Child Well-Being Legislative Enactments


kids laying in circleNew! See NCSL's new report The Social and Emotional Well-Being of Children in Foster Care.

The well-being of children and youth in foster care is a complicated concept that crosses many issues areas. The issues range from behavioral and mental health to substance abuse and psychotropic medications to physical health and education. This page includes information on physical health, substance abuse, trauma-informed care, child sex trafficking, financing and cross-agency collaboration as it pertains to the well-being of children and youth in foster care.

Child well-being was the topic of NCSL's most recent Three Branch Institute, which brought together members of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government from several states to discuss child well-being and put together an action plan to address these issues.

While education is considered a part of well-being, it is not included in this chart. For education legislation, please see NCSL’s 2013 publication, Educating Children in Foster Care: State Legislation, 2008-2012 or the Child Welfare Legislative Enactments Database for the most recent legislative enactments regarding the education of children and youth in foster care.

For a deeper discussion of behavioral and mental health and the prevalence of psychotropic medications among children and youth in foster care, as well as a look at how states are addressing these issues, please see NCSL's Mental Health and Foster Care page.

The tables below include enacted legislation dealing with physical health, substance abuse, trauma-informed care, child sex trafficking, financing and cross-agency collaboration.

Physical Health Legislative Enactments




Arkansas 2015 Ark. Acts, Senate Bill 760, Act 1123 Amends the child maltreatment act, requires investigative interviews with a health care provider involved with a child maltreatment report includes current or past healthcare providers when the allegation of child maltreatment was reported by a healthcare provider.


2014 Senate Bill 508 Act No. 831

Codifies the MediCal income eligibility thresholds established by the State Department of Health Services. Requires the department to implement provisions regarding providing MediCal benefits to an individual in foster care homes or private institutions for a specified time period under specified conditions. Removes the requirement that a child's parent or caretaker relative meet the deprivation requirements in order for the child to be eligible for MediCal.



2009 Cal. Stats., SB

597, Chap. 339 

Requires the department, in consultation with pediatricians, health care experts and experts in and recipients of child welfare services, to develop a plan for the ongoing oversight and coordination of health care services for a child in a foster care placement.


2013 Conn. Acts, SB

833 P.A. 228

Extends to the Department of Children and Families (DCF) or any agency or person to whom DCF has granted temporary care and custody of a child or youth on the basis of a court order of temporary custody (OTC), the following rights regarding that child or youth:  1. the obligation of care and control; 2. the authority to make decisions regarding emergency medical, psychological, psychiatric, or surgical treatment; and, 3. other rights and duties that the court orders.


2008 HI Sess. Laws,

HB 523, Act 183

Establishes guiding principles for the Department of Human Services concerning foster children, including ensuring safety from abuse; adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical, dental and mental health care.


2009 Iowa Acts, HB

152, Chap. 120 

Adds health care coverage planning to transitional planning for older youth.


2012 Kan. Sess. Laws, HB 2631, Chap.

Relates to dental care availability and access. Provides that the practice of dental hygiene may be performed with the 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. Relates to Health.


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.


Senate Bill 685 2014, Act No. 190

Requires the Department of Human Resources or a local department of social services to provide specified information, on request, to a health care practitioners or another entity who is providing treatment or care to a child who is the subject of a report of child abuse or neglect. Establishes a reporting requirement for the Department of Human Resources.



2009 Md. Laws, HB

580, Chap. 681 

Requires comprehensive medical care for independent foster care adolescents, who are individuals younger than age 21 who, on their 18th birthday, were in state foster care.


House Bill 2401 2014 Act No. 291

Makes changes to health and human services policy provisions and the medical assistance program, modifies provisions relating to children and family services, the provision of health services, chemical and mental health services, health-related licensing boards, Department of Health, public health, continuing care, and health care, establishes reporting requirements and grounds for disciplinary action for health professionals, modifies newborn screening program. Addresses conditions of foster family homes and prenatal exposure to controlled substances.


New York

2014 Assembly Bill 9732 Act No. 279

Amends the Social Services Law. Provides that the local commissioner of social services or local commissioner of health may give consent for medical, dental, health and hospital services for any child found by the family court to be an abused, neglected or destitute child.

