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Congregate Care and Group Home State Legislative Enactments

Congregate Care, Residential Treatment and Group Home State Legislative Enactments 2005—2013

3/24/2014

Nearly  400,000 American children  live in foster care, and some 58,000 reside in group homes, residential treatment facilities, psychiatric institutions and emergency shelters. This type of placement—called “congregate care”—may be beneficial for children who require short-term supervision and structure because their behavior may be dangerous.

However, many officials believe that children who don’t need that type of intense supervision are still in these group placements—depending on the state, between 5 percent and 32 percent—making it harder to find them permanent homes and costing state governments three to five times more than family foster care.

ChildrenChild welfare agencies are working to reduce the use of congregate care by reinvesting funds into family-based and prevention services and changing policies to favor family placements and discourage congregate care. For example, some states have lowered the number of beds in group facilities and increased the number of family foster homes. Other states are including children and families in the decisions made regarding where children should be placed and what resources families might need to keep their children home safely.

Read NCSL’s Finding a Way Home article and information about Virginia’s efforts.

Below are state legislative enactments from 2005-2013 related to congregate care and residential treatment or group homes.

The topics identified in the scan include: Assessments to Determine Level of Care; Commissions/Task Forces/Annual Reports; Courts; Educational Outcomes; Funding; Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children/Out-of-State Placement of Children; Oversight and Administration of Psychotropic Medications; Protection from Abuse; Reduce Reliance on Congregate Care/Promotion of Community-Based Care; Rights of Children in Foster Care; State Oversight of Residential Facilities/Licensing; Statewide Plans for Behavioral Health and Health; Training; and Tribes.

State

Citation

Assessments to Determine Level of Care

MN

2010 Minn. Laws, HB 2912, Chap. 303

 

Stipulates that all children referred for treatment of severe emotional disturbance in a treatment foster care setting or residential treatment facility or informally admitted to a regional treatment center shall, prior to admission, undergo an assessment to determine the appropriate level of care if public funds are used to pay for the services, except in the case of an emergency admission.

State

Citation

Commissions/Task Forces/Studies/Annual Reports

WV

 

2010 W.V. Acts, SB 636, Chap. 25

Creates a commission to study the residential placement of children who are in need of or at risk of needing social, emotional and behavioral health services. The law finds that the existing categorical structure of government programs and their funding streams discourage collaboration, resulting in duplication of efforts and a waste of limited resources. It establishes a mechanism to achieve systemic reform by which all the state’s child-serving agencies involved in the residential placement of at-risk youth jointly and continually study and improve the current system and make recommendations to their respective agencies and to the Legislature regarding funding and statutory, regulatory and policy changes.

CT

2009 Conn. Acts, HB 5915, P.A. 96

 

Directs the Commissioner of Children and Families to submit an annual report that includes the following information on children and youth in the custody of the Department of Children and Families: (1) The number and age of such children and youth who are living in a psychiatric hospital or out-of-state residential treatment center, the average length of stay for such children and youth, the number of children and youth who have overstayed their estimated placement time in such placements and an analysis of the reasons for the placements out of state and the overstays; (2) the number and age of such children and youth who are runaways or homeless, the number of days that each child or youth has been a runaway or homeless and an analysis of the trends related to runaways and homelessness; (3) the number and age of children and youth who have a permanency plan of another planned permanent living arrangement and an analysis of the trends related to permanency plans; and (4) the number and age of children and youth who have refused services offered by the Department and an analysis of the trends related to participation in services. The Commissioner shall conduct case and service reviews for each child in the groups described.

MS

2009 Miss. Laws, HB 665, Chap. 555

 

Creates a joint legislative study committee to address child and family issues by creating a youth development program and small group homes and community-based programs, and by implementing a statewide youth advisory council.

CA

2007 Cal. Stats., AB 1453, Chap. 466

Requires the Children and Family Services Division to convene a workgroup, and authorizes funding for a study of the reform of foster group home care to improve outcomes for foster children, with the specific objective of expediting permanent family placements for youth in group homes.

WV

2005 W. Va. Acts, HB 2334, Chap. 46

 

Creates within the Department of Health and Human Resources a Commission to Study the Residential  Placement of Children. Specifies the issues to be studied by the commission, including the current practice of placing children in residential placements, with special emphasis on out-of-state placements, and strategies to reduce the number of children who must be placed in out-of-state facilities and to return children from existing out-of-state facilities. Required the commission to report to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2005.

State

Citation

Courts

 WY

2013 House Bill 86,

Act No. 164

Relates to the Child Protection Act, Children in Need of Supervision Act and Juvenile Justice Act, provides that any court order regarding potential placement at a psychiatric residential treatment facility shall not specify a particular psychiatric residential treatment facility or level of care for the placement of the child.

WI

2011 Wis. Laws, AB 30, Act 87

 

Creates an alternate procedure by which a parent may, without court involvement, delegate certain parental powers to an agent by a power of attorney, in cases related to the care and custody of a child. The law provides that delegation of parental powers does not deprive a parent of any of his or her powers regarding the care and custody of the child. In addition, a parent may revoke the delegation of parental powers at any time by executing a written revocation and notifying the agent in writing. It further provides that a parent may not place a child in foster care, a group home or an inpatient treatment facility by means of a delegation of parental powers as provided under this act. Under this act, as under current law, such placements may be made only by court order. The law provides that a delegation of parental powers does not prevent an agency, a sheriff or a police department from receiving and investigating a report of suspected or threatened abuse or neglect of the child; the child from being taken into and held in custody; an intake worker from conducting an intake inquiry; and a court from exercising jurisdiction over the child.

DE

2008 Vol. 76 Del. Laws, SB 171, Chap. 198

Specifies how a court order should be obtained for holding children charged with or adjudicated of a misdemeanor or felony in the same facility with neglected and delinquent children who have not committed or been charged with any delinquent act. Allows for the provisional mixing of certain children so that needed placements are not delayed.

