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HB 53: "An Act relating to child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; amending the construction of statutes pertaining to children in need of aid; relating to a duty and standard of care for services to children and families; amending court hearing procedures to allow public attendance at child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; establishing a right to a trial by jury in termination of parental rights proceedings; reestablishing and relating to state and local citizens' review panels for certain child custody matters; amending the duty to disclose information pertaining to a child in need of aid; establishing a distribution age for permanent fund dividends held in trust for a child committed to the custody of the Department of Health and Social Services; mandating reporting of the medication of children in state custody; prescribing the rights of grandparents related to child-in-need-of-aid cases and establishing a grandparent priority for adoption in certain child-in-need-of-aid cases; modifying adoption and placement procedures in certain child-in-need-of-aid cases; amending treatment service requirements for parents involved in child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; amending Rules 3 and 18, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure; and providing for an effective date."

00                              HOUSE BILL NO. 53                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; amending the construction of                                      
02 statutes pertaining to children in need of aid; relating to a duty and standard of care for                             
03 services to children and families; amending court hearing procedures to allow public                                    
04 attendance at child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; establishing a right to a trial by jury in                              
05 termination of parental rights proceedings; reestablishing and relating to state and local                              
06 citizens' review panels for certain child custody matters; amending the duty to disclose                                
07 information pertaining to a child in need of aid; establishing a distribution age for                                   
08 permanent fund dividends held in trust for a child committed to the custody of the                                      
09 Department of Health and Social Services; mandating reporting of the medication of                                      
10 children in state custody; prescribing the rights of grandparents related to child-in-                                  
11 need-of-aid cases and establishing a grandparent priority for adoption in certain child-                                
12 in-need-of-aid cases; modifying adoption and placement procedures in certain child-in-                                  
01 need-of-aid cases; amending treatment service requirements for parents involved in                                      
02 child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; amending Rules 3 and 18, Alaska Child in Need of Aid                                  
03 Rules of Procedure; and providing for an effective date."                                                               
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1.  AS 25.23 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                 
06            Sec. 25.23.127.  Grandparent's preference to adopt.  Notwithstanding a                                     
07       child's stated preference under AS 25.23.125 and 25.23.040(a)(5), a grandparent who                               
08       has had physical custody of a child for at least two consecutive years when the                                   
09       parental rights to the child have been terminated under AS 47.10.080(c)(3), shall be                              
10       permitted to adopt the child before any other person upon the filing of a petition by the                         
11       grandparent under AS 25.23.080 unless the court finds that the grandparent is not fit to                          
12       raise the child.                                                                                                  
13    * Sec. 2.  AS 47.10.005 is amended to read:                                                                        
14            Sec. 47.10.005.  Construction.  The provisions of this chapter shall be                                    
15       liberally construed to                                                                                            
16                 (1)  achieve the end that a child coming within the jurisdiction of the                             
17       court under this chapter may receive the care, guidance, treatment, and control that                              
18       will promote the child's welfare;                                                                             
19                 (2)  recognize that a parent possesses inherent individual rights to                                
20       direct and control the education and upbringing of the parent's child;                                        
21                 (3)  promote and protect the safety, welfare, health, and good of                                   
22       children, grandparents, and relatives living in the state;                                                    
23                 (4)  benefit future generations;                                                                    
24                 (5)  bring fairness and equality to biological family members and                                   
25       children in the state; and                                                                                    
26                 (6)  recognize that a parent is held to a standard of care and that                                 
27       the state must be held to the same standard.                                                                  
28    * Sec. 3.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
29            Sec. 47.10.025.  Biological grandparent's rights.  (a)  A biological                                     
30       grandparent of a child who has been adjudicated a child in need of aid under this                                 
01       chapter may initiate special proceedings by filing a petition to obtain custody of the                            
02       child if                                                                                                          
03                 (1)  one or both of the child's parents are dead; and                                                   
04                 (2)  the child has been abandoned by a remaining parent.                                                
05            (b)  In a proceeding initiated under (a) of this section, the court shall presume                            
06       that awarding custody to a biological grandparent is in the best interest of the child.  A                        
07       presumption under this subsection may be overcome by evidence of abuse, neglect, or                               
08       other harm to the child attributable to the biological grandparent.                                               
09            (c)  The department shall attempt to locate all living biological grandparents of                            
10       a child and to investigate the biological grandparent's ability to care for the child                             
11       before placing the child or approving an adoption of the child under this chapter.  The                           
12       department shall provide written notice to all identified biological grandparents of                              
13       their rights under this chapter and of the procedures necessary to gain custody of the                            
14       child.  The biological grandparents shall sign a receipt of the notice and, if the                                
15       biological grandparent is competent, state that the biological grandparent understands                            
16       the biological grandparent's right to initiate proceedings to gain custody of the child                           
17       and either intends or declines to proceed.                                                                        
18    * Sec. 4.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
19            Sec. 47.10.065.  Right to demand jury trial in certain cases.  A party has the                             
20       right to demand a jury trial for a hearing under this chapter on a petition to terminate                          
21       parental rights.  If a hearing to adjudicate whether a child is a child in need of aid                            
22       under AS 47.10.011 is consolidated with a hearing on a petition to terminate parental                             
23       rights, the right to a jury trial under this section applies only to the issue of whether                         
24       parental rights should be terminated after the court enters a finding under                                       
25       AS 47.10.080(a).  In this section, "party" has the meaning given in Rule 2, Alaska                                
26       Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure.                                                                          
27    * Sec. 5.  AS 47.10.070(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
28            (a)  The court may conduct the hearing on the petition in an informal manner.                                