New York

 2014 N.Y. Laws, SB 6914, Chap. 60

S 398-b. Transition to managed care. 1. Notwithstanding any inconsistent  provision of law to the contrary and subject to the availability of federal financial participation, the commissioner is authorized to  make grants  from  a  gross  amount of $5 million dollars to facilitate the transition of foster care children placed  with  voluntary  foster  care agencies  to  managed  care. The use of such funds may include providing training and consulting services to voluntary agencies to  access  readiness  and  make  necessary  infrastructure and organizational modifications, collecting service utilization  and  other  data  from  voluntary agencies  and  other entities, and making investments in health information technology, including the infrastructure necessary to establish and maintain electronic health records.  Such funds shall be distributed pursuant to a formula to be developed by the commissioner of health, in consultation with the commissioner of the office of family and child services.  In  developing  such  formula the commissioners may take into account size and scope of provider operations as a  factor  relevant  to eligibility  for  such  funds.  Each recipient of such funds shall be required to document and demonstrate the effective use of funds distributed herein.

 2. Data provided by voluntary foster care agencies shall be compliant with the health insurance portability and accountability act, and shall be transmitted securely using emeds or other mechanism to be determined by the department of health. Such data may be used by the department of health to establish rates of payment for managed care organizations or services provided to children in foster care. In establishing such rates the  commissioner  of  health  shall also take into account care coordination services that will continue  to  be  provided  by  the  voluntary foster care agencies.

3.  The commissioner of health shall issue a report to be made public on the department of health's website. Such report shall conform to the requirements of subdivision five of section ninety-two of part h of chapter fifty-nine of the laws of two thousand eleven.



2014 House Bill 3469 Act No. 355

Directs the Department of Human Services to consider risks of children unable to communicate effectively about abuse or neglect in investigations and assessments. Provides for children with complex medical needs. Provides for removal if a reasonable suspicion exists that a child is unable to communicate effectively about abuse or neglect. Includes children with a disability or a developmental disability. Permits department inspection of psychological and medical records and nondirectory education records.



2009 Okla. Sess.

Laws, HB 1734, Chap. 338 

Creates a Passport Program in the Department of Human Services to compile education, medical and behavioral health records for children in protective custody, kinship care and foster care. The Passport shall accompany each child to wherever the child resides so long as the child is in the custody of the department. 


2013 Or. Laws, SB

123, Chap. 515 

Requires the Department of Human Services to adopt rules to establish the Oregon Foster Children's Bill of Rights. Provides for rights including to obtain health care and mental health care, including services and treatments available without parental consent. 


2013 Or. Laws, SB

601, Chap. 231

Authorizes a relative caregiver with whom a minor child lives to consent to medical treatment and educational services for a minor child if consent of legal parent or guardian cannot be obtained after reasonable efforts. Specifies required information in relative caregiver affidavits. Relieves health care provider and school of criminal and civil liability for medical treatment or educational services provided in good faith. 


2010 Pa. Laws, HB

2338, Act. 119

Creates the Children in Foster Care Act. The law stipulates that all foster children have rights, including have access to necessary health services and consent to medical and mental health treatment consistent with current law. 

South Carolina 2015 S.C. Acts, Senate Bill 250, Act 75 Provides for the right of certain medical professionals to perform medical examinations on and release medical records about a child who is the subject of an abuse or neglect report without parental consent, identifies entities to whom primary care physicians, consulting physicians, and hospital facilities may or must release the medical records, relates to confidentiality of child abuse and neglect records maintained by the Department of Social Services. 

South Carolina

2014 House Bill 4347 Act No. 153

Enacts the State Children's Advocacy Medical Response System Act. Creates the State Children's Advocacy Medical Response System, a program to provide coordination and medical service resources statewide to agencies and entities that respond to victims of child abuse and neglect. Provides for the duties and responsibilities of the program. Relates to responsibilities of children's advocacy centers. Requires these centers to comply.


