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2009 Minnesota Session Laws

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CHAPTER 163--S.F.No. 1503

An act

relating to human services; changing child welfare provisions; making technical and policy changes; clarifying data practices; authorizing children's mental health screening by tribes; changing certain adoption provisions; modifying adoption assistance eligibility, agreements, and benefits; changing foster care provisions; requiring diligent efforts to identify parents of a child; changing notice requirements for termination of parental rights or permanency proceedings; authorizing alternative dispute resolution; changing parental visitation; requiring additional information in a child's out-of-home placement plan;

amending Minnesota Statutes 2008, sections 13.46, subdivision 2; 256.01, subdivision 14b; 259.52, subdivisions 2, 6; 259.67, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, by adding subdivisions; 260.012; 260.93; 260B.007, subdivision 7; 260B.157, subdivision 3; 260B.198, subdivision 1; 260C.007, subdivisions 18, 25; 260C.151, subdivisions 1, 2, 3, by adding a subdivision; 260C.163, by adding a subdivision; 260C.175, subdivision 1; 260C.176, subdivision 1; 260C.178, subdivisions 1, 3; 260C.201, subdivisions 1, 3, 5, 11; 260C.209, subdivision 3; 260C.212, subdivisions 1, 2, 4, 4a, 5, 7; 260D.02, subdivision 5; 260D.03, subdivision 1; 260D.07; 484.76, subdivision 2; Laws 2008, chapter 361, article 6, section 58; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 260C; repealing Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.209, subdivision 4; Minnesota Rules, parts 9560.0081; 9560.0083, subparts 1, 5, 6; 9560.0091, subpart 4, item C.

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

ARTICLE 1

CHILD WELFARE TECHNICAL

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260.93, is amended to read:

260.93 INTERSTATE COMPACT FOR THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN.

ARTICLE I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children is to:

A. Provide a process through which children subject to this compact are placed in safe and suitable homes in a timely manner.

B. Facilitate ongoing supervision of a placement, the delivery of services, and communication between the states.

C. Provide operating procedures that will ensure that children are placed in safe and suitable homes in a timely manner.

D. Provide for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact and regulating the covered activities of the member states.

E. Provide for uniform data collection and information sharing between member states under this compact.

F. Promote coordination between this compact, the Interstate Compact for Juveniles, the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance, and other compacts affecting the placement of and which provide services to children otherwise subject to this compact.

G. Provide for a state's continuing legal jurisdiction and responsibility for placement and care of a child that it would have had if the placement were intrastate.

H. Provide for the promulgation of guidelines, in collaboration with Indian tribes, for interstate cases involving Indian children as is or may be permitted by federal law.

ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS

As used in this compact,

A. "Approved placement" means the public child-placing agency in the receiving state has determined that the placement is both safe and suitable for the child.

B. "Assessment" means an evaluation of a prospective placement by a public child-placing agency to determine whether the placement meets the individualized needs of the child, including but not limited to the child's safety and stability, health and well-being, and mental, emotional, and physical development. An assessment is only applicable to a placement by a public child-placing agency.

C. "Child" means an individual who has not attained the age of eighteen (18).

D. "Certification" means to attest, declare, or be sworn to attesting, declaring, or swearing before a judge or notary public.

E. "Default" means the failure of a member state to perform the obligations or responsibilities imposed upon it by this compact, the bylaws or rules of the Interstate Commission.

F. "Home study" means an evaluation of a home environment conducted according to the applicable requirements of the state in which the home is located, and documents the preparation and the suitability of the placement resource for placement of a child according to the laws and requirements of the state in which the home is located.

G. "Indian tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community of Indians recognized as eligible for services provided to Indians by the Secretary of the Interior because of their status as Indians, including any Alaskan native village as defined in section 3(c) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act at United States Code, title 43, chapter 33, section 1602(c).

H. "Interstate Commission for the Placement of Children" means the commission that is created under Article VIII of this compact and which is generally referred to as the Interstate Commission.

I. "Jurisdiction" means the power and authority of a court to hear and decide matters.

J. "Legal risk placement" ("Legal risk adoption") means a placement made preliminary to an adoption where the prospective adoptive parents acknowledge in writing that a child can be ordered returned to the sending state or the birth mother's state of residence, if different from the sending state and a final decree of adoption shall not be entered in any jurisdiction until all required consents are obtained or are dispensed with according to applicable law.

K. "Member state" means a state that has enacted this compact.

L. "Noncustodial parent" means a person who, at the time of the commencement of court proceedings in the sending state, does not have sole legal custody of the child or has joint legal custody of a child, and who is not the subject of allegations or findings of child abuse or neglect.

M. "Nonmember state" means a state which has not enacted this compact.

N. "Notice of residential placement" means information regarding a placement into a residential facility provided to the receiving state including, but not limited to the name, date and place of birth of the child, the identity and address of the parent or legal guardian, evidence of authority to make the placement, and the name and address of the facility in which the child will be placed. Notice of residential placement shall also include information regarding a discharge and any unauthorized absence from the facility.

O. "Placement" means the act by a public or private child-placing agency intended to arrange for the care or custody of a child in another state.

P. "Private child-placing agency" means any private corporation, agency, foundation, institution, or charitable organization, or any private person or attorney that facilitates, causes, or is involved in the placement of a child from one state to another and that is not an instrumentality of the state or acting under color of state law.

Q. "Provisional placement" means a determination made by the public child-placing agency in the receiving state that the proposed placement is safe and suitable, and, to the extent allowable, the receiving state has temporarily waived its standards or requirements otherwise applicable to prospective foster or adoptive parents so as to not delay the placement. Completion of an assessment and the receiving state requirements regarding training for prospective foster or adoptive parents shall not delay an otherwise safe and suitable placement.

R. "Public child-placing agency" means any government child welfare agency or child protection agency or a private entity under contract with such an agency, regardless of whether they act on behalf of a state, county, municipality, or other governmental unit and which facilitates, causes, or is involved in the placement of a child from one state to another.

S. "Receiving state" means the state to which a child is sent, brought, or caused to be sent or brought.

T. "Relative" means someone who is related to the child as a parent, stepparent, sibling by half or whole blood or by adoption, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or first cousin or a non-relative nonrelative with such significant ties to the child that they may be regarded as relatives as determined by the court in the sending state.

U. "Residential facility" means a facility providing a level of care that is sufficient to substitute for parental responsibility or foster care, and is beyond what is needed for assessment or treatment of an acute condition. For purposes of the compact, residential facilities do not include institutions primarily educational in character, hospitals, or other medical facilities.

V. "Rule" means a written directive, mandate, standard, or principle issued by the Interstate Commission promulgated pursuant to Article XI of this compact that is of general applicability and that implements, interprets, or prescribes a policy or provision of the compact. Rule has the force and effect of an administrative rule in a member state, and includes the amendment, repeal, or suspension of an existing rule.

W. "Sending state" means the state from which the placement of a child is initiated.

X. "Service member's permanent duty station" means the military installation where an active duty Armed Services member is currently assigned and is physically located under competent orders that do not specify the duty as temporary.

Y. "Service member's state of legal residence" means the state in which the active duty Armed Services member is considered a resident for tax and voting purposes.

Z. "State" means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas Islands, and any other territory of the United States.

AA. "State court" means a judicial body of a state that is vested by law with responsibility for adjudicating cases involving abuse, neglect, deprivation, delinquency, or status offenses of individuals who have not attained the age of eighteen (18).

BB. "Supervision" means monitoring provided by the receiving state once a child has been placed in a receiving state pursuant to this compact.

ARTICLE III. APPLICABILITY

A. Except as otherwise provided in Article III, Section B, this compact shall apply to:

1. The interstate placement of a child subject to ongoing court jurisdiction in the sending state, due to allegations or findings that the child has been abused, neglected, or deprived as defined by the laws of the sending state, provided, however, that the placement of such a child into a residential facility shall only require notice of residential placement to the receiving state prior to placement.

2. The interstate placement of a child adjudicated delinquent or unmanageable based on the laws of the sending state and subject to ongoing court jurisdiction of the sending state if:

a. the child is being placed in a residential facility in another member state and is not covered under another compact; or

b. the child is being placed in another member state and the determination of safety and suitability of the placement and services required is not provided through another compact.

3. The interstate placement of any child by a public child-placing agency or private child-placing agency as defined in this compact as a preliminary step to a possible adoption.

B. The provisions of this compact shall not apply to:

1. The interstate placement of a child in a custody proceeding in which a public child-placing agency is not a party, provided the placement is not intended to effectuate an adoption.

2. The interstate placement of a child with a non-relative nonrelative in a receiving state by a parent with the legal authority to make such a placement provided, however, that the placement is not intended to effectuate an adoption.

3. The interstate placement of a child by one relative with the lawful authority to make such a placement directly with a relative in a receiving state.

4. The placement of a child, not subject to Article III, Section A, into a residential facility by the child's parent.

5. The placement of a child with a noncustodial parent provided that:

a. The noncustodial parent proves to the satisfaction of a court in the sending state a substantial relationship with the child; and

b. The court in the sending state makes a written finding that placement with the noncustodial parent is in the best interests of the child; and

c. The court in the sending state dismisses its jurisdiction over the child's case. in interstate placements in which the public child-placing agency is a party to the proceedings.

6. A child entering the United States from a foreign country for the purpose of adoption or leaving the United States to go to a foreign country for the purpose of adoption in that country.

7. Cases in which a U.S. citizen child living overseas with the child's family, at least one of whom is in the United States armed services, and who is stationed overseas, is removed and placed in a state.

8. The sending of a child by a public child-placing agency or a private child-placing agency for a visit as defined by the rules of the Interstate Commission.

C. For purposes of determining the applicability of this compact to the placement of a child with a family in the armed services, the public child-placing agency or private child-placing agency may choose the state of the service member's permanent duty station or the service member's declared legal residence.

D. Nothing in this compact shall be construed to prohibit the concurrent application of the provisions of this compact with other applicable interstate compacts including the Interstate Compact for Juveniles and the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance. The Interstate Commission may in cooperation with other interstate compact commissions having responsibility for the interstate movement, placement, or transfer of children, promulgate like rules to ensure the coordination of services, timely placement of children, and the reduction of unnecessary or duplicative administrative or procedural requirements.

ARTICLE IV. JURISDICTION

A. Except as provided in article IV, section G H and article V, section B, paragraphs 2 and 3, concerning private and independent adoptions and in interstate placements in which the public child-placing agency is not a party to a custody proceeding, the sending state shall retain jurisdiction over a child with respect to all matters of custody and disposition of the child which it would have had if the child had remained in the sending state. Such jurisdiction shall also include the power to order the return of the child to the sending state.

B. When an issue of child protection or custody is brought before a court in the receiving state, such court shall confer with the court of the sending state to determine the most appropriate forum for adjudication.

C. In cases that are before courts and subject to this compact, the taking of testimony for hearings before any judicial officer may occur in person or by telephone; by audio-video conference; or by other means as approved by the rules of the Interstate Commission. Judicial officers may communicate with other judicial officers and persons involved in the interstate process as may be permitted by their Canons of Judicial Conduct and any rules promulgated by the Interstate Commission.

C. D. In accordance with its own laws, the court in the sending state shall have authority to terminate its jurisdiction if:

1. The child is reunified with the parent in the receiving state who is the subject of allegations or findings of abuse or neglect, only with the concurrence of the public child-placing agency in the receiving state; or

2. The child is adopted;

3. The child reaches the age of majority under the laws of the sending state; or

4. The child achieves legal independence pursuant to the laws of the sending state; or

5. A guardianship is created by a court in the receiving state with the concurrence of the court in the sending state; or

6. An Indian tribe has petitioned for and received jurisdiction from the court in the sending state; or

7. The public child-placing agency of the sending state requests termination and has obtained the concurrence of the public child-placing agency in the receiving state.

D. E. When a sending state court terminates its jurisdiction, the receiving state child-placing agency shall be notified.

E. F. Nothing in this article shall defeat a claim of jurisdiction by a receiving state court sufficient to deal with an act of truancy, delinquency, crime, or behavior involving a child as defined by the laws of the receiving state committed by the child in the receiving state which would be a violation of its laws.

F. G. Nothing in this article shall limit the receiving state's ability to take emergency jurisdiction for the protection of the child.

G. H. The substantive laws of the state in which an adoption will be finalized shall solely govern all issues relating to the adoption of the child and the court in which the adoption proceeding is filed shall have subject matter jurisdiction regarding all substantive issues relating to the adoption, except:

1. when the child is a ward of another court that established jurisdiction over the child prior to the placement;

2. when the child is in the legal custody of a public agency in the sending state; or

3. when the court in the sending state has otherwise appropriately assumed jurisdiction over the child, prior to the submission of the request for approval of placement.

ARTICLE V. PLACEMENT EVALUATION

A. Prior to sending, bringing, or causing a child to be sent or brought into a receiving state, the public child-placing agency shall provide a written request for assessment to the receiving state.

B. For placements by a private child-placing agency, a child may be sent or brought, or caused to be sent or brought, into a receiving state, upon receipt and immediate review of the required content in a request for approval of a placement in both the sending and receiving state's public child-placing agency. The required content to accompany a request for provisional approval shall include all of the following:

1. A request for approval identifying the child, birth parents, the prospective adoptive parents, and the supervising agency, signed by the person requesting approval; and

2. The appropriate consents or relinquishments signed by the birthparents in accordance with the laws of the sending state or, where permitted, the laws of the state where the adoption will be finalized; and

3. Certification by a licensed attorney or other authorized agent of a private adoption agency that the consent or relinquishment is in compliance with the applicable laws of the sending state, or where permitted the laws of the state where finalization of the adoption will occur; and

4. A home study; and

5. An acknowledgment of legal risk signed by the prospective adoptive parents.

C. The sending state and the receiving state may request additional information or documents prior to finalization of an approved placement, but they may not delay travel by the prospective adoptive parents with the child if the required content for approval has been submitted, received, and reviewed by the public child-placing agency in both the sending state and the receiving state.

D. Approval from the public child-placing agency in the receiving state for a provisional or approved placement is required as provided for in the rules of the Interstate Commission.

E. The procedures for making, and the request for an assessment, shall contain all information and be in such form as provided for in the rules of the Interstate Commission.

F. Upon receipt of a request from the public child-placing agency of the sending state, the receiving state shall initiate an assessment of the proposed placement to determine its safety and suitability. If the proposed placement is a placement with a relative, the public child-placing agency of the sending state may request a determination for a provisional placement.

G. The public child-placing agency in the receiving state may request from the public child-placing agency or the private child-placing agency in the sending state, and shall be entitled to receive supporting or additional information necessary to complete the assessment.

ARTICLE VI. PLACEMENT AUTHORITY

A. Except as otherwise provided in this compact, no child subject to this compact shall be placed into a receiving state until approval for such placement is obtained.

B. If the public child-placing agency in the receiving state does not approve the proposed placement then the child shall not be placed. The receiving state shall provide written documentation of any such determination in accordance with the rules promulgated by the Interstate Commission. Such determination is not subject to judicial review in the sending state.

C. If the proposed placement is not approved, any interested party shall have standing to seek an administrative review of the receiving state's determination.

1. The administrative review and any further judicial review associated with the determination shall be conducted in the receiving state pursuant to its applicable Administrative procedures Procedure Act.

2. If a determination not to approve the placement of the child in the receiving state is overturned upon review, the placement shall be deemed approved, provided however that all administrative or judicial remedies have been exhausted or the time for such remedies has passed.

ARTICLE VII. PLACING AGENCY RESPONSIBILITY

A. For the interstate placement of a child made by a public child-placing agency or state court:

1. The public child-placing agency in the sending state shall have financial responsibility for:

a. the ongoing support and maintenance for the child during the period of the placement, unless otherwise provided for in the receiving state; and

b. as determined by the public child-placing agency in the sending state, services for the child beyond the public services for which the child is eligible in the receiving state.

2. The receiving state shall only have financial responsibility for:

a. any assessment conducted by the receiving state; and

b. supervision conducted by the receiving state at the level necessary to support the placement as agreed upon by the public child-placing agencies of the receiving and sending state.

3. Nothing in this provision shall prohibit public child-placing agencies in the sending state from entering into agreements with licensed agencies or persons in the receiving state to conduct assessments and provide supervision.

B. For the placement of a child by a private child-placing agency preliminary to a possible adoption, the private child-placing agency shall be:

1. Legally responsible for the child during the period of placement as provided for in the law of the sending state until the finalization of the adoption.

2. Financially responsible for the child absent a contractual agreement to the contrary.

C. The public child-placing agency in the receiving state shall provide timely assessments, as provided for in the rules of the Interstate Commission.

D. The public child-placing agency in the receiving state shall provide, or arrange for the provision of, supervision and services for the child, including timely reports, during the period of the placement.

E. Nothing in this compact shall be construed as to limit the authority of the public child-placing agency in the receiving state from contracting with a licensed agency or person in the receiving state for an assessment or the provision of supervision or services for the child or otherwise authorizing the provision of supervision or services by a licensed agency during the period of placement.

F. Each member state shall provide for coordination among its branches of government concerning the state's participation in, and compliance with, the compact and Interstate Commission activities, through the creation of an advisory council or use of an existing body or board.

G. Each member state shall establish a central state compact office, which shall be responsible for state compliance with the compact and the rules of the Interstate Commission.

H. The public child-placing agency in the sending state shall oversee compliance with the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (United States Code, title 25, chapter 21, section 1901 et seq.) for placements subject to the provisions of this compact, prior to placement.

I. With the consent of the Interstate Commission, states may enter into limited agreements that facilitate the timely assessment and provision of services and supervision of placements under this compact.

ARTICLE VIII. INTERSTATE COMMISSION FOR THE

PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN

The member states hereby establish, by way of this compact, a commission known as the "Interstate Commission for the Placement of Children." The activities of the Interstate Commission are the formation of public policy and are a discretionary state function. The Interstate Commission shall:

A. Be a joint commission of the member states and shall have the responsibilities, powers and duties set forth herein, and such additional powers as may be conferred upon it by subsequent concurrent action of the respective legislatures of the member states.