29       The court shall give notice of the hearing to the department, and it may send a                                   
30       representative to the hearing.  The court shall also transmit a copy of the petition to the                       
31       department.  The department shall send notice of the hearing to the persons for whom                              
01       notice is required under AS 47.10.030(b) and to each grandparent of the child entitled                            
02       to notice under AS 47.10.030(d).  The department and the persons to whom the                                      
03       department must send notice of the hearing are entitled to be heard at the hearing.                               
04       However, the court may limit the presence of the foster parent or other out-of-home                               
05       care provider and of any grandparent of the child to the time during which the person's                           
06       testimony is being given if it is (1) in the best interest of the child; or (2) necessary to                      
07       protect the privacy interests of the parties and will not be detrimental to the child.  The                       
08       [PUBLIC SHALL BE EXCLUDED FROM THE HEARING, BUT THE] court, in its                                                
09       discretion, may exclude other [PERMIT] individuals from [TO ATTEND] a hearing                             
10       if their attendance is not compatible with the best interests of the child.                                   
11    * Sec. 6.  AS 47.10.070 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                              
12            (c)  The right of a grandparent to attend hearings under (a) of this section does                            
13       not affect the right of a grandparent to intervene in a proceeding under this chapter.                            
14            (d)  Nothing contained in this section limits the rights of grandparents under                               
15       this title.                                                                                                       
16    * Sec. 7.  AS 47.10.080(c) is amended to read:                                                                     
17            (c)  If the court finds that the child is a child in need of aid, the court shall                            
18                 (1)  order the child committed to the department for placement in an                                    
19       appropriate setting for a period of time not to exceed two years or in any event not to                       
20       extend past the date the child becomes 19 years of age, except that the department or                         
21       the child's guardian ad litem may petition for and the court may grant in a hearing                               
22                      (A)  one-year extensions of commitment that do not extend                                          
23            beyond the child's 19th birthday if the extension is in the best interests of the                            
24            child; and                                                                                                   
25                      (B)  an additional one-year period of state custody past [AGE]                                     
26            19 years of age if the continued state custody is in the best interests of the                           
27            person and the person consents to it;                                                                        
28                 (2)  order the child released to a parent, relative, or guardian of the                                 
29       child or to another suitable person, and, in appropriate cases, order the parent, relative,                       
30       guardian, or other person to provide medical or other care and treatment; if the court                            
31       releases the child, it shall direct the department to supervise the care and treatment                            
01       given to the child, but the court may dispense with the department's supervision if the                           
02       court finds that the adult to whom the child is released will adequately care for the                             
03       child without supervision; the department's supervision may not exceed two years or                               
04       in any event extend past the date the child reaches [AGE] 19 years of age, except that                        
05       the department or the child's guardian ad litem may petition for and the court may                                
06       grant in a hearing                                                                                                
07                      (A)  one-year extensions of supervision that do not extend                                         
08            beyond the child's 19th birthday if the extensions are in the best interests of the                          
09            child; and                                                                                                   
10                      (B)  an additional one-year period of supervision past age 19 if                                   
11            the continued supervision is in the best interests of the person and the person                              
12            consents to it; or                                                                                           
13                 (3)  unless a jury trial has been requested by a party, order, under                                
14       the grounds specified in (o) of this section or AS 47.10.088, the termination of                                  
15       parental rights and responsibilities of one or both parents and commit the child to the                           
16       custody of the department, and the department shall report quarterly to the court on                              
17       efforts being made to find a permanent placement for the child; if a jury trial has                           
18       been requested by a party, the court shall conduct a jury trial on the termination                            
19       of parental rights  under this section.                                                                       
20    * Sec. 8.  AS 47.10.080 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                              
21            (t)  The court may not terminate parental rights solely on the basis that the                                
22       parent did not complete treatment required of the parent by the department for                                    
23       reunification with the child if the parent can show, by a preponderance of the                                    
24       evidence, that the treatment required was unavailable to the parent and the department                            
25       did not provide the treatment.                                                                                    
26            (u)  A child may not be placed in a foster home known to the department as a                                 
27       home requesting adoption of a child before                                                                        
28                 (1)  30 days after the date of the first permanency hearing;                                            
29                 (2)  the decision of the department is made to seek termination of                                      
30       parental rights; and                                                                                              
31                 (3)  the court approves of the placement after a hearing.                                               
01            (v)  Within 60 days after the date a child is removed from the child's home by                               
02       the department, the department shall notify the appropriate local citizen out-of-home                             
03       care review panel established under AS 47.14.225.                                                                 
