Reasonable and Prudent Parenting Legislation

Nina Williams-Mbengue 4/2/2019

young boy sitting against a fenceAlmost a quarter of the nearly 443,000 children in foster care are age 14 or older. Just under 20,000 young people age out of care at age 18 each year. They are faced with a host of potential problems including higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, pregnancy and lower levels of educational.

One important way states are working to improve young peoples’ transition from foster care into adulthood is to ensure that youth have the opportunity to engage in a range of developmentally and age-appropriate experiences necessary for healthy emotional and social development. The federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act of 2014 now requires states to implement a “reasonable and prudent parenting standard" giving foster parents the authority to make day-to-day decisions affecting children in their care regarding extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, social or sporting activities. A number of states define reasonable and prudent parenting standard to mean “careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child’s health, safety and best interest." Florida statute further identifies factors that a caregiver is to consider when using the standard:

  • The child’s age, maturity and developmental level.
  • Potential risk factors and the appropriateness of the activity.
  • The importance of encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth and providing the child with a familylike living experience.
  • The behavioral history of the child.

States also must amend state licensing standards for foster family homes and for child care institutions providing foster care to allow the use of a reasonable and prudent parenting standard. Contracts must designate an official to apply the standard. Also, caregivers must be trained on the standard.

Additionally, states are to provide regular, ongoing opportunities for youth in foster care to engage in developmentally appropriate activities.

Please note that several states, including California, Florida, Kentucky, Hawaii, Tennessee and Utah had a reasonable and prudent parenting standard or similar provision prior to the Preventing Sex Trafficking Act.

Below please find recent state enactments regarding the reasonable and prudent parenting standard.

 

The box allows you to conduct a full text search or use the dropdown menu option to select a state.

NCSL OVERVIEW STATE REASONABLE AND PRUDENT PARENTING LEGISLATION | JANUARY 2017
STATE STATUTES SUMMARY
Alabama

Ala. Code § 12-15-301

(3) Age or developmentally appropriate. Activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group and, in the case of a specific child, activities or items that are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of the child.

(4) Caregiver. An individual 21 years of age or older, other than a parent, legal guardian, or legal custodian of a child who is an approved foster parent and who is a relative of the child and has been providing care and support for the child while the child has been residing in the home of the caregiver for at least the last six consecutive months while in the legal custody of the Department of Human Resources or a designated official for a child-placing agency or a successor guardian.

(11) Reasonable and prudent parent standard. The standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child, while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

Arizona

Arizona Sec. 1, Title 1, Chapter 5, Article 1, ARS Sec. 8-528

 

A. A child in foster care has the following rights:

1. To appropriate care and treatment in the least restrictive setting available that can meet the child's needs according to the best judgment of the foster parent.

2. To live in a safe, healthy and comfortable placement where the child can receive reasonable protection from harm and appropriate privacy for personal needs and where the child is treated with respect.

3. To know why the child is in foster care and what will happen to the child and to the child's family, including siblings, and case plans.

4. Whenever possible, the child should be placed with a foster family that can accommodate the child’s communication needs.

5.To be disciplined in a manner that is appropriate to the child's level of maturity.

6. To attend community, school and religious services and activities of the child's choice to the extent that it is appropriate for the child, as planned and discussed with the child's placement worker and caseworker and based on caregiver ability if transportation is available through a responsible party.

California

California Welfare and Institutions Code § 362.04; California 2003 AB408

 

 

 

California Welfare and Institutions Code § 362.05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

California Health and Safety Code 1522.44

(a) For purposes of this section:

   (1) "Caregiver" means any licensed or certified foster parent, approved relative caregiver, or approved non-relative extended family member.

   (2) "Reasonable and prudent parent" or "reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child's health, safety, and best interest.

   (3) "Short-term" means no more than 24 consecutive hours.

   (b) Every caregiver may arrange for occasional short-term babysitting of their foster child and allow individuals to supervise the foster child for the purposes set forth in Section 362.05, or on occasions, including, but not limited to, when the foster parent has a medical or other health care appointment, grocery or other shopping, personal grooming appointments, special occasions for the foster parents, foster parent training classes, school-related meetings (such as parent-teacher conferences), business meetings, adult social gatherings, or an occasional evening out by the foster parent.

   (c) Caregivers shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining and selecting appropriate babysitters for occasional short-term use.

