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256N.20 NORTHSTAR CARE FOR CHILDREN; GENERALLY.

Subdivision 1.Eligibility.

A child is eligible for Northstar Care for Children if the child is eligible for:

(1) foster care under section 256N.21;

(2) Northstar kinship assistance under section 256N.22; or

(3) adoption assistance under section 256N.23.

Subd. 2.Assessments.

Except as otherwise specified, a child eligible for Northstar Care for Children shall receive an assessment under section 256N.24.

Subd. 3.Agreements.

When a child is eligible for Northstar kinship assistance or adoption assistance, negotiations with caregivers and the development of a written, binding agreement must be conducted under section 256N.25.

Subd. 4.Benefits and payments.

A child eligible for Northstar Care for Children is entitled to benefits specified in section 256N.26, based primarily on assessments under section 256N.24, and, if appropriate, negotiations and agreements under section 256N.25. Although paid to the caregiver, these benefits must be considered benefits of the child rather than of the caregiver.

Subd. 5.Federal, state, and local shares.

The cost of Northstar Care for Children must be shared among the federal government, state, counties of financial responsibility, and certain tribes as specified in section 256N.27.

Subd. 6.Administration and appeals.

The commissioner and financially responsible agency, or other agency designated by the commissioner, shall administer Northstar Care for Children according to section 256N.28. The notification and fair hearing process applicable to this chapter is defined in section 256N.28.

Subd. 7.Transition.

A child in foster care, relative custody assistance, or adoption assistance prior to January 1, 2015, who remains with the same caregivers, continues to receive benefits under programs preceding Northstar Care for Children, unless the child moves to a new foster care placement, permanency is obtained for the child, or the commissioner initiates transition of a child receiving pre-Northstar Care for Children relative custody assistance, Northstar kinship assistance, or adoption assistance under this chapter. Provisions for the transition to Northstar Care for Children for certain children in preceding programs are specified in section 256N.28, subdivisions 2 and 7. Additional provisions for children in: foster care are specified in section 256N.21, subdivision 6; relative custody assistance under section 257.85 are specified in section 256N.22, subdivision 12; and adoption assistance under chapter 259A are specified in section 256N.23, subdivision 13.