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Engrossed Senate Bill (H)

DIGEST

Department of child services. States that a court shall determine that consent to adoption is not required from the parent if the parent is convicted of crimes in another state that are substantially similar to specified crimes. Specifies that all decisions made by the department of child services (department) in specified statutes shall be made in consideration of the best interests of the child. Requires the department to implement and make available telephone contacts for family case managers to provide access to assistance in finding suitable placement for a child. Allows the department to waive the limits on the number Department of child services. States that a court shall determine that consent to adoption is not required from the parent if the parent is convicted of crimes in another state that are substantially similar to specified crimes. Specifies that all decisions made by the department of child services (department) in specified statutes shall be made in consideration of the best interests of the child. Requires the department to implement and make available telephone contacts for family case managers to provide access to assistance in finding suitable placement for a child. Allows the department to waive the limits on the number of children who may be placed in a single foster home in certain circumstances. Provides that a dispositional decree must require the department to continue exercising due diligence to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child. Requires the department to include information: (1) concerning the department's continued effort to identify all adult relatives of the child and adult siblings who may be considered as out-of-home placements for the child; and (2) from a foster parent in a progress report prepared for a case review hearing or permanency hearing. Requires the department and the office of judicial administration (office) to prepare a form that may be used to provide written testimony by certain individuals and allows foster parents to provide written testimony in a format other than the form. Provides for a right to intervene by a foster parent, long term foster parent, or a person who has been a foster parent of the child in a child in need of services proceeding and a termination of parent-child relationship proceeding and sets forth hearing requirements on the petition to intervene. Provides that before a child who was: (1) placed in an out-of-home placement; and (2) moved from the out-of-home placement to an in-home placement; may be returned to an out-of-home placement, the court and the department shall make a reasonable attempt to place the child in the previous out-of-home placement. Provides that a foster parent, relative of the child, or de facto custodian with whom the child has been placed for at least six months may file a notice with the court if a petition to terminate the parent-child relationship (TPR) has not been filed concerning a child who has been removed from a parent and has been under the supervision of the department for 15 months of the most recent 22 months. Provides that if a notice is filed with the court, the court shall schedule a hearing within 30 days. Requires the department and the office to jointly provide a report before July 1, 2020, to the general assembly on information concerning the progress in: (1) training and technical assistance to judicial officers on foster parents' statutory rights to be heard by the court; and (2) improving opportunities for foster parents to provide oral and written testimony to the court. ... View more