South Dakota 2015 S.D. Session Laws, House Bill 1059, Act 182 Requires a provider to verbally notify a patient, or if the patient is a minor, the patient's parent or guardian, of the patient's ability to refuse to permit immunization information to be shared.
Tennessee 2015 Tenn. Pub. Acts, Senate Bill 75, Chap. 199 Relates to the rights of adoptive and foster care families, requires the Department of Children's Services to disclose certain information about children adopted from the department's guardianship to the adoptive family, relates to health, educational, mental and behavioral health information, as well as nationality, ethnic background, race, and religious preference, requires rules to govern the operation of a foster parent advocacy program, provides for investigation of child abuse. 


2010 Tenn. Pub. Acts,

SB 2797, Chap. 881

Requires a child-placing agency to collect the medical and social history of a foster child and the child’s biological family within

30 days of foster care placement,  


2013 Tex. Gen.

Laws, SB 58

Requires the Health and Human Services Commission to integrate behavioral health services and physical health services into the Medicaid managed care program, including children with serious mental disturbance to have access to a comprehensive array of services. 


2009 Tex. Gen.

Laws, HB 1629, Chap. 108

Requires that provision of and consent for medical, dental or psychological treatment for a foster child committed to the Texas Youth Commission be governed by the provisions related to the medical care of a foster child in the Family Code.


2014 House Bill 586 Act No. 9

Relates to the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan, relates to eligibility, eliminates the requirement that an individual under the age of 19 must have been without health insurance for at least four months or must meet the requirements set forth in the Children's Health Insurance Program to be eligible for assistance under the Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Plan.

Washington 2015 Wash. Laws, House Bill 1879, Act 283 Directs the Health Care Authority to seek proposals to establish an integrated managed health and behavioral health plan for foster children enrolled in Medicaid, requires a second opinion review from a psychiatric expert before approving a prescription for a specified supply of an antipsychotic medication for a person under a specified age who is in foster care. 
Washington 2015 Wash. Laws, Senate Bill 5897, Act 100  Provides funding for medical evaluations of suspected victims of child abuse.


2014 Assembly Bill 435 Act No. 161

Revises the provisions of existing law that relate to the admission of minors for the treatment of mental illness to include the need to file a petition for a minor who is voluntarily participating in inpatient treatment, protecting the minor's rights of said minor withdraws the consent for treatment, the elimination of the petition requirement due to voluntary admission, and eliminating the provision regarding short-terms voluntary admission stays.

Substance Abuse Legislative Enactments





2014 Cal. Stats., SB 977, Chap. 219

Specifies the fact that a parent is enrolled in a certified abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent is not, prima facie evidence of detriment or substantial danger. Requires a related social study or evaluation and a supplemental report required in existing law to include a discussion of whether a child may be returned to such parent. Specifies that welfare services may include residential substance abuse treatment facilities that accept families.


2012 Cal. Stats., SB 1014, Chap. 

Declares the state’s interest in the Women and Children's Residential Treatment Services WCRTS program, recognizes the eight current programs, and allows for the establishment of additional programs for the purpose of pursuing four primary goals: 1) demonstrate that alcohol and other drug abuse treatment services delivered in a residential setting and coupled with primary health, mental health, and social services for women and children, can improve overall treatment outcomes for women, children, and the family unit as a whole, 2) demonstrate the effectiveness of six-month or 12-month stays in a comprehensive residential treatment program, 3) develop models of effective comprehensive services delivery for women and their children that can be replicated in similar communities, and 4) provide services to promote safe and healthy pregnancies and perinatal outcomes. 


2013 Colo. Sess., Laws, SB 278, Chap. 300

Requires the State Methamphetamine Task Force to develop a definition of a drug-endangered child with respect to child abuse or neglect.


2008 Iowa Acts, HF

2310, Chap. 1121

Requires the Departments of Public Health and Human Services to collect data and develop a protocol to address the relationship between substance misuse, abuse or dependency by a child’s parent, guardian, custodian or other person responsible for the child’s care and child abuse. The departments shall make an initial report to the governor and the Standing Committees on Human Resources of the Senate and House of Representatives concerning the initial data collected, preliminary recommendations and the status of protocol implementation.