ID

2005 Idaho Sess. Laws, SB 1165, Chap. 223

 

Allows courts hearing child protection cases to order a mental health assessment and plan of treatment for minors who appear to be suffering severe emotional disturbance (SED). Specifies that such orders can be issued when the court has reason to believe that the child’s SED presents a risk to the child’s safety or well-being and that the child’s needs are not being met with the services thus far provided. Allows the court to convene a screening team, drawn from a wide range of agencies and including the child’s parents or guardians, to provide recommendations for the court. Allows the plan of treatment to become an order of the court, and requires the department to provide the mental health treatment designated. States that any residential or inpatient treatment can be ordered only after a hearing or waiver of a hearing by the child and the child’s parents or guardians.

State

Citation

Educational Outcomes

GA

2013 Senate Bill 115
Act No. 36
 

Provides that a child in custody of the Department of Justice, the Department of Human Services or the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities is eligible for enrollment in local educational programs, including special education, provides that no child in a youth development center, regardless of custody status, is eligible for enrollment in local educational programs.

 SD

2013 Senate Bill 158, Act No. 77

Provides for the funding by school districts of educational programs for children in residential treatment centers, intensive residential treatment centers, or licensed group care centers.

CO

2010 Colo., Sess. Laws, HB 1274, Chap. 271

 

Requires that the Department of Human Services and the Department of Education enter into a memorandum of understanding concerning enrollment of students in the public school system from a state-licensed day treatment facility, facility school or hospital-licensed school. The law describes the purpose of the memorandum as collaborating in placement of students, better facilitating creation of plans for transitioning students to public school systems and ensuring safety of people in the school community.

MO

2009 Mo. Laws, HB 481

 

Sec. 173.270.1: Requires the coordinating board for higher education to make provisions for institutions under the board’s jurisdiction to award a tuition and fee waiver for undergraduate courses at state institutions of higher education for any student, beginning with incoming freshmen in the 2010 fall semester or term, who (a) is a resident of the state;  (b) has graduated within the previous 3 years from high school or passed the GED examination; and (c) has been in foster care or other residential care under the Department of Social Services on or after (a) the day preceding the student’s 18th birthday; (b) the day of the student’s 14th birthday, if the student was also eligible for adoption on or after that day; or (c) the day the student graduated from high school or received a GED. To be eligible for a waiver award, a student shall apply to and be accepted at the institution not later than (a) the third anniversary of the date the student was discharged from foster or other residential care, the date the student graduated from high school, or the date the student received a GED, whichever is earliest; or (b) the student’s 21st birthday. Lawmakers also extended state tuition and fee waivers to foster children.

WA

2009 Wash. Laws, HB 1961, Chap. 235

 

Allows for the continued foster care or group care and necessary support and transition services to youth ages 18–21 who are enrolled and participating in a post-high school academic or vocational program.

CA

2008 Cal. Stats., AB 3015, Chap. 557

 

Requires training for group home administrators, licensed foster parents and relative caregivers to include basic instruction on the existing laws and procedures contained in the California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act of 2000, regarding the safety of foster youth at school and the maintenance of a harassment- and violence-free school environment.

CO

2008 Colo. Sess. Laws, HB 1204, Chap. 311

Provides for the oversight of educational programs for children placed within day treatment centers, residential child care facilities and other out-of-home placement facilities. The oversight will be provided through the creation of a unit within the Department of Education to work with the facilities to facilitate consistency in curriculum, standards and tracking of students’ performance.

IN

 

2007 Ind. Acts, SB 330

Sec. 1. Allows a child placed in a state-licensed private or public health care facility or child care facility by the Department of Child Services, a court order or a licensed child-placing agency to attend school in the school district in which the facility is located.

MO

 

2007 Mo. Laws, SB 84

Sec. 650.025. Requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, in conjunction with the Department of Social Services, to complete a study addressing the educational needs of certain children in residential care facilities.

NC

2006 N.C. Sess. Laws, HB 1074, Chap. 5

 

Sec. 1. Upon recommendation of the Department of Social Services or Division of Mental Health, allows students to attend public schools outside the local school administrative district where they reside if their parents or legal guardians have relinquished physical custody. Provides that, if a child is in a licensed facility, a caregiver adult also may be a child’s foster parent and has the same authority and responsibility as a parent, even if the parent does not sign an affidavit.

MT

2005 Mont. Laws, HB 83, Chap. 463

Requires the superintendent of public instruction to pay tuition for children who attend school outside of their district of residence because of placement in foster care or a group home.

TX

2005 Tex. Gen. Laws, SB 6, Chap. 268

Secs. 1.01, 1.02. Requires the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to develop outreach programs to ensure that students in grades 9–12 in foster care or other residential care are aware of the availability of their exemption from the payment of tuition and fees for higher education. Includes adopted students in grades 9–12 who were formerly in foster or other residential care.

State

Citation

Funding

 NH

2013 HOUSE Bill 486,

Act No. 2013-12 

Makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Health and Human Services for the purpose of paying residential care providers at the Chase Home for Children.

 CA

2012 Assembly Bill 1712,

Act No. 846

Relates to expanded foster care payments. Includes THP-Plus Foster Care within the definition of a community care facility.

NC

2011 N.C. Sess. Laws, HB 200, Chap. 145

 

Sec. 108A-49.1 (d): Requires that the state and a county participating in foster care and adoption assistance shall each contribute 50 percent of the nonfederal share of the cost of care for a child placed by a county department of social services or child-placing agency in a family foster home or residential child care facility. A county shall be held harmless from contributing 50 percent of the nonfederal share of the cost for a child placed in a family foster home or residential child care facility under an agreement with that provider as of Oct. 31, 2008, until the child leaves foster care or experiences a placement change.