04            (w)  Within 60 days after a court orders a child committed to the department                                 
05       under (c) of this section and at a review under (f) or (l) of this section, the department                        
06       shall inform the parties about the local citizen out-of-home care review panel                                    
07       established under AS 47.14.225.                                                                                   
08            (x)  If the department applies for a permanent fund dividend for a child                                     
09       committed to the department under (c) of this section, the dividend shall be held in                              
10       trust for the child until the child is 18 years of age, regardless of whether the child is                        
11       adopted.                                                                                                        
12    * Sec. 9.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
13            Sec. 47.10.089.  Report of prescription drugs.  (a)  When a child is in the                                
14       custody of the department under AS 47.10.084 and the child is prescribed a                                        
15       psychotropic or other mental health medication, the department shall prepare a report.                            
16       The report must include the                                                                                       
17                 (1)  child's name and date of birth;                                                                    
18                 (2)  name and dosage of the medication;                                                                 
19                 (3)  condition or diagnosis for which the medication is prescribed;                                     
20                 (4)  name of the prescribing physician;                                                                 
21                 (5)  assessment of the child's caseworker pertaining to the child's                                     
22       response to the medication; and                                                                                   
23                 (6)  assessment of the child's caregiver pertaining to the child's                                      
24       response to the medication, if available.                                                                         
25            (b)  A report prepared under (a) of this section shall be distributed to the                                 
26       statewide supervisor of the caseworker of the child, the parent or guardian of the child,                         
27       and, to the extent allowed under applicable federal and state law, the intervening tribal                         
28       or tribal custodian for the child.                                                                                
29            (c)  A summary of the reports prepared under (a) of this section, excluding                                  
30       identifying information of a child, shall be distributed to members of the Senate and                             
31       House Health and Social Service Committees by March 1 of each year.                                               
01            (d)  In this section, "caregiver" includes a parent, grandparent, foster parent,                             
02       relative, teacher, or child care provider.                                                                        
03    * Sec. 10.  AS 47.10.092 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
04            (d)  The duty imposed on the department under (a) of this section to disclose                                
05       information to and make copies of documents available for inspection by state                                     
06       officials and employees upon proof that a parent has requested the assistance of the                              
07       state official or employee with respect to a child's case does not lapse when the                                 
08       parent's parental rights have been terminated with respect to the child.  However, the                            
09       duty does lapse after termination of the parent's parental rights if another parent or                            
10       legal guardian of the child subsequently files a notice with the department that the                              
11       assistance of the state official or employee is no longer requested.                                              
12    * Sec. 11.  AS 47.10.142 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
13            (i)  Within 60 days after a court orders a child committed to the department                                 
14       under this section, the department shall inform the parties about the local citizen out-                          
15       of-home care review panel established under AS 47.14.225.                                                         
16    * Sec. 12.  AS 47.10.960 is amended to read:                                                                       
17            Sec. 47.10.960.  Duty and standard of care [NOT] created.  The                                           
18       department shall adopt regulations establishing [NOTHING IN THIS TITLE                                        
19       CREATES] a duty and [OR] standard of care for services to children and their                                  
20       families being served under this chapter [AS 47.10].  The regulations must be                             
21       consistent in all relevant respects with the code of professional ethics and the                              
22       standards of practice for social workers adopted by the Board of Social Work                                  
23       Examiners under AS 08.95.                                                                                     
24    * Sec. 13.  AS 47.14.100(e) is amended to read:                                                                    
25            (e)  A child may not be placed in a foster home or in the care of an agency or                               
26       institution providing care for children if a relative by blood or marriage, family                            
27       friend, or neighbor requests placement of the child in the [RELATIVE'S] home of                           
28       the relative, family friend, or neighbor and the parent or guardian of the child                              
29       agrees to the placement. However, the department may retain custody of the child                              
30       and provide for its placement in the same manner as for other children if the                                     
31       department                                                                                                        
01                 (1)  makes a determination, supported by clear and convincing                                           
02       evidence, that placement of the child with the relative, family friend, or neighbor                           
03       will result in physical or mental injury; in making that determination, poverty,                                  
04       including inadequate or crowded housing, on the part of the [BLOOD] relative, family                          
05       friend, or neighbor is not considered prima facie evidence that physical or emotional                         
06       damage to the child will occur; this determination may be appealed to the superior                                
07       court to hear the matter de novo;                                                                                 
08                 (2)  determines that a member of the relative's, family friend's, or                                
09       neighbor's household who is 12 years of age or older was the perpetrator in a                                 