2013 Md. Laws, HB

245, Chap. 90

Requires a health practitioner involved in the delivery or care of a substance-exposed newborn to make a report to a local department of social services except under specified circumstances. Provides that such report does not create a presumption that a child is abused. Relates to a positive toxicology screen for a controlled drug. Relates to fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. Relates to the number of mothers referred to drug abuse treatments and the number of terminations of parental rights. 


2014 Mich. Pub. Acts, HB 4696, Act 276

Specifies the services available in the mental health court programs for adults and juveniles, including substance abuse programs and vocational opportunities and provides that an exit evaluation should be performed to determine the continuing need for specified services.


2014 Mich. Pub. Acts, HB 5039, Act 243

Allows the ombudsman to request substance use disorder records if a valid consent or court order is obtained, when investigating a concern.


2014 Minn. Laws, HB 2402, Chap. 291

Sec. 38: Reports required. Amends § 626.5561, subd. 1. Requires local welfare agencies to accept reports of prenatal exposure to controlled substances made by reporters notwithstanding the refusal of the reporter to provide the reporter’s name and address, as long as the report is otherwise sufficient.

New Mexico

2009 N.M. Laws, HB

117, Chap. 2009-259 

Provides that exposing a child to methamphetamine use is prima facie evidence of child abuse. 

New York

2014 N.Y. Laws, SB 7903, Chap. 32

Require Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), in consultation with the Department of Health, to create a heroin and opioid addiction wraparound services demonstration program that would provide services to adolescents and adults for up to nine months after the successful completion of a treatment program. Provides for case management services, social services, child care, transportation and employment support, legal and financial services and educational resources and an evaluation to address the overall effectiveness of the program. Specifies that Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) diversion services, in cases where the petitioner alleges the child has a substance use disorder or is in need of immediate detoxification or substance use disorder services, may include assessment for substance use disorders.

New York

2014 N.Y. Laws, HB 7909, Chap. 38

Relates to assessment services for youth alleged to be suffering from substance use disorder, amends the Family Court Act, relates to assessments and diversion services, relates to a substance use disorder which could make a youth a danger to himself or herself or others.

North Dakota 2015 N.D. Laws, SB 2367, Chap. 332 Creates a task force on substance exposed newborns, provides for a report to the legislative management, provides the task force shall research the impact of substance abuse and neonatal withdrawal syndrome, requires the task force shall collect and organize data concerning the costs associated with treating expectant mothers and newborns suffering from withdrawal substance abuse, provides the task force shall identify and evaluate available programs for mothers and newborns suffering from addiction. 


2010 Okla. Sess.

Laws, HB 1741,

Chap. 278

Authorizes district courts to establish family drug courts. Requires the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) to assist in developing family drug courts. Provides for procedural guidelines, fees and costs. The law authorizes each county treasurer to create a Family Drug Court Revolving Fund and allows the ODMHSAS to contract for family drug court treatment services if funds are available. It provides for treatment of both children adjudicated as deprived and their families, in cases where the parent has a substance abuse disorder. It also modifies various judicial and procedural requirements regarding children alleged to be deprived.  

South Dakota

2008 S.D. Sess.

Laws, HB 1201,

Chap. 26

Allows the courts to consider whether the apparent, alleged or adjudicated abuse or neglect of a child was related to the use of alcohol, marijuana or any controlled drug or substance. The placement or return of the child may be subject to the condition, if the court so orders, that a parent, guardian, custodian or any other adult residing in the home submit to tests for alcohol, marijuana or any controlled drug or substance prior to or during the placement or return of the child. If a parent, guardian, custodian or any other adult who resides in the home and has been ordered by the court to submit to testing for alcohol, marijuana or any controlled drug or substance tests positive for alcohol, marijuana or any controlled drug or substance or fails to submit to the test as required, the Department of Social Services may immediately remove the child from the physical custody of the parent, guardian or custodian. This may occur without prior court order and is subject to a review hearing, which may occur by telephone, within 48 hours excluding Saturdays, Sundays and court holidays.

South Dakota

2008 S.D. Sess.

Laws, SB 69, Chap. 26

Adds marijuana to the list of abusive substances for the purposes of determining child abuse.