TX

2011 Tex. Gen. Laws, SB 218, Chap. 598

 

Sec. 11: Authorizes the Health and Human Services Commission to use alternative payment rates for foster care under the newly redesigned system for 24-hour residential child care. The law also allows the alternative rates to include incentive payments and funding for additional services. It prohibits the alternative rates from exceeding the amounts appropriated for foster care and other purchased services for any fiscal year, except to the extent that an increase in total foster care expenditures is the direct result of caseload growth.

CA

2009 Cal. Stats., AB 295, Chap. 427

 

Extends the availability of funds appropriated for adoption activities to specified counties to provide pre- and post-adoption services to ensure the successful adoption of children and youth who have been in foster care 18 months or more, are at least nine years of age, and are placed in an unrelated foster home or in a group home.

IN

2009 Ind. Acts, SB 365, P.L. 131

Establishes that the Department of Child Services is responsible for the cost of treatment or maintenance of a child under the department’s custody or supervision who is placed by or with the consent of the Department of Child Services in a state institution, only if the costs are reimbursable under the state Medicaid program.

TX

2009 Tex. Gen. Laws, SB 2080, Chap. 1238

 

Authorizes a relative or other designated caregiver who becomes licensed by the DFPS to operate a foster home, group home, agency foster home or agency foster group to receive foster care payments in lieu of certain benefits.

CO

2008 Colo. Sess. Laws, SB 216, Chap. 324

 

Limits the county contribution for the cost of placing children in residential child care facilities to 10 percent of the placement cost.

CO

2008 Colo. Sess. Laws, HB 1046, Chap. 381

 

Offers assistance in applying for Medicaid, Children’s Basic Health Plan benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to parents or legal guardians of juveniles in a commitment center and certain persons confined in a mental health facility of the Department of Human Services who meet specified criteria. Requires simplification of the processing of applications for Medicaid, the Children’s Basic Health Plan, SSI and SSDI.

CA

2007 Cal. Stats., SB 84, Chap. 177

 

Provides a 5 percent increase for foster family home, specialized care, and group home rates. Revises existing procedures related to county collection of overpayments for foster care providers. Increases the maximum reimbursement amount in the Private Adoption Assistance Reimbursement Program (PAARP) to $10,000. PAARP provides a subsidy for each special-needs adoption completed by licensed adoption agencies in California. This support helps private agencies prepare and support families for waiting children. Revises the funding for the care of children who receive an Aid to Families with

Dependent Children-Foster Care benefit and who are regional center consumers, and provides that PAARP cover the cost of providing adoption assistance benefits for these children. (California has 21 regional centers with approximately 40 offices throughout the state that serve individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.) Permits counties to provide a supplement of up to $1000 if the child needs extraordinary care and supervision that cannot be met within the established adoption assistance rate.

ID

2007 Idaho Sess. Laws, HB 322, Chap. 304

 

Sec. 8. Requests the Department of Health and Welfare to perform a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis and feasibility review of any potential benefits of paying for the therapeutic portion of therapeutic foster care and residential group care programs from Medicaid rather than the state-funded Children’s Mental Health program. Requires a report to the Health Care Task Force by Nov. 1, 2007.

VA

2007 Va. Acts, SB 1332, Chap. 840

 

Adds children requiring mental health services to prevent foster care placement to the list of children eligible for public or private nonresidential or residential services for troubled youth and families funded by the state pool of funds allocated to the community policy and management teams.

VA

2006 Va. Acts, HB 5002, Chap. 3

 

Requires the Department of Social Services, in collaboration with the Virginia League of Social Services Executives and the executive director of the Office of Comprehensive Services, to conduct a comprehensive study of the policies and procedures of the special-needs adoption program and make recommendations. Requires the study to examine the causes of recent expenditure growth and make recommendations to moderate expenditure growth while meeting the needs of children. States that measures to be studied should include setting income guidelines for prospective adoptive parents, using available federal resources such as Medicaid, and setting rates for children’s residential facilities.

State

Citation

Interstate Compact on the Placement
of Children/Out-of-State Placement of Children

 AR

2013 HOUSE Bill 1849,
Act No. 751

Amends provisions of the interstate compact on the placement of children, provides that foster care shall not include placement in a residential facility by a parent if a child welfare agency or court is not involved with the parent or child through an open case or investigation, redefines priority placement to include when a child is moved between states to be placed with a relative and there is an unexpected dependency due to a parent's incarceration, incapacitation or death.

 VA

2012 Senate Bill 366,
Act No. 82

Revises the interstate compact on the placement of children, provides that regulations shall not prohibit the placement of a nonresident child in a children's residential facility in the Commonwealth by a custodial parent who assumes full financial responsibility for the child prior to final approval of the placement pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children when the placement is made without the involvement of a public officer or agency.

MI

2011 Mich. Pub. Acts, HB 4526, Act 63

 

Sec. 513: Requires that the Department of Human Services not expend money to pay for direct placement by the department of a child in an out-of-state facility, without the approval of the deputy director for Human Services, unless there is no available placement in the state, an out-of-state placement exists that is closer to the child’s home than an in-state placement, the out-of-state facility meets all licensing standards of the state where it is located, and the department has conducted an onsite visit to the out-of-state facility. The department must submit a report by Feb. 1 of each year on the number of children who were placed in out-of-state facilities during the previous fiscal year, the number of Michigan children residing in such facilities at the time of the report, the total cost and average per diem cost of these out-of-state placements to the state, and a list of each such placement arranged by the Michigan county of residence for each child.

 

Sec. 532: Requires the Department of Human Services, in collaboration with representatives of private child and family agencies, to revise and improve the annual licensing review process and the annual contract compliance review process for child-placing agencies and child-caring institutions. The improvement goals shall be to provide safety and care for children while alleviating administrative burdens so that agency resources may be focused on children. The department shall report to the Senate and House appropriations subcommittees on the department’s budget, and to the Senate and House fiscal agencies and policy offices and the state budget director on or before Jan. 15 of the current fiscal year on the findings of the annual licensing review. The department shall conduct licensing reviews no more than once every two years for child-placing agencies and child-care institutions that are nationally accredited and have no outstanding violations.

