Foster care agency granted exemption

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has granted a faith-based foster care agency in South Carolina an exemption to a regulation barring religious discrimination in federally funded foster care programs.

Miracle Hill Ministries serves Christian families. Lynn Johnson, assistant secretary for children and families at HHS, says the issue is a matter of religious freedom.

“The government should not be in the business of forcing foster care providers to close their doors because of their faith,” Johnson said in a statement. 

Civil rights organizations and non-Protestant religious groups are preparing for a court battle to determine whether service providers who receive federal funds can discriminate based on faith. (TAB)