2011 Utah Laws, HB

216, Chap. 167

Creates a presumption that reunification services should not be provided to a birth mother if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that the child has fetal alcohol syndrome or was exposed to an illegal or prescription drug that was abused by the child’s mother while the child was in utero and if the child was taken into custody for that reason, unless the mother agrees to enroll in, is currently enrolled in, or has recently and successfully completed a substance abuse treatment program. The law further permits a judge to waive the provisions of this bill if the judge finds that the substance abuse treatment was not warranted.


2009 Utah Laws, HB


Provides that a person who knowingly or intentionally causes or permits a child or a vulnerable adult to be exposed to, inhale, ingest or have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance or drug paraphernalia is: Guilty of a third-degree felony; guilty of a second-degree felony if, as a result of the conduct described above, a child or vulnerable adult suffers bodily injury, substantial bodily injury or serious bodily injury; or guilty of a first-degree felony if, as a result of the conduct described above, a child or vulnerable adult dies.  Provides an affirmative defense to the crime described above, if the controlled substance is obtained by lawful prescription.


2012 Va. Acts, SB


Provides that a local board or child-placing agency may approve as a kinship foster care parent an applicant convicted of drugs or arson under certain circumstances.

Trauma-Informed Care Legislative Enactments





2014 Fla. Laws, Chap. 161

Relates to human trafficking. Requires screening by the Department of Children and Families to determine services for sexually exploited children. Allows for placement of children in safe houses or safe foster homes. Requires department inspections and training for persons providing services. Allows for trauma-informed services for sexually exploited children in the child and adolescent mental health system of care.


2008 Md. Laws, HB

790, Chap. 91

Requires Maryland Child Abuse Medical Providers to collaborate with child advocacy centers and forensic nurse examiner programs to ensure that medical professionals have information on cooperating with social services departments, child advocacy centers and local law enforcement officers to protect children from trauma during child abuse and neglect investigations and prosecutions.

New Mexico

2011 N.M. Laws, HB

196, Chap. 98

Creates the Uniform Child Witness Protective Measures Act to give judges authority to allow a child to testify other than in an open courtroom to protect a child witness from the emotional trauma that may be associated with giving testimony. If a judge determines in a criminal case that an alleged child victim would suffer serious emotional trauma that would substantially impair the ability to communicate or, in a noncriminal case, that it would be in the best interests of the child, the child may testify in an alternative manner, and the testimony may be taken by alternative means, such as videotaping.


2013 Tex. Gen.

Laws, SB 245, Chap. 136

Relates to eligibility of children's advocacy centers for contracts to provide services for children and family members in child abuse and neglect cases. Relates to trauma-oriented mental health services and case tracking. Provides that a public entity operated as a center or nonprofit entity is eligible if the center implements a family advocacy and victim support services that include comprehensive case management and victim support services for each child and the child's non-offending family members. 


2011 Wash. Laws,

HB 1965, Chap. 32

Sec. 1: States that adverse childhood experiences determine a child’s ability to be successful at school, to avoid behavioral and chronic physical health conditions, and to build healthy relationships. The law identifies the primary causes of adverse childhood experiences and mobilizes public and private support to prevent harm to young children and to reduce accumulated harm of adverse experiences throughout childhood. The law notes that a focused effort is needed to: 1) identify and promote the use of innovative strategies based on evidence-based and research-based approaches and practices; and 2) align public and private policies and funding with approaches and strategies that have demonstrated effectiveness. Sec. 2: Defines adverse childhood experiences to include indicators of severe childhood stressors, including child physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect; alcohol or other substance abuse in the home; mental illness, depression or suicidal behaviors in the home; incarceration of a family member; witnessing intimate partner violence; and parental divorce or separation. The law states that adverse childhood experiences have been demonstrated to affect the development of the brain and other major body systems. 

Well-Being of Child Sex Trafficking Victims





2014 Assembly Bill 1623, Act No. 85

Authorizes any city, county, or community-based nonprofit organization to establish a multiagency, multidisciplinary family justice center to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder or dependent adult abuse, and human trafficking. Specifies additional confidentiality provisions relating to information disclosed by a victim in a family justice center. Requires each center to maintain a mandatory training for all staff members, volunteers and agency professionals.


