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HF 3159

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 04/14/2020 04:21pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to human services; foster care; requiring responsible social services
agencies to coordinate prenatal alcohol exposure screenings for children in foster
care; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.219.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 260C.219, is amended to read:


260C.219 AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN IN
PLACEMENT.

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Responsibilities for parents; noncustodial parents. new text end

(a) When a child
is in foster care, the responsible social services agency shall make diligent efforts to identify,
locate, and, where appropriate, offer services to both parents of the child.

deleted text begin (1)deleted text endnew text begin (b)new text end The responsible social services agency shall assess whether a noncustodial or
nonadjudicated parent is willing and capable of providing for the day-to-day care of the
child temporarily or permanently. An assessment under this deleted text beginclausedeleted text endnew text begin paragraphnew text end may include,
but is not limited to, obtaining information under section 260C.209. If after assessment, the
responsible social services agency determines that a noncustodial or nonadjudicated parent
is willing and capable of providing day-to-day care of the child, the responsible social
services agency may seek authority from the custodial parent or the court to have that parent
assume day-to-day care of the child. If a parent is not an adjudicated parent, the responsible
social services agency shall require the nonadjudicated parent to cooperate with paternity
establishment procedures as part of the case plan.

deleted text begin (2)deleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end If, after assessment, the responsible social services agency determines that the
child cannot be in the day-to-day care of either parent, the agency shall:

deleted text begin (i)deleted text endnew text begin (1)new text end prepare an out-of-home placement plan addressing the conditions that each parent
must meet before the child can be in that parent's day-to-day care; and

deleted text begin (ii)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end provide a parent who is the subject of a background study under section 260C.209
15 days' notice that it intends to use the study to recommend against putting the child with
that parent, and the court shall afford the parent an opportunity to be heard concerning the
study.

The results of a background study of a noncustodial parent shall not be used by the
agency to determine that the parent is incapable of providing day-to-day care of the child
unless the agency reasonably believes that placement of the child into the home of that
parent would endanger the child's health, safety, or welfare.

deleted text begin (3)deleted text endnew text begin (d)new text end If, after the provision of services following an out-of-home placement plan under
this deleted text beginsectiondeleted text endnew text begin subdivisionnew text end, the child cannot return to the care of the parent from whom the
child was removed or who had legal custody at the time the child was placed in foster care,
the agency may petition on behalf of a noncustodial parent to establish legal custody with
that parent under section 260C.515, subdivision 4. If paternity has not already been
established, it may be established in the same proceeding in the manner provided for under
chapter 257.

deleted text begin (4)deleted text endnew text begin (e)new text end The responsible social services agency may be relieved of the requirement to
locate and offer services to both parents by the juvenile court upon a finding of good cause
after the filing of a petition under section 260C.141.

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Notice to parent or guardian. new text end

deleted text begin(b)deleted text end The responsible social services agency shall
give notice to the parent or guardian of each child in foster care, other than a child in
voluntary foster care for treatment under chapter 260D, of the following information:

(1) that the child's placement in foster care may result in termination of parental rights
or an order permanently placing the child out of the custody of the parent, but only after
notice and a hearing as required under this chapter and the juvenile court rules;

(2) time limits on the length of placement and of reunification services, including the
date on which the child is expected to be returned to and safely maintained in the home of
the parent or parents or placed for adoption or otherwise permanently removed from the
care of the parent by court order;

(3) the nature of the services available to the parent;

(4) the consequences to the parent and the child if the parent fails or is unable to use
services to correct the circumstances that led to the child's placement;

(5) the first consideration for placement with relatives;

(6) the benefit to the child in getting the child out of foster care as soon as possible,
preferably by returning the child home, but if that is not possible, through a permanent legal
placement of the child away from the parent;

(7) when safe for the child, the benefits to the child and the parent of maintaining
visitation with the child as soon as possible in the course of the case and, in any event,
according to the visitation plan under this section; and

(8) the financial responsibilities and obligations, if any, of the parent or parents for the
support of the child during the period the child is in foster care.

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Information for a parent considering voluntary placement. new text end

deleted text begin(c)deleted text end The
responsible social services agency shall inform a parent considering voluntary placement
of a child under section 260C.227 of the following information:

(1) the parent and the child each has a right to separate legal counsel before signing a
voluntary placement agreement, but not to counsel appointed at public expense;

(2) the parent is not required to agree to the voluntary placement, and a parent who enters
a voluntary placement agreement may at any time request that the agency return the child.
If the parent so requests, the child must be returned within 24 hours of the receipt of the
request;

(3) evidence gathered during the time the child is voluntarily placed may be used at a
later time as the basis for a petition alleging that the child is in need of protection or services
or as the basis for a petition seeking termination of parental rights or other permanent
placement of the child away from the parent;

(4) if the responsible social services agency files a petition alleging that the child is in
need of protection or services or a petition seeking the termination of parental rights or other
permanent placement of the child away from the parent, the parent would have the right to
appointment of separate legal counsel and the child would have a right to the appointment
of counsel and a guardian ad litem as provided by law, and that counsel will be appointed
at public expense if they are unable to afford counsel; and

(5) the timelines and procedures for review of voluntary placements under section
260C.212, subdivision 3, and the effect the time spent in voluntary placement on the
scheduling of a permanent placement determination hearing under sections 260C.503 to
260C.521.

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Medical examination. new text end

deleted text begin(d)deleted text end When an agency accepts a child for placement, the
agency shall determine whether the child has had a physical examination by or under the
direction of a licensed physician within the 12 months immediately preceding the date when
the child came into the agency's care. If there is documentation that the child has had an
examination within the last 12 months, the agency is responsible for seeing that the child
has another physical examination within one year of the documented examination and
annually in subsequent years. If the agency determines that the child has not had a physical
examination within the 12 months immediately preceding placement, the agency shall ensure
that the child has an examination within 30 days of coming into the agency's care and once
a year in subsequent years.

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Children reaching age of majority; copies of records. new text end

deleted text begin(e)deleted text end Whether under
state guardianship or not, if a child leaves foster care by reason of having attained the age
of majority under state law, the child must be given at no cost a copy of the child's social
and medical history, as defined in section 259.43, and education report.

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Prenatal alcohol exposure screening. new text end

new text begin (a) The responsible social services
agency shall coordinate a prenatal alcohol exposure screening for any child who enters
foster care as soon as practicable but no later than 45 days after the removal of the child
from the child's home, if the agency has determined that the child has not previously been
screened or identified as prenatally exposed to alcohol.
new text end

new text begin (b) The responsible social services agency shall ensure that the screening is conducted
in accordance with (1) existing prenatal alcohol exposure screening best practice guidelines
and (2) the criteria developed and provided to the responsible social services agency by the
statewide organization that focuses solely on prevention and intervention with fetal alcohol
spectrum disorder and that receives funding under the appropriation for fetal alcohol spectrum
disorder in Laws 2007, chapter 147, article 19, section 4, subdivision 2.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective for children who enter foster care on or
after August 1, 2020.
new text end