B. Consist of one commissioner from each member state who shall be appointed by the executive head of the state human services administration with ultimate responsibility for the child welfare program. The appointed commissioner shall have the legal authority to vote on policy-related matters governed by this compact binding the state.

1. Each member state represented at a meeting of the Interstate Commission is entitled to one vote.

2. A majority of the member states shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, unless a larger quorum is required by the bylaws of the Interstate Commission.

3. A representative shall not delegate a vote to another member state.

4. A representative may delegate voting authority to another person from their state for a specified meeting.

C. In addition to the commissioners of each member state, the Interstate Commission shall include persons who are members of interested organizations as defined in the bylaws or rules of the Interstate Commission. Such members shall be ex officio and shall not be entitled to vote on any matter before the Interstate Commission.

D. Establish an executive committee which shall have the authority to administer the day-to-day operations and administration of the Interstate Commission. It shall not have the power to engage in rulemaking.

ARTICLE IX. POWERS AND DUTIES OF

THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION

The Interstate Commission shall have the following powers:

A. To promulgate rules and take all necessary actions to effect the goals, purposes and obligations as enumerated in this compact.

B. To provide for dispute resolution among member states.

C. To issue, upon request of a member state, advisory opinions concerning the meaning or interpretation of the interstate compact, its bylaws, rules or actions.

D. To enforce compliance with this compact or the bylaws or rules of the Interstate Commission pursuant to Article XII.

E. Collect standardized data concerning the interstate placement of children subject to this compact as directed through its rules which shall specify the data to be collected, the means of collection and data exchange and reporting requirements.

F. To establish and maintain offices as may be necessary for the transacting of its business.

G. To purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.

H. To hire or contract for services of personnel or consultants as necessary to carry out its functions under the compact and establish personnel qualification policies, and rates of compensation.

I. To establish and appoint committees and officers including, but not limited to, an executive committee as required by Article X.

J. To accept any and all donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and to receive, utilize, and dispose thereof.

K. To lease, purchase, accept contributions or donations of, or otherwise to own, hold, improve, or use any property, real, personal, or mixed.

L. To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal, or mixed.

M. To establish a budget and make expenditures.

N. To adopt a seal and bylaws governing the management and operation of the Interstate Commission.

O. To report annually to the legislatures, governors, the judiciary, and state advisory councils of the member states concerning the activities of the Interstate Commission during the preceding year. Such reports shall also include any recommendations that may have been adopted by the Interstate Commission.

P. To coordinate and provide education, training, and public awareness regarding the interstate movement of children for officials involved in such activity.

Q. To maintain books and records in accordance with the bylaws of the Interstate Commission.

R. To perform such functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact.

ARTICLE X. ORGANIZATION AND OPERATION OF THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION

A. Bylaws

1. Within 12 months after the first Interstate Commission meeting, the Interstate Commission shall adopt bylaws to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of the compact.

2. The Interstate Commission's bylaws and rules shall establish conditions and procedures under which the Interstate Commission shall make its information and official records available to the public for inspection or copying. The Interstate Commission may exempt from disclosure information or official records to the extent they would adversely affect personal privacy rights or proprietary interests.

B. Meetings

1. The Interstate Commission shall meet at least once each calendar year. The chairperson may call additional meetings and, upon the request of a simple majority of the member states shall call additional meetings.

2. Public notice shall be given by the Interstate Commission of all meetings and all meetings shall be open to the public, except as set forth in the rules or as otherwise provided in the compact. The Interstate Commission and its committees may close a meeting, or portion thereof, where it determines by two-thirds vote that an open meeting would be likely to:

a. relate solely to the Interstate Commission's internal personnel practices and procedures; or

b. disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal law; or

c. disclose financial or commercial information which is privileged, proprietary or confidential in nature; or

d. involve accusing a person of a crime, or formally censuring a person; or

e. disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy or physically endanger one or more persons; or

f. disclose investigative records compiled for law enforcement purposes; or

g. specifically relate to the Interstate Commission's participation in a civil action or other legal proceeding.

3. For a meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed pursuant to this provision, the Interstate Commission's legal counsel or designee shall certify that the meeting may be closed and shall reference each relevant exemption provision. The Interstate Commission shall keep minutes which shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed in a meeting and shall provide a full and accurate summary of actions taken, and the reasons therefore, including a description of the views expressed and the record of a roll call vote. All documents considered in connection with an action shall be identified in such minutes. All minutes and documents of a closed meeting shall remain under seal, subject to release by a majority vote of the Interstate Commission or by court order.

4. The bylaws may provide for meetings of the Interstate Commission to be conducted by telecommunication or other electronic communication.

C. Officers and Staff

1. The Interstate Commission may, through its executive committee, appoint or retain a staff director for such period, upon such terms and conditions and for such compensation as the Interstate Commission may deem appropriate. The staff director shall serve as secretary to the Interstate Commission, but shall not have a vote. The staff director may hire and supervise such other staff as may be authorized by the Interstate Commission.

2. The Interstate Commission shall elect, from among its members, a chairperson and a vice chairperson of the executive committee and other necessary officers, each of whom shall have such authority and duties as may be specified in the bylaws.

D. Qualified Immunity, Defense and Indemnification

1. The Interstate Commission's staff director and its employees shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for a claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused or arising out of or relating to an actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided, that such person shall not be protected from suit or liability for damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by a criminal act or the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of such person.

a. The liability of the Interstate Commission's staff director and employees or Interstate Commission representatives, acting within the scope of such person's employment or duties for acts, errors, or omissions occurring within such person's state may not exceed the limits of liability set forth under the Constitution and laws of that state for state officials, employees, and agents. The Interstate Commission is considered to be an instrumentality of the states for the purposes of any such action. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to protect such person from suit or liability for damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by a criminal act or the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of such person.

b. The Interstate Commission shall defend the staff director and its employees and, subject to the approval of the Attorney General or other appropriate legal counsel of the member state shall defend the commissioner of a member state in a civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of an actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties or responsibilities, or that the defendant had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of such person.

c. To the extent not covered by the state involved, member state, or the Interstate Commission, the representatives or employees of the Interstate Commission shall be held harmless in the amount of a settlement or judgment, including attorney's fees and costs, obtained against such persons arising out of an actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that such persons had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of Interstate Commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, provided that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from intentional or willful and wanton misconduct on the part of such persons.

ARTICLE XI. RULEMAKING FUNCTIONS OF

THE INTERSTATE COMMISSION

A. The Interstate Commission shall promulgate and publish rules in order to effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of the compact.

B. Rulemaking shall occur pursuant to the criteria set forth in this article and the bylaws and rules adopted pursuant thereto. Such rulemaking shall substantially conform to the principles of the "Model State Administrative Procedures Act," 1981 Act, Uniform Laws Annotated, Vol. 15, p.1 (2000), or such other administrative procedure acts as the Interstate Commission deems appropriate consistent with due process requirements under the United States Constitution as now or hereafter interpreted by the United States Supreme Court. All rules and amendments shall become binding as of the date specified, as published with the final version of the rule as approved by the Interstate Commission.

C. When promulgating a rule, the Interstate Commission shall, at a minimum:

1. Publish the proposed rule's entire text stating the reason(s) for that proposed rule; and

2. Allow and invite any and all persons to submit written data, facts, opinions, and arguments, which information shall be added to the record, and be made publicly available; and

3. Promulgate a final rule and its effective date, if appropriate, based on input from state or local officials, or interested parties.

D. Rules promulgated by the Interstate Commission shall have the force and effect of administrative rules and shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided for in this compact.

E. Not later than 60 days after a rule is promulgated, an interested person may file a petition in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or in the Federal District Court where the Interstate Commission's principal office is located for judicial review of such rule. If the court finds that the Interstate Commission's action is not supported by substantial evidence in the rulemaking record, the court shall hold the rule unlawful and set it aside.

F. If a majority of the legislatures of the member states rejects a rule, those states may by enactment of a statute or resolution in the same manner used to adopt the compact cause that such rule shall have no further force and effect in any member state.

G. The existing rules governing the operation of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children superseded by this act shall be null and void no less than 12, but no more than 24 months after the first meeting of the Interstate Commission created hereunder, as determined by the members during the first meeting.

H. Within the first 12 months of operation, the Interstate Commission shall promulgate rules addressing the following:

1. Transition rules

2. Forms and procedures

3. Timelines

4. Data collection and reporting

5. Rulemaking

6. Visitation

7. Progress reports/supervision

8. Sharing of information/confidentiality

9. Financing of the Interstate Commission

10. Mediation, arbitration, and dispute resolution

11. Education, training, and technical assistance

12. Enforcement

13. Coordination with other interstate compacts

I. Upon determination by a majority of the members of the Interstate Commission that an emergency exists:

1. The Interstate Commission may promulgate an emergency rule only if it is required to:

a. Protect the children covered by this compact from an imminent threat to their health, safety, and well-being; or

b. Prevent loss of federal or state funds; or

c. Meet a deadline for the promulgation of an administrative rule required by federal law.

2. An emergency rule shall become effective immediately upon adoption, provided that the usual rulemaking procedures provided hereunder shall be retroactively applied to said rule as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 90 days after the effective date of the emergency rule.

3. An emergency rule shall be promulgated as provided for in the rules of the Interstate Commission.

ARTICLE XII. OVERSIGHT, DISPUTE RESOLUTION,

ENFORCEMENT

A. Oversight

1. The Interstate Commission shall oversee the administration and operation of the compact.

2. The executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government in each member state shall enforce this compact and the rules of the Interstate Commission and shall take all actions necessary and appropriate to effectuate the compact's purposes and intent. The compact and its rules shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided for in this compact.

3. All courts shall take judicial notice of the compact and the rules in any judicial or administrative proceeding in a member state pertaining to the subject matter of this compact.

4. The Interstate Commission shall be entitled to receive service of process in any action in which the validity of a compact provision or rule is the issue for which a judicial determination has been sought and shall have standing to intervene in any proceedings. Failure to provide service of process to the Interstate Commission shall render any judgment, order or other determination, however so captioned or classified, void as to the Interstate Commission, this compact, its bylaws, or rules of the Interstate Commission.

B. Dispute Resolution

1. The Interstate Commission shall attempt, upon the request of a member state, to resolve disputes which are subject to the compact and which may arise among member states and between member and nonmember states.

2. The Interstate Commission shall promulgate a rule providing for both mediation and binding dispute resolution for disputes among compacting states. The costs of such mediation or dispute resolution shall be the responsibility of the parties to the dispute.

C. Enforcement

1. If the Interstate Commission determines that a member state has defaulted in the performance of its obligations or responsibilities under this compact, its bylaws or rules, the Interstate Commission may:

a. Provide remedial training and specific technical assistance; or

b. Provide written notice to the defaulting state and other member states, of the nature of the default and the means of curing the default. The Interstate Commission shall specify the conditions by which the defaulting state must cure its default; or

c. By majority vote of the members, initiate against a defaulting member state legal action in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia or, at the discretion of the Interstate Commission, in the federal district where the Interstate Commission has its principal office, to enforce compliance with the provisions of the compact, its bylaws, or rules. The relief sought may include both injunctive relief and damages. In the event judicial enforcement is necessary the prevailing party shall be awarded all costs of such litigation including reasonable attorney's fees; or

d. Avail itself of any other remedies available under state law or the regulation of official or professional conduct.

ARTICLE XIII. FINANCING OF THE COMMISSION

A. The Interstate Commission shall pay, or provide for the payment of the reasonable expenses of its establishment, organization, and ongoing activities.

B. The Interstate Commission may levy on and collect an annual assessment from each member state to cover the cost of the operations and activities of the Interstate Commission and its staff which must be in a total amount sufficient to cover the Interstate Commission's annual budget as approved by its members each year. The aggregate annual assessment amount shall be allocated based upon a formula to be determined by the Interstate Commission which shall promulgate a rule binding upon all member states.

C. The Interstate Commission shall not incur obligations of any kind prior to securing the funds adequate to meet the same; nor shall the Interstate Commission pledge the credit of any of the member states, except by and with the authority of the member state.

D. The Interstate Commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements. The receipts and disbursements of the Interstate Commission shall be subject to the audit and accounting procedures established under its bylaws. However, all receipts and disbursements of funds handled by the Interstate Commission shall be audited yearly by a certified or licensed public accountant and the report of the audit shall be included in and become part of the annual report of the Interstate Commission.

ARTICLE XIV. MEMBER STATES, EFFECTIVE DATE

AND AMENDMENT

A. Any state is eligible to become a member state.

B. The compact shall become effective and binding upon legislative enactment of the compact into law by no less than 35 states. The effective date shall be the later of July 1, 2007 or upon enactment of the compact into law by the 35th state. Thereafter it shall become effective and binding as to any other member state upon enactment of the compact into law by that state. The executive heads of the state human services administration with ultimate responsibility for the child welfare program of nonmember states or their designees shall be invited to participate in the activities of the Interstate Commission on a non-voting nonvoting basis prior to adoption of the compact by all states.

C. The Interstate Commission may propose amendments to the compact for enactment by the member states. No amendment shall become effective and binding on the member states unless and until it is enacted into law by unanimous consent of the member states.

ARTICLE XV. WITHDRAWAL AND DISSOLUTION

A. Withdrawal

1. Once effective, the compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each and every member state; provided that a member state may withdraw from the compact specifically repealing the statute which enacted the compact into law.

2. Withdrawal from this compact shall be by the enactment of a statute repealing the same. The effective date of withdrawal shall be the effective date of the repeal of the statute.

3. The withdrawing state shall immediately notify the president of the Interstate Commission in writing upon the introduction of legislation repealing this compact in the withdrawing state. The Interstate Commission shall then notify the other member states of the withdrawing state's intent to withdraw.

4. The withdrawing state is responsible for all assessments, obligations, and liabilities incurred through the effective date of withdrawal.

5. Reinstatement following withdrawal of a member state shall occur upon the withdrawing state reenacting the compact or upon such later date as determined by the members of the Interstate Commission.

B. Dissolution of Compact

1. This compact shall dissolve effective upon the date of the withdrawal or default of the member state which reduces the membership in the compact to one member state.

2. Upon the dissolution of this compact, the compact becomes null and void and shall be of no further force or effect, and the business and affairs of the Interstate Commission shall be concluded and surplus funds shall be distributed in accordance with the bylaws.

ARTICLE XVI. SEVERABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION

A. The provisions of this compact shall be severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, or provision is deemed unenforceable, the remaining provisions of the compact shall be enforceable.

B. The provisions of this compact shall be liberally construed to effectuate its purposes.

C. Nothing in this compact shall be construed to prohibit the concurrent applicability of other interstate compacts to which the states are members.

ARTICLE XVII. BINDING EFFECT OF COMPACT

AND OTHER LAWS

A. Other Laws

1. Nothing herein prevents the enforcement of any other law of a member state that is not inconsistent with this compact.

B. Binding Effect of the Compact

1. All lawful actions of the Interstate Commission, including all rules and bylaws promulgated by the Interstate Commission, are binding upon the member states.

2. All agreements between the Interstate Commission and the member states are binding in accordance with their terms.

3. In the event any provision of this compact exceeds the constitutional limits imposed on the legislature of any member state, such provision shall be ineffective to the extent of the conflict with the constitutional provision in question in that member state.

ARTICLE XVIII. INDIAN TRIBES

Notwithstanding any other provision in this compact, the Interstate Commission may promulgate guidelines to permit Indian tribes to utilize the compact to achieve any or all of the purposes of the compact as specified in Article I. The Interstate Commission shall make reasonable efforts to consult with Indian tribes in promulgating guidelines to reflect the diverse circumstances of the various Indian tribes.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.201, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Domestic child abuse.

(a) If the court finds that the child is a victim of domestic child abuse, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 28 13, it may order any of the following dispositions of the case in addition to or as alternatives to the dispositions authorized under subdivision 1:

(1) restrain any party from committing acts of domestic child abuse;

(2) exclude the abusing party from the dwelling which the family or household members share or from the residence of the child;

(3) on the same basis as is provided in chapter 518, establish temporary visitation with regard to minor children of the adult family or household members;

(4) on the same basis as is provided in chapter 518 or 518A, establish temporary support or maintenance for a period of 30 days for minor children or a spouse;

(5) provide counseling or other social services for the family or household members; or

(6) order the abusing party to participate in treatment or counseling services.

Any relief granted by the order for protection shall be for a fixed period not to exceed one year.

(b) No order excluding the abusing party from the dwelling may be issued unless the court finds that:

(1) the order is in the best interests of the child or children remaining in the dwelling;

(2) a remaining adult family or household member is able to care adequately for the child or children in the absence of the excluded party; and

(3) the local welfare agency has developed a plan to provide appropriate social services to the remaining family or household members.

(c) Upon a finding that the remaining parent is able to care adequately for the child and enforce an order excluding the abusing party from the home and that the provision of supportive services by the responsible social services agency is no longer necessary, the responsible social services agency may be dismissed as a party to the proceedings. Orders entered regarding the abusing party remain in full force and effect and may be renewed by the remaining parent as necessary for the continued protection of the child for specified periods of time, not to exceed one year.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.201, subdivision 11, is amended to read:

Subd. 11.

Review of court-ordered placements; permanent placement determination.

(a) This subdivision and subdivision 11a do not apply in to cases where the child is in placement due solely to foster care for treatment of the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, where legal custody has not been transferred to the responsible social services agency, and where the court finds compelling reasons under section 260C.007, subdivision 8, to continue the child in foster care past the time periods specified in this subdivision chapter 260D. Foster care placements of children due solely to their disability for treatment are governed by section 260C.141, subdivision 2a chapter 260D. In all other cases where the child is in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent under subdivision 1, the court shall commence proceedings to determine the permanent status of a child not later than 12 months after the child is placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent. At the admit-deny hearing commencing such proceedings, the court shall determine whether there is a prima facie basis for finding that the agency made reasonable efforts, or in the case of an Indian child active efforts, required under section 260.012 and proceed according to the rules of juvenile court.