 

Sec. 539: Instructs the Department of Human Services to work in collaboration with representatives from child-placing agencies to ensure the appropriate placement for children who have been adjudicated abused, neglected or delinquent and for whom residential treatment is required. The department and the representatives from the child-placing agencies shall focus on statewide placement criteria to address the best interests of the child in need of services. The placement criteria shall include a continuum of care settings and options as appropriate for each child, including home placements, relative placements, shelter placements and other options.

NY

2005 N.Y. Laws, SB 5810, Chap. 392

 

Declares legislative intent to provide New York state and local governmental agencies appropriate control and oversight over the financing and quality of care received by children placed in out-of-state residential facilities and programs.  Establishes an Out-of-State Placement Committee comprising the commissioners of children and family services, mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities, education, alcoholism and substance abuse services and health, and the director of the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives. Requires the establishment of a registry of out-of-state residential programs that have been approved by one or more members of the Out-of-State Placement Committee in accordance with core requirements to be developed by the committee. Requires the committee to establish recommended contract parameters for use by committee member agencies and local agencies when contracting with out-of-state programs. Requires the committee to establish model processes for placement and to make reasonable efforts to coordinate technical assistance resources to strengthen local and regional service coordination.  Requires the committee to make recommendations concerning the development of integrated and flexible funding for the purchase of services for children with complex needs.

State

Citation

Oversight and Administration of Psychotropic Medications

IL

2011 Ill. Laws, HB 286, P.A. 245

 

Creates the Administration of Psychotropic Medications to Children Act. The law requires the Department of Children and Family Services to promulgate rules establishing and maintaining standards and procedures to govern the administration of psychotropic medications to children and youth in state care. Such rules shall include administration to youth in correctional facilities, residential facilities, group homes and psychiatric hospitals.

NV

2011 Nev. Stats., SB 246, Chap. 259

 

Requires a medical facility that accepts custody of children pursuant to a court order to adopt a policy concerning administration and management of medication to such children and to ensure that each employee of the medical facility who will administer medication to a child in the facility receives a copy of and understands the policy. The law imposes the same requirement on 1) a public or private institution or agency to which a juvenile court commits a child, 2) a state facility for detention or commitment of children, 3) a specialized foster home or a group foster home, 4) a child care facility that occasionally or regularly has physical custody of children pursuant to the order of a court, and 5) a treatment facility and any other facility of the Division of Child and Family Services into which a child may be committed by a court order.

State

Citation

Protection From Abuse

NY

2012 Senate Bill 7749,
Chapter 501

Enacts the Protection of People with Special Needs Act, enacts various provisions for the protection of persons in state operated and licensed facilities from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.

 

Establishes the justice center for the protection of people with special needs, addresses the protection of students in residential care, background checks of providers and their employees, and an abuse prevention notification system.

AR

2011 Ark. Acts, SB 626, Act 792

Sec. 1: Amends the definition of abuse to allow for reasonable restraint if the person exercising the restraint is acting in an official capacity while on duty at a residential child care facility or the residential child care facility is exempt from licensure under the Child Welfare Agency Licensing Act.

CO

2011 Colo. Session Laws, SB 120, Chap. 102

Establishes certain protections for the rights of youth in foster care, except for those in the custody of the Division of Youth Corrections or a state mental hospital. These include freedom from administration of prescription medication unless authorized by a physician; promotion of school stability that presumes a youth will remain in his or her current school at the time of placement, unless remaining in that school is not in the child’s best interests; and freedom to maintain an emancipation bank account. To help protect youth against identity theft, the court shall ensure that each youth in foster care who is age 16 to 18 receives a free credit report. In addition, foster parents and group home parents must make reasonable efforts to allow a youth in their care to participate in extracurricular, cultural, educational, work-related and personal enrichment activities.

NV

2011 Nev. Stats., AB 536, Chap. 514

 

Requires all facilities that provide residential services to children to require criminal history investigations of all facility license holders, employees and certain residents of the facility. The law offers further protection to children by requiring such facilities to terminate the employment of certain people based on the results of the criminal history investigation and to require these background investigations every five years.

PR

2011 PR Sess. Laws, L 0163

 

Prohibits those subject to the Registry of Persons Convicted of Sexually Violent Crimes and Abuse Against Children from establishing residence within 500 feet of any elementary, middle or high school or any institution or child care establishment.

TX

2011 Tex. Gen. Laws, SB 653, Chap. 85

Sec. 203.014: Requires the Department of Family and Protective Services to establish a permanent, 24-hour, toll-free number for information about the abuse, neglect or exploitation of children in the custody of the Texas Juvenile Justice Department. The law further requires that the number be prominently displayed in each department facility and that children in custody have confidential access to telephones to call the toll-free number. The Texas Juvenile Justice Department must share complaints received on the toll-free number with the Office of the Inspector General and the Office of the Independent Ombudsman.

AZ

2010 Ariz. Sess. Laws, SB 1091, Chap. 161

Requires child protective service workers to accept, screen and assess reports of abuse or neglect in residential treatment centers or in behavioral health residential agencies that are licensed by the Department of Health Services.

OK

2010 Okla. Sess. Laws, SB 1830, Chap. 220

 

Stipulates Department of Human Services (DHS) responsibilities when a DHS assessment or investigation results in a report of alleged abuse or neglect of a child placed in an Office of Juvenile Affairs secure facility. The law requires the DHS to immediately make a referral, either verbally or in writing, to the appropriate law enforcement agency for the purpose of conducting a possible criminal investigation. After making the referral to the law enforcement agency, the DHS shall not be responsible for further investigation.