2014 House Bill 1273, Act No. 282

Repeals and reenacts, with amendments, existing provisions concerning human trafficking, relates to trafficking for involuntary servitude, trafficking of minors, sexual servitude, prosecution for trafficking, defenses to prosecution, creation of a Human Trafficking Council, evidence in criminal prosecutions, false reporting of sexual assaults, and restitution orders, including restitution for deceased victims.



2014 House Bill 5040, Act. No. 14-186

Expands the actions DCF can take to help children it identifies or believes are victims of trafficking to include (1) providing services, (2) forming multidisciplinary teams to review trafficking cases, and (3) providing training to law enforcement officers about trafficking. It also expands the category of children or youths a court may find to be "uncared for" to include child-trafficking victims.



2014 Senate Bill 197, Act No. 276

Relates to trafficking of individuals, forced labor and sexual servitude. Provides penalties. Relates to coercion, abuse of the legal process, use of drugs, debt bondage, threatened loss of identification documents, commission of civil or criminal fraud and use of a person's physical, cognitive disability or mental impairment. Provides for minors.



2014 House Bill 561, Act No. 2014-227

Finds that though there are organizations that provide representation to children in dependency proceedings, a child with certain special needs in this system has a particular need for legal services. Requires the court to appoint an attorney for a dependent child who: resides in, or is being considered for placement in, a skilled nursing facility, is prescribed a psychotropic medication and declines it, has a developmental disability, is being placed in, or is considered for placement in, a residential treatment center, or is a victim of human trafficking. Requires the court to ask the Statewide Guardian Ad Litem Office to recommend an attorney willing to work without additional compensation prior to the court appointing an attorney on a compensated basis. Details the requirements of the attorney appointed. Clarifies who will contract with the appointed attorney, the compensation for the appointed attorney and requires the Department of Children and Families to identify and request attorney representation for qualifying children and make rules to administer the bill.



2014 House Bill 989, Act No. 2014-160

Prohibits the buying and selling children into prostitution. Details the confidentiality of court records concerning offenses involving human trafficking and children. Makes victims of human trafficking eligible for crime victim compensation awards and financial relocation assistance. Prohibits employment of minors in adult theaters. Removes the statute of limitation and increases the penalty for conviction of human trafficking offenses.



2014 Fla. Laws, HB 7141, Chap. 2014-161

Relates to human trafficking. Requires screening by the Department of Children and Families to determine services for sexually exploited children. Allows for placement of children in safe houses or safe foster homes. Requires department inspections and training for persons providing services. Allows for trauma-informed services for sexually exploited children in the child and adolescent mental health system of care.


2014 House Bill 1025, Act No. 564

Relates to human trafficking, trafficking of children for sexual purposes, and commercial sexual exploitation. Requires certain people convicted of the offense to register and provide notification as a sex offender. Relates to the confidentiality of victims of human trafficking-related offense. Authorizes the interception of wire, electronic, or oral communications in investigations of offenses involving commercial sexual exploitation. Relates to debt bondage.



2014 House Bill 5012, Act No. 336

Creates a presumption that a minor prosecuted for prostitution was a victim of human trafficking, was subject to the temporary protective custody provisions of the juvenile code, and was eligible for services provided to dependent minors subjected to abuse and neglect.



2014 Senate Bill 587, Act 337

Amends the Foster Care and Adoption Services Act to require a supervising agency that develops a medical passport for a child under its care to indicate in the passport that the child could be a victim of human trafficking. If a child were alleged to be a victim of human trafficking, the bill requires the supervising agency to have an assessment or evaluation of the child performed by an experienced and licensed mental health professional who was trained in children's psychological assessments. If the assessment or evaluation indicated that the child could have been a victim of human trafficking, the supervising agency would have to provide appropriate counseling services, in addition to any other services.


2014 Senate Bill 593, Act 338

Requires a supervising agency, before placing a child in its care, to give special consideration to information that the child might have been a victim of human trafficking. Allows a supervising agency to find that adoption, reunification, or other traditional foster care services might not be suitable for a child who was a human trafficking victim. Requires the supervising agency to provide other necessary services for the child.