For purposes of this subdivision, the date of the child's placement in foster care is the earlier of the first court-ordered placement or 60 days after the date on which the child has been voluntarily placed in foster care by the child's parent or guardian. For purposes of this subdivision, time spent by a child under the protective supervision of the responsible social services agency in the home of a noncustodial parent pursuant to an order under subdivision 1 counts towards the requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision or subdivision 11a. Time spent on a trial home visit counts towards the requirement of a permanency hearing under this subdivision and a permanency review for a child under eight years of age under subdivision 11a.

For purposes of this subdivision, 12 months is calculated as follows:

(1) during the pendency of a petition alleging that a child is in need of protection or services, all time periods when a child is placed in foster care or in the home of a noncustodial parent are cumulated;

(2) if a child has been placed in foster care within the previous five years under one or more previous petitions, the lengths of all prior time periods when the child was placed in foster care within the previous five years are cumulated. If a child under this clause has been in foster care for 12 months or more, the court, if it is in the best interests of the child and for compelling reasons, may extend the total time the child may continue out of the home under the current petition up to an additional six months before making a permanency determination.

(b) Unless the responsible social services agency recommends return of the child to the custodial parent or parents, not later than 30 days prior to the admit-deny hearing required under paragraph (a) and the rules of juvenile court, the responsible social services agency shall file pleadings in juvenile court to establish the basis for the juvenile court to order permanent placement of the child, including a termination of parental rights petition, according to paragraph (d). Notice of the hearing and copies of the pleadings must be provided pursuant to section 260C.152.

(c) The permanency proceedings shall be conducted in a timely fashion including that any trial required under section 260C.163 shall be commenced within 60 days of the admit-deny hearing required under paragraph (a). At the conclusion of the permanency proceedings, the court shall:

(1) order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed; or

(2) order a permanent placement or termination of parental rights if permanent placement or termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests. The "best interests of the child" means all relevant factors to be considered and evaluated. Transfer of permanent legal and physical custody, termination of parental rights, or guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner through a consent to adopt are preferred permanency options for a child who cannot return home.

(d) If the child is not returned to the home, the court must order one of the following dispositions:

(1) permanent legal and physical custody to a relative in the best interests of the child according to the following conditions:

(i) an order for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative shall only be made after the court has reviewed the suitability of the prospective legal and physical custodian;

(ii) in transferring permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, the juvenile court shall follow the standards applicable under this chapter and chapter 260, and the procedures set out in the juvenile court rules;

(iii) an order establishing permanent legal and physical custody under this subdivision must be filed with the family court;

(iv) a transfer of legal and physical custody includes responsibility for the protection, education, care, and control of the child and decision making on behalf of the child;

(v) the social services agency may bring a petition or motion naming a fit and willing relative as a proposed permanent legal and physical custodian. The commissioner of human services shall annually prepare for counties information that must be given to proposed custodians about their legal rights and obligations as custodians together with information on financial and medical benefits for which the child is eligible; and

(vi) the juvenile court may maintain jurisdiction over the responsible social services agency, the parents or guardian of the child, the child, and the permanent legal and physical custodian for purposes of ensuring appropriate services are delivered to the child and permanent legal custodian or for the purpose of ensuring conditions ordered by the court related to the care and custody of the child are met;

(2) termination of parental rights when the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328 are met or according to the following conditions:

(i) order the social services agency to file a petition for termination of parental rights in which case all the requirements of sections 260C.301 to 260C.328 remain applicable; and

(ii) an adoption completed subsequent to a determination under this subdivision may include an agreement for communication or contact under section 259.58;

(3) long-term foster care according to the following conditions:

(i) the court may order a child into long-term foster care only if it approves the responsible social service agency's compelling reasons that neither an award of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, nor termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests;

(ii) further, the court may only order long-term foster care for the child under this section if it finds the following:

(A) the child has reached age 12 and the responsible social services agency has made reasonable efforts to locate and place the child with an adoptive family or with a fit and willing relative who will agree to a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody of the child, but such efforts have not proven successful; or

(B) the child is a sibling of a child described in subitem (A) and the siblings have a significant positive relationship and are ordered into the same long-term foster care home; and

(iii) at least annually, the responsible social services agency reconsiders its provision of services to the child and the child's placement in long-term foster care to ensure that:

(A) long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability, including whether there is another permanent placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's needs and best interests;

(B) whenever possible, there is an identified long-term foster care family that is committed to being the foster family for the child as long as the child is a minor or under the jurisdiction of the court;

(C) the child is receiving appropriate services or assistance to maintain or build connections with the child's family and community;

(D) the child's physical and mental health needs are being appropriately provided for; and

(E) the child's educational needs are being met;

(4) foster care for a specified period of time according to the following conditions:

(i) foster care for a specified period of time may be ordered only if:

(A) the sole basis for an adjudication that the child is in need of protection or services is the child's behavior;

(B) the court finds that foster care for a specified period of time is in the best interests of the child; and

(C) the court approves the responsible social services agency's compelling reasons that neither an award of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative, nor termination of parental rights is in the child's best interests;

(ii) the order does not specify that the child continue in foster care for any period exceeding one year; or

(5) guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner of human services under the following procedures and conditions:

(i) there is an identified prospective adoptive home agreed to by the responsible social services agency having legal custody of the child pursuant to court order under this section that has agreed to adopt the child and the court accepts the parent's voluntary consent to adopt under section 259.24, except that such consent executed by a parent under this item, following proper notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court, shall be irrevocable unless fraud is established and an order issues permitting revocation as stated in item (vii);

(ii) if the court accepts a consent to adopt in lieu of ordering one of the other enumerated permanency dispositions, the court must review the matter at least every 90 days. The review will address the reasonable efforts of the agency to achieve a finalized adoption;

(iii) a consent to adopt under this clause vests all legal authority regarding the child, including guardianship and legal custody of the child, with the commissioner of human services as if the child were a state ward after termination of parental rights;

(iv) the court must forward a copy of the consent to adopt, together with a certified copy of the order transferring guardianship and legal custody to the commissioner, to the commissioner;

(v) if an adoption is not finalized by the identified prospective adoptive parent within 12 months of the execution of the consent to adopt under this clause, the commissioner of human services or the commissioner's delegate shall pursue adoptive placement in another home unless the commissioner certifies that the failure to finalize is not due to either an action or a failure to act by the prospective adoptive parent;

(vi) notwithstanding item (v), the commissioner of human services or the commissioner's designee must pursue adoptive placement in another home as soon as the commissioner or commissioner's designee determines that finalization of the adoption with the identified prospective adoptive parent is not possible, that the identified prospective adoptive parent is not willing to adopt the child, that the identified prospective adoptive parent is not cooperative in completing the steps necessary to finalize the adoption, or upon the commissioner's determination to withhold consent to the adoption.

(vii) unless otherwise required by the Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, section 1913, a consent to adopt executed under this section, following proper notice that consent given under this provision is irrevocable upon acceptance by the court, shall be irrevocable upon acceptance by the court except upon order permitting revocation issued by the same court after written findings that consent was obtained by fraud.

(e) In ordering a permanent placement of a child, the court must be governed by the best interests of the child, including a review of the relationship between the child and relatives and the child and other important persons with whom the child has resided or had significant contact. When the court has determined that permanent placement of the child away from the parent is necessary, the court shall consider permanent alternative homes that are available both inside and outside the state.

(f) Once a permanent placement determination has been made and permanent placement has been established, further court reviews are necessary if:

(1) the placement is long-term foster care or foster care for a specified period of time;

(2) the court orders further hearings because it has retained jurisdiction of a transfer of permanent legal and physical custody matter;

(3) an adoption has not yet been finalized; or

(4) there is a disruption of the permanent or long-term placement.

(g) Court reviews of an order for long-term foster care, whether under this section or section 260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (d), must be conducted at least yearly and must review the child's out-of-home placement plan and the reasonable efforts of the agency to finalize the permanent plan for the child including the agency's efforts to:

(1) ensure that long-term foster care continues to be the most appropriate legal arrangement for meeting the child's need for permanency and stability or, if not, to identify and attempt to finalize another permanent placement option under this chapter that would better serve the child's needs and best interests;

(2) identify a specific long-term foster home for the child, if one has not already been identified;

(3) support continued placement of the child in the identified home, if one has been identified;

(4) ensure appropriate services are provided to address the physical health, mental health, and educational needs of the child during the period of long-term foster care and also ensure appropriate services or assistance to maintain relationships with appropriate family members and the child's community; and

(5) plan for the child's independence upon the child's leaving long-term foster care living as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1.

(h) In the event it is necessary for a child that has been ordered into foster care for a specified period of time to be in foster care longer than one year after the permanency hearing held under this section, not later than 12 months after the time the child was ordered into foster care for a specified period of time, the matter must be returned to court for a review of the appropriateness of continuing the child in foster care and of the responsible social services agency's reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child; if it is in the child's best interests to continue the order for foster care for a specified period of time past a total of 12 months, the court shall set objectives for the child's continuation in foster care, specify any further amount of time the child may be in foster care, and review the plan for the safe return of the child to the parent.

(i) An order permanently placing a child out of the home of the parent or guardian must include the following detailed findings:

(1) how the child's best interests are served by the order;

(2) the nature and extent of the responsible social service agency's reasonable efforts, or, in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian where reasonable efforts are required;

(3) the parent's or parents' efforts and ability to use services to correct the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement; and

(4) that the conditions which led to the out-of-home placement have not been corrected so that the child can safely return home.

(j) An order for permanent legal and physical custody of a child may be modified under sections 518.18 and 518.185. The social services agency is a party to the proceeding and must receive notice. A parent may only seek modification of an order for long-term foster care upon motion and a showing by the parent of a substantial change in the parent's circumstances such that the parent could provide appropriate care for the child and that removal of the child from the child's permanent placement and the return to the parent's care would be in the best interest of the child. The responsible social services agency may ask the court to vacate an order for long-term foster care upon a prima facie showing that there is a factual basis for the court to order another permanency option under this chapter and that such an option is in the child's best interests. Upon a hearing where the court determines that there is a factual basis for vacating the order for long-term foster care and that another permanent order regarding the placement of the child is in the child's best interests, the court may vacate the order for long-term foster care and enter a different order for permanent placement that is in the child's best interests. The court shall not require further reasonable efforts to reunify the child with the parent or guardian as a basis for vacating the order for long-term foster care and ordering a different permanent placement in the child's best interests. The county attorney must file pleadings and give notice as required under the rules of juvenile court in order to modify an order for long-term foster care under this paragraph.

(k) The court shall issue an order required under this section within 15 days of the close of the proceedings. The court may extend issuing the order an additional 15 days when necessary in the interests of justice and the best interests of the child.

(l) This paragraph applies to proceedings required under this subdivision when the child is on a trial home visit:

(1) if the child is on a trial home visit 12 months after the child was placed in foster care or in the care of a noncustodial parent as calculated in this subdivision, the responsible social services agency may file a report with the court regarding the child's and parent's progress on the trial home visit and its reasonable efforts to finalize the child's safe and permanent return to the care of the parent in lieu of filing the pleadings required under paragraph (b). The court shall make findings regarding reasonableness of the responsible social services efforts to finalize the child's return home as the permanent order in the best interests of the child. The court may continue the trial home visit to a total time not to exceed six months as provided in subdivision 1. If the court finds the responsible social services agency has not made reasonable efforts to finalize the child's return home as the permanent order in the best interests of the child, the court may order other or additional efforts to support the child remaining in the care of the parent; and

(2) if a trial home visit ordered or continued at proceedings under this subdivision terminates, the court shall re-commence proceedings under this subdivision to determine the permanent status of the child not later than 30 days after the child is returned to foster care.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.209, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Multistate information.

For every background study completed under this section, the subject of the background study shall provide the responsible social services agency with a set of classifiable fingerprints obtained from an authorized agency. The responsible social services agency shall provide the fingerprints to the commissioner, and the commissioner shall obtain criminal history data from the National Criminal Records Repository by submitting the fingerprints to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

In cases involving the emergency relative placement of children under section 245A.035, the social services agency or county attorney may request a name-based check of the National Criminal Records Repository. In those cases, fingerprints of the individual being checked must be forwarded to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for submission to the Federal Bureau of Investigation within 15 calendar days of the name-based check. If the subject of the name-based check does not provide fingerprints upon request, the child or children must be removed from the home.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Agency responsibilities for parents and children in placement.

(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.

(1) 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 clause 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.

(2) 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:

(i) 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

(ii) 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, as well as the notice provided in section 260C.209, subdivision 4, 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.

(3) If, after the provision of services following an out-of-home placement plan under this section, 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.201, subdivision 11. If paternity has not already been established, it may be established in the same proceeding in the manner provided for under chapter 257.

(4) 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.

(b) 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 chapter 260C 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.

(c) The responsible social services agency shall inform a parent considering voluntary placement of a child under subdivision 8, 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 subdivision 3, and the effect the time spent in voluntary placement on the scheduling of a permanent placement determination hearing under section 260C.201, subdivision 11.

(d) 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.

(e) 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.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Administrative or court review of placements.

(a) There shall be an administrative review of the out-of-home placement plan of each child placed in foster care no later than 180 days after the initial placement of the child in foster care and at least every six months thereafter if the child is not returned to the home of the parent or parents within that time. The out-of-home placement plan must be monitored and updated at each administrative review. The administrative review shall be conducted by the responsible social services agency using a panel of appropriate persons at least one of whom is not responsible for the case management of, or the delivery of services to, either the child or the parents who are the subject of the review. The administrative review shall be open to participation by the parent or guardian of the child and the child, as appropriate.

(b) As an alternative to the administrative review required in paragraph (a), the court may, as part of any hearing required under the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure, conduct a hearing to monitor and update the out-of-home placement plan pursuant to the procedure and standard in section 260C.201, subdivision 6, paragraph (d). The party requesting review of the out-of-home placement plan shall give parties to the proceeding notice of the request to review and update the out-of-home placement plan. A court review conducted pursuant to section 260C.193; 260C.201, subdivision 1 or 11; 260C.141, subdivision 2 or 2a, clause (2); or 260C.317 shall satisfy the requirement for the review so long as the other requirements of this section are met.

(c) As appropriate to the stage of the proceedings and relevant court orders, the responsible social services agency or the court shall review:

(1) the safety, permanency needs, and well-being of the child;

(2) the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement;

(3) the extent of compliance with the out-of-home placement plan;

(4) the extent of progress which has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care;

(5) the projected date by which the child may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed permanently away from the care of the parent or parents or guardian; and

(6) the appropriateness of the services provided to the child.

(d) When a child is age 16 or older, in addition to any administrative review conducted by the agency, at the review required under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (d), clause (3), item (iii); or 260C.317, subdivision 3, clause (3), the court shall review the independent living plan required under subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (8), and the provision of services to the child related to the well-being of the child as the child prepares to leave foster care. The review shall include the actual plans related to each item in the plan necessary to the child's future safety and well-being when the child is no longer in foster care.

(1) At the court review, the responsible social services agency shall establish that it has given the notice required under Minnesota Rules, part 9560.0060, regarding the right to continued access to services for certain children in foster care past age 18 and of the right to appeal a denial of social services under section 256.245 256.045. If the agency is unable to establish that the notice, including the right to appeal a denial of social services, has been given, the court shall require the agency to give it.

(2) The court shall make findings regarding progress toward or accomplishment of the following goals:

(i) the child has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent;

(ii) the child has completed a driver's education course or has demonstrated the ability to use public transportation in the child's community;

(iii) the child is employed or enrolled in postsecondary education;

(iv) the child has applied for and obtained postsecondary education financial aid for which the child is eligible;

(v) the child has health care coverage and health care providers to meet the child's physical and mental health needs;

(vi) the child has applied for and obtained disability income assistance for which the child is eligible;

(vii) the child has obtained affordable housing with necessary supports, which does not include a homeless shelter;

(viii) the child has saved sufficient funds to pay for the first month's rent and a damage deposit;

(ix) the child has an alternative affordable housing plan, which does not include a homeless shelter, if the original housing plan is unworkable;

(x) the child, if male, has registered for the Selective Service; and

(xi) the child has a permanent connection to a caring adult.

(3) The court shall ensure that the responsible agency in conjunction with the placement provider assists the child in obtaining the following documents prior to the child's leaving foster care: a Social Security card; the child's birth certificate; a state identification card or driver's license, green card, or school visa; the child's school, medical, and dental records; a contact list of the child's medical, dental, and mental health providers; and contact information for the child's siblings, if the siblings are in foster care.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260D.07, is amended to read:

260D.07 REQUIRED PERMANENCY REVIEW HEARING.

(a) When the court has found that the voluntary arrangement is in the child's best interests and that the agency and parent are appropriately planning for the child pursuant to the report submitted under section 260D.06, and the child continues in voluntary foster care as defined in section 260D.02, subdivision 10, for 13 months from the date of the voluntary foster care agreement, or has been in placement for 15 of the last 22 months, the agency must:

(1) terminate the voluntary foster care agreement and return the child home; or

(2) determine whether there are compelling reasons to continue the voluntary foster care arrangement and, if the agency determines there are compelling reasons, seek judicial approval of its determination; or

(3) file a petition for the termination of parental rights.

(b) When the agency is asking for the court's approval of its determination that there are compelling reasons to continue the child in the voluntary foster care arrangement, the agency shall file a "Petition for Permanency Review Regarding a Child in Voluntary Foster Care for Treatment" and ask the court to proceed under this section.