VA

2010 Va. Acts, HB 411, Chap. 551

Requires the Department of Social Services to make available information about shaken baby syndrome, its effects and resources. The law stipulates that the information be available in print and audiovisual formats on a Web site maintained by the department and that the department inform every child welfare program licensed by the department about the information. The legislation also requires that information about shaken baby syndrome be made available to foster and adoptive parents and to staff of child day programs and children’s residential facilities.

NV

2009 Nev. Stats., AB 103, Chap. 2

 

Provides for the audit, inspection, review and survey of governmental facilities for children to determine whether such facilities adequately protect the health, safety and welfare of the children. Defines governmental facility for children as any facility, detention center, treatment center, hospital, institution, group shelter or other establishment that is owned or operated by a governmental entity and that has physical custody of children.

NY

2008 N.Y. Laws, SB 111, Chap. 323

 

Defines abuse and neglect of a child in residential care. Specifies reporting procedures, central registry placement and criteria for determinations of such reports and actions to be taken. Requires the Office of Children and Family Services, upon reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect, to make a separate report to the statewide central registry for investigation by the applicable local child protective service. Requires the Office of Children and Family Services, upon determination that a crime was committed against a child in care, to transmit the allegations and findings to law enforcement. Requires the office to also report its findings, regardless of whether the report is indicated or unfounded, to the director of the facility and to the appropriate licensing or operating state agency. Requires the office to recommend to the facility and licensing state agency that appropriate preventive and remedial actions be taken. Requires the facility or state agency to initiate such action within a reasonable period and to submit a written report of such actions to the office.

IL

2007 Ill. Laws, SB 108, P.A. 95-443

 

Expands the definition of “neglected child” to include a child (1) who has been provided with crisis intervention services, (2) whose parent or guardian refuses to permit the child to return home, (3) for whom no other living arrangement

agreeable to the parent or guardian can be made and (4) whose parent or guardian has not made other appropriate living arrangements for the child, unless the minor is an immediate physical danger to himself or others living in the home. Specifies the requirements for temporary shelter for such minors and the process for filing a report of neglect and taking temporary prospective custody. Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to secure a minor’s immediate admission to a mental health facility, arrange for law enforcement authorities to take temporary custody or take other appropriate action to assume protective custody when it has been determined that the minor is not a neglected minor because the minor is an immediate physical danger to himself, herself or others living in the home.

OR

 

2007 Ore. Laws, HB 3113, Chap. 781

Requires the Department of Human Services and a law enforcement agency to jointly determine their respective roles in conducting an investigation of child abuse after either one has received a report of child abuse at a child care facility. The department and law enforcement agency must report their outcomes to the Child Care Division.

State

Citation

Reduce Reliance on Congregate Care/Promote Community-Based Care

UT

2013 Senate Bill 255,

Act No. 171
 

Requires the Division of Child and Family Services to make a report to the 2013 Health and Human Services Interim Committee on: shifting resources and staff to in-home services, proposals aimed at keeping sibling groups together, as much as possible, and providing necessary services to structured foster families to avoid sending foster children to proctor homes, the disparity between foster care payments and adoption subsidies, and whether an adjustment to those rates could result in savings to the state.

KY

2012 House Bill 294,
Act No. 158

Creates the Impact Plus Program of community-based behavioral health services. The program is built on the principles of the Kentucky IMPACT program and is available for Medicaid-eligible children only. The program is designed to provide community-based services for eligible children with complex behavioral health needs.  Children being served by IMPACT Plus must also be identified as having severe emotional disability and complex treatment needs. These children are at risk of institutional, hospital or other out-of-home placements.

 MA

2012 Senate Bill 2410,

Act No. 240-2012

Establishes a network of child and family service programs and family resource centers to provide community-based services to families with children requiring assistance, includes habitually truant, residential programs and special education, develops standards for a comprehensive and integrated network of services, requires a standard intake screening and assessment tool, includes medical and mental health needs, creates a data collection system, provides exemptions to public records.

NV

2011 Nev. Stats., SB 111, Chap. 236

Requires each agency that provides child welfare services to develop and implement a written plan to ensure that the provisions and exceptions for placing a child in protective custody are understood and carried out. These provisions include that a child who is under age 6 and is in protective custody cannot be placed into a child care institution unless appropriate foster care is not available at the time of the placement or certain other conditions are met, including that the medical needs of the child cannot be met at any other placement or that the placement is necessary to avoid separating siblings.

VA

2011 Va. Acts, HB 1984, Chap. 9

 

Establishes that, in cases where a child cannot be returned to his or her family or cannot be placed for adoption or where kinship care is not in the best interests of the child, the Department of Social Services shall consider other placements and services that afford the best alternative for protecting the child’s welfare. These include family foster care; treatment foster care and residential services; and services such as wraparound, respite, mentoring, adoption support and crisis stabilization that may be in the best interests of the child.

CA

2010 Cal. Stats., AB 1758, Chap. 561

 

Authorizes all counties to provide children with service alternatives to group home care through development of expanded family-based services programs, including individualized or “wraparound” services. Wraparound services are community-based intervention services that emphasize the strengths of the child and family and include coordinated, highly individualized, unconditional services to address needs and achieve positive outcomes in their lives. These services are available to a child living with his or her birth parent, relative, non-relative extended family member, adoptive parent, licensed or certified foster parent, or guardian. The law authorizes a county to develop and implement a plan for providing wraparound services designed to enable children who would otherwise be placed in a group home setting to remain in the least restrictive, most family-like setting possible. It also imposes specified evaluation and reporting requirements for participating counties and training requirements for staff in these counties.

ND

2009 N.D. Sess. Laws, SB 2355, Chap. 476

 

Requires the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to establish a pilot program in the South Central Judicial District to provide short-term shelter, and assessment and intervention services for at-risk children and youth. Provides that the program must include placement of at-risk children and youth, a professional assessment and family reunification services as an alternative to foster care or group care. Provides that the shelter facility must be non-secure and approved by the juvenile court.