New Hampshire

2014 Senate Bill 317, Act No. 2014-257

Makes changes to the law on trafficking in people. Authorizes a person injured as a result of trafficking to initiate a civil action for damages or injunctive relief. Provides that a person shall be guilty of a class A felony if such person maintains or makes available an individual under 18 years of age for the purpose of engaging the individual in a commercial sex act or sexually-explicit performance for the benefit of another. Provides that certain information concerning victims shall be confidential.



2014 House Bill, 130 Act No. 139

Authorizes a judge or magistrate to order the testimony of a minor victim of human trafficking to be taken by closed circuit television equipment. Prohibits disclosure of identifying information in a police report concerning a delinquent offender or abused minor. Enacts the offense of commercial sexual exploitation of a minor. Deals with obscenity, developmentally disabled victims and penalties for solicitation. Allows a victim of trafficking to be eligible for intervention in lieu of conviction.



2014 House Bill, 254 Act No. 140

Amends provisions related to human trafficking and prostitution. Details that a child is not subject to a delinquency proceeding for prostitution unless a law enforcement officer has referred the child to the Division of Child and Family Services on at least one prior occasion for an alleged act of prostitution or sexual solicitation. Allows the victim of human trafficking or human smuggling to bring a civil action against the perpetrator. Details the requirements for the civil action.



2014 Assembly Bill 620, Act No. 362

Relates to human trafficking. Relates to human trafficking victims. Relates to property forfeitures. Relates to rights of victims. Relates to admitting evidence of past actions. Relates to definitions of certain offenses. Provides for penalties.


Well-Being Finance Legislative Enactments





 2008 Colo. Sess.

Laws, SB 99, Chap. 329

Extends Medicaid eligibility for people who are in the foster care system prior to emancipation. Allows a person younger than age 21 for whom the state made subsidized adoption payments when the person attained age 18 to continue to be eligible for Medicaid.


2009 Conn. Acts, HB

6476, P.A. 166

Requires the General Assembly's Program Review and Investigations Committee to begin a pilot project study that assessed selected human services programs using the Results Based Accountability (RBA) framework. RBA is a policy-making method that begins with the identification of societal goals and then moves on to analyze the specific means of achieving those goals. These societal goals (sometimes called results) tend to be broadly-defined and not specific to particular programs (for example, healthy children or safe cities). These results concern entire populations, which may be defined as broadly as all the state's residents, or restricted to a group such as children with learning disabilities.  Programs are evaluated based on how much, and how efficiently, they contribute to achieving the societal goal identified.  Connecticut began the first of five phases of RBA in

2005, when the Appropriations Committee of the General Assembly began a pilot program to implement RBA with Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection Long Island Sound program and the Early Childhood Cabinet's Ready by Five program.  In the fifth year of the project (2009), each agency proposed three to five programs to be analyzed under the RBA framework. The Appropriations Committee generally approved the proposals. Connecticut continues to integrate the RBA framework across agencies.


2010 Ill. Laws, SB

3420, P.A. 1127

Allows the appropriation of funds paid to the state by the federal government under titles XIX and XXI of the Social Security Act for child welfare services delivered by community mental health providers that were certified and paid as Medicaid providers by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for child welfare services related to Medicaid-eligible clients and families served, consistent with the purposes of the DCFS.  


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. 


2010 Me. Laws, HB

1204, Chap. 204

Requires the departments of Corrections, Education, Health and Human Services and Labor to work with the coordinated services district system to ensure flexible funding and timely response and provision of services, to develop a plan that will detail a statewide system for in-home and out-of-home placements for youth in the juvenile justice system, and to develop a plan that identifies an ongoing mechanism for providing flexible funding for youth who are served by multiple state agencies.


2008 Me. Laws, HB

1971, Chap. 683

Creates the Children’s Growth Council, and defines both the membership provisions and the council’s duties. These include to develop and evaluate a plan for sustainable social and financial investment in the healthy development of the state’s young children and their families. Offers a voluntary universal home-visiting program for new families with children.


2013 Mont. Laws,

HB 262, Chap. 387

Extends Medicaid eligibility for minors placed in a subsidized guardianship.

