|Gabe and Melissa Ross|
By Rachel Keith
DECATUR (WAAY) - The Decatur Police Department is wanting foster families to know that they are now protected in the Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act.
The Sex Offender Notification and Registration Act of 2011 prevents more than 11,000 sex offenders in the state from living within 2,000 feet of a school or child care facility. The Decatur Police Department says that now includes foster homes.
"We've received notification of a recent Attorney General opinion which stated the section of the sex offender notification and registration act covering child care facilities also includes foster homes" said Lt. John Crouch with the Decatur Police Department.
Decatur Police are encouraging foster families to list their addresses with their local law enforcement agency.
"Then they can be included in the restricted areas where sex offenders are not allowed to live" said Crouch.
Foster parents like Gabe and Melissa Ross were happy to hear that option is now available to them.
"We have six children in our home and we try to do as much as we can but I feel like this law will really help and add to the security of our home" says Melissa Ross.
"Anything we can do to help protect these children is a great thing because they grow up with such difficult backgrounds, a tough foundation" said Gabe Ross. "Anything we can do to help protect them, provide safety for them."
One foster family has already added their address to the list with the Decatur Police Department and the Ross family says they could be next.
"We would consider putting our name on the list to help protect our children" said Melissa Ross.