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SF 1809

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 03/09/2021 08:47am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to human services; child protection; establishing additional relative foster
care case management, licensing support, and training services and resources;
requiring a local social services agency to work with a community-based
organization to conduct required relative searches; instructing the commissioner
of human services to review opportunities to implement additional relative search
services and kinship navigator models; appropriating money; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2020, sections 260C.212, by adding a subdivision; 260C.221; proposing
coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 245A; 260C.

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

Section 1.

new text begin [245A.036] CHILD FOSTER CARE RELATIVE PLACEMENT
LICENSING SUPPORT AND TRAINING.
new text end

new text begin (a) If a child is placed in foster care, the local social services agency or other child-placing
agency must offer to refer the relative caregiver who has taken the emergency placement
or other potential relative caregivers to a private, community-based organization to provide
training, support, and guidance to the relative caregiver through the foster care licensing
process.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a relative caregiver states a preference for a referral, the private, community-based
organization must:
new text end

new text begin (1) provide guidance through the prelicensing and licensing process;
new text end

new text begin (2) identify and assess potential barriers to licensure;
new text end

new text begin (3) assess and recommend any licensing variances that would be appropriate; and
new text end

new text begin (4) establish a realistic licensure timeline.
new text end

new text begin (c) The private, community-based organization must offer training addressing the unique
needs of the child being placed in the relative's care, and must offer training to relative
caregivers on the following topics:
new text end

new text begin (1) the child foster care licensing process;
new text end

new text begin (2) family connection visual tools such as genograms and ecomaps;
new text end

new text begin (3) trauma-informed parenting;
new text end

new text begin (4) managing changes in family dynamics upon placement with a relative caregiver;
new text end

new text begin (5) intergenerational trauma; and
new text end

new text begin (6) basic child development.
new text end

new text begin (d) Each private, community-based organization that receives referrals and provides
services under this section must be licensed by the commissioner to provide and facilitate
foster care and child placement services, must have experience providing the services listed
in this section, and must have a contract with the commissioner to provide these services.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 260C.212, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 2a. new text end

new text begin Relative placement case management and support. new text end

new text begin (a) If a child is placed
in an out-of-home placement with a relative caregiver, the local social services agency or
other child-placing agency must offer to refer the relative caregiver to a private,
community-based organization to provide case management and support for the duration
of the placement.
new text end

new text begin (b) The local social services agency or the private, community-based organization, if
applicable, must design a case management services plan to coordinate family supports and
access additional services for the child and family, as needed, in collaboration with the local
social services agency or other child-placing agency. The applicable agency must outline
plans for services and supports, including but not limited to:
new text end

new text begin (1) health insurance coverage;
new text end

new text begin (2) the child's education;
new text end

new text begin (3) child care;
new text end

new text begin (4) mental and physical health;
new text end

new text begin (5) community engagement and recreation;
new text end

new text begin (6) cultural and religious preferences of the child and family;
new text end

new text begin (7) transportation needs; and
new text end

new text begin (8) maintaining and supporting family relationships.
new text end

new text begin (c) The applicable agency must also provide referrals for appropriate services for the
child and relative caregiver family, including but not limited to family therapy, individual
therapy, developmental screenings, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder assessments.
new text end

new text begin (d) Relative caregivers may also contact the relative placement support call line,
established under section 260C.222, to receive information about support services and
referrals for appropriate services.
new text end

new text begin (e) Each private, community-based organization that receives referrals and provides
services under this section must be licensed by the commissioner to provide and facilitate
foster care and child placement services, must have experience providing the services listed
in this section, and must have a contract with the commissioner to provide these services.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 260C.221, is amended to read:


260C.221 RELATIVE SEARCH.

(a) The responsible social services agency shall exercise due diligence to identify and
notify adult relatives prior to placement or within 30 days after the child's removal from the
parent. The county agency shall consider placement with a relative under this section without
delay and whenever the child must move from or be returned to foster care. The relative
search required by this section shall be comprehensive in scope. After a finding that the
agency has made reasonable efforts to conduct the relative search under this paragraph, the
agency has the continuing responsibility to appropriately involve relatives, who have
responded to the notice required under this paragraph, in planning for the child and to
continue to consider relatives according to the requirements of section 260C.212, subdivision
2
. At any time during the course of juvenile protection proceedings, the court may order
the agency to reopen its search for relatives when it is in the child's best interest to do so.