(c) The "Petition for Permanency Review Regarding a Child in Voluntary Foster Care for Treatment" shall be drafted or approved by the county attorney and be under oath. The petition shall include:

(1) the date of the voluntary placement agreement;

(2) whether the petition is due to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance;

(3) the plan for the ongoing care of the child and the parent's participation in the plan;

(4) a description of the parent's visitation and contact with the child;

(5) the date of the court finding that the foster care placement was in the best interests of the child, if required under section 260D.06, or the date the agency filed the motion under section 260D.09, paragraph (b);

(6) the agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child, including returning the child to the care of the child's family; and

(7) a citation to this chapter as the basis for the petition.

(d) An updated copy of the out-of-home placement plan required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, shall be filed with the petition.

(e) The court shall set the date for the permanency review hearing no later than 14 months after the child has been in placement or within 30 days of the petition filing date when the child has been in placement 15 of the last 22 months. The court shall serve the petition together with a notice of hearing by United States mail on the parent, the child age 12 or older, the child's guardian ad litem, if one has been appointed, the agency, the county attorney, and counsel for any party.

(f) The court shall conduct the permanency review hearing on the petition no later than 14 months after the date of the voluntary placement agreement, within 30 days of the filing of the petition when the child has been in placement 15 days of the last 22 months, or within 15 days of a motion to terminate jurisdiction and to dismiss an order for foster care under chapter 260C, as provided in section 260D.09, paragraph (b).

(g) At the permanency review hearing, the court shall:

(1) inquire of the parent if the parent has reviewed the "Petition for Permanency Review Regarding a Child in Voluntary Foster Care for Treatment," whether the petition is accurate, and whether the parent agrees to the continued voluntary foster care arrangement as being in the child's best interests;

(2) inquire of the parent if the parent is satisfied with the agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child, including whether there are services available and accessible to the parent that might allow the child to safely be with the child's family;

(3) inquire of the parent if the parent consents to the court entering an order that:

(i) approves the responsible agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child, which includes ongoing future planning for the safety, health, and best interests of the child; and

(ii) approves the responsible agency's determination that there are compelling reasons why the continued voluntary foster care arrangement is in the child's best interests; and

(4) inquire of the child's guardian ad litem and any other party whether the guardian or the party agrees that:

(i) the court should approve the responsible agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the permanent plan for the child, which includes ongoing and future planning for the safety, health, and best interests of the child; and

(ii) the court should approve of the responsible agency's determination that there are compelling reasons why the continued voluntary foster care arrangement is in the child's best interests.

(h) At a permanency review hearing under this section, the court may take the following actions based on the contents of the sworn petition and the consent of the parent:

(1) approve the agency's compelling reasons that the voluntary foster care arrangement is in the best interests of the child; and

(2) find that the agency has made reasonable efforts to finalize a plan for the permanent plan for the child.

(i) A child, age 12 or older, may object to the agency's request that the court approve its compelling reasons for the continued voluntary arrangement and may be heard on the reasons for the objection. Notwithstanding the child's objection, the court may approve the agency's compelling reasons and the voluntary arrangement.

(j) If the court does not approve the voluntary arrangement after hearing from the child or the child's guardian ad litem, the court shall dismiss the petition. In this case, either:

(1) the child must be returned to the care of the parent; or

(2) the agency must file a petition under section 260C.141, asking for appropriate relief under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or 260C.301.

(k) When the court approves the agency's compelling reasons for the child to continue in voluntary foster care for treatment, and finds that the agency has made reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child, the court shall approve the continued voluntary foster care arrangement, and continue the matter under the court's jurisdiction for the purposes of reviewing the child's placement every 12 months while the child is in foster care.

(l) A finding that the court approves the continued voluntary placement means the agency has continued legal authority to place the child while a voluntary placement agreement remains in effect. The parent or the agency may terminate a voluntary agreement as provided in section 260D.10. Termination of a voluntary foster care placement of an Indian child is governed by section 260.765, subdivision 4.

Sec. 8.

Laws 2008, chapter 361, article 6, section 58, is amended to read:

Sec. 58.

REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.

(a) In each section of Minnesota Statutes referred to in column A, the revisor of statutes shall delete the reference in column B and insert the reference in column C.

Column A Column B Column C
259.67 260.851, article 5 260.853 260.93, article 4
256B.094 260.851 260.853 260.93

(b) In each section of Minnesota Rules referred to in column A, the revisor of statutes shall delete the reference in column B and insert the reference in column C.

Column A Column B Column C
9545.0755 260.851 to 260.91 260.855 to 260.93
9545.0815 260.851 260.93
9550.6210 260.851 to 260.91 260.855 to 260.93
9560.0130 260.851 260.93

(c) The revisor of statutes shall replace "Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children" with "Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children" wherever it appears in rules or statutes.

EFFECTIVE DATE.

This section is effective upon legislative enactment of the compact in Minnesota Statutes, section 260.93, into law by no less than 35 states. The commissioner of human services shall inform the revisor of statutes when this occurs.

Sec. 9.

REPEALER.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.209, subdivision 4, is repealed.

ARTICLE 2

CHILD WELFARE POLICY

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 13.46, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

General.

(a) Unless the data is summary data or a statute specifically provides a different classification, data on individuals collected, maintained, used, or disseminated by the welfare system is private data on individuals, and shall not be disclosed except:

(1) according to section 13.05;

(2) according to court order;

(3) according to a statute specifically authorizing access to the private data;

(4) to an agent of the welfare system, including a law enforcement person, attorney, or investigator acting for it in the investigation or prosecution of a criminal or civil proceeding relating to the administration of a program;

(5) to personnel of the welfare system who require the data to verify an individual's identity; determine eligibility, amount of assistance, and the need to provide services to an individual or family across programs; evaluate the effectiveness of programs; assess parental contribution amounts; and investigate suspected fraud;

(6) to administer federal funds or programs;

(7) between personnel of the welfare system working in the same program;

(8) to the Department of Revenue to assess parental contribution amounts for purposes of section 252.27, subdivision 2a, administer and evaluate tax refund or tax credit programs and to identify individuals who may benefit from these programs. The following information may be disclosed under this paragraph: an individual's and their dependent's names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, income, addresses, and other data as required, upon request by the Department of Revenue. Disclosures by the commissioner of revenue to the commissioner of human services for the purposes described in this clause are governed by section 270B.14, subdivision 1. Tax refund or tax credit programs include, but are not limited to, the dependent care credit under section 290.067, the Minnesota working family credit under section 290.0671, the property tax refund and rental credit under section 290A.04, and the Minnesota education credit under section 290.0674;

(9) between the Department of Human Services, the Department of Employment and Economic Development, and when applicable, the Department of Education, for the following purposes:

(i) to monitor the eligibility of the data subject for unemployment benefits, for any employment or training program administered, supervised, or certified by that agency;

(ii) to administer any rehabilitation program or child care assistance program, whether alone or in conjunction with the welfare system;

(iii) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program or the child care assistance program by exchanging data on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L; and

(iv) to analyze public assistance employment services and program utilization, cost, effectiveness, and outcomes as implemented under the authority established in Title II, Sections 201-204 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Health records governed by sections 144.291 to 144.298 and "protected health information" as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, section 160.103, and governed by Code of Federal Regulations, title 45, parts 160-164, including health care claims utilization information, must not be exchanged under this clause;

(10) to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the individual or other individuals or persons;

(11) data maintained by residential programs as defined in section 245A.02 may be disclosed to the protection and advocacy system established in this state according to Part C of Public Law 98-527 to protect the legal and human rights of persons with developmental disabilities or other related conditions who live in residential facilities for these persons if the protection and advocacy system receives a complaint by or on behalf of that person and the person does not have a legal guardian or the state or a designee of the state is the legal guardian of the person;

(12) to the county medical examiner or the county coroner for identifying or locating relatives or friends of a deceased person;

(13) data on a child support obligor who makes payments to the public agency may be disclosed to the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to the extent necessary to determine eligibility under section 136A.121, subdivision 2, clause (5);

(14) participant Social Security numbers and names collected by the telephone assistance program may be disclosed to the Department of Revenue to conduct an electronic data match with the property tax refund database to determine eligibility under section 237.70, subdivision 4a;

(15) the current address of a Minnesota family investment program participant may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who provide the name of the participant and notify the agency that:

(i) the participant:

(A) is a fugitive felon fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the individual is fleeing; or

(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law;

(ii) the location or apprehension of the felon is within the law enforcement officer's official duties; and

(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of those duties;

(16) the current address of a recipient of general assistance or general assistance medical care may be disclosed to probation officers and corrections agents who are supervising the recipient and to law enforcement officers who are investigating the recipient in connection with a felony level offense;

(17) information obtained from food support applicant or recipient households may be disclosed to local, state, or federal law enforcement officials, upon their written request, for the purpose of investigating an alleged violation of the Food Stamp Act, according to Code of Federal Regulations, title 7, section 272.1(c);

(18) the address, Social Security number, and, if available, photograph of any member of a household receiving food support shall be made available, on request, to a local, state, or federal law enforcement officer if the officer furnishes the agency with the name of the member and notifies the agency that:

(i) the member:

(A) is fleeing to avoid prosecution, or custody or confinement after conviction, for a crime or attempt to commit a crime that is a felony in the jurisdiction the member is fleeing;

(B) is violating a condition of probation or parole imposed under state or federal law; or

(C) has information that is necessary for the officer to conduct an official duty related to conduct described in subitem (A) or (B);

(ii) locating or apprehending the member is within the officer's official duties; and

(iii) the request is made in writing and in the proper exercise of the officer's official duty;

(19) the current address of a recipient of Minnesota family investment program, general assistance, general assistance medical care, or food support may be disclosed to law enforcement officers who, in writing, provide the name of the recipient and notify the agency that the recipient is a person required to register under section 243.166, but is not residing at the address at which the recipient is registered under section 243.166;

(20) certain information regarding child support obligors who are in arrears may be made public according to section 518A.74;

(21) data on child support payments made by a child support obligor and data on the distribution of those payments excluding identifying information on obligees may be disclosed to all obligees to whom the obligor owes support, and data on the enforcement actions undertaken by the public authority, the status of those actions, and data on the income of the obligor or obligee may be disclosed to the other party;

(22) data in the work reporting system may be disclosed under section 256.998, subdivision 7;

(23) to the Department of Education for the purpose of matching Department of Education student data with public assistance data to determine students eligible for free and reduced-price meals, meal supplements, and free milk according to United States Code, title 42, sections 1758, 1761, 1766, 1766a, 1772, and 1773; to allocate federal and state funds that are distributed based on income of the student's family; and to verify receipt of energy assistance for the telephone assistance plan;

(24) the current address and telephone number of program recipients and emergency contacts may be released to the commissioner of health or a local board of health as defined in section 145A.02, subdivision 2, when the commissioner or local board of health has reason to believe that a program recipient is a disease case, carrier, suspect case, or at risk of illness, and the data are necessary to locate the person;

(25) to other state agencies, statewide systems, and political subdivisions of this state, including the attorney general, and agencies of other states, interstate information networks, federal agencies, and other entities as required by federal regulation or law for the administration of the child support enforcement program;

(26) to personnel of public assistance programs as defined in section 256.741, for access to the child support system database for the purpose of administration, including monitoring and evaluation of those public assistance programs;

(27) to monitor and evaluate the Minnesota family investment program by exchanging data between the Departments of Human Services and Education, on recipients and former recipients of food support, cash assistance under chapter 256, 256D, 256J, or 256K, child care assistance under chapter 119B, or medical programs under chapter 256B, 256D, or 256L;

(28) to evaluate child support program performance and to identify and prevent fraud in the child support program by exchanging data between the Department of Human Services, Department of Revenue under section 270B.14, subdivision 1, paragraphs (a) and (b), without regard to the limitation of use in paragraph (c), Department of Health, Department of Employment and Economic Development, and other state agencies as is reasonably necessary to perform these functions; or

(29) counties operating child care assistance programs under chapter 119B may disseminate data on program participants, applicants, and providers to the commissioner of education.; or

(30) child support data on the parents and the child may be disclosed to agencies administering programs under Titles IV-E and IV-B of the Social Security Act, as provided by federal law. Data may be disclosed only to the extent necessary for the purpose of establishing parentage or for determining who has or may have parental rights with respect to a child, which could be related to permanency planning.

(b) Information on persons who have been treated for drug or alcohol abuse may only be disclosed according to the requirements of Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, sections 2.1 to 2.67.

(c) Data provided to law enforcement agencies under paragraph (a), clause (15), (16), (17), or (18), or paragraph (b), are investigative data and are confidential or protected nonpublic while the investigation is active. The data are private after the investigation becomes inactive under section 13.82, subdivision 5, paragraph (a) or (b).

(d) Mental health data shall be treated as provided in subdivisions 7, 8, and 9, but is not subject to the access provisions of subdivision 10, paragraph (b).

For the purposes of this subdivision, a request will be deemed to be made in writing if made through a computer interface system.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 256.01, subdivision 14b, is amended to read:

Subd. 14b.

American Indian child welfare projects.

(a) The commissioner of human services may authorize projects to test tribal delivery of child welfare services to American Indian children and their parents and custodians living on the reservation. The commissioner has authority to solicit and determine which tribes may participate in a project. Grants may be issued to Minnesota Indian tribes to support the projects. The commissioner may waive existing state rules as needed to accomplish the projects. Notwithstanding section 626.556, the commissioner may authorize projects to use alternative methods of investigating and assessing reports of child maltreatment, provided that the projects comply with the provisions of section 626.556 dealing with the rights of individuals who are subjects of reports or investigations, including notice and appeal rights and data practices requirements. The commissioner may seek any federal approvals necessary to carry out the projects as well as seek and use any funds available to the commissioner, including use of federal funds, foundation funds, existing grant funds, and other funds. The commissioner is authorized to advance state funds as necessary to operate the projects. Federal reimbursement applicable to the projects is appropriated to the commissioner for the purposes of the projects. The projects must be required to address responsibility for safety, permanency, and well-being of children.

(b) For the purposes of this section, "American Indian child" means a person under 18 years of age who is a tribal member or eligible for membership in one of the tribes chosen for a project under this subdivision and who is residing on the reservation of that tribe.

(c) In order to qualify for an American Indian child welfare project, a tribe must:

(1) be one of the existing tribes with reservation land in Minnesota;

(2) have a tribal court with jurisdiction over child custody proceedings;

(3) have a substantial number of children for whom determinations of maltreatment have occurred;

(4) have capacity to respond to reports of abuse and neglect under section 626.556;

(5) provide a wide range of services to families in need of child welfare services; and

(6) have a tribal-state title IV-E agreement in effect.

(d) Grants awarded under this section may be used for the nonfederal costs of providing child welfare services to American Indian children on the tribe's reservation, including costs associated with:

(1) assessment and prevention of child abuse and neglect;

(2) family preservation;

(3) facilitative, supportive, and reunification services;

(4) out-of-home placement for children removed from the home for child protective purposes; and

(5) other activities and services approved by the commissioner that further the goals of providing safety, permanency, and well-being of American Indian children.

(e) When a tribe has initiated a project and has been approved by the commissioner to assume child welfare responsibilities for American Indian children of that tribe under this section, the affected county social service agency is relieved of responsibility for responding to reports of abuse and neglect under section 626.556 for those children during the time within which the tribal project is in effect and funded. The commissioner shall work with tribes and affected counties to develop procedures for data collection, evaluation, and clarification of ongoing role and financial responsibilities of the county and tribe for child welfare services prior to initiation of the project. Children who have not been identified by the tribe as participating in the project shall remain the responsibility of the county. Nothing in this section shall alter responsibilities of the county for law enforcement or court services.

(f) Participating tribes may conduct children's mental health screenings under section 245.4874, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (14), for children who are eligible for the initiative and living on the reservation and who meet one of the following criteria:

(1) the child must be receiving child protective services;

(2) the child must be in foster care; or

(3) the child's parents must have had parental rights suspended or terminated.

Tribes may access reimbursement from available state funds for conducting the screenings. Nothing in this section shall alter responsibilities of the county for providing services under section 245.487.

(g) Participating tribes may establish a local child mortality review panel. In establishing a local child mortality review panel, the tribe agrees to conduct local child mortality reviews for child deaths or near-fatalities occurring on the reservation under section 256.01, subdivision 12. Tribes with established child mortality review panels shall have access to nonpublic data and shall protect nonpublic data under section 256.01, subdivision 12, paragraphs (c) to (e). The tribe shall provide written notice to the commissioner and affected counties when a local child mortality review panel has been established and shall provide data upon request of the commissioner for purposes of sharing nonpublic data with members of the state child mortality review panel in connection to an individual case.

(f) (h) The commissioner shall collect information on outcomes relating to child safety, permanency, and well-being of American Indian children who are served in the projects. Participating tribes must provide information to the state in a format and completeness deemed acceptable by the state to meet state and federal reporting requirements.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.52, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Requirement to search registry before adoption petition can be granted; proof of search.

No petition for adoption may be granted unless the agency supervising the adoptive placement, the birth mother of the child, or, in the case of a stepparent or relative adoption, the county agency responsible for the report required under section 259.53, subdivision 1, requests that the commissioner of health search the registry to determine whether a putative father is registered in relation to a child who is or may be the subject of an adoption petition. The search required by this subdivision must be conducted no sooner than 31 days following the birth of the child. A search of the registry may be proven by the production of a certified copy of the registration form or by a certified statement of the commissioner of health that after a search no registration of a putative father in relation to a child who is or may be the subject of an adoption petition could be located. The filing of a certified copy of an order from a juvenile protection matter under chapter 260C containing a finding that certification of the requisite search of the Minnesota fathers' adoption registry was filed with the court in that matter shall also constitute proof of search. Certification that the fathers' adoption registry has been searched must be filed with the court prior to entry of any final order of adoption. In addition to the search required by this subdivision, the agency supervising the adoptive placement, the birth mother of the child, or, in the case of a stepparent or relative adoption, the social services agency responsible for the report under section 259.53, subdivision 1, or the responsible social services agency that is a petitioner in a juvenile protection matter under chapter 260C may request that the commissioner of health search the registry at any time. Search requirements of this section do not apply when the responsible social services agency is proceeding under Safe Place for Newborns, section 260C.217.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.52, subdivision 6, is amended to read:

Subd. 6.