 

362.05

(a) Every child adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court shall be entitled to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. No state or local regulation or policy may prevent, or create barriers to, participation in those activities. Each state and local entity shall ensure that private agencies that provide foster care services to dependent children have policies consistent with this section and that those agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. A group home administrator, a facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, and a caregiver, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 362.04, shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 362.04, in determining whether to give permission for a child residing in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.  A group home administrator, a facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, and a caregiver shall take reasonable steps to determine the appropriateness of the activity in consideration of the child's age, maturity, and developmental level.

 

 

(b) A group home administrator or a facility manager, or his or her responsible designee, is encouraged to consult with social work or treatment staff members who are most familiar with the child at the group home in applying and using the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

Read more. 

 

 

1522.44.  (a) It is the policy of the state that caregivers of children in foster care possess knowledge and skills relating to the reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 362.05 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

   (b) Except for licensed foster family homes and certified family homes, each licensed community care facility that provides care and supervision to children and operates with staff shall designate at least one onsite staff member to apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard to decisions involving the participation of a child who is placed in the facility in age or developmentally appropriate activities in accordance with the requirements of Section 362.05 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, Section 671(a)(10) of Title 42 of the United States Code, and the regulations adopted by the department pursuant to this chapter.

   (c) A licensed and certified foster parent or facility staff member, as described in subdivision (b), shall receive training related to the reasonable and prudent parent standard that is consistent with Section 671(a)(24) of Title 42 of the United States

Code. This training shall include knowledge and skills relating to the reasonable and prudent parent standard for the participation of the child in age or developmentally appropriate activities, including knowledge and skills relating to the developmental stages of the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of a child, and knowledge and skills relating to applying the standard to

decisions such as whether to allow the child to engage in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities, including sports, field trips, and overnight activities lasting one or more days, and to decisions involving the signing of permission slips and arranging of transportation for the child to and from extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

   (d) This section does not apply to runaway and homeless youth shelters as defined in paragraph (14) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502.

Colorado

19-7-103

 

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

19-7-103. Access to extracurricular activities - legislative declaration - rules. (1) (a)  The General Assembly finds and declares that it is important for youth in foster care, excluding those in the custody of the division of youth corrections or a state mental hospital, to have increased access to normative, developmentally appropriate extracurricular activities to help prepare them for independence. Foster parents and group home parents or group center administrators shall make a reasonable effort to allow a youth in their care to participate in extracurricular, cultural, educational, work-related, and personal enrichment activities. On or before July 31, 2012, the Department of Human Services shall promulgate rules for the implementation of this section. The rules shall address policies, including but not limited to waiver of any fingerprint-based criminal history records checks for community entities, excluding all individuals required to obtain a fingerprint-based criminal history records check pursuant to section 26-6-107, C.R.S., providing extracurricular activities and guidelines for determining in what situations it is appropriate to waive fingerprint-based criminal history records checks, to allow youth in foster care, excluding those in the custody of the division of youth corrections or a state mental hospital, who are twelve years of age and older to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular enrichment, social activities, and activities designed to assist those youth to make the transition to independence, build life skills, and enhance opportunities to make positive connections.

 

  (b)  If the Department of Human Services or a county department of social services waives a fingerprint-based criminal history records check pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (1), the Department of Human Services or county department of social services shall not be subject to liability pursuant to the extent provided by article 10 of title 24, C.R.S.

Established 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.

Connecticut

2015 HB 6899

(2) "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child;

(b) A caregiver shall have the authority, without prior approval of the department, probate pourt or superior court, to allow a child in his or her care who is the subject of a service plan or safety plan to participate in normal childhood activities that are age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for such child based on a reasonable and prudent parent standard, provided (1) such activities comply with provisions included in any existing service plan or safety plan established by the department or court order, and (2) the parent or guardian of such child or youth shall be afforded an opportunity to provide input into the development of such service plan or safety plan. The commissioner of children and families shall promulgate department policy to provide guidance to caregivers concerning the reasonable and prudent parent standard. Such guidance shall include factors for the caregiver to consider before allowing a child to participate in age appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities, including, but not limited to, the child's age, maturity, mental and physical health, developmental level, behavioral propensities and aptitude. The commissioner shall notify each caregiver of the department policy promulgated pursuant to this subsection.

