245A.035 Relative foster care; emergency license.
Subdivision 1. Grant of emergency license. Notwithstanding section 245A.03, subdivision 2a, a county agency may place a child for foster care with a relative who is not licensed to provide foster care, provided the requirements of subdivision 2 are met. As used in this section, the term "relative" has the meaning given it under section 260C.007, subdivision 27.
Subd. 2. Cooperation with emergency licensing process. (a) A county agency that places a child with a relative who is not licensed to provide foster care must begin the process of securing an emergency license for the relative as soon as possible and must conduct the initial inspection required by subdivision 3, clause (1), whenever possible, prior to placing the child in the relative's home, but no later than three working days after placing the child in the home. A child placed in the home of a relative who is not licensed to provide foster care must be removed from that home if the relative fails to cooperate with the county agency in securing an emergency foster care license. The commissioner may issue an emergency foster care license to a relative with whom the county agency wishes to place or has placed a child for foster care, or to a relative with whom a child has been placed by court order.
(b) If a child is to be placed in the home of a relative not licensed to provide foster care, either the placing agency or the county agency in the county in which the relative lives shall conduct the emergency licensing process as required in this section.
Subd. 3. Requirements for emergency license. Before an emergency license may be issued, the following requirements must be met:
(1) the county agency must conduct an initial inspection of the premises where the foster care is to be provided to ensure the health and safety of any child placed in the home. The county agency shall conduct the inspection using a form developed by the commissioner;
(2) at the time of the inspection or placement, whichever is earlier, the relative being considered for an emergency license shall receive an application form for a child foster care license;
(3) whenever possible, prior to placing the child in the relative's home, the relative being considered for an emergency license shall provide the information required by section 245A.04, subdivision 3, paragraph (b); and
(4) if the county determines, prior to the issuance of an emergency license, that anyone requiring a background study may be disqualified under section 245A.04, and the disqualification is one which the commissioner cannot set aside, an emergency license shall not be issued.
Subd. 4. Applicant study. When the county agency has received the information required by section 245A.04, subdivision 3, paragraph (b), the county agency shall begin an applicant study according to the procedures in section 245A.04, subdivision 3. The commissioner may issue an emergency license upon recommendation of the county agency once the initial inspection has been successfully completed and the information necessary to begin the applicant background study has been provided. If the county agency does not recommend that the emergency license be granted, the agency shall notify the relative in writing that the agency is recommending denial to the commissioner; shall remove any child who has been placed in the home prior to licensure; and shall inform the relative in writing of the procedure to request review pursuant to subdivision 6. An emergency license shall be effective until a child foster care license is granted or denied, but shall in no case remain in effect more than 120 days from the date of placement.
Subd. 5. Child foster care license application. The emergency license holder shall complete the child foster care license application and necessary paperwork within ten days of the placement. The county agency shall assist the emergency license holder to complete the application. The granting of a child foster care license to a relative shall be under the procedures in this chapter and according to the standards set forth by foster care rule. In licensing a relative, the commissioner shall consider the importance of maintaining the child's relationship with relatives as an additional significant factor in determining whether to set aside a licensing disqualifier under section 245A.04, subdivision 3b, or to grant a variance of licensing requirements under section 245A.04, subdivision 9.
Subd. 6. Denial of emergency license. If the commissioner denies an application for an emergency foster care license under this section, that denial must be in writing and must include reasons for the denial. Denial of an emergency license is not subject to appeal under chapter 14. The relative may request a review of the denial by submitting to the commissioner a written statement of the reasons an emergency license should be granted. The commissioner shall evaluate the request for review and determine whether to grant the emergency license. The commissioner's review shall be based on a review of the records submitted by the county agency and the relative. Within 15 working days of the receipt of the request for review, the commissioner shall notify the relative requesting review in written form whether the emergency license will be granted. The commissioner's review shall be based on a review of the records submitted by the county agency and the relative. A child shall not be placed or remain placed in the relative's home while the request for review is pending. Denial of an emergency license shall not preclude an individual from reapplying for an emergency license or from applying for a child foster care license. The decision of the commissioner is the final administrative agency action.