10       substantiated report of abuse under AS 47.17; or                                                                  
11                 (3)  determines that a member of the relative's, family friend's, or                                
12       neighbor's household who is 12 years of age or older is under arrest for, charged with,                       
13       has been convicted of, or has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of, a serious                           
14       offense; notwithstanding this paragraph, the department may place or continue the                                 
15       placement of a child at the relative's, family friend's, or neighbor's home if the                            
16       relative, family friend, or neighbor demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department                       
17       that conduct described in this paragraph occurred at least five years before the                                  
18       intended placement and the conduct                                                                                
19                      (A)  did not involve a victim who was under 18 years of age at                                     
20            the time of the conduct;                                                                                     
21                      (B)  was not a crime of domestic violence as defined in                                            
22            AS 18.66.990; and                                                                                            
23                      (C)  was not a violent crime under AS 11.41.100 - 11.41.455 or                                     
24            a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction having similar elements.                                          
25    * Sec. 14.  AS 47.14.100(f) is amended to read:                                                                  
26            (f)  If a blood relative of the child specified under (e) of this section exists and                         
27       agrees that the child should be placed elsewhere, before placement elsewhere, the                                 
28       department shall fully communicate the nature of the placement proceedings to the                                 
29       relative. Communication under this subsection shall be made in the relative's native                              
30       language, if necessary.  [NOTHING IN THIS SUBSECTION OR IN (e) OF THIS                                            
31       SECTION APPLIES TO CHILD PLACEMENT FOR ADOPTIVE PURPOSES.]                                                        
01    * Sec. 15.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
02            Sec. 47.14.205.  Citizens' Review Panel for Permanency Planning.  (a)                                      
03       There is created in the Department of Administration the Citizens' Review Panel for                               
04       Permanency Planning.  The state panel consists of five members appointed by the                                   
05       governor from among present members of local citizen out-of-home care review                                      
06       panels established under AS 47.14.225.  The governor shall appoint at least one state                             
07       panel member from each judicial district.  The governor may not appoint a person who                              
08       has committed a felony or violated AS 11.51.130 or a law with substantially similar                               
09       elements.                                                                                                         
10            (b)  Members of the state panel serve at the pleasure of the governor for                                    
11       staggered terms of three years or until their successors are appointed.                                           
12            (c)  The members of the state panel shall elect from among the members a                                     
13       chair who shall serve for one year.  Three members of the state panel constitute a                                
14       quorum for the transaction of business.  The panel may not take official action without                           
15       the affirmative vote of at least three of its members.                                                            
16            (d)  Members of the state panel are entitled to reimbursement for actual                                     
17       expenses necessary to perform their duties as state panel members.  The                                           
18       reimbursement may not exceed the amount of per diem and expenses authorized for                                   
19       boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180.                                                                        
20            (e)  The state panel shall meet twice annually.  Meetings may take place                                     
21       telephonically.                                                                                                   
22            (f)  The state panel may employ a program manager and two assistant                                          
23       managers who shall serve at the pleasure of the state panel.  The program manager                                 
24       shall employ staff as necessary to carry out the program manager's duties under state                             
25       panel directives and to provide clerical assistance to local panels.                                              
26    * Sec. 16.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
27            Sec. 47.14.215.  Duties of the state panel.  The state panel shall                                         
28                 (1)  by regulation adopt policies and procedures to carry out its duties                                
29       and to govern the performance of the duties of the local panels established under                                 
30       AS 47.14.225;                                                                                                     
31                 (2)  compile reports from the local panels;                                                             
01                 (3)  report annually to the governor by the 10th day of each regular                                    
02       session, concerning the activities of the state and local panels during the previous                              
03       fiscal year; the report must include the number of cases reviewed by each local panel,                            
04       a description of the characteristics of the children whose cases were reviewed by the                             
05       panels, the number of children reunited with their families, the number of children                               
06       placed in other permanent homes, and the timeliness of each review conducted under                                
07       AS 47.14.245; the report may contain other information on the experience of the local                             
08       panels.                                                                                                           
09    * Sec. 17.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
10            Sec. 47.14.225. Appointment of local panels.  (a) The governor shall appoint                               
11       a local citizen out-of-home care review panel for each judicial district composed of                              
12       five members and two alternates who are residents of the judicial district.  Members                              
13       shall serve three-year terms, except that, when a local panel is initially appointed, two                         
14       members shall be appointed for three-year terms, two members for two-year terms,                                  
15       and one member for a one-year term.  Alternates shall be appointed to three-year                                  