Who may register.

Any putative father may register with the fathers' adoption registry. However, Any limitation on a putative father's right to assert an interest in the child as provided in this section applies only in adoption proceedings, termination of parental rights proceedings under chapter 260C, and only to those putative fathers not entitled to notice and consent under sections 259.24 and 259.49, subdivision 1, paragraph (a) or (b), clauses (1) to (7).

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Adoption assistance.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall enter into an adoption assistance agreement with an adoptive parent or parents who adopt a child who meets the eligibility requirements under title IV-E of the Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 670 to 679a, or who otherwise meets the requirements in subdivision 4 of an eligible child. To be eligible for adoption assistance a child must:

(1) be determined to be a child with special needs, according to subdivision 4; and

(2)(i) meet the criteria outlined in section 473 of the Social Security Act; or

(ii) have had foster care payments paid on the child's behalf while in out-of-home placement through the county or tribe, and be either under the guardianship of the commissioner or under the jurisdiction of a Minnesota tribe, with adoption in accordance with tribal law as the child's documented permanency plan.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, no child on whose behalf federal title IV-E adoption assistance payments are to be made may be placed in an adoptive home unless a criminal background check under section 259.41, subdivision 3, paragraph (b), has been completed on the prospective adoptive parents and no disqualifying condition exists. A disqualifying condition exists if:

(1) a criminal background check reveals a felony conviction for child abuse; for spousal abuse; for a crime against children (including child pornography); or for a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault, or homicide, but not including other physical assault or battery; or

(2) a criminal background check reveals a felony conviction within the past five years for physical assault, battery, or a drug-related offense.

(c) A child must be a citizen of the United States or otherwise eligible for federal public benefits according to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, in order to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance. A child must be a citizen of the United States or meet the qualified alien requirements as defined in the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, as amended, in order to be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance.

(d) Subject to commissioner approval, the legally responsible agency shall make a title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility determination for each child. Children who meet all eligibility criteria except those specific to title IV-E adoption assistance shall receive adoption assistance paid through state funds.

(e) Payments for adoption assistance shall not be made to a biological parent of the child who later adopts the same child. Direct placement adoptions under section 259.47 or the equivalent in tribal code are not eligible for state-funded adoption assistance. A child who is adopted by the child's legal custodian or guardian is not eligible for state-funded adoption assistance. A child who is adopted by the child's legal custodian or guardian may be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance if all required eligibility factors are met. International adoptions are not eligible for adoption assistance unless the adopted child has been placed into foster care through the public child welfare system subsequent to the failure of the adoption and all required eligibility factors are met.

Sec. 6.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Adoption assistance agreement.

The placing agency shall certify a child as eligible for adoption assistance according to rules promulgated by the commissioner. The placing agency shall not certify a child who remains under the jurisdiction of the sending agency pursuant to section 260.851, article 5, for state-funded adoption assistance when Minnesota is the receiving state. Not later than 30 days after a parent or parents are found and approved for adoptive placement of a child certified as eligible for adoption assistance, and before the final decree of adoption is issued, a written agreement must be entered into by the commissioner, the adoptive parent or parents, and the placing agency. The written agreement must be fully completed by the placing agency and in the form prescribed by the commissioner and must set forth the responsibilities of all parties, the anticipated duration of the adoption assistance payments, agreement, the nature and amount of any payment, services, and assistance to be provided under such agreement, the child's eligibility for Medicaid services, eligibility for reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses associated with adopting the child, to the extent that total cost does not exceed $2,000 per child, provisions for modification of the terms of the agreement, the effective date of the agreement, that the agreement must remain in effect regardless of the state of which the adoptive parents are residents at any given time, and the payment terms. The agreement is effective the date of the adoption decree. The adoption assistance agreement shall be subject to the commissioner's approval, which must be granted or denied not later than 15 days after the agreement is entered. The agreement must be negotiated with the adoptive parent or parents. A monthly payment is provided as part of the adoption assistance agreement to support the care of a child who has manifested special needs.

The amount of adoption assistance is subject to the availability of state and federal funds and shall be determined through agreement with the adoptive parents. The agreement shall take into consideration the circumstances of the adopting parent or parents, the needs of the child being adopted and may provide ongoing monthly assistance, supplemental maintenance expenses related to the child's special needs, nonmedical expenses periodically necessary for purchase of services, items, or equipment related to the special needs, and medical expenses. The placing agency or the adoptive parent or parents shall provide written documentation to support the need for adoption assistance payments. The commissioner may require periodic reevaluation of adoption assistance payments. The amount of ongoing monthly adoption assistance granted may in no case exceed that which would be allowable for the child under foster family care the payment schedule outlined in subdivision 2a, and, for state-funded cases, is subject to the availability of state and federal funds.

Sec. 7.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 2a.

Benefits and payments.

(a) Eligibility for medical assistance for children receiving adoption assistance is as specified in section 256B.055.

(b) Basic maintenance payments are available for all children eligible for adoption assistance except those eligible solely based on high risk of developing a disability. Basic maintenance payments must be made according to the following schedule:

Birth through age five up to $247 per month
Age six through age 11 up to $277 per month
Age 12 through age 14 up to $307 per month
Age 15 and older up to $337 per month

A child must receive the maximum payment amount for the child's age, unless a lesser amount is negotiated with and agreed to by the prospective adoptive parent.

(c) Supplemental adoption assistance needs payments, in addition to basic maintenance payments, are available for a child whose disability necessitates care, supervision, and structure beyond that ordinarily provided in a family setting to persons of the same age. These payments are related to the severity of a child's disability and the level of parenting required to care for the child, and must be made according to the following schedule:

Level I up to $150 per month
Level II up to $275 per month
Level III up to $400 per month
Level IV up to $500 per month

A child's level shall be assessed on a supplemental maintenance needs assessment form prescribed by the commissioner. A child must receive the maximum payment amount for the child's assessed level, unless a lesser amount is negotiated with and agreed to by the prospective adoptive parent.

Sec. 8.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Modification, or termination, or extension of adoption assistance agreement.

The adoption assistance agreement shall continue in accordance with its terms as long as the need for adoption assistance continues and the adopted child is the legal or financial dependent of the adoptive parent or parents or guardian or conservator and is under 18 years of age. If the commissioner determines that the adoptive parents are no longer legally responsible for support of the child or are no longer providing financial support to the child, the agreement shall terminate. Under certain limited circumstances, the adoption assistance agreement may be extended to age 22 as allowed by rules adopted by the commissioner. An application for extension must be completed and submitted by the adoptive parent prior to the date the child attains age 18. The application for extension must be made according to policies and procedures prescribed by the commissioner, including documentation of eligibility, and on forms prescribed by the commissioner. Termination or modification of the adoption assistance agreement may be requested by the adoptive parents or subsequent guardian or conservator at any time. When an adoptive parent requests modification of the adoption assistance agreement, a reassessment of the child must be completed consistent with subdivision 2a. If the reassessment indicates that the child's level has changed or, for a high-risk child, that the potential disability upon which eligibility for the agreement was based has manifested itself, the agreement shall be renegotiated to include an appropriate payment, consistent with subdivision 2a. The agreement must not be modified unless the commissioner and the adoptive parent mutually agree to the changes. When the commissioner determines that a child is eligible for extension of title IV-E adoption assistance under Title IV-E section 473 of the Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, sections 670 to 679a, the commissioner shall modify the adoption assistance agreement require the adoptive parents to submit the necessary documentation in order to obtain the funds under that act.

Sec. 9.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, subdivision 4, is amended to read:

Subd. 4.

Eligibility conditions Special needs determination.

(a) The placing agency shall use the AFDC requirements as specified in federal law as of July 16, 1996, when determining the child's eligibility for adoption assistance under title IV-E of the Social Security Act. If the child does not qualify, the placing agency shall certify a child as eligible for state funded adoption assistance only A child is considered a child with special needs under this section if the following criteria are met:

(1) Due to the child's characteristics or circumstances it would be difficult to provide the child an adoptive home without adoption assistance.

(2)(i) A placement agency has made reasonable efforts to place the child for adoption without adoption assistance, but has been unsuccessful;

(ii) the child's licensed foster parents desire to adopt the child and it is determined by the placing agency that the adoption is in the best interest of the child; or

(iii) the child's relative, as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 27, desires to adopt the child, and it is determined by the placing agency that the adoption is in the best interest of the child; or

(iv) for a non-Indian child, the family that previously adopted a child of the same mother or father desires to adopt the child, and it is determined by the placing agency that the adoption is in the best interest of the child.

(3)(i) The child is a ward of the commissioner or a tribal social service agency of Minnesota recognized by the Secretary of the Interior; or (ii) the child will be adopted according to tribal law without a termination of parental rights or relinquishment, provided that the tribe has documented the valid reason why the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child's parent. The placing agency shall not certify a child who remains under the jurisdiction of the sending agency pursuant to section 260.851, article 5, for state-funded adoption assistance when Minnesota is the receiving state. A child who is adopted by the child's legal custodian or guardian shall not be eligible for state-funded adoption assistance. There has been a determination that the child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the child's parents as evidenced by:

(i) a court-ordered termination of parental rights;

(ii) a petition to terminate parental rights;

(iii) a consent to adopt accepted by the court under sections 260C.201, subdivision 11, and 259.24;

(iv) in circumstances where tribal law permits the child to be adopted without a termination of parental rights, a judicial determination by tribal court indicating the valid reason why the child cannot or should not return home;

(v) a voluntary relinquishment under section 259.25 or 259.47 or, if relinquishment occurred in another state, the applicable laws in that state; or

(vi) the death of the legal parent.

(b) The characteristics or circumstances that may be considered in determining whether a child meets the requirements of paragraph (a), clause (1), or section 473(c)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act, are the following:

(1) The child is a member of a sibling group to be placed as one unit in which at least one sibling is older than 15 months of age or is described in clause (2) or (3) adopted at the same time by the same parent.

(2) The child has been determined by the Social Security Administration to meet all medical or disability requirements of title XVI of the Social Security Act with respect to eligibility for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

(2) (3) The child has documented physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities not covered under clause (2).

(3) (4) The child has a high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities.

(4) (5) The child is five years of age or older.

(6) The child is placed for adoption in the home of a parent who previously adopted another child born of the same mother or father for whom they receive adoption assistance.

(c) When a child's eligibility for adoption assistance is based upon the high risk of developing physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral disabilities, payments shall not be made under the adoption assistance agreement unless and until the potential disability upon which eligibility for the agreement was based manifests itself as documented by an appropriate health care professional.

(d) Documentation must be provided to verify that a child meets the special needs criteria in this subdivision. Documentation is limited to evidence deemed appropriate by the commissioner.

Sec. 10.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Determination of residency.

A child placed in the state from another state or a tribe outside of the state is not eligible for state-funded adoption assistance through the state. A child placed in the state from another state or a tribe outside of the state may be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance through the state of Minnesota if all eligibility factors are met and there is no state agency that has responsibility for placement and care of the child. A child who is a resident of any county in this state when eligibility for adoption assistance is certified shall remain eligible and receive adoption assistance in accordance with the terms of the adoption assistance agreement, regardless of the domicile or residence of the adopting parents at the time of application for adoptive placement, legal decree of adoption, or thereafter.

Sec. 11.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Reimbursement of costs.

(a) Subject to rules of the commissioner, and the provisions of this subdivision a child-placing agency licensed in Minnesota or any other state, or local or tribal social services agency shall receive a reimbursement from the commissioner equal to 100 percent of the reasonable and appropriate cost of providing child-specific adoption services. Adoption services under this subdivision may include adoptive family child-specific recruitment, counseling, and special training when needed, and home studies for prospective adoptive parents, and placement services.

(b) An eligible child must have a goal of adoption, which may include an adoption in accordance with tribal law, and meet one of the following criteria:

(1) is a ward of the commissioner of human services or a ward of tribal court pursuant to section 260.755, subdivision 20, who meets one of the criteria in subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (3), and one of the criteria in subdivision 4, paragraph (b), clause (1), (2), or (3); or

(2) is under the guardianship of a Minnesota-licensed child-placing agency who meets one of the criteria in subdivision 4, paragraph (b), clause (1) or, (2), (3), (5), or (6).

(c) A child-placing agency licensed in Minnesota or any other state shall receive reimbursement for adoption services it purchases for or directly provides to an eligible child. Tribal social services shall receive reimbursement for adoption services it purchases for or directly provides to an eligible child. A local social services agency shall receive reimbursement only for adoption services it purchases for an eligible child.

Before providing adoption services for which reimbursement will be sought under this subdivision, a reimbursement agreement, on the designated format, must be entered into with the commissioner. No reimbursement under this subdivision shall be made to an agency for services provided prior to entering a reimbursement agreement. Separate reimbursement agreements shall be made for each child and separate records shall be kept on each child for whom a reimbursement agreement is made. The commissioner of human services Reimbursement shall agree not be made unless the commissioner agrees that the reimbursement costs are reasonable and appropriate. The commissioner may spend up to $16,000 for each purchase of service agreement. Only one agreement per child is allowed, unless an exception is granted by the commissioner and agreed to in writing by the commissioner prior to commencement of services. Funds encumbered and obligated under such an agreement for the child remain available until the terms of the agreement are fulfilled or the agreement is terminated.

The commissioner shall make reimbursement payments directly to the agency providing the service if direct reimbursement is specified by the purchase of service agreement, and if the request for reimbursement is submitted by the local or tribal social services agency along with a verification that the service was provided.

Sec. 12.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 259.67, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 11.

Promotion of programs.

The commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall actively seek ways to promote the adoption assistance program, including information to prospective adoptive parents of eligible children under the commissioner's guardianship of the availability of adoption assistance. All families who adopt children under the commissioner's guardianship must also be informed as to the adoption tax credit.

Sec. 13.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260.012, is amended to read:

260.012 DUTY TO ENSURE PLACEMENT PREVENTION AND FAMILY REUNIFICATION; REASONABLE EFFORTS.

(a) Once a child alleged to be in need of protection or services is under the court's jurisdiction, the court shall ensure that reasonable efforts, including culturally appropriate services, by the social services agency are made to prevent placement or to eliminate the need for removal and to reunite the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time, and the court must ensure that the responsible social services agency makes reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent plan for the child as provided in paragraph (e). In determining reasonable efforts to be made with respect to a child and in making those reasonable efforts, the child's best interests, health, and safety must be of paramount concern. Reasonable efforts to prevent placement and for rehabilitation and reunification are always required except upon a determination by the court that a petition has been filed stating a prima facie case that:

(1) the parent has subjected a child to egregious harm as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14;

(2) the parental rights of the parent to another child have been terminated involuntarily;

(3) the child is an abandoned infant under section 260C.301, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2);

(4) the parent's custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (e), clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction; or

(5) the provision of services or further services for the purpose of reunification is futile and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances.

(b) When the court makes one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), either permanency pleadings under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, or a termination of parental rights petition under sections 260C.141 and 260C.301 must be filed. A permanency hearing under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, must be held within 30 days of this determination.

(c) In the case of an Indian child, in proceedings under sections 260B.178 or 260C.178, 260C.201, and 260C.301 the juvenile court must make findings and conclusions consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901 et seq., as to the provision of active efforts. In cases governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901, the responsible social services agency must provide active efforts as required under United States Code, title 25, section 1911(d).

(d) "Reasonable efforts to prevent placement" means:

(1) the agency has made reasonable efforts to prevent the placement of the child in foster care by working with the family to develop and implement a safety plan; or

(2) given the particular circumstances of the child and family at the time of the child's removal, there are no services or efforts available which could allow the child to safely remain in the home.

(e) "Reasonable efforts to finalize a permanent plan for the child" means due diligence by the responsible social services agency to:

(1) reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed;

(2) assess a noncustodial parent's ability to provide day-to-day care for the child and, where appropriate, provide services necessary to enable the noncustodial parent to safely provide the care, as required by section 260C.212, subdivision 4;

(3) conduct a relative search to identify and provide notice to adult relatives as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 5; and

(4) place siblings removed from their home in the same home for foster care, adoption, or transfer permanent legal and physical custody to a relative. Visitation between siblings who are not in the same foster care, adoption, or custodial placement or facility shall be consistent with section 260C.212, subdivision 2; and

(4) (5) when the child cannot return to the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed, to plan for and finalize a safe and legally permanent alternative home for the child, and considers permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of the state, preferably through adoption or transfer of permanent legal and physical custody of the child.

(f) Reasonable efforts are made upon the exercise of due diligence by the responsible social services agency to use culturally appropriate and available services to meet the needs of the child and the child's family. Services may include those provided by the responsible social services agency and other culturally appropriate services available in the community. At each stage of the proceedings where the court is required to review the appropriateness of the responsible social services agency's reasonable efforts as described in paragraphs (a), (d), and (e), the social services agency has the burden of demonstrating that:

(1) it has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement of the child in foster care;

(2) it has made reasonable efforts to eliminate the need for removal of the child from the child's home and to reunify the child with the child's family at the earliest possible time;

(3) it has made reasonable efforts to finalize an alternative permanent home for the child, and considers permanent alternative homes for the child inside or outside of the state; or

(4) reasonable efforts to prevent placement and to reunify the child with the parent or guardian are not required. The agency may meet this burden by stating facts in a sworn petition filed under section 260C.141, by filing an affidavit summarizing the agency's reasonable efforts or facts the agency believes demonstrate there is no need for reasonable efforts to reunify the parent and child, or through testimony or a certified report required under juvenile court rules.