CA

2007 Cal. Stats., SB 720, Chap. 475

 

Extends the state’s Whole Family Foster Care Program, which provides foster placement for a teen parent and a child, to non-relative legal guardians (legal guardians who are not relatives and who have established guardianship on their own through Probate Court) who have been trained. Requires that the same payment be made in a whole family foster home for the care and supervision of a child who is living with his or her teen parent as would be made for a child living with his or her teen parent in a group home.

CA

2007 Cal. Stats., AB 1453, Chap. 466

Requires the Children and Family Services Division to convene a workgroup, and authorizes funding for a study of the reform of foster group home care to improve outcomes for foster children, with the specific objective of expediting permanent family placements for youth in group homes.

ME

2007 Me. Laws, SB 333, Chap. 320

Permits adult parents to reside with their children in a residential child care facility to facilitate the care of the child when the Department of Child and Family Services has determined it to be in the child’s best interests.

MN

2007 Minn. Laws, HB 1078, Chap. 147

Clarifies the process and requirements for voluntary placement when a child is developmentally disabled or emotionally disturbed and needs placement in a residential facility for the sole reason of accessing services or a level of skilled care that cannot be provided in the parent’s home.

NV

2007 Nev. Stats, AB 147, Chap. 274

 

Sec. 1. Provides that children younger than age 3 placed in protective custody may not be placed in a child care institution unless appropriate foster care is unavailable in the county in which the child resides, the child requires medical services that cannot be provided at any other placement or it is necessary to avoid separating siblings. Provides that children younger than age 6 placed in protective custody may not be placed in a group shelter that provides care and supervision to more than 16 children.

CA

2006 Cal. Stats., SB 1641, Chap. 388

 

Expresses the legislative findings that the rules and regulations governing foster care licensure stigmatize foster children because they subject them to conventions dissimilar to other children and are viewed by some prospective foster parents as unreasonable. Expresses the intent of the Legislature that foster children be given an opportunity to live in an environment that resembles as closely as possible a non-foster care family. Requires the director of Social Services to report on the progress of the legislatively mandated children’s residential regulation review workgroup.

IA

2006 Iowa Acts, HF 2567, Chap. 1123

 

Requires the Department of Human Services to establish a multidimensional treatment-level foster care program on a pilot basis for children who are making the transition from a residential facility to a foster family home while preparing for family reunification. Specifies eligibility determination and treatment services, to include foster family recruitment, placement services, indirect services, crisis intervention, and foster care-related treatment services such as home visiting and counseling.

State

Citation

Rights of Children in Foster Care

NV

2011 Nev. Stats., AB 154, Chap. 133

 

Secs. 3−5: Establishes certain rights of children who are placed in foster homes. The law standardizes rights for children in foster care among foster care and treatment providers. It ensures consistency of care for children among the various types of care provided. It brings issues related to the Bill of Rights for Children in Foster Care into one place in the statute to allow more effective communication among families. The law also sets a standard so that all foster children are afforded the same basic rights.

 

Sec. 6: Requires a provider of family foster care that places a child in a foster home to inform the child of his or her rights and to provide the child with a written copy of those rights. The law requires each group foster home that provides care to more than six children to post a written copy of these rights in the group foster home.

 

Sec. 7: Authorizes a provider of family foster care to place reasonable restrictions on the rights of a child based upon the time, place and manner of a child’s exercise of those rights if such restrictions are necessary to preserve the order or safety of the foster home.

 

Sec. 8: Authorizes a child placed in foster care who believes that his or her rights as set forth in this law have been violated to raise and redress a grievance with any of a number of people or institutions responsible for the child.

State

Citation

State Oversight of Residential Facilities/Licensing

 FL

2013 House Bill 7129,

Act No. 2013-219

Provides accreditation requirements for boarding schools; authorizes DCF to impose administrative sanctions or civil remedies when residential group care is being provided without license; requires background screening for certain boarding school personnel; requires boarding schools to follow standard school schedules; provides for fines.

 ME

2013 Senate Bill 511,

Act No. 179

Relates to human services licensing and certification, relates to residents in children's homes, emergency children's shelters and children's residential child care facilities, provides for intermediate care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities, requires state surveys of such facilities, provides for parent training.

MI

2011 Mich. Pub. Acts, SB 437, Act 227

 

Sec. 3: (1) Provides that a child under age 17, whose support and education have been provided under the regulations of the Department of Human Services, may be admitted to the Michigan Children’s Institute by commitment to the department. The law requires all children committed to the Michigan Children’s Institute to be subject to review by the juvenile division of the probate court. It requires that the superintendent of the institute represent the state as guardian of each child committed, beginning with the day the child is admitted and continuing until the child is age 19, unless the superintendent or the department discharges the child sooner or if the child is at least age 18 but younger than age 21 and is participating in the extended foster care services of the Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care Act. Wherever commitment to the Michigan Children’s Institute is mentioned in any law of this state, it shall be construed to mean commitment to the department. A child may be committed to the department by the juvenile division of the probate court, if the child is within the court’s jurisdiction; by the probate court, if the child is a ward of the court and the court has denied an order of adoption for the child; or by observation order. If a child has been decreed to be a ward of the probate court or the juvenile division of the probate court has acquired formal jurisdiction of a child because of the circumstances of the case or because the child’s condition might be benefited, the court may make a temporary commitment to the department and direct that the child be taken to a facility of the Michigan Children’s Institute for observation for a period not to exceed 90 days. (2) The superintendent of the institute has the power to make decisions on behalf of a child committed to the institute. The attorney general or his or her representative shall represent the institute’s superintendent in any court proceeding in which the superintendent considers such representation necessary to carry out his or her duties.