16       terms.                                                                                                            
17            (b)  The governor shall appoint persons to a local panel who have experience,                                
18       special knowledge, or a demonstrated interest in the welfare of children.  An out-of-                             
19       home care provider or a person employed by the court system, the department, the                                  
20       office of public advocacy, the Public Defender Agency, or the Department of Law                                   
21       may not serve as a member or alternate member of a local panel.  The governor may                                 
22       not appoint a person who has committed a felony or violated AS 11.51.130 or a law                                 
23       with substantially similar elements.                                                                              
24            (c)  The composition of a local panel must be reasonably representative of the                               
25       various social, economic, racial, ethnic, and cultural groups of the district from which                          
26       the members are appointed.                                                                                        
27            (d)  If the state panel determines that additional local panels are necessary in a                           
28       judicial district because of excessively large or complex caseloads for review or                                 
29       because of the demographics of cases, or determines that a local panel is not necessary                           
30       because of a reduced caseload, the governor may create or dissolve a local panel.  The                            
31       governor may not reduce the number of panels in a judicial district to fewer than one.                            
01       Appointments to a panel established under this subsection are governed by (a) - (c) of                            
02       this section.                                                                                                     
03            (e)  When a person is appointed to serve on a local panel, the person shall                                  
04       swear or affirm to keep confidential all information that comes before the local panel                            
05       except for nonidentifying case information included in a report to the state panel,                               
06       information for reports required under AS 47.17, or as required by court order for                                
07       good cause shown.  A local panel member may also share confidential information                                   
08       with other members of the local panel and staff who serve the local panel.                                        
09    * Sec. 18.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
10            Sec. 47.14.235.  Meetings; expenses.  (a) A local panel shall conduct its                                  
11       meetings in the judicial district in which its members reside.                                                    
12            (b)  The local panel shall elect one of its members to serve as chair for a term                             
13       of one year.                                                                                                      
14            (c)  A majority of the members of a local panel constitutes a quorum.  A panel                               
15       may not take official action without the affirmative vote of at least three of its                                
16       members.                                                                                                          
17            (d)  A local panel member is not eligible for travel expenses, per diem, or other                            
18       expenses for service on the local panel unless the state panel requires a local panel                             
19       member to travel to attend a meeting.  If the state panel requires a local panel member                           
20       to travel to attend a meeting, the local panel member is entitled to reimbursement for                            
21       actual expenses incurred by the member in attending the meeting, except that the                                  
22       reimbursement may not exceed the amount of per diem and expenses authorized for                                   
23       boards and commissions under AS 39.20.180.                                                                        
24    * Sec. 19.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
25            Sec. 47.14.245.  Duties of local panel.  (a)  A local panel shall review the case                          
26       plan of each child in the custody of the department who is in a placement other than                              
27       the child's own home under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or AS 47.14.100(c)                               
28       if the case is under the jurisdiction of a court in the judicial district served by the                           
29       panel.  A local panel may request a local panel in another judicial district to conduct a                         
30       review and make a report if that local panel is more convenient for the child and other                           
31       persons involved.                                                                                                 
01            (b)  The local panel shall review a case as required under 42 U.S.C. 671 - 675                               
02       (P.L. 96-272) within 180 days after the day the child is initially removed from the                               
03       child's home and every six months thereafter.  A court review may be substituted for a                            
04       review required under this subsection if the court review meets the requirements of                               
05       this subsection.                                                                                                  
06            (c)  At least 30 days before it begins a review, the local panel shall provide                               
07       written notice to the following persons that a review will be conducted and that each                             
08       person notified may participate in the review:                                                                    
09                 (1)  the department;                                                                                    
10                 (2)  the child or the child's legal representative;                                                     
11                 (3)  the child's parents;                                                                               
12                 (4)  the child's guardian;                                                                              
13                 (5)  the child's guardian ad litem;                                                                     
14                 (6)  the child's out-of-home care provider; and                                                         
15                 (7)  if the case is governed by 25 U.S.C. 1901 - 1963 (Indian Child                                     
16       Welfare Act of 1978),                                                                                             
17                      (A)  the child's Indian custodian; and                                                             
18                      (B)  the designated representative of the child's Indian tribe if                                  
19            the tribe has intervened in the case.                                                                        
20            (d)  In reviewing a case, the local panel shall consider the case plan and any                               
21       progress report of the department or the child's guardian ad litem, court records, and                            