(g) Once the court determines that reasonable efforts for reunification are not required because the court has made one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), the court may only require reasonable efforts for reunification after a hearing according to section 260C.163, where the court finds there is not clear and convincing evidence of the facts upon which the court based its prima facie determination. In this case when there is clear and convincing evidence that the child is in need of protection or services, the court may find the child in need of protection or services and order any of the dispositions available under section 260C.201, subdivision 1. Reunification of a surviving child with a parent is not required if the parent has been convicted of:

(1) a violation of, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a violation of, sections 609.185 to 609.20; 609.222, subdivision 2; or 609.223 in regard to another child of the parent;

(2) a violation of section 609.222, subdivision 2; or 609.223, in regard to the surviving child; or

(3) a violation of, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit a violation of, United States Code, title 18, section 1111(a) or 1112(a), in regard to another child of the parent.

(h) The juvenile court, in proceedings under sections 260B.178 or 260C.178, 260C.201, and 260C.301 shall make findings and conclusions as to the provision of reasonable efforts. When determining whether reasonable efforts have been made, the court shall consider whether services to the child and family were:

(1) relevant to the safety and protection of the child;

(2) adequate to meet the needs of the child and family;

(3) culturally appropriate;

(4) available and accessible;

(5) consistent and timely; and

(6) realistic under the circumstances.

In the alternative, the court may determine that provision of services or further services for the purpose of rehabilitation is futile and therefore unreasonable under the circumstances or that reasonable efforts are not required as provided in paragraph (a).

(i) This section does not prevent out-of-home placement for treatment of a child with a mental disability when it is determined to be medically necessary as a result of the child's diagnostic assessment or individual treatment plan indicates that appropriate and necessary treatment cannot be effectively provided outside of a residential or inpatient treatment program and the level or intensity of supervision and treatment cannot be effectively and safely provided in the child's home or community and it is determined that a residential treatment setting is the least restrictive setting that is appropriate to the needs of the child.

(j) If continuation of reasonable efforts to prevent placement or reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed is determined by the court to be inconsistent with the permanent plan for the child or upon the court making one of the prima facie determinations under paragraph (a), reasonable efforts must be made to place the child in a timely manner in a safe and permanent home and to complete whatever steps are necessary to legally finalize the permanent placement of the child.

(k) Reasonable efforts to place a child for adoption or in another permanent placement may be made concurrently with reasonable efforts to prevent placement or to reunify the child with the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed. When the responsible social services agency decides to concurrently make reasonable efforts for both reunification and permanent placement away from the parent under paragraph (a), the agency shall disclose its decision and both plans for concurrent reasonable efforts to all parties and the court. When the agency discloses its decision to proceed on both plans for reunification and permanent placement away from the parent, the court's review of the agency's reasonable efforts shall include the agency's efforts under both plans.

Sec. 14.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260B.007, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Foster care.

"Foster care" means the 24 hour a day care of a child in any facility which for gain or otherwise regularly provides one or more children, when unaccompanied by their parents, with a substitute for the care, food, lodging, training, education, supervision or treatment they need but which for any reason cannot be furnished by their parents or legal guardians in their homes. "Foster care" means 24-hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardian and for whom a responsible social services agency has placement and care responsibility. Foster care includes, but is not limited to, placement in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities not excluded in this subdivision, child care institutions, and preadoptive homes. A child is in foster care under this definition regardless of whether the facility is licensed and payments are made for the cost of care. Nothing in this definition creates any authority to place a child in a home or facility that is required to be licensed which is not licensed. Foster care does not include placement in any of the following facilities: hospitals, inpatient chemical dependency treatment facilities, facilities that are primarily for delinquent children, any corrections facility or program within a particular corrections facility not meeting requirements for Title IV-E facilities as determined by the commissioner, facilities to which a child is committed under the provision of chapter 253B, forestry camps, or jails. Foster care is intended to provide for a child's safety or to access treatment. Foster care must not be used as a punishment or consequence for a child's behavior.

Sec. 15.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260B.157, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Juvenile treatment screening team.

(a) The local social services agency shall establish a juvenile treatment screening team to conduct screenings and prepare case plans under this subdivision. The team, which may be the team constituted under section 245.4885 or 256B.092 or Minnesota Rules, parts 9530.6600 to 9530.6655, shall consist of social workers, juvenile justice professionals, and persons with expertise in the treatment of juveniles who are emotionally disabled, chemically dependent, or have a developmental disability. The team shall involve parents or guardians in the screening process as appropriate. The team may be the same team as defined in section 260C.157, subdivision 3.

(b) If the court, prior to, or as part of, a final disposition, proposes to place a child:

(1) for the primary purpose of treatment for an emotional disturbance, and residential placement is consistent with section 260.012, a developmental disability, or chemical dependency in a residential treatment facility out of state or in one which is within the state and licensed by the commissioner of human services under chapter 245A; or

(2) in any out-of-home setting potentially exceeding 30 days in duration, including a postdispositional post-dispositional placement in a facility licensed by the commissioner of corrections or human services, the court shall notify the county welfare agency. The county's juvenile treatment screening team must either:

(i) screen and evaluate the child and file its recommendations with the court within 14 days of receipt of the notice; or

(ii) elect not to screen a given case, and notify the court of that decision within three working days.

(c) If the screening team has elected to screen and evaluate the child, the child may not be placed for the primary purpose of treatment for an emotional disturbance, a developmental disability, or chemical dependency, in a residential treatment facility out of state nor in a residential treatment facility within the state that is licensed under chapter 245A, unless one of the following conditions applies:

(1) a treatment professional certifies that an emergency requires the placement of the child in a facility within the state;

(2) the screening team has evaluated the child and recommended that a residential placement is necessary to meet the child's treatment needs and the safety needs of the community, that it is a cost-effective means of meeting the treatment needs, and that it will be of therapeutic value to the child; or

(3) the court, having reviewed a screening team recommendation against placement, determines to the contrary that a residential placement is necessary. The court shall state the reasons for its determination in writing, on the record, and shall respond specifically to the findings and recommendation of the screening team in explaining why the recommendation was rejected. The attorney representing the child and the prosecuting attorney shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard on the matter.

Sec. 16.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260B.198, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Court order, findings, remedies, treatment.

If the court finds that the child is delinquent, it shall enter an order making any of the following dispositions of the case which are deemed necessary to the rehabilitation of the child:

(1) counsel the child or the parents, guardian, or custodian;

(2) place the child under the supervision of a probation officer or other suitable person in the child's own home under conditions prescribed by the court including reasonable rules for the child's conduct and the conduct of the child's parents, guardian, or custodian, designed for the physical, mental, and moral well-being and behavior of the child, or with the consent of the commissioner of corrections, in a group foster care facility which is under the management and supervision of said commissioner;

(3) if the court determines that the child is a danger to self or others, subject to the supervision of the court, transfer legal custody of the child to one of the following:

(i) a child-placing agency; or

(ii) the local social services agency; or

(iii) a reputable individual of good moral character. No person may receive custody of two or more unrelated children unless licensed as a residential facility pursuant to sections 245A.01 to 245A.16; or

(iv) a county home school, if the county maintains a home school or enters into an agreement with a county home school; or

(v) a county probation officer for placement in a group foster home established under the direction of the juvenile court and licensed pursuant to section 241.021;

(4) transfer legal custody by commitment to the commissioner of corrections;

(5) if the child is found to have violated a state or local law or ordinance which has resulted in damage to the person or property of another, the court may order the child to make reasonable restitution for such damage;

(6) require the child to pay a fine of up to $1,000. The court shall order payment of the fine in accordance with a time payment schedule which shall not impose an undue financial hardship on the child;

(7) if the child is in need of special treatment and care for reasons of physical or mental health, the court may order the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to provide it. If the parent, guardian, or custodian fails to provide this treatment or care, the court may order it provided;

(8) if the court believes that it is in the best interests of the child and of public safety that the driver's license of the child be canceled until the child's 18th birthday, the court may recommend to the commissioner of public safety the cancellation of the child's license for any period up to the child's 18th birthday, and the commissioner is hereby authorized to cancel such license without a hearing. At any time before the termination of the period of cancellation, the court may, for good cause, recommend to the commissioner of public safety that the child be authorized to apply for a new license, and the commissioner may so authorize;

(9) if the court believes that it is in the best interest of the child and of public safety that the child is enrolled in school, the court may require the child to remain enrolled in a public school until the child reaches the age of 18 or completes all requirements needed to graduate from high school. Any child enrolled in a public school under this clause is subject to the provisions of the Pupil Fair Dismissal Act in chapter 127;

(10) if the child is petitioned and found by the court to have committed a controlled substance offense under sections 152.021 to 152.027, the court shall determine whether the child unlawfully possessed or sold the controlled substance while driving a motor vehicle. If so, the court shall notify the commissioner of public safety of its determination and order the commissioner to revoke the child's driver's license for the applicable time period specified in section 152.0271. If the child does not have a driver's license or if the child's driver's license is suspended or revoked at the time of the delinquency finding, the commissioner shall, upon the child's application for driver's license issuance or reinstatement, delay the issuance or reinstatement of the child's driver's license for the applicable time period specified in section 152.0271. Upon receipt of the court's order, the commissioner is authorized to take the licensing action without a hearing;

(11) if the child is petitioned and found by the court to have committed or attempted to commit an act in violation of section 609.342; 609.343; 609.344; 609.345; 609.3451; 609.746, subdivision 1; 609.79; or 617.23, or another offense arising out of a delinquency petition based on one or more of those sections, the court shall order an independent professional assessment of the child's need for sex offender treatment. An assessor providing an assessment for the court must be experienced in the evaluation and treatment of juvenile sex offenders. If the assessment indicates that the child is in need of and amenable to sex offender treatment, the court shall include in its disposition order a requirement that the child undergo treatment. Notwithstanding sections 13.384, 13.85, 144.291 to 144.298, 260B.171, or 626.556, the assessor has access to the following private or confidential data on the child if access is relevant and necessary for the assessment:

(i) medical data under section 13.384;

(ii) corrections and detention data under section 13.85;

(iii) health records under sections 144.291 to 144.298;

(iv) juvenile court records under section 260B.171; and

(v) local welfare agency records under section 626.556.

Data disclosed under this clause may be used only for purposes of the assessment and may not be further disclosed to any other person, except as authorized by law;

(12) if the child is found delinquent due to the commission of an offense that would be a felony if committed by an adult, the court shall make a specific finding on the record regarding the juvenile's mental health and chemical dependency treatment needs;

(13) any order for a disposition authorized under this section shall contain written findings of fact to support the disposition ordered and shall also set forth in writing the following information:

(i) why the best interests of the child are served by the disposition ordered; and

(ii) what alternative dispositions were considered by the court and why such dispositions were not appropriate in the instant case.

Sec. 17.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.007, subdivision 18, is amended to read:

Subd. 18.

Foster care.

"Foster care" means 24 hour substitute care for children placed away from their parents or guardian and for whom a responsible social services agency has placement and care responsibility. "Foster care" includes, but is not limited to, placement in foster family homes, foster homes of relatives, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities not excluded in this subdivision, child care institutions, and preadoptive homes. A child is in foster care under this definition regardless of whether the facility is licensed and payments are made for the cost of care. Nothing in this definition creates any authority to place a child in a home or facility that is required to be licensed which is not licensed. "Foster care" does not include placement in any of the following facilities: hospitals, inpatient chemical dependency treatment facilities, facilities that are primarily for delinquent children, any corrections facility or program within a particular correction's facility not meeting requirements for Title IV-E facilities as determined by the commissioner, facilities to which a child is committed under the provision of chapter 253B, forestry camps, or jails. Foster care is intended to provide for a child's safety or to access treatment. Foster care must not be used as a punishment or consequence for a child's behavior.

Sec. 18.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.007, subdivision 25, is amended to read:

Subd. 25.

Parent.

"Parent" means the birth or adoptive parent of a minor. a person who has a legal parent and child relationship with a child under section 257.52 which confers or imposes on the person legal rights, privileges, duties, and obligations. It includes the mother and child relationship and the father and child relationship. For an Indian child matters governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act, parent includes any Indian person who has adopted a child by tribal law or custom, as provided in section 260.755, subdivision 14. For matters governed by the Indian Child Welfare Act, parent does not include the unwed father where paternity has not been acknowledged or established. Parent does not mean a putative father of a child unless the putative father also meets the requirements of section 257.55 or unless the putative father is entitled to notice under section 259.49, subdivision 1.

Sec. 19.

[260C.150] DILIGENT EFFORTS TO IDENTIFY PARENTS OF A CHILD; PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW; REASONABLE EFFORTS.

Subdivision 1.

Determining parentage.

A parent and child relationship may be established under this chapter according to the requirements of section 257.54 and the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure.

Subd. 2.

Genetic test results; duty to cooperate.

(a) For purposes of proceedings under this chapter, a positive test result under section 257.62, subdivision 5, shall be used by the court to treat a person determined to be the biological father of a child by a positive test as if the individual were a presumed father under section 257.55, including giving the biological father the right to notice of proceedings and the right to be assessed and considered for day-to-day care of his child under section 260C.212, subdivision 4.

(b) Nothing in this subdivision relieves a person determined to be the biological father of the child by a positive test from the duty to cooperate with paternity establishment proceedings under section 260C.212, subdivision 4.

Subd. 3.

Identifying parents of child; diligent efforts; data.

(a) The responsible social services agency shall make diligent efforts to identify and locate both parents of any child who is the subject of proceedings under this chapter. Diligent efforts include:

(1) asking the custodial or known parent to identify any nonresident parent of the child and provide information that can be used to verify the nonresident parent's identity including the dates and locations of marriages and divorces, dates and locations of any legal proceedings regarding paternity, date and place of the child's birth, nonresident parent's full legal name, nonresident parent's date of birth, if the nonresident parent's date of birth is unknown, an approximate age, the nonresident parent's Social Security number, the nonresident parent's whereabouts including last known whereabouts, and the whereabouts of relatives of the nonresident parent. For purposes of this subdivision, "nonresident parent" means a parent who does not reside in the same household as the child or did not reside in the same household as the child at the time the child was removed when the child is in foster care;

(2) obtaining information that will identify and locate the nonresident parent from the county and state of Minnesota child support enforcement information system;

(3) requesting a search of the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry 30 days after the child's birth; and

(4) using any other reasonable means to identify and locate the nonresident parent.

(b) The agency may disclose data which is otherwise private under section 13.46 or 626.556 in order to carry out its duties under this subdivision.

Subd. 4.

Court inquiry regarding identities of both parents.

At the first hearing regarding the petition and at any subsequent hearings, as appropriate, the court shall inquire of the parties whether the identities and whereabouts of both parents of the child are known and correctly reflected in the petition filed with the court. If either the identity or whereabouts of both parents is not known, the court shall make inquiry on the record of any party or participant present regarding the identity and whereabouts of the unknown parent of the child.

Subd. 5.

Sworn testimony from known parent.

When the county attorney requests, the court shall have the custodial or known parent of the child sworn for the purpose of answering questions relevant to the identity of a child's other parent in any proceeding under this chapter. The county attorney may request this information at any point in the proceedings if the custodial or known parent has not been cooperative in providing information to identify and locate the nonresident parent or information that may lead to identifying and locating the nonresident parent. If the child's custodial or known parent testifies that disclosure of identifying information regarding the identity of the nonresident parent would cause either the custodial or known parent, the child, or another family member to be endangered, the court may make a protective order regarding any information necessary to protect the custodial or known parent, the child, or family member. Consistent with section 260C.212, subdivision 4, paragraph (a), clause (4), if the child remains in the care of the known or custodial parent and the court finds it in the child's best interests, the court may waive notice to the nonresident parent of the child if such notice would endanger the known or custodial parent, the child, or another family member.

Subd. 6.

Court review of diligent efforts and service.

As soon as possible, but not later than the first review hearing required under the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure, unless the responsible social services agency has identified and located both parents of the child, the agency shall include in its report to the court required under the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure a description of its diligent efforts to locate any parent who remains unknown or who the agency has been unable to locate. The court shall determine whether (1) diligent efforts have been made by the agency to identify both parents of the child, (2) both parents have been located, and (3) both parents have been served with the summons or notice of the proceedings required by section 260C.151 or 260C.152 and the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure. If the court determines the agency has not made diligent efforts to locate both parents of the child or if both parents of the child have not been served as required by the rules, the court shall order the agency to take further steps to identify and locate both parents of the child identifying what further specific efforts are appropriate. If the summons has not been served on the parent as required by section 260C.151, subdivision 1, the court shall order further efforts to complete service.

Subd. 7.

Reasonable efforts findings.

When the court finds the agency has made diligent efforts to identify and locate both parents of the child and one or both parents remain unknown or cannot be located, the court may find that the agency has made reasonable efforts under sections 260.012, 260C.178, 260C.201, and 260C.301, subdivision 8, regarding any parent who remains unknown or cannot be located. The court may also find that further reasonable efforts for reunification with the parent who cannot be identified or located would be futile.

Subd. 8.

Safe place for newborns.

Neither the requirements of this subdivision nor the search requirements of section 259.52, subdivision 2, apply when the agency is proceeding under section 260C.217. When the agency is proceeding under section 260C.217, the agency has no duty to identify and locate either parent of the newborn and no notice or service of summons on either parent is required under section 260C.151 or 260C.152 or the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure.

Sec. 20.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.151, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Issuance of summons.

After a petition has been filed and unless the parties hereinafter named voluntarily appear, the court shall set a time for a hearing and shall issue a summons requiring the child's parents or legal guardian and any person who has legal custody or control of the child to appear with the child before the court at a time and place stated. The summons shall have a copy of the petition attached, and shall advise the parties of the right to counsel and of the consequences of failure to obey the summons. The court shall give docket priority to any child in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, that contains allegations of child abuse over any other case. As used in this subdivision, "child abuse" has the meaning given it in section 630.36, subdivision 2.

Sec. 21.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.151, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Notice; child in need of protection or services.