MI

 

2011 Mich. Pub. Acts, SB 440, Act 230

Requires that foster care financed by a county department be provided through use of licensed child care institutions or placement agencies, in accordance with the needs of the child. If licensed child care institutions or placement agencies are not available or there is a religious conflict, foster care shall be provided under the direct supervision of the county department. The law requires that such care meet standards related to training and experience; maintenance of adequate records and information on children; selection of family foster homes with consideration of the child’s religious, racial and cultural background; and monthly visitation requirements.

 

TX

2011 Tex. Gen. Laws, HB 807, Chap. 724

 

Requires the Department of Family and Protective Services to provide written notice within 48 hours to a residential child care facility and any child-placing agency involved with a child before the department may change the child’s residential child care facility.

LA

 

La. Acts 2010, SB 196, Act 64

Expands the definition of child-placing agency to include institutions or agencies engaged in placing youth in transitional placing programs. The law defines a youth as a person not younger than age 16 or older than age 21. It requires that any institution, society, agency, corporation, facility, person or any other group engaged in placing youth in transitional placing programs be licensed as a child-placing facility.

KS

2009 Kan. Sess. Laws, HB 2211, Chap. 2009-2

 

Determines that when any law enforcement officer takes into custody a child 15 years of age or younger, or 16 or 17 years of age if the child shows signs of physical, mental, emotional or sexual abuse, the child shall be placed with a facility or person designated by the secretary.

MD

2009 Md. Laws, SB 690, Chap. 591

Adds to the definition of “out-of-home placement” the placement of the child by a residential program operated by or under contract with the Department of Juvenile Services or a foster care home approved by a local Department of Social Services.

VA

2008 Va. Acts., SB 472, Chap. 873

 

Eliminates the interdepartmental regulation of children’s residential facilities and group homes, and provides that the Departments of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services, Social Services, and Juvenile Justice shall regulate and license children’s residential facilities and group homes for which they are the primary licensing agency.

 

Each licensing agency shall conduct background checks of persons working or volunteering at facilities. Requires the Department of Education to be solely responsible for licensure of educational programs in children’s residential facilities and group homes.

TX

2007 Tex. HB 2702, Chap. 267

 

Sec. 30. Establishes a Committee on Licensing Standards to review, analyze and make recommendations for policy and statutory changes related to licensing standards and facility inspections. The committee review shall include analysis

of the deaths of children in substitute care, types of licensing violations, administrative reviews and appeals, and the technical assistance received.

 

Sec. 32. Outlines requirements for the unannounced annual inspection of residential child care facilities. Directs the department to investigate any report of a serious incident in an agency foster home or group home involving a child younger than age 6, including an investigation of any alleged violation of a minimum standard.

TX

2005 Tex. Gen. Laws, SB 6, Chap. 268

Sec. 1.72. Requires the state auditor to conduct a management review of the residential contract management employees of the Health and Human Services Commission and the DFPS. Includes a financial audit and case file audit of selected residential contractors. Allows for the DFPS, subject to the availability of funds, to develop an Internet-based system to enable residential contractors to review and reconcile financial accounts.

Sec. 1.90. Requires residential child care facilities to meet statewide minimum standards and requires their regulation by a licensing program. Defines a residential child care facility as a facility licensed or certified by the DFPS to provide assessment, care, training, education, custody, treatment or supervision for a child who is not related to the owner or operator of the facility by blood, marriage or adoption, for the entire 24-hour day. Includes child care institutions, child-placing agencies, foster group homes, foster homes, agency foster group homes and agency foster homes.

Sec. 1.94. Requires the executive commissioner to adopt rules governing the placement and care of children by a child-placing agency, group homes and adoptive homes. Requires each residential child care facility to notify the department and the appropriate local law enforcement agency immediately on determining that a child is missing from the facility.

State

Citation

Statewide Plan for Behavioral/Mental Health, Medical, Dental Services/System

AZ

 

2013 Senate Bill 1375,
Act No. 220

Requires Arizona Department of Economic Security on or before, Oct. 1, 2015, in collaboration with ADHS and AHCCCS to determine: The most efficient and effective way to provide comprehensive medical, dental and behavioral health services for children who are in a foster home, in the custody of ADES or in the custody of a probation department.

 CT

2013 Senate Bill 972,

Act No. 13-178

Requires the development of a plan for meeting children’s mental, emotional and behavioral health needs, requires the inclusion of certain strategies, including school and community-based mental health services integration and early intervention enhancement, provides for collaboration with emergency mobile psychiatric service providers, training of school resource officers, mental health providers, pediatricians and child care providers, home visitation, and a study on nutrition and psychotropic drugs.

 TX

2013 Senate Bill 58,
Act No. 1143

Relates to integrating behavioral health and physical health services provided under the Medicaid program using managed care organizations, relates to delivery of mental health, behavioral health, substance abuse, and certain other services.

KS

2012 House Bill 2631,

Act No. 2012-109
 

Relates to dental care availability and access, allows a dental practice to remain open after the death of the dentist for a specified period, provides that the practice of dental hygiene may be performed with consent of the parent or legal guardian, on children participating in residential and nonresidential centers for therapeutic services or receiving family preservation services, on all children in foster care homes, runaway youth programs and homeless shelters as well as on children in schools.

KY

2010 Ky. Acts, HB 231, Chap. 7

 

Requires the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to investigate the need for specialty residential treatment facilities for children with mental health disorders, and requires formal written inter-sector agreements between residential facilities and agencies that treat, educate or serve the children. The law requires that treatment facilities submit a “certificate of need” showing compliance with specific criteria.

NE

 

2009 Neb. Laws, LB 603

Adopts the Behavioral Health Workforce Act and the Children and Family Behavioral Health Support Act. Provides coverage under the medical assistance program for community-based secure residential and subacute behavioral health services. Makes pregnant women with a family income equal to or less than 185 percent of the Office of Management and Budget income poverty guideline eligible for medical assistance. Creates the Family Navigator Program to respond to children’s behavioral health needs.