22       other relevant information about the child and the child's family.  The local panel shall                         
23       also provide to the following persons an opportunity to be interviewed by the panel in                            
24       person or by telephone or to provide written material to the panel:                                               
25                 (1)  the child whose case is being reviewed if the child is 10 years of                                 
26       age or older;                                                                                                     
27                 (2)  the parents, custodians, or other relatives of the child;                                          
28                 (3)  the child's out-of-home care provider;                                                             
29                 (4)  the child's guardian;                                                                              
30                 (5)  the child's guardian ad litem;                                                                     
31                 (6)  the case worker or social worker assigned to the case;                                             
01                 (7)  if the case is governed by 25 U.S.C. 1901 - 1963 (Indian Child                                     
02       Welfare Act of 1978),                                                                                             
03                      (A)  the child's Indian custodian; and                                                             
04                      (B)  the designated representative of the child's Indian tribe if                                  
05            the tribe has intervened in the case; and                                                                    
06                 (8)  other persons with a close personal knowledge of the case.                                         
07            (e)  At the discretion of the child's guardian ad litem, if the child whose case is                          
08       being reviewed is under 10 years of age, the child may be present at interviews                                   
09       conducted under (d) of this section and during review by the panel, or may be                                     
10       interviewed.  At the child's request, a child who is 10 years of age or older shall be                            
11       allowed to be present at interviews or a review of the local panel that concerns the                              
12       child's case unless the panel determines that, for good cause, the child's presence                               
13       would be contrary to the best interests of the child or there is other good cause for                             
14       denying the child's request.                                                                                      
15            (f)  During a review under (a) of this section, a local panel shall                                          
16                 (1)  determine whether the child has a case plan designed to achieve                                    
17       placement in the least restrictive, most family-like setting available in close proximity                         
18       to the home of the child's parents that is consistent with the best interests of and                              
19       special needs and circumstances of the child;                                                                     
20                 (2)  evaluate the continuing necessity and appropriateness of the child's                               
21       placement, the extent of the compliance with the child's case plan, and the extent of                             
22       progress that has been made toward mitigating the causes that necessitated placement                              
23       away from the child's parents;                                                                                    
24                 (3)  ascertain the date by which it is likely the child may be returned to                              
25       the home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship;                                                            
26                 (4)  determine whether there has been compliance with applicable                                        
27       provisions of 25 U.S.C. 1901 - 1963 (Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978) and other                                  
28       applicable state and federal laws; and                                                                            
29                 (5)  determine whether there has been compliance with court review                                      
30       requirements of AS 47.10.080(f) and (l) and 47.10.142(h).                                                         
31            (g)  The local panel shall, within 30 days after reviewing the case, submit a                                
01       written report to the persons listed in (c) of this section.                                                      
02            (h)  In drafting the report required under (g) of this section, the local panel                              
03       shall make advisory recommendations based on the best interests of the child in                                   
04       accordance with AS 47.10.082 and include notification of the right to request court                               
05       review under AS 47.10.080(f).  If the court has scheduled the case for review, the local                          
06       panel shall submit its report at least 20 days before the hearing.                                                
07            (i)  The local panel shall report to the state panel information needed by the                               
08       state panel to prepare the report required under AS 47.14.215.                                                    
09    * Sec. 20.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
10            Sec. 47.14.255.  Cooperation with state and local panels.  The department,                                 
11       the Department of Law, the Public Defender Agency, the office of public advocacy,                                 
12       and the court system shall cooperate with the state panel and the local panels to                                 
13       facilitate timely review of plans for children whose cases are under the jurisdiction of                          
14       the panels and to facilitate access to records required under AS 47.14.265.  If a timely                          
15       review is not made under this section, the local panel shall report to the state panel for                        
16       inclusion in the report made under AS 47.14.215(3).                                                               
17    * Sec. 21.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
18            Sec. 47.14.265.  Records; communications.  (a) Notwithstanding                                             
19       AS 47.10.090, at the request of a local panel, the department, the child's guardian ad                            
20       litem, and the court shall furnish to the local panel relevant records concerning a child                         
21       and the child's family who are the subjects of a local panel review.  At the conclusion                           
22       of a review, all copies of records provided to a local panel under this section shall be                          
23       returned to the staff that serves the local panel or to the agency from which the                                 
24       original copy was obtained, unless the panel members need the copies to prepare the                               
25       reports required under AS 47.14.245(g) - (i).  Copies retained for preparation of the                             
26       reports shall be returned to the staff that serves the local panel or to the originating                          
27       agency upon completion of the reports.  Notwithstanding AS 44.62.310, records and                                 