Delaware

Del. Code tit. 13, § 2502

(18) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” shall mean the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child, while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child placed in his or her care while in DSCYF custody to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.
District of Columbia

2016 B 640
D.C. Official Code § 4–1301.02 & D.C. Official Code § 4-1303.03

To amend, on an emergency basis, the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977 to include in the definition of case plan an additional requirement for children 14 years of age and older, to define the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(A) Subparagraph (B) is amended by adding 3 new sentences to the end to read as follows:

“With respect to a child who has attained 14 years of age, the plan, and any revision or addition to the plan, shall be developed in consultation with the child and, at the option of the child, with up to 2 members of the case planning team who are chosen by the child and who are not a foster parent of, or caseworker for, the child. The agency may reject an individual selected by a child to be a member of the case planning team at any time if the agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the best interests of the child. One individual selected by a child to be a member of the child's case planning team may be designated to be the child's advisor and, as necessary, advocate, with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the child.”.

(B) Subparagraph (D) is amended by striking the phrase “16 years of age” and inserting the phrase “14 years of age” in its place.

(2) A new paragraph (16A) is added to read as follows:

“(16A) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that should be used when determining whether to allow a child to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.”.

“Sec. 303f. Reasonable and prudent parent standard.

“(a) Foster parents and group homes for children who have been abused or neglected shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard when determining whether to allow a ward to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

“(b) The Agency, foster parents, and group homes shall not be held liable for any civil damages resulting from the application or the failure to apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard, except in cases constituting gross negligence.”.

Sec. 3. Section 16-2323(d)(4) of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:

(b) A new subparagraph (D) is added to reads as follows:

“(D) For a child placed in another planned permanent living arrangement, the steps taken by the agency to ensure that the reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in section 102(16A) of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977, effective September 23, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-22; D.C. Official Code § 4-1301.02(16A)), has been followed and that the child has opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities; and”.

District of Columbia

2016 B 641
D.C. Official Code § 4–1301.02 & D.C. Official Code § 4-1303.03

To amend, on a temporary basis, the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977 to include in the definition of case plan an additional requirement for children 14 years of age and older, to define the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(A) Subparagraph (B) is amended by striking the phrase “under the plan;” and inserting the phrase “under the plan. With respect to a child who has attained 14 years of age, the plan, and any revision or addition to the plan, shall be developed in consultation with the child and, at the option of the child, with up to 2 members of the case planning team who are chosen by the child and who are not a foster parent of, or caseworker for, the child. The agency may reject an individual selected by a child to be a member of the case planning team at any time if the agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the best interests of the child. One individual selected by a child to be a member of the child's case planning team may be designated to be the child's advisor and, as necessary, advocate, with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the child.” in its place.

(B) Subparagraph (D) is amended by striking the phrase “16 years of age” and inserting the phrase “14 years of age” in its place.

(2) A new paragraph (16A) is added to read as follows:

“(16A) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that should be used when determining whether to allow a child to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.”.

“Sec. 303f. Reasonable and prudent parent standard.

“(a) Foster parents and group homes for children who have been abused or neglected shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard when determining whether to allow a ward to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

“(b) The Agency, foster parents, and group homes shall not be held liable for any civil damages resulting from the application of, or the failure to apply, the reasonable and prudent parent standard, except in cases constituting gross negligence.”.

Sec. 3. Section 16-2323(d)(4) of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:

(b) A new subparagraph (D) is added to read as follows:

“(D) For a child placed in another planned permanent living arrangement, the steps taken by the agency to ensure that the reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in section 102(16A) of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977, effective September 23, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-22; D.C. Official Code § 4-1301.02(16A)), has been followed and that the child has opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities; and”.

Florida

Fla. Stat. § 39.4091

39.4091 Participation in childhood activities.—

(1) FINDINGS AND INTENT.—

(a) The Legislature finds that every day parents make important decisions about their child’s participation in activities and that caregivers for children in out-of-home care are faced with making the same decisions for a child in their care.

(b) The Legislature also finds that when a caregiver makes decisions, he or she must consider applicable laws, rules, and regulations to safeguard the health and safety of a child in out-of-home care and that those rules and regulations have commonly been interpreted to prohibit children in out-of-home care from participating in extracurricular activities.

(c) The Legislature further finds that participation in these types of activities is important to the child’s well-being, not only emotionally, but in developing valuable life-coping skills.