New Hampshire

2014 House Bill 572 Act No. 2014-80

Establishes a commission to study public-private partnerships to fund medical care for abused and neglected children.



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.  


2009 Wash. Laws, 2SHB 2106, Chap. 520

Creates the child welfare transformation design committee to establish a transition plan containing recommendations to the legislature and the governor for the provision of child welfare services by supervising agencies. Addresses conversion of DSHS current contracts for child welfare services into performance-based contracts and reinvestment of savings into evidence-based prevention and intervention programs to prevent the need for or reduce the duration of foster care placements. 



2012 Wash. Laws,

HB 2263, Chap. 204

The Child and Family Reinvestment Account (Account) is created and may be used to: (1)  safely reduce entries and prevent reentry into the foster care system; (2) safely increase  reunifications; (3) achieve permanency for children unable to reunify; and (4) improve outcomes for youth who age out of care. Revenues to the Account consist of savings from reductions in the foster care caseload and per capita costs and other public or private funds. The Department of Social and Health Services must develop a methodology for calculating state savings for deposit into the Account for the 2013-15 biennium. The methodology must include any relevant provision of a federal Title IV-E demonstration waiver. The savings calculation must be based on actual caseload and per capita expenditures.


West Virginia

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.  

Cross-Agency Collaboration Related to Child Well-Being Legislative Enactments





2009 Conn. Acts, SB

877 P.A. 205 

Implements the recommendations of the Program Review and Investigations Committee concerning the Department of Children and Families by improving the Department’s monitoring and evaluation system. Requires that the Department of Children and Families develop a single, comprehensive strategic plan for meeting the needs of children and families served by the Department and identify agency goals and indicators of progress in achieving such goals.


La. Acts 2008, SB 701, Act 775

Establishes that state departments, including the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Department of Social Services, shall guide the implementation of service delivery integration designed to meet the needs of children and their families. Authorizes the state leadership group to establish a Neighborhood Place to implement the service integration delivery model. Identifies the goals of the integrated case management delivery model, including to provide citizens with timely access to an array of health care, education and human services and to address foster care and adoption as well as family safety and stability.


2011 Mich. Pub.

Acts, HB 4526, Act


Sec. 580: Instructs the Department of Human Services and the Department of Community Health to initiate efforts to identify mental health programs and activities where the services of the two departments overlap or are uncoordinated, with a goal of providing adequate and stable mental health services that address the needs of the individual child without duplicate, confusing or needlessly complex services.


2009 Mont. Laws,

HB 243, Chap. 190 

Directs the Children’s System of Care Planning Committee to study the system of care for high-risk children with multi-agency service needs; requires a report to the Legislature.


2012 Neb. Laws, L.B.


Requires the implementation of a web-based, statewide automated child welfare information system to integrate child welfare information into one system, requires the system to include integration across related social services programs through automated interfaces, including, but not limited to, the courts, Medicaid eligibility, financial processes, and child support; and provides for a report concerning access of individuals with co-occurring intellectual disability and mental illness to services.


2009 Or. Laws, HB

244, Chap. 540 

Requires child services entities to participate in a wraparound initiative for the provision of services to youth identified as having been or being at risk of developing emotional, behavioral or substance use-related needs who are involved with multiple systems of care. Imposes requirements on state agencies to ensure cultural competence in provision of services and to collect and evaluate data; establishes the Children’s Wraparound Initiative Advisory Committee and requires an annual report.


2009 Tex. Gen. Laws, SB 1646,

Chap. 819 

Establishes the Council on Children and Families to coordinate the state’s health, education and human services systems to ensure that children and families have access to needed services; improve coordination and efficiency in state agencies, advisory councils on issues affecting children, and local levels of service; prioritize and mobilize resources for children; and facilitate an integrated approach to providing services for children and youth.


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.


Additional Resources

About This NCSL Project

The Denver-based child welfare project staff focuses on state policy, tracking legislation and providing research and policy analysis, consultation, and technical assistance specifically geared to the legislative audience. Denver staff can be reached at (303) 364-7700 or

NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. track and analyze federal legislation and policy and represent state legislatures on child welfare issues before Congress and the Administration. Staff in D.C. can be reached at (202) 624-5400 or