NE

2008 Kan. Sess. Laws, HB 2214, Chap. 134

 

Amends the Dental Practices Act to expand the practice of dental hygiene to include service to (1) children receiving services in residential or nonresidential centers for therapeutic services, (2) children in families receiving family preservation services, (3) children in the custody of the Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services or the Commissioner of the Juvenile Justice Authority and in out-of-home placement in foster care homes and (4) children being served by runaway youth programs and homeless shelters.

NE

2007 Neb. Laws, L542

 

Creates the Children’s Behavioral Health Task Force, which is charged with developing a statewide integrated system of care for providing educational, behavioral health, substance abuse and support services to both adjudicated and non-adjudicated children and their families. Revises state statute to clarify the treatment plan and assessment time frames, and the case planning and placement process for juveniles who are referred to Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers.

MD

2006 Md. Laws, HB 813, Chap. 355

Requires the Governor’s Office for Children to annually develop a state resource plan for residential child care programs to enhance access to services provided by these programs.

NH

2006 N.H. Laws, HB 1648, Chap. 236

Requires the departments of Education and Health and Human Services to provide educational or residential services or both to children in court-ordered residential placements in New Hampshire or another state.

IL

2005 Ill. Laws, HB 759, P.A. 34

 

Requires every child in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services to receive the necessary behavioral health services, including, but not limited to, mental health services, trauma services, substance abuse services and developmental disability services. Requires that these services include integrated assessment, treatment plans, individual and group therapy, specialized foster care, community-based programming, licensed residential services, psychosocial rehabilitation, screening assessment and support services, hospitalization and transitional planning and referral to the department for appropriate services when the child reaches adulthood. Requires an assessment of behavioral health community services available to the department in the state, to include an analysis of the current availability and need for comprehensive integrated assessment, trauma services, mental health treatment, qualified mental health professionals, community providers, psychosocial rehabilitation and substance abuse services. Requires the department to complete all individual and regional assessments by Jan. 1, 2007, and to submit a written report to the governor and the General Assembly that describes the results of the assessment and contains a specific plan to address the need for services.

State

Citation

Training

 CA

2012 Assembly Bill 1856,

Act No. 639

Requires training for an administrator of a group home facility, licensed foster parent, and relative or non-relative extended family member caregiver to include instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing adequate care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in out-of-home care. Provides that foster children have the right to have caregivers and child welfare personnel who have received instruction on such cultural competency and sensitivity.

State

Citation

Tribes

ND

2011 N.D. Sess. Laws, HB 1095, Chap. 357

Sec. 50-11-00.1: Defines “approval” for the purposes of receiving Title IV-E funds for Native American group foster care facilities or for a home of a Native American family located on a recognized Indian reservation in North Dakota. The Department of Human Services approves Title IV-E funding when the homes of Native American families are located on a recognized Indian reservation in North Dakota or facilities are owned by the tribes or tribal members and are located on a recognized Indian reservation and are thus not subject to the jurisdiction of the state for licensing purposes.

WA

2011 Wash. Laws, SB 5656, Chap. 309

 

Sec. 14: Authorizes a court to order emergency removal of an Indian child, including one who is a resident of or is domiciled on an Indian reservation but is temporarily located off the reservation, or the emergency placement of such child in a foster home or institution to prevent imminent physical damage or harm to the child. When the nature of the emergency allows, the Department of Social and Health Services must notify the child’s tribe before the removal has occurred. If prior notification is not possible, the Department of Social and Health Services must notify the child’s tribe by the quickest means possible.

MN

2010 Minn. Laws, HB 2912, Chap. 303

 

Requires tribal notification regarding Native American children who are referred for treatment for severe emotional disturbance in a residential or treatment foster care setting. The law permits the tribe’s representative to participate on the screening team.

AZ

2006 Ariz. Sess. Laws, SB 1119, Chap. 247

 

Specifies least restrictive placement preferences for non-Indian children who are removed from home, as follows: parent; grandparent; kinship care with another member of the child’s extended family, including a person who has a significant relationship with the child; licensed family foster care; therapeutic foster care; group home; and residential treatment facility. Specifies placement preferences for Indian children, as follows: child’s extended family, licensed family foster home approved or specified by the tribe; Indian foster home approved or specified by a non-Indian licensing authority; and institution approved by the tribe or operated by an Indian organization.

State

Citation

Other

FL

2009 Fla. Laws, SB 126, Chap. 34

 

Requires that the case record of a child under supervision or in custody of the Department of Children and Family Services shall be maintained in a complete and accurate manner. Determines that all records in a child’s case record must be made available to the child who is the subject of the case record and to the child’s caregiver, guardian ad litem or attorney; defines caregiver as parents, legal custodians, permanent guardians, foster parents, employees of a residential home, institution, facility, or agency at which the child resides and other individuals legally responsible for a child’s welfare in a residential setting. Revises how long the department shall keep records of cases pertaining to a child and family, until the child who is the subject of the record is age 30.

FL

2009 Fla. Laws, HB 381, Chap. 43

 

Creates the “Zahid Jones, Jr., Give Grandparents and Other Relatives a Voice Act.” Requires that the case record of a child under supervision or in custody of the Department of Children and Family Services shall be maintained in a complete and accurate manner. Determines that all records in a child’s case record must be made available to the child who is the subject of the case record and to the child’s caregiver, guardian ad litem or attorney; defines caregiver as parents; legal custodians; permanent guardians; foster parents; employees of a residential home, institution, facility or agency at which the child resides; and other individuals legally responsible for a child’s welfare in a residential setting. Establishes that in court proceedings involving the child in state custody, the department shall notify a relative requesting notification of all proceedings. Provides for the establishment of procedures and protocols that serve to advance the continued safety of children by acknowledging the valued resource uniquely available through grandparents and relatives of children, and establishes a yearly “Grandparents’ and Family Caregivers’ Day.”

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