(d) It is the intent of the Legislature to recognize the importance of making every effort to normalize the lives of children in out-of-home care and to empower a caregiver to approve or disapprove a child’s participation in activities based on the caregiver’s own assessment using a reasonable and prudent parent standard, without prior approval of the department, the caseworker, or the court.

(2) DEFINITIONS.—When used in this section, the term:

(a) “Age-appropriate” means activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity. Age appropriateness is based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacity that is typical for an age or age group.

(b) “Caregiver” means a person with whom the child is placed in out-of-home care, or a designated official for group care facilities licensed by the Department of Children and Families pursuant to s. 409.175.

(c) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child’s health, safety, and best interests while at the same time encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in out-of-home care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

(3) REQUIREMENTS FOR DECISION MAKING.—

(a) Each child who comes into care under this chapter is entitled to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

(b) Caregivers must use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a child in out-of-home care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. When using the reasonable and prudent parent standard, the caregiver shall consider:

1. The child’s age, maturity, and developmental level to maintain the overall health and safety of the child.

2. The potential risk factors and the appropriateness of the extracurricular, enrichment, and social activity.

3. The best interest of the child based on information known by the caregiver.

4. The importance of encouraging the child’s emotional and developmental growth.

5. The importance of providing the child with the most family-like living experience possible.

6. The behavioral history of the child and the child’s ability to safely participate in the proposed activity, as with any other child.

(c) The department and community-based care lead agencies are required to verify that private agencies providing out-of-home services to dependent children have policies consistent with this section and that those agencies promote and protect the ability of dependent children to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

(d) A caregiver as defined in this section is not liable for harm caused to a child in care who participates in an activity approved by the caregiver, provided that the caregiver has acted as a reasonable and prudent parent. This section does not remove or limit any existing liability protection afforded by statute.

Georgia

Ga. Code § 49-5-3

 

2015 SB 138

(16) 'Reasonable and prudent parent standard' means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the department to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

Hawaii

Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 346-17

(m) Any resource caregiver or child caring institution issued a certificate of approval pursuant to this section shall be immune from liability in a civil action to recover damages for injury, death, or loss to a person or property that results by authorizing a child in the caregiver's or institution's foster care to participate in an extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, or social activity; provided that the authorization is in accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard as defined in title 42 United States Code section 675(10)(A).

Idaho

Idaho Code § 16-1602

(5) “Age of developmentally appropriate” means:

(a) Activities that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child, based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group; and

(b) In the case of a specific child, activities or items that are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral capacities of the child.

(37) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard of care characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child while simultaneously encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural or social activities.

Illinois Rev. Stat. ch. 20, § 505/7.3a

(a) Legislative findings.

(4) The General Assembly recognizes the importance of making every effort to normalize the lives of children in out-of-home care and to empower a caregiver to approve or not approve a child's participation in appropriate extracurricular activities based on the caregiver's own assessment using the reasonable and prudent parent standard, without prior approval of the Department, the caseworker, or the court.

(b) Definitions. As used in this Section:

“Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child's health, safety, and best interests while at the same time supporting the child's emotional and developmental growth that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in out-of-home care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

(c) Requirements for decision-making.

(1) Each child who comes into the care and custody of the Department is fully entitled to participate in appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities in a manner that allows that child to participate in his or her community to the fullest extent possible.

(2) Caregivers must use the reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a child in out-of-home care to participate in appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. Caregivers are expected to promote and support a child's participation in such activities. When using the reasonable and prudent parent standard, the caregiver shall consider:

(A) the child's age, maturity, and developmental level to promote the overall health, safety, and best interests of the child;

(B) the best interest of the child based on information known by the caregiver;

(C) the importance and fundamental value of encouraging the child's emotional and developmental growth gained through participation in activities in his or her community;

(D) the importance and fundamental value of providing the child with the most family-like living experience possible; and

(E) the behavioral history of the child and the child's ability to safely participate in the proposed activity.

(3) A caregiver is not liable for harm caused to a child in out-of-home care who participates in an activity approved by the caregiver, provided that the caregiver has acted as a reasonable and prudent parent in permitting the child to engage in the activity.

Indiana

Ind. Code § 31-9-2-101.5

 

2015 HB 1434

Sec. 101.5. "Reasonable and prudent parent standard," for purposes of IC 31-27, IC 31-34, and IC 31-37, means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child.