After a petition has been filed alleging a child to be in need of protection or services and unless the persons named in clauses clause (1) to (4) or (2) voluntarily appear or are summoned according to subdivision 1 appears, the court shall issue a notice to:

(1) an adjudicated or presumed father of the child;

(2) an alleged (1) a putative father of the child, including any putative father who has timely registered with the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry under section 259.52; and

(3) a noncustodial mother; and

(4) (2) a grandparent with the right to participate under section 260C.163, subdivision 2.

Sec. 22.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.151, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 2a.

Notice; termination of parental rights or permanency proceeding.

(a) After a petition for termination of parental rights or petition for permanent placement of a child away from a parent under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, has been filed, the court shall set a time for the admit or deny hearing as required under the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure and shall issue a summons requiring the parents of the child to appear before the court at the time and place stated. The court shall issue a notice to:

(1) a putative father who has timely registered with the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry and who is entitled to notice of an adoption proceeding under section 259.49, subdivision 1; and

(2) a grandparent with the right to participate under section 260C.163, subdivision 2.

(b) Neither summons nor notice under this section or section 260C.152 of a termination of parental rights matter or other permanent placement matter under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, is required to be given to a putative father who has failed to timely register with the Minnesota Father's Adoption Registry under section 259.52 unless that individual also meets the requirements of section 257.55 or, is required to be given notice under section 259.49, subdivision 1. When a putative father is not entitled to notice under this clause and is therefore not given notice, any order terminating his rights does not give rise to a presumption of parental unfitness under section 260C.301, subdivision 1, paragraph (b), clause (4).

Sec. 23.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.151, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Notice of pendency of case.

Notice means written notice as provided in the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure. The court shall have notice of the pendency of the case and of the time and place of the hearing served upon a parent, guardian, or spouse of the child, who has not been summoned as provided in subdivision 1 as required by subdivision 2. For an Indian child, notice of all proceedings must comply with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901, et seq., and section 260.765.

Sec. 24.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.163, is amended by adding a subdivision to read:

Subd. 12.

Alternative dispute resolution authorized; family group decision making, parallel protection process and mediation.

The court may authorize parties and participants in any child in need of protection or services, permanency, or termination of parental rights petition to participate in any appropriate form of alternative dispute resolution including family group decision making, parallel protection process, and mediation when such alternative dispute resolution is in the best interests of the child. The court may order that a child be included in the alternative dispute resolution process, as appropriate and in the best interests of the child. An alternative dispute resolution process, including family group decision making, parallel protection process, and mediation, may be used to resolve part or all of a matter before the court at any point in the proceedings subject to approval by the court that the resolution is in the best interests of the child.

Sec. 25.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.175, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Immediate custody.

No child may be taken into immediate custody except:

(1) with an order issued by the court in accordance with the provisions of section 260C.151, subdivision 6, or Laws 1997, chapter 239, article 10, section 10, paragraph (a), clause (3), or 12, paragraph (a), clause (3), or by a warrant issued in accordance with the provisions of section 260C.154;

(2) by a peace officer:

(i) when a child has run away from a parent, guardian, or custodian, or when the peace officer reasonably believes the child has run away from a parent, guardian, or custodian, but only for the purpose of transporting the child home, to the home of a relative, or to another safe place; or

(ii) when a child is found in surroundings or conditions which endanger the child's health or welfare or which such peace officer reasonably believes will endanger the child's health or welfare. If an Indian child is a resident of a reservation or is domiciled on a reservation but temporarily located off the reservation, the taking of the child into custody under this clause shall be consistent with the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1922;

(3) by a peace officer or probation or parole officer when it is reasonably believed that the child has violated the terms of probation, parole, or other field supervision; or

(4) by a peace officer or probation officer under section 260C.143, subdivision 1 or 4.

Sec. 26.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.176, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Notice; release.

If a child is taken into custody as provided in section 260C.175, the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child shall be notified as soon as possible. Unless there is reason to believe that the child would endanger self or others, not return for a court hearing, run away from the child's parent, guardian, or custodian or otherwise not remain in the care or control of the person to whose lawful custody the child is released, or that the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered, the child shall be released to the custody of a parent, guardian, custodian, or other suitable person relative. When a child is taken into custody by a peace officer under section 260C.175, subdivision 1, clause (2), item (ii), release from detention may be authorized by the detaining officer, the detaining officer's supervisor, or the county attorney, or the social services agency, provided that the agency has conducted an assessment and with the family has developed and implemented a safety plan for the child, if needed. If the social services agency has determined that the child's health or welfare will not be endangered and the provision of appropriate and available services will eliminate the need for placement, the agency shall request authorization for the child's release from detention. The person to whom the child is released shall promise to bring the child to the court, if necessary, at the time the court may direct. If the person taking the child into custody believes it desirable, that person may request the parent, guardian, custodian, or other person designated by the court to sign a written promise to bring the child to court as provided above. The intentional violation of such a promise, whether given orally or in writing, shall be punishable as contempt of court.

The court may require the parent, guardian, custodian, or other person to whom the child is released, to post any reasonable bail or bond required by the court which shall be forfeited to the court if the child does not appear as directed. The court may also release the child on the child's own promise to appear in juvenile court.

Sec. 27.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.178, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Hearing and release requirements.

(a) If a child was taken into custody under section 260C.175, subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2), item (ii), the court shall hold a hearing within 72 hours of the time the child was taken into custody, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, to determine whether the child should continue in custody.

(b) Unless there is reason to believe that the child would endanger self or others, not return for a court hearing, run away from the child's parent, guardian, or custodian or otherwise not remain in the care or control of the person to whose lawful custody the child is released, or that the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered, the child shall be released to the custody of a parent, guardian, custodian, or other suitable person, subject to reasonable conditions of release including, but not limited to, a requirement that the child undergo a chemical use assessment as provided in section 260C.157, subdivision 1.

(c) If the court determines there is reason to believe that the child would endanger self or others; not return for a court hearing; run away from the child's parent, guardian, or custodian or otherwise not remain in the care or control of the person to whose lawful custody the child is released; or that the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered if returned to the care of the parent or guardian who has custody and from whom the child was removed, the court shall order the child into foster care under the legal responsibility of the responsible social services agency or responsible probation or corrections agency for the purposes of protective care as that term is used in the juvenile court rules or into the home of a noncustodial parent and order the noncustodial parent to comply with any conditions the court determines to be appropriate to the safety and care of the child, including cooperating with paternity establishment proceedings in the case of a man who has not been adjudicated the child's father. The court shall not give the responsible social services legal custody and order a trial home visit at any time prior to adjudication and disposition under section 260C.201, subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (3), but may order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian who has custody and from whom the child was removed and order the parent or guardian to comply with any conditions the court determines to be appropriate to meet the safety, health, and welfare of the child.

(d) In determining whether the child's health or welfare would be immediately endangered, the court shall consider whether the child would reside with a perpetrator of domestic child abuse.

(e) The court, before determining whether a child should be placed in or continue in foster care under the protective care of the responsible agency, shall also make a determination, consistent with section 260.012 as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent placement or whether reasonable efforts to prevent placement are not required. In the case of an Indian child, the court shall determine whether active efforts, according to the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1912(d), were made to prevent placement. The court shall enter a finding that the responsible social services agency has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement when the agency establishes either:

(1) that it has actually provided services or made efforts in an attempt to prevent the child's removal but that such services or efforts have not proven sufficient to permit the child to safely remain in the home; or

(2) that there are no services or other efforts that could be made at the time of the hearing that could safely permit the child to remain home or to return home. When reasonable efforts to prevent placement are required and there are services or other efforts that could be ordered which would permit the child to safely return home, the court shall order the child returned to the care of the parent or guardian and the services or efforts put in place to ensure the child's safety. When the court makes a prima facie determination that one of the circumstances under paragraph (g) exists, the court shall determine that reasonable efforts to prevent placement and to return the child to the care of the parent or guardian are not required.

If the court finds the social services agency's preventive or reunification efforts have not been reasonable but further preventive or reunification efforts could not permit the child to safely remain at home, the court may nevertheless authorize or continue the removal of the child.

(f) The court may not order or continue the foster care placement of the child unless the court makes explicit, individualized findings that continued custody of the child by the parent or guardian would be contrary to the welfare of the child and that placement is in the best interest of the child.

(g) At the emergency removal hearing, or at any time during the course of the proceeding, and upon notice and request of the county attorney, the court shall determine whether a petition has been filed stating a prima facie case that:

(1) the parent has subjected a child to egregious harm as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 14;

(2) the parental rights of the parent to another child have been involuntarily terminated;

(3) the child is an abandoned infant under section 260C.301, subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2);

(4) the parents' custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (e), clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction; or

(5) the provision of services or further services for the purpose of reunification is futile and therefore unreasonable.

(h) When a petition to terminate parental rights is required under section 260C.301, subdivision 3 or 4, but the county attorney has determined not to proceed with a termination of parental rights petition, and has instead filed a petition to transfer permanent legal and physical custody to a relative under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, the court shall schedule a permanency hearing within 30 days of the filing of the petition.

(i) If the county attorney has filed a petition under section 260C.307, the court shall schedule a trial under section 260C.163 within 90 days of the filing of the petition except when the county attorney determines that the criminal case shall proceed to trial first under section 260C.201, subdivision 3.

(j) If the court determines the child should be ordered into foster care and the child's parent refuses to give information to the responsible social services agency regarding the child's father or relatives of the child, the court may order the parent to disclose the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other identifying information to the responsible social services agency for the purpose of complying with the requirements of sections 260C.151, 260C.212, and 260C.215.

(k) If a child ordered into foster care has siblings, whether full, half, or step, who are also ordered into foster care, the court shall inquire of the responsible social services agency of the efforts to place the children together as required by section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (d), if placement together is in each child's best interests, unless a child is in placement due solely to the child's own behavior for treatment or a child is placed with a previously noncustodial parent who is not parent to all siblings. If the children are not placed together at the time of the hearing, the court shall inquire at each subsequent hearing of the agency's reasonable efforts to place the siblings together, as required under section 260.012. If any sibling is not placed with another sibling or siblings, the agency must develop a plan for to facilitate visitation or ongoing contact among the siblings as required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, unless it is contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings to do so.

Sec. 28.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.178, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Parental visitation.

(a) If a child has been taken into custody under section 260C.151, subdivision 5, or 260C.175, subdivision 1, clause (2), item (ii), and the court determines that the child should continue in foster care, the court shall include in its order reasonable rules for supervised or unsupervised notice that the responsible social services agency has a duty to develop and implement a plan for parental visitation of and contact with the child in the foster care facility that promotes the parent and child relationship unless it the court finds that visitation would endanger the child's physical or emotional well-being.

(b) Unless the court finds that visitation would endanger the child's physical or emotional well-being or unless paragraph (c) or (d) apply, the plan for parental visitation required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (5), must be developed and implemented by the agency and the child's parents as soon as possible after the court's order for the child to continue in foster care.

(c) When a parent has had no or only limited visitation or contact with the child prior to the court order for the child to continue in foster care, the court shall not order a visitation plan developed and implemented until the agency has conducted the assessment of the parent's ability to provide day-to-day care for the child required under section 260C.212, subdivision 4.

(d) When it is in the best interests of the child, the agency may ask the court to defer its duty to develop a visitation plan between a putative father and the child until the paternity status of the child's father is adjudicated or until there is a positive test result under section 257.62, subdivision 5.

(e) The visitation plan developed under this subdivision is the same visitation plan required under section 260C.212, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (5).

Sec. 29.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.201, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Dispositions.

(a) If the court finds that the child is in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, it shall enter an order making any of the following dispositions of the case:

(1) place the child under the protective supervision of the responsible social services agency or child-placing agency in the home of a parent of the child under conditions prescribed by the court directed to the correction of the child's need for protection or services:

(i) the court may order the child into the home of a parent who does not otherwise have legal custody of the child, however, an order under this section does not confer legal custody on that parent;

(ii) if the court orders the child into the home of a father who is not adjudicated, he must cooperate with paternity establishment proceedings regarding the child in the appropriate jurisdiction as one of the conditions prescribed by the court for the child to continue in his home; and

(iii) the court may order the child into the home of a noncustodial parent with conditions and may also order both the noncustodial and the custodial parent to comply with the requirements of a case plan under subdivision 2; or

(2) transfer legal custody to one of the following:

(i) a child-placing agency; or

(ii) the responsible social services agency. In making a foster care placement for a child whose custody has been transferred under this subdivision, the agency shall make an individualized determination of how the placement is in the child's best interests using the consideration for relatives and the best interest factors in section 260C.212, subdivision 2, paragraph (b); or

(3) order a trial home visit without modifying the transfer of legal custody to the responsible social services agency under clause (2). Trial home visit means the child is returned to the care of the parent or guardian from whom the child was removed for a period not to exceed six months. During the period of the trial home visit, the responsible social services agency:

(i) shall continue to have legal custody of the child, which means the agency may see the child in the parent's home, at school, in a child care facility, or other setting as the agency deems necessary and appropriate;

(ii) shall continue to have the ability to access information under section 260C.208;

(iii) shall continue to provide appropriate services to both the parent and the child during the period of the trial home visit;

(iv) without previous court order or authorization, may terminate the trial home visit in order to protect the child's health, safety, or welfare and may remove the child to foster care;

(v) shall advise the court and parties within three days of the termination of the trial home visit when a visit is terminated by the responsible social services agency without a court order; and

(vi) shall prepare a report for the court when the trial home visit is terminated whether by the agency or court order which describes the child's circumstances during the trial home visit and recommends appropriate orders, if any, for the court to enter to provide for the child's safety and stability. In the event a trial home visit is terminated by the agency by removing the child to foster care without prior court order or authorization, the court shall conduct a hearing within ten days of receiving notice of the termination of the trial home visit by the agency and shall order disposition under this subdivision or conduct a permanency hearing under subdivision 11 or 11a. The time period for the hearing may be extended by the court for good cause shown and if it is in the best interests of the child as long as the total time the child spends in foster care without a permanency hearing does not exceed 12 months;

(4) if the child has been adjudicated as a child in need of protection or services because the child is in need of special services or care to treat or ameliorate a physical or mental disability or emotional disturbance as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 15, the court may order the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to provide it. The court may order the child's health plan company to provide mental health services to the child. Section 62Q.535 applies to an order for mental health services directed to the child's health plan company. If the health plan, parent, guardian, or custodian fails or is unable to provide this treatment or care, the court may order it provided. Absent specific written findings by the court that the child's disability is the result of abuse or neglect by the child's parent or guardian, the court shall not transfer legal custody of the child for the purpose of obtaining special treatment or care solely because the parent is unable to provide the treatment or care. If the court's order for mental health treatment is based on a diagnosis made by a treatment professional, the court may order that the diagnosing professional not provide the treatment to the child if it finds that such an order is in the child's best interests; or

(5) if the court believes that the child has sufficient maturity and judgment and that it is in the best interests of the child, the court may order a child 16 years old or older to be allowed to live independently, either alone or with others as approved by the court under supervision the court considers appropriate, if the county board, after consultation with the court, has specifically authorized this dispositional alternative for a child.

(b) If the child was adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child is a runaway or habitual truant, the court may order any of the following dispositions in addition to or as alternatives to the dispositions authorized under paragraph (a):

(1) counsel the child or the child's parents, guardian, or custodian;

(2) place the child under the supervision of a probation officer or other suitable person in the child's own home under conditions prescribed by the court, including reasonable rules for the child's conduct and the conduct of the parents, guardian, or custodian, designed for the physical, mental, and moral well-being and behavior of the child; or with the consent of the commissioner of corrections, place the child in a group foster care facility which is under the commissioner's management and supervision;

(3) subject to the court's supervision, transfer legal custody of the child to one of the following:

(i) a reputable person of good moral character. No person may receive custody of two or more unrelated children unless licensed to operate a residential program under sections 245A.01 to 245A.16; or

(ii) a county probation officer for placement in a group foster home established under the direction of the juvenile court and licensed pursuant to section 241.021;

(4) require the child to pay a fine of up to $100. The court shall order payment of the fine in a manner that will not impose undue financial hardship upon the child;

(5) require the child to participate in a community service project;

(6) order the child to undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and, if warranted by the evaluation, order participation by the child in a drug awareness program or an inpatient or outpatient chemical dependency treatment program;

(7) if the court believes that it is in the best interests of the child or of public safety that the child's driver's license or instruction permit be canceled, the court may order the commissioner of public safety to cancel the child's license or permit for any period up to the child's 18th birthday. If the child does not have a driver's license or permit, the court may order a denial of driving privileges for any period up to the child's 18th birthday. The court shall forward an order issued under this clause to the commissioner, who shall cancel the license or permit or deny driving privileges without a hearing for the period specified by the court. At any time before the expiration of the period of cancellation or denial, the court may, for good cause, order the commissioner of public safety to allow the child to apply for a license or permit, and the commissioner shall so authorize;

(8) order that the child's parent or legal guardian deliver the child to school at the beginning of each school day for a period of time specified by the court; or

(9) require the child to perform any other activities or participate in any other treatment programs deemed appropriate by the court.

To the extent practicable, the court shall enter a disposition order the same day it makes a finding that a child is in need of protection or services or neglected and in foster care, but in no event more than 15 days after the finding unless the court finds that the best interests of the child will be served by granting a delay. If the child was under eight years of age at the time the petition was filed, the disposition order must be entered within ten days of the finding and the court may not grant a delay unless good cause is shown and the court finds the best interests of the child will be served by the delay.

(c) If a child who is 14 years of age or older is adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child is a habitual truant and truancy procedures involving the child were previously dealt with by a school attendance review board or county attorney mediation program under section 260A.06 or 260A.07, the court shall order a cancellation or denial of driving privileges under paragraph (b), clause (7), for any period up to the child's 18th birthday.