28       reports of the local panel, testimony before the local panel, and deliberations of the                            
29       local panel are confidential under AS 47.10.090.                                                                  
30            (b)  A local panel member may not reveal to another person, other than another                               
31       member of the local panel or the staff serving the local panel, a communication made                              
01       to the member while performing the member's duties under AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295,                                
02       except as required under AS 47.17 or as required by court order for good cause shown.                             
03       A local panel member may share with the state panel communications made during the                                
04       local panel member's performance of official duties if the local panel member omits                               
05       identifying information.                                                                                          
06            (c)  A local panel proceeding is not governed by AS 44.62.310.                                               
07    * Sec. 22.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                    
08            Sec. 47.14.275.  Court review of report.  (a)  When a report is admissible                                 
09       under court rules, the court may consider the report of the local panel in its review                             
10       under AS 47.10.080(f) and at other disposition hearings other than hearings related to                            
11       delinquency proceedings.                                                                                          
12            (b)  The court may refer to the local panel a case called for a special review                               
13       under AS 47.10.080(f).                                                                                            
14    * Sec. 23.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                    
15            Sec. 47.14.285.  Indemnification of panel members.  A state panel member                                   
16       and a local panel member shall be indemnified by the state for civil liability for a                              
17       negligent act or omission of the panel member that occurs in the performance of the                               
18       member's duties under AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295, unless the civil liability results from                           
19       the panel member's violation of                                                                                   
20                 (1)  AS 47.14.265(b); or                                                                                
21                 (2)  the oath or affirmation required under AS 47.14.225(e).                                            
22    * Sec. 24.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                    
23            Sec. 47.14.295.  Definitions.  In AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295,                                                
24                 (1)  "local panel" means a local citizen out-of-home care review panel                                  
25       appointed under AS 47.14.225;                                                                                     
26                 (2)  "out-of-home care provider" means an agency or a person, other                                     
27       than the child's legal parents, with whom the child is currently placed and who is in                             
28       the custody of the state under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or                                           
29       AS 47.14.100(c), including a foster parent, a relative other than a parent, a person who                          
30       has petitioned for adoption of the child, or a residential child care facility;                                   
31                 (3)  "state panel" means the Citizens' Review Panel for Permanency                                      
01       Planning established under AS 47.14.205.                                                                          
02    * Sec. 25.  AS 47.17.027(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
03            (a)  If the department or a law enforcement agency provides written                                          
04       certification to the child's school officials that (1) there is reasonable cause to suspect                       
05       that the child has been abused or neglected by a person responsible for the child's                               
06       welfare or as a result of conditions created by a person responsible for the child's                              
07       welfare; (2) an interview at school is a necessary part of an investigation to determine                          
08       whether the child has been abused or neglected; and (3) the interview at school is in                             
09       the best interests of the child, school officials shall permit the child to be interviewed                        
10       at school by the department or a law enforcement agency before notification of, or                                
11       receiving permission from, the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. A school official                          
12       shall be present during an interview at the school unless the child objects or the                                
13       department or law enforcement agency determines that the presence of the school                                   
14       official will interfere with the investigation.  The interview shall be conducted as                          
15       required under AS 47.17.033.  Immediately after conducting an interview authorized                            
16       under this section, and after informing the child of the intention to notify the child's                          
17       parent, guardian, or custodian, the department or agency shall make every reasonable                              
18       effort to notify the child's parent, guardian, or custodian that the interview occurred                           
19       unless it appears to the department or agency that notifying the child's parent,                                  
20       guardian, or custodian would endanger the child.                                                                  
21    * Sec. 26.  AS 47.17.033 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
22                 (c)  An investigation by the department of child abuse or neglect                                       
23       reported under this chapter shall be conducted by a person trained to conduct a child                             
24       abuse and neglect investigation and without subjecting a child to more than one                                   
25       interview about the abuse or neglect except when new information is obtained that                                 
26       requires further information from the child.                                                                      
27    * Sec. 27.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
28 read:                                                                                                                   
29            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 3(f), Alaska Child in Need of                                             
30       Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                       
31            (f)  General Public Included [EXCLUDED].  Hearings are [NOT] open to                                     
01       the public.  However, the court may, after due consideration for the welfare of the                               
02       child and the family, exclude [ADMIT] specific individuals from [TO] a hearing.                         