Iowa

Iowa Code § 237.1

9. “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parenting decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child, while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of a child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the placement, care, or supervision of the department to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, or social activities. For the purposes of this subsection, “caregiver” means an individual or an agency licensed under this chapter with which a child in foster care has been placed or a juvenile shelter care home approved under chapter 232 in which a child in foster care has been placed.

Kansas 2016 Kansas § 38-2217 (definition)

2016 Kansas 39-§2264

38-2217(a)(2), and amendments thereto: (aa) "Reasonable and prudent parenting standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities.

38-2264. Permanency hearing; purpose; procedure and requirements; time for hearing; authorized orders. (2) enter a finding as to whether the reasonable and prudent parenting standard has been met and whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities. The secretary shall report to the court the steps the secretary is taking to ensure that the child's foster family home or child care institution is following the reasonable and prudent parenting standard and that the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities, including consultation with the child in an age-appropriate manner about the opportunities of the child to participate in the activities;

Kentucky

Ky. Rev. Stat. § 199.011 (2017 HB 180)

(15) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” has the same meaning as in 42 U.S.C. sec. 675(10)

Louisiana

La. Rev. Stat. § 46:283

 

2015 HB 625

2015 SB 245

2015 HB 261

(3) A plan for ensuring the child is afforded the greatest opportunity for normalcy through engagement in age- or developmentally appropriate activities on a regular basis. The child shall be consulted in an age-appropriate manner about their interests and opportunities available to them. Recognizing the greatest opportunity for normalcy lies in the day-to-day decisions affecting the child's activities, the child's caretaker should be supported in making those decisions through the use of the reasonable and prudent parent standards as set forth in R.S. 46:283.

(b) "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, social and sporting activities.

Michigan

Mich. Comp. Laws § 712A.1

(q) “Reasonable and prudent parenting standard” means decisions characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain a child's health, safety, and best interest while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child when determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

Minnesota

Minn. Stat. § 260C.212

 

2015 SB 1458

Subd. 14. Support age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate activities for foster children. Responsible social services agencies and child-placing agencies shall support a foster child's emotional and developmental growth by permitting the child to participate in activities or events that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or are developmentally appropriate for the child. Foster parents and residential facility staff are permitted to allow foster children to participate in extracurricular, social, or cultural activities that are typical for the child's age by applying reasonable and prudent parenting standards. Reasonable and prudent parenting standards are characterized by careful and sensible parenting decisions that maintain the child's health and safety, and are made in the child's best interest.

Missouri

Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 210  Child Protection and Reformation  Section 210.566  Foster parents' bill of rights.

 

3. (1) Foster parents shall make decisions about the daily living concerns of the child, and shall be permitted to continue the practice of their own family values and routines while respecting the child's cultural heritage. All discipline shall be consistent with state laws and regulations. The children's division shall allow foster parents to help plan visitation between the child and the child's siblings or biological family. Visitations should be scheduled at a time that meets the needs of the child, the biological family members, and the foster family whenever possible. Recognizing that visitation with family members is an important right of children in foster care, foster parents shall be flexible and cooperative with regard to family visits.

(2) Foster parents shall provide care that is respectful of the child's cultural identity and needs. Recognizing that cultural competence can be learned, the children's division and their contractors shall provide foster parents with training that specifically addresses cultural needs of children, including but not limited to, information on skin and hair care, information on any specific religious or cultural practices of the child's biological family, and referrals to community resources for ongoing education and support.

(3) Foster parents shall recognize that the purpose of discipline is to teach and direct the behavior of the child, and ensure that it is administered in a humane and sensitive manner. Foster parents shall use discipline methods that are consistent with children's division policy.

Nebraska

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-4703

 

(1) Age or developmentally appropriate means activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for a child of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child, based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group and, in the case of a specific child, activities or items that are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of the child;

(7) Reasonable and prudent parent standard means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interest of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

Nevada

Nevada 2017 SB 257

Sec. 4. 1. The Normalcy for Foster Youth Account is hereby created in the State General Fund.

2. The interest and income earned on the money in the Account, after deducting any applicable charges, must be credited to the Account.

3. The Division of Child and Family Services may use money in the Account to:

(a) Provide monetary support to a provider of foster care who provides opportunities to a child in his or her care to participate in extracurricular, cultural or personal enrichment activities; and

(b) Award grants to agencies which provide child welfare services or nonprofit organizations that provide opportunities to children in foster care to participate in extracurricular, cultural or personal enrichment activities.