(b) The relative search required by this section shall include both maternal and paternal
adult relatives of the child; all adult grandparents; all legal parents, guardians, or custodians
of the child's siblings; and any other adult relatives suggested by the child's parents, subject
to the exceptions due to family violence in paragraph (c). The search shall also include
getting information from the child in an age-appropriate manner about who the child
considers to be family members and important friends with whom the child has resided or
had significant contact. The relative search required under this section must fulfill the
agency's duties under the Indian Child Welfare Act regarding active efforts to prevent the
breakup of the Indian family under United States Code, title 25, section 1912(d), and to
meet placement preferences under United States Code, title 25, section 1915. The relatives
must be notified:

(1) of the need for a foster home for the child, the option to become a placement resource
for the child, and the possibility of the need for a permanent placement for the child;

(2) of their responsibility to keep the responsible social services agency and the court
informed of their current address in order to receive notice in the event that a permanent
placement is sought for the child and to receive notice of the permanency progress review
hearing under section 260C.204. A relative who fails to provide a current address to the
responsible social services agency and the court forfeits the right to receive notice of the
possibility of permanent placement and of the permanency progress review hearing under
section 260C.204. A decision by a relative not to be identified as a potential permanent
placement resource or participate in planning for the child at the beginning of the case shall
not affect whether the relative is considered for placement of the child with that relative
later;

(3) that the relative may participate in the care and planning for the child, including that
the opportunity for such participation may be lost by failing to respond to the notice sent
under this subdivision. "Participate in the care and planning" includes, but is not limited to,
participation in case planning for the parent and child, identifying the strengths and needs
of the parent and child, supervising visits, providing respite and vacation visits for the child,
providing transportation to appointments, suggesting other relatives who might be able to
help support the case plan, and to the extent possible, helping to maintain the child's familiar
and regular activities and contact with friends and relatives;

(4) of the family foster care licensing requirements, including how to complete an
application and how to request a variance from licensing standards that do not present a
safety or health risk to the child in the home under section 245A.04 and supports that are
available for relatives and children who reside in a family foster home; and

(5) of the relatives' right to ask to be notified of any court proceedings regarding the
child, to attend the hearings, and of a relative's right or opportunity to be heard by the court
as required under section 260C.152, subdivision 5.

(c) A responsible social services agency may disclose private data, as defined in section
13.02 and chapter 260E, to relatives of the child for the purpose of locating and assessing
a suitable placement and may use any reasonable means of identifying and locating relatives
including the Internet or other electronic means of conducting a search. The agency shall
disclose data that is necessary to facilitate possible placement with relatives and to ensure
that the relative is informed of the needs of the child so the relative can participate in planning
for the child and be supportive of services to the child and family. If the child's parent refuses
to give the responsible social services agency information sufficient to identify the maternal
and paternal relatives of the child, the agency shall ask the juvenile court to order the parent
to provide the necessary information. If a parent makes an explicit request that a specific
relative not be contacted or considered for placement due to safety reasons including past
family or domestic violence, the agency shall bring the parent's request to the attention of
the court to determine whether the parent's request is consistent with the best interests of
the child and the agency shall not contact the specific relative when the juvenile court finds
that contacting the specific relative would endanger the parent, guardian, child, sibling, or
any family member.

(d) At a regularly scheduled hearing not later than three months after the child's placement
in foster care and as required in section 260C.202, the agency shall report to the court:

(1) its efforts to identify maternal and paternal relatives of the child and to engage the
relatives in providing support for the child and family, and document that the relatives have
been provided the notice required under paragraph (a); and

(2) its decision regarding placing the child with a relative as required under section
260C.212, subdivision 2, and to ask relatives to visit or maintain contact with the child in
order to support family connections for the child, when placement with a relative is not
possible or appropriate.

(e) Notwithstanding chapter 13, the agency shall disclose data about particular relatives
identified, searched for, and contacted for the purposes of the court's review of the agency's
due diligence.

(f) When the court is satisfied that the agency has exercised due diligence to identify
relatives and provide the notice required in paragraph (a), the court may find that reasonable
efforts have been made to conduct a relative search to identify and provide notice to adult
relatives as required under section 260.012, paragraph (e), clause (3). If the court is not
satisfied that the agency has exercised due diligence to identify relatives and provide the
notice required in paragraph (a), the court may order the agency to continue its search and
notice efforts and to report back to the court.

