A new house bill is headed to the governor’s desk. Its purpose: To clarify the Department of Child Safetys communication plan for what to do when a foster child goes missing.

Going on 17 years working in foster care, Marnie Greggs knows firsthand the importance of creating a home for a child.

The most rewarding thing is to see that kids can go to bed in a safe home, said Greggs, a trainer and recruiter at Grace Retreat Foster Care & Adoption Services.

I have lots of foster kids and adopted children, said Greggs.

But not every foster child is placed with a family. Sometimes, theyre in a group home.

We had two foster home girls that went missing from a group home here in Mesa, said Rep. Barbara Parker (R), District 10.

About two weeks later they were found dead in a retention basin in my area, she said.

Community members in Mesa advocated for a stronger communication plan from DCS in the event that a child goes missing.

Sponsoring HB2651, Rep. Parker said the bill would require DCS to work directly with law enforcement within 24 hours of that child being reported as missing.

What had happened when they went missing from the group homethe statute and reporting was a little bit obsolete and out of date, and sure enough there wasn’t the perfect notification system, if you will, said Rep. Parker.

Clarified statute will allow DCS to use social media as a tool when it comes to communicating to the public.

There was a confusion I think originally about whether or not DCS could use current systems of communication tools because of privacy law, said Rep. Parker.

If turned to law, Greggs said shes hopeful this could help with finding missing children.

But working to prevent them from going missing in the first place? This is where she thinks the community could help.

When you have a parent or two parents that are invested in the child, they’re much more likely to be aware and paying attention and watching for signs for trouble than staff would be necessarily at a group home, said Greggs.