4. The Division of Child and Family Services may accept gifts, grants, bequests and other contributions from any source for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this section.

5. Any money remaining in the Account at the end of a fiscal year does not revert to the State General Fund, and the balance in the Account must be carried forward to the next fiscal year.

Sec. 5. 1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2, a person with whom a child has been placed pursuant to this chapter is immune from civil or criminal liability for approving or allowing the child to participate in extracurricular, cultural or personal enrichment activities if, in approving or allowing the child to participate in such activities, the person acted as a reasonable and prudent parent would have acted under the same circumstances to maintain the health, safety and best interests of the child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.

New Jersey

N.J. Stat. § 30:4C-26c

a. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule, or regulation to the contrary, a department that is responsible for the care of children shall make efforts to normalize the life of a child in the department's care, custody, or guardianship by empowering the child's caregiver to approve or disapprove, in a manner consistent with a reasonable and prudent parent standard, the child's participation in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural or social activities.

b. In making a determination of a reasonable and prudent parent with regard to allowing a child's participation in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, or social activities, the child's caregiver shall consider, but not be limited to, circumstances that:

(1) Encourage the child's formation of healthy, age-appropriate social relationships and bonds.

(2) Permit the child's participation in age-appropriate social activities and events.

(3) Allow the child to exercise age-appropriate autonomy and decision making authority within reasonable limits.

(4) Allow the child to maintain an age-appropriate degree of personal privacy.

(5) Avoid imposing upon the child's conduct any unreasonable burden not generally imposed upon other children of the same age and maturity level.

c. A caregiver shall not be held liable for an injury caused by an act or omission in connection with the authority granted pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the act or omission of the caregiver, resulting in the injury, constitutes willful or wanton misconduct.

d. The immunity afforded in subsection c. of this section shall not limit or remove any liability protection or immunity afforded to the caregiver or the department by the “New Jersey Tort Claims Act,” N.J.S.59:1-1 et seq. or any other law or statute.

e. As used in this section:

“Caregiver” means a resource family parent, foster parent, or a corporate entity or person designated by the department as responsible for the care of a child under the care, custody, or guardianship of the department.

“Department” means the Department of Children and Families and any other state department, agency, political subdivision, or the employees of any state department, agency, or political subdivision that is responsible for the care of children.

“Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard of care provided to a child which is characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and well-being of the child, encourage the emotional and developmental growth of the child, and promote the best interests of the child.

f. Notwithstanding the provisions of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c. 410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to the contrary, the commissioner of children and families shall, immediately upon filing proper notice with the Office of Administrative Law, adopt the rules and regulations as the commissioner deems necessary to implement the provisions of this act, which shall be effective for a period not to exceed 270 days and shall, thereafter, be amended, adopted, or readopted by the commissioner in accordance with the requirements of the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c. 410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).

New York

N.Y. Fam. Ct. § 355.5

 

2015 SB 2006

The child's foster family home or child care facility is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard in accordance with guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and (B) the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities including by consulting with the child in an age-appropriate manner about the opportunities of the child to participate in activities.

North Carolina

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 131D-10.2A

 

2015 SB 423

(a) The reasonable and prudent parent standard is the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that are reasonably intended to maintain the health, safety and best interests of the child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the state to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities.

North Dakota

N.D. Cent. Code §50-11-03.4

A person providing foster care for children in a licensed or approved facility is immune from civil liability for any act or omission resulting in damage or injury to or by a child in foster care if, at the time of the act or omission, the person providing foster care for children applied the reasonable and prudentparent standard in a manner that protects child safety, while also allowing the child in foster care to experience age or developmentally appropriate activities.

Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 5103.162

 

2014 HB 213

(C)(1) A foster caregiver shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard when considering whether to authorize a foster child who resides in the foster home to participate in extracurricular, enrichment and social activities.

(2) A public children services agency, private child placing agency, or private noncustodial agency that serves as the child's custodian or as the supervising agency for the foster caregiver shall be immune from liability in a civil action to recover damages for injury, death, or loss to person or property that result from a foster caregiver's or agency's decisions using a reasonable and prudent parent standard in accordance with division (C)(1) of this section.

(3) Nothing in this section shall affect, limit, abridge, or otherwise modify the immunities and defenses available to a public children services agency as a political subdivision under Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code.