(g) When the placing agency determines that permanent placement proceedings are
necessary because there is a likelihood that the child will not return to a parent's care, the
agency must send the notice provided in paragraph (h), may ask the court to modify the
duty of the agency to send the notice required in paragraph (h), or may ask the court to
completely relieve the agency of the requirements of paragraph (h). The relative notification
requirements of paragraph (h) do not apply when the child is placed with an appropriate
relative or a foster home that has committed to adopting the child or taking permanent legal
and physical custody of the child and the agency approves of that foster home for permanent
placement of the child. The actions ordered by the court under this section must be consistent
with the best interests, safety, permanency, and welfare of the child.

(h) Unless required under the Indian Child Welfare Act or relieved of this duty by the
court under paragraph (f), when the agency determines that it is necessary to prepare for
permanent placement determination proceedings, or in anticipation of filing a termination
of parental rights petition, the agency shall send notice to the relatives, any adult with whom
the child is currently residing, any adult with whom the child has resided for one year or
longer in the past, and any adults who have maintained a relationship or exercised visitation
with the child as identified in the agency case plan. The notice must state that a permanent
home is sought for the child and that the individuals receiving the notice may indicate to
the agency their interest in providing a permanent home. The notice must state that within
30 days of receipt of the notice an individual receiving the notice must indicate to the agency
the individual's interest in providing a permanent home for the child or that the individual
may lose the opportunity to be considered for a permanent placement.

new text begin (i) The responsible social services agency must have a service agreement with a private,
community-based organization to provide additional expertise and capacity for conducting
the required relative search under this section and identify potential relatives with whom to
place a child. The community-based organization must have a contract with the
commissioner, and must have the demonstrated technological capacity and engagement
expertise to conduct in-depth relative searches and individualized, culturally responsive
outreach to potential relative caregivers. The community-based organization must engage
and coordinate with the responsible social services agency, the identified potential relative
caregivers, and all other relevant service providers to support effective transitions for the
family after the child is placed with a relative.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [260C.222] RELATIVE CAREGIVER SUPPORT CALL LINE.
new text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner of human services must establish a relative caregiver support call
line that is staffed to take calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Support call line staff
must be equipped to answer questions regarding the child foster care licensing process and
provide information about available legal, educational, and medical access resources, and
other support services and referrals for appropriate services for the child and family.
new text end

new text begin (b) The commissioner must contract with an experienced, professional entity through a
request for proposals process for the development and continued operation of the relative
caregiver support call line.
new text end

Sec. 5. new text beginDIRECTION TO COMMISSIONER; FAMILY FIRST PREVENTION
KINSHIP SERVICES.
new text end

new text begin The commissioner of human services shall continue to review opportunities to implement
additional relative search services and kinship navigator models that support placement of
children with relative foster parents, in anticipation of reimbursement for eligible services
under the Family First Prevention Services Act. Kinship navigator models would assist
relative foster parents with home studies and licensing requirements and provide ongoing
support to the relative caregivers and children in out-of-home placement with relatives.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginAPPROPRIATIONS; RELATIVE CAREGIVER SUPPORT; RELATIVE
SEARCH AND OUTREACH.
new text end

new text begin (a) $....... in fiscal year 2022 and $....... in fiscal year 2023 are appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of human services for contracts with private,
community-based organizations to provide foster care training and licensing support to
relative caregivers under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.036, and relative placement case
management and support under Minnesota Statutes, section 260C.212, subdivision 2a,
through referrals from local social services agencies or other child-placing agencies.
new text end

new text begin (b) $....... in fiscal year 2022 and $....... in fiscal year 2023 are appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of human services to contract with an experienced,
professional entity to develop and operate the relative placement support call line established
under Minnesota Statutes, section 260C.222.
new text end

new text begin (c) $....... in fiscal year 2022 and $....... in fiscal year 2023 are appropriated from the
general fund to the commissioner of human services for contracts with private,
community-based organizations with demonstrated technological capacity and engagement
expertise to assist local social services agencies with relative searches required under
Minnesota Statutes, section 260C.221.
new text end