(d) In the case of a child adjudicated in need of protection or services because the child has committed domestic abuse and been ordered excluded from the child's parent's home, the court shall dismiss jurisdiction if the court, at any time, finds the parent is able or willing to provide an alternative safe living arrangement for the child, as defined in Laws 1997, chapter 239, article 10, section 2.

(e) When a parent has complied with a case plan ordered under subdivision 6 and the child is in the care of the parent, the court may order the responsible social services agency to monitor the parent's continued ability to maintain the child safely in the home under such terms and conditions as the court determines appropriate under the circumstances.

Sec. 30.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.201, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Visitation.

If the court orders that the child be placed outside of the child's home or present residence into foster care, it shall set reasonable rules for the court shall review and either modify or approve the agency's plan for supervised or unsupervised parental visitation that contribute contributes to the objectives of the court order and court-ordered case plan, the maintenance of the familial relationship, and that meets the requirements of section 260C.212, subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (5). No parent may be denied visitation unless the court finds at the disposition hearing that the visitation would act to prevent the achievement of the order's objectives or that it would endanger the child's physical or emotional well-being, is not in the child's best interests, or is not required under section 260C.178, subdivision 3, paragraph (c) or (d). The court shall set reasonable rules review and either modify or approve the agency plan for visitation for any relatives as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 27, and with siblings of the child, if visitation is consistent with the best interests of the child.

Sec. 31.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Out-of-home placement; plan.

(a) An out-of-home placement plan shall be prepared within 30 days after any child is placed in foster care by court order or a voluntary placement agreement between the responsible social services agency and the child's parent pursuant to subdivision 8 or chapter 260D.

(b) An out-of-home placement plan means a written document which is prepared by the responsible social services agency jointly with the parent or parents or guardian of the child and in consultation with the child's guardian ad litem, the child's tribe, if the child is an Indian child, the child's foster parent or representative of the residential facility, and, where appropriate, the child. For a child in voluntary foster care for treatment under chapter 260D, preparation of the out-of-home placement plan shall additionally include the child's mental health treatment provider. As appropriate, the plan shall be:

(1) submitted to the court for approval under section 260C.178, subdivision 7;

(2) ordered by the court, either as presented or modified after hearing, under section 260C.178, subdivision 7, or 260C.201, subdivision 6; and

(3) signed by the parent or parents or guardian of the child, the child's guardian ad litem, a representative of the child's tribe, the responsible social services agency, and, if possible, the child.

(c) The out-of-home placement plan shall be explained to all persons involved in its implementation, including the child who has signed the plan, and shall set forth:

(1) a description of the residential facility including how the out-of-home placement plan is designed to achieve a safe placement for the child in the least restrictive, most family-like, setting available which is in close proximity to the home of the parent or parents or guardian of the child when the case plan goal is reunification, and how the placement is consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child according to the factors under subdivision 2, paragraph (b);

(2) the specific reasons for the placement of the child in a residential facility, and when reunification is the plan, a description of the problems or conditions in the home of the parent or parents which necessitated removal of the child from home and the changes the parent or parents must make in order for the child to safely return home;

(3) a description of the services offered and provided to prevent removal of the child from the home and to reunify the family including:

(i) the specific actions to be taken by the parent or parents of the child to eliminate or correct the problems or conditions identified in clause (2), and the time period during which the actions are to be taken; and

(ii) the reasonable efforts, or in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to be made to achieve a safe and stable home for the child including social and other supportive services to be provided or offered to the parent or parents or guardian of the child, the child, and the residential facility during the period the child is in the residential facility;

(4) a description of any services or resources that were requested by the child or the child's parent, guardian, foster parent, or custodian since the date of the child's placement in the residential facility, and whether those services or resources were provided and if not, the basis for the denial of the services or resources;

(5) the visitation plan for the parent or parents or guardian, other relatives as defined in section 260C.007, subdivision 27, and siblings of the child if the siblings are not placed together in foster care, and whether visitation is consistent with the best interest of the child, during the period the child is in foster care;

(6) documentation of steps to finalize the adoption or legal guardianship of the child if the court has issued an order terminating the rights of both parents of the child or of the only known, living parent of the child. At a minimum, the documentation must include child-specific recruitment efforts such as relative search and the use of state, regional, and national adoption exchanges to facilitate orderly and timely placements in and outside of the state. A copy of this documentation shall be provided to the court in the review required under section 260C.317, subdivision 3, paragraph (b);

(7) efforts to ensure the child's educational stability while in foster care, including:

(i) efforts to ensure that the child in placement remains in the same school in which the child was enrolled prior to placement, including efforts to work with the local education authorities to ensure the child's educational stability; or

(ii) if it is not in the child's best interest to remain in the same school that the child was enrolled in prior to placement, efforts to ensure immediate and appropriate enrollment for the child in a new school;

(8) the health and educational records of the child including the most recent information available regarding:

(i) the names and addresses of the child's health and educational providers;

(ii) the child's grade level performance;

(iii) the child's school record;

(iv) assurances that a statement about how the child's placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement; and

(v) a record of the child's immunizations;

(vi) the child's known medical problems, including any known communicable diseases, as defined in section 144.4172, subdivision 2;

(vii) the child's medications; and

(viii) any other relevant health and education information;

(v) any other relevant educational information;

(8) (9) the efforts by the local agency to ensure the oversight and continuity of health care services for the foster child, including:

(i) the plan to schedule the child's initial health screens;

(ii) how the child's known medical problems and identified needs from the screens, including any known communicable diseases, as defined in section 144.4172, subdivision 2, will be monitored and treated while the child is in foster care;

(iii) how the child's medical information will be updated and shared, including the child's immunizations;

(iv) who is responsible to coordinate and respond to the child's health care needs, including the role of the parent, the agency, and the foster parent;

(v) who is responsible for oversight of the child's prescription medications;

(vi) how physicians or other appropriate medical and nonmedical professionals will be consulted and involved in assessing the health and well-being of the child and determine the appropriate medical treatment for the child; and

(vii) the responsibility to ensure that the child has access to medical care through either medical insurance or medical assistance;

(10) the health records of the child including information available regarding:

(i) the name and addresses of the child's health care and dental care providers;

(ii) a record of the child's immunizations;

(iii) the child's known medical problems, including any known communicable diseases as defined in section 144.4172, subdivision 2;

(iv) the child's medications; and

(v) any other relevant health care information such as the child's eligibility for medical insurance or medical assistance;

(11) an independent living plan for a child age 16 or older who is in placement as a result of a permanency disposition. The plan should include, but not be limited to, the following objectives:

(i) educational, vocational, or employment planning;

(ii) health care planning and medical coverage;

(iii) transportation including, where appropriate, assisting the child in obtaining a driver's license;

(iv) money management;

(v) planning for housing;

(vi) social and recreational skills; and

(vii) establishing and maintaining connections with the child's family and community; and

(9) (12) for a child in voluntary foster care for treatment under chapter 260D, diagnostic and assessment information, specific services relating to meeting the mental health care needs of the child, and treatment outcomes.

(d) The parent or parents or guardian and the child each shall have the right to legal counsel in the preparation of the case plan and shall be informed of the right at the time of placement of the child. The child shall also have the right to a guardian ad litem. If unable to employ counsel from their own resources, the court shall appoint counsel upon the request of the parent or parents or the child or the child's legal guardian. The parent or parents may also receive assistance from any person or social services agency in preparation of the case plan.

After the plan has been agreed upon by the parties involved or approved or ordered by the court, the foster parents shall be fully informed of the provisions of the case plan and shall be provided a copy of the plan.

Upon discharge from foster care, the parent, adoptive parent, or permanent legal and physical custodian, as appropriate, and the child, if appropriate, must be provided with a current copy of the child's health and education record.

Sec. 32.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Placement decisions based on best interest of the child.

(a) The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the child's best interests are met by requiring an individualized determination of the needs of the child and of how the selected placement will serve the needs of the child being placed. The authorized child-placing agency shall place a child, released by court order or by voluntary release by the parent or parents, in a family foster home selected by considering placement with relatives and important friends in the following order:

(1) with an individual who is related to the child by blood, marriage, or adoption; or

(2) with an individual who is an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact.

(b) Among the factors the agency shall consider in determining the needs of the child are the following:

(1) the child's current functioning and behaviors;

(2) the medical, educational, and developmental needs of the child;

(3) the child's history and past experience;

(4) the child's religious and cultural needs;

(5) the child's connection with a community, school, and church faith community;

(6) the child's interests and talents;

(7) the child's relationship to current caretakers, parents, siblings, and relatives; and

(8) the reasonable preference of the child, if the court, or the child-placing agency in the case of a voluntary placement, deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preferences.

(c) Placement of a child cannot be delayed or denied based on race, color, or national origin of the foster parent or the child.

(d) Siblings should be placed together for foster care and adoption at the earliest possible time unless it is determined not to be in the best interests of a sibling documented that a joint placement would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings or unless it is not possible after appropriate reasonable efforts by the responsible social services agency. In cases where siblings cannot be placed together, the agency is required to provide frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between siblings unless the agency documents that the interaction would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings.

(e) Except for emergency placement as provided for in section 245A.035, a completed background study is required under section 245C.08 before the approval of a foster placement in a related or unrelated home.

Sec. 33.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 4a, is amended to read:

Subd. 4a.

Monthly caseworker visits.

(a) Every child in foster care or on a trial home visit shall be visited by the child's caseworker on a monthly basis, with the majority of visits occurring in the child's residence. For the purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:

(1) "visit" is defined as a face-to-face contact between a child and the child's caseworker;

(2) "visited on a monthly basis" is defined as at least one visit per calendar month;

(3) "the child's caseworker" is defined as the person who has responsibility for managing the child's foster care placement case as assigned by the responsible social service agency; and

(4) "the child's residence" is defined as the home where the child is residing, and can include the foster home, child care institution, or the home from which the child was removed if the child is on a trial home visit.

(b) Caseworker visits shall be of sufficient substance and duration to address issues pertinent to case planning and service delivery to ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of the child, including whether the child is enrolled and attending school as required by law.

Sec. 34.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Relative search.

(a) In implementing the requirement that the responsible social services agency must 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 subdivision 2 without delay after identifying the need for placement of the child in foster care, the responsible social services agency shall identify relatives of the child and notify them of the need for a foster care home for the child and of the possibility of the need for a permanent out-of-home placement of the child. The relative search required by this section shall be reasonable and comprehensive in scope and may last up to six months or until a fit and willing relative is identified. The relative search required by this section shall include both maternal relatives of the child and paternal relatives of the child, if paternity is adjudicated. The relatives must be notified that they must:

(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 informed of their current address in order to receive notice in the event that a permanent placement is being sought for the child. A relative who fails to provide a current address to the responsible social services agency forfeits the right to notice of the possibility of permanent placement. A decision by a relative not to be a placement resource 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; and

(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.

(b) A responsible social services agency may disclose private or confidential data, as defined in section 13.02, to relatives of the child for the purpose of locating a suitable placement. The agency shall disclose only data that is necessary to facilitate possible placement with relatives. 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 relatives or a specific relative not be contacted or considered for placement, 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 relatives or a specific relative unless authorized to do so by the juvenile court.

(c) When the placing agency determines that a permanent placement hearing is necessary because there is a likelihood that the child will not return to a parent's care, the agency may send the notice provided in paragraph (d), may ask the court to modify the requirements of the agency under this paragraph, or may ask the court to completely relieve the agency of the requirements of this paragraph. The relative notification requirements of this paragraph do not apply when the child is placed with an appropriate relative or a foster home that has committed to being the permanent legal placement for 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, and welfare of the child.

(d) Unless required under the Indian Child Welfare Act or relieved of this duty by the court under paragraph (c), when the agency determines that it is necessary to prepare for the permanent placement determination hearing, 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.

(e) The Department of Human Services shall develop a best practices guide and specialized staff training to assist the responsible social services agency in performing and complying with the relative search requirements under this subdivision.

Sec. 35.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260C.212, subdivision 7, is amended to read:

Subd. 7.

Administrative or court review of placements.

(a) There shall be an administrative review of the out-of-home placement plan of each child placed in foster care no later than 180 days after the initial placement of the child in foster care and at least every six months thereafter if the child is not returned to the home of the parent or parents within that time. The out-of-home placement plan must be monitored and updated at each administrative review. The administrative review shall be conducted by the responsible social services agency using a panel of appropriate persons at least one of whom is not responsible for the case management of, or the delivery of services to, either the child or the parents who are the subject of the review. The administrative review shall be open to participation by the parent or guardian of the child and the child, as appropriate.

(b) As an alternative to the administrative review required in paragraph (a), the court may, as part of any hearing required under the Minnesota Rules of Juvenile Protection Procedure, conduct a hearing to monitor and update the out-of-home placement plan pursuant to the procedure and standard in section 260C.201, subdivision 6, paragraph (d). The party requesting review of the out-of-home placement plan shall give parties to the proceeding notice of the request to review and update the out-of-home placement plan. A court review conducted pursuant to section 260C.193; 260C.201, subdivision 1 or 11; 260C.141, subdivision 2 or 2a, clause (2); or 260C.317 shall satisfy the requirement for the review so long as the other requirements of this section are met.

(c) As appropriate to the stage of the proceedings and relevant court orders, the responsible social services agency or the court shall review:

(1) the safety, permanency needs, and well-being of the child;

(2) the continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement;

(3) the extent of compliance with the out-of-home placement plan;

(4) the extent of progress which has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care;

(5) the projected date by which the child may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed permanently away from the care of the parent or parents or guardian; and

(6) the appropriateness of the services provided to the child.

(d) When a child is age 16 or older, in addition to any administrative review conducted by the agency, at the review required under section 260C.201, subdivision 11, paragraph (d), clause (3), item (iii); or 260C.317, subdivision 3, clause (3), the court shall review the independent living plan required under subdivision 1, paragraph (c), clause (8), and the provision of services to the child related to the well-being of the child as the child prepares to leave foster care. The review shall include the actual plans related to each item in the plan necessary to the child's future safety and well-being when the child is no longer in foster care.

(1) At the court review, the responsible social services agency shall establish that it has given the notice required under Minnesota Rules, part 9560.0060, regarding the right to continued access to services for certain children in foster care past age 18 and of the right to appeal a denial of social services under section 256.245. If the agency is unable to establish that the notice, including the right to appeal a denial of social services, has been given, the court shall require the agency to give it.

(2) The court shall make findings regarding progress toward or accomplishment of the following goals:

(i) the child has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent;

(ii) the child has completed a driver's education course or has demonstrated the ability to use public transportation in the child's community;

(iii) the child is employed or enrolled in postsecondary education;

(iv) the child has applied for and obtained postsecondary education financial aid for which the child is eligible;

(v) the child has health care coverage and health care providers to meet the child's physical and mental health needs;

(vi) the child has applied for and obtained disability income assistance for which the child is eligible;

(vii) the child has obtained affordable housing with necessary supports, which does not include a homeless shelter;

(viii) the child has saved sufficient funds to pay for the first month's rent and a damage deposit;

(ix) the child has an alternative affordable housing plan, which does not include a homeless shelter, if the original housing plan is unworkable;

(x) the child, if male, has registered for the Selective Service; and

(xi) the child has a permanent connection to a caring adult.

(3) The court shall ensure that the responsible agency in conjunction with the placement provider assists the child in obtaining the following documents prior to the child's leaving foster care: a Social Security card; the child's birth certificate; a state identification card or driver's license, green card, or school visa; the child's school, medical, and dental records; a contact list of the child's medical, dental, and mental health providers; and contact information for the child's siblings, if the siblings are in foster care.

(e) When a child is age 17 or older, during the 90-day period immediately prior to the date the child is expected to be discharged from foster care, the responsible social services agency is required to provide the child with assistance and support in developing a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child. The transition plan must be as detailed as the child may elect and include specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and work force supports and employment services.

Sec. 36.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260D.02, subdivision 5, is amended to read:

Subd. 5.

Child in voluntary foster care for treatment.

"Child in voluntary foster care for treatment" means a child who is emotionally disturbed or developmentally disabled or has a related condition and is in foster care under a voluntary foster care agreement between the child's parent and the agency due to concurrence between the agency and the parent that the child's level of care requires placement in foster care either when it is determined that foster care is medically necessary:

(1) due to a determination by the agency's screening team based on its review of the diagnostic and functional assessment under section 245.4885; or

(2) due to a determination by the agency's screening team under section 256B.092 and Minnesota Rules, parts 9525.0004 to 9525.0016.

A child is not in voluntary foster care for treatment under this chapter when there is a current determination under section 626.556 that the child requires child protective services or when the child is in foster care for any reason other than the child's emotional or developmental disability or related condition.

Sec. 37.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 260D.03, subdivision 1, is amended to read:

Subdivision 1.

Voluntary foster care.

When the agency's screening team, based upon the diagnostic and functional assessment under section 245.4885 or medical necessity screenings under section 256B.092, subdivision 7, determines the child's need for treatment due to emotional disturbance or developmental disability or related condition requires foster care placement of the child, a voluntary foster care agreement between the child's parent and the agency gives the agency legal authority to place the child in foster care.

Sec. 38.

Minnesota Statutes 2008, section 484.76, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Scope.

Alternative dispute resolution methods provided for under the rules must include arbitration, private trials, neutral expert fact-finding, mediation, minitrials, consensual special magistrates including retired judges and qualified attorneys to serve as special magistrates for binding proceedings with a right of appeal, and any other methods developed by the Supreme Court. The methods provided must be nonbinding unless otherwise agreed to in a valid agreement between the parties. Alternative dispute resolution may not be required in guardianship, conservatorship, or civil commitment matters; proceedings in the juvenile court under chapter 260; or in matters arising under section 144.651, 144.652, 518B.01, or 626.557.

Sec. 39.

REPEALER.

Minnesota Rules, parts 9560.0081; 9560.0083, subparts 1, 5, and 6; and 9560.0091, subpart 4, item C, are repealed.

Presented to the governor May 20, 2009

Signed by the governor May 22, 2009, 4:02 p.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569