(4) As used in this section, “reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the child's health, safety, and best interests while at the same time encouraging the child's emotional and developmental growth, that a caregiver or agency shall use when determining whether to allow a child in the care of a foster caregiver to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities.

Oklahoma

Okla. Stat. tit. 10A, § 1-1-105

 

2015 HB 1078

53. "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child. This standard shall be used by the child's caregiver when determining whether to allow a child to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities. For purposes of this definition, the term "caregiver" means a foster parent with whom a child in foster care has been placed, a representative of a group home where a child has been placed or a designated official for a residential child care facility where a child in foster care has been placed;

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. § 419A.004

 

2015 HB 2908

(21) "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard, characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child or ward while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child or ward, that a substitute care provider shall use when determining whether to allow a child or ward in substitute care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities.

Oregon

Or. Rev. Stat. § 419B (new section not yet added to code)

 

2015 HB 2890

(b) "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard, characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child or ward while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child or ward, that a substitute care provider shall use when determining whether to allow a child or ward in substitute care to participate in extracurricular activities.

Pennsylvania

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 42, § 6302

 

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 42, § 6351

“Reasonable and prudent parent standard.” The standard, characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety and best interests of a child while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver must use when determining whether to allow a child in an out-of-home placement under the responsibility of the county agency to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural and social activities.

 

(12) If the child has been placed with a caregiver, whether the child is being provided with regular, ongoing opportunities to participate in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities. In order to make the determination under this paragraph, the county agency shall document the steps it has taken to ensure that:

(i) the caregiver is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard; and

(ii) the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities. The county agency shall consult with the child regarding opportunities to engage in such activities.

Rhode Island

R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-72.10-1 (Foster Parent Bill of Rights)

(a) The Rhode Island general assembly recognizes the importance of foster parents in the care and nurturing of children who are in the care and custody of the department of children, youth and families hereinafter (“the department”). In an effort to ensure that foster parents are treated with dignity, respect, and trust in their work for the department, a statement of foster parents' rights shall be given to every foster parent at each licensing interval and shall include the following rights:

(18) The right to provide or withhold permission, without prior approval of the caseworker, department, educational advocate, or court, to allow a child in his or her care to participate in normal childhood activities based on a reasonable and prudent parent standard in accordance with the provisions of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act. The reasonable and prudent parent standard means the standard of care used in determining whether a foster parent(s) can allow a child in his or her care to participate in educational field trips, extracurricular, enrichment, and social activities. This standard is characterized by careful and thoughtful parental decision-making that is intended to maintain a child's health, safety, and best interest while encouraging the child's social, emotional, and developmental growth.

 

South Carolina

S.C. Code § 63-7-20

(3) “Age or developmentally appropriate” means:

(a) activities or items that are generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child, based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group;

(b) in the case of a specific child, activities or items that are suitable for the child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral capacities of the child; and

(c) activities that include, but are not be limited to, the following:

(i) sports;

(ii) field trips;

(iii) extracurricular activities;

(iv) social activities;

(v) after school programs or functions;

(vi) vacations with caregiver lasting up to two weeks;

(vii) overnight activities away from caregiver lasting up to one week;

(viii) employment opportunities; and

(ix) in-state or out-of-state travel, excluding overseas travel;

(d) activities that do not conflict with any pending matters before the court, an existing court order, or the child's scheduled appointments for evaluations or treatment.

(24) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means the standard of care characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interest of a child while at the same time encouraging the growth and development of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in age or developmentally appropriate activities.

Tennessee Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 37, Chapter 2, Part 4

(3) "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interest of a child while also encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that a caregiver shall use when determining whether to allow a child in foster care under the responsibility of the department to participate in age-or developmentally-appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

(b) Every child-placing agency that makes the determinations in subsection (c) shall designate an on-site official who is authorized to apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard and assist a caregiver in application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(c) A caregiver shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard when determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

(d) The caregiver and the child-placing agency, if applicable, shall not be liable for injuries to the child that occur as a result of acting in accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard. Any caregiver or child-placing agency acting in good faith in compliance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard shall be immune from civil liability arising from such action.

Texas

Tex. Fam. Code § 264.001

 

2015 SB 1407

(5) "Standard of care of a reasonable and prudent parent" means the standard of care that a parent of reasonable judgment, skill, and caution would exercise in addressing the health, safety, and welfare of a child while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, taking into consideration:

(A) The overall health and safety of the child.

