workers.