(B) The child's age, maturity, and development level.

(C) The best interest of the child based on the caregiver's knowledge of the child.

(D) The appropriateness of a proposed activity and any potential risk factors.

(E) The behavioral history of the child and the child's ability to safely participate in a proposed activity.

(F) The importance of encouraging the child's social, emotional and developmental growth.

(G) The importance of providing the child with the most familylike living experience possible.

Utah

Utah Code Ann. § 62A-4a-212

 

2014 HB 346

(1)(a) A caregiver shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining whether to permit a child to participate in an activity.

(b) A caregiver shall consider:

(i) The child's age, maturity, and developmental level to maintain the overall health and safety of the child.

(ii) Potential risk factors and the appropriateness of the activity.

(iii) The best interest of the child based on the caregiver's knowledge of the child.

(iv) The importance of encouraging the child's emotional and developmental growth.

(v) The importance of providing the child with the most family-like living experience possible.

(vi) The behavioral history of the child and the child's ability to safely participate in the proposed activity.

(c) The division shall verify that private agencies providing out-of-home placement under contract with the division:

(i) Promote and protect the ability of a child to participate in age-appropriate activities.

(ii) Implement policies consistent with this section.

(d)(i) A caregiver is not liable for harm caused to a child in an out-of-home placement if the child participates in an activity approved by the caregiver, when the caregiver has acted in accordance with a reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(ii) This section does not remove or limit any existing liability protection afforded by statute.

(2) In accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, the division shall adopt rules establishing the procedures for verifying that private agencies providing out-of-home placement under contract with the division comply with and promote this part.

Virginia

Va. Code § 63.2-904

D. Consistent with the reasonable and prudent parent standard defined in 42 U.S.C. § 675(10)(A), caregivers for children in foster care shall support normalcy for such children. The Board shall adopt regulations to assist local boards and licensed child-placing agencies in carrying out practices that support careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interest of the child while at the same time encouraging his emotional and developmental growth.

Washington

2014 SB 6479

Provides caregivers with the authority to give permission without prior approval of the Department of Social and Health Services or a court to allow a child in their care to participate in normal childhood activities based on a certain standard. Specifies that the standard caregivers must use in determining whether to allow children in the care to participate in those activities in a reasonable and prudent parent standard through the use of careful and thoughtful parental decision-making.

West Virginia

W. Va. Ct. Rules, Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings, Rule 28

(a) The Department shall prepare a child's case plan as required by W. Va. Code §§ 49-4-408 and 49-4-604, in the format approved by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and the Department. If parental rights have not been terminated, the plan should include, where applicable, the requirements of the family case plan. Parents, children capable of expressing their preferences, foster parents or relative caregivers, and members of the multidisciplinary treatment team should be included in the case plan development. The case plan should include, but need not be limited to, the following:

(5) When the child's permanency plan is APPLA, the Department shall document the efforts to place the child permanently with a parent, relative, or in a guardianship or adoptive placement and the steps taken to ensure that the foster family follows the “reasonable and prudent parent standard” to allow the child regular opportunities to engage in age- or developmentally-appropriate normal childhood activities.

Wisconsin

Wis. Stat. § 48.02

 

Wis. Stat. § 48.383

 

(14r) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means a standard for an out-of-home care provider to use in making decisions concerning a child's participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities that is characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, best interests, and cultural, religious, and tribal values of the child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.

 

(1) Use of standard by out-of-home care providers. An out-of-home care provider shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard in making decisions concerning a child's participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. In making decisions using the reasonable and prudent parent standard, an out-of-home care provider shall consider the restrictiveness of the child's placement and whether the child has the necessary training and safety equipment to safely participate in the activity under consideration and may not make any decision that is in violation of any court order or any state or federal law, rule, or regulation.

Wyoming

Wyo. Stat. § 14-13-101 et.seq.

(i) “Age appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities and experiences” means activities and experiences that are:

(A) Generally accepted as suitable for children of the same chronological age or level of maturity or that are determined to be developmentally appropriate for a child based on the development of cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral capacities that are typical for an age or age group; or

(B) In the case of a specific child, suitable for that child based on the developmental stages attained by the child with respect to the cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioral capacities of the child.

(vi) “Reasonable and prudent parent standard” means careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, well-being and best interests of a child while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.

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 childwelfare@ncsl.org.

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 cyf-info@ncsl.org.