03    * Sec. 28.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
04 read:                                                                                                                   
05            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 3, Alaska Child in Need of                                                
06       Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
07            (j)  Use of Child's Name and Identifying Information Prohibited.                                           
08       References to a child shall be made using the child's first name only.  All identifying                           
09       information of the child, including the child's last name, address, and the names of the                          
10       child's immediate family members, shall be protected during the hearing so that only                              
11       the confidential record contains that information.  If a child appears at the hearing, the                        
12       child shall be located away from view of the public.                                                              
13    * Sec. 29.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
14 read:                                                                                                                   
15            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 18(e), Alaska Child in Need                                               
16       of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                    
17            (e)  Trial.  A trial on the petition to terminate parental rights                                          
18                 (1)  shall be held within six months after the date on which the petition                           
19       to terminate parental rights is filed, unless the court finds that good cause is shown for                        
20       a continuance; when [.  WHEN] determining whether to grant a continuance for good                             
21       cause, the court shall take into consideration the age of the child and the potential                             
22       adverse effect that the delay may have on the child; the [.  THE] court shall make                            
23       written findings when granting a continuance;                                                                 
24                 (2)  shall be by jury when a jury trial has been demanded and not                                   
25       waived by a party as provided in Rules 38 and 39, Alaska Rules of Civil                                       
26       Procedure.                                                                                                    
27    * Sec. 30.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
28 read:                                                                                                                   
29            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 18(g), Alaska Child in Need                                               
30       of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                    
31            (g)  Judgment.  The court shall make findings of fact for matters tried to the                         
01       court and shall enter an order within 90 days after the last day of trial on the petition                 
02       to terminate parental rights. The court shall commit the child to the custody of the                              
03       Department if parental rights are terminated.                                                                     
04    * Sec. 31.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
05 read:                                                                                                                   
06       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  AS 47.10.070(a), as amended by sec. 5                                             
07 of this Act, has the effect of changing Rule 3, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of                                    
08 Procedure, by allowing members of the public to attend court hearings except in certain                                 
09 circumstances.                                                                                                          
10    * Sec. 32.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  AS 47.10.065, enacted by sec. 4 of this                                           
13 Act, and AS 47.10.080(c), as amended by sec. 7 of this Act, have the effect of changing Rule                            
14 18, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by providing for a right to a jury trial on                         
15 a petition to terminate parental rights.                                                                                
16    * Sec. 33.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
17 read:                                                                                                                   
18       TWO-THIRDS VOTE NOT REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN AMENDMENTS.                                                              
19 Because the enactment of AS 47.10.065 and the amendments to AS 47.10.080(c) and Rules                                   
20 18(e) and 18(g), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, to the extent that the                                 
21 enactment and amendments provide a right to a jury trial on a petition to terminate parental                            
22 rights, affect a substantive right, secs. 4, 7, 29, and 30 of this Act do not require a two-thirds                      
23 vote of the legislature to confer the right to a jury trial on a petition to terminate parental                         
24 rights.                                                                                                                 
25    * Sec. 34.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
26 read:                                                                                                                   
27       INITIAL MEMBERS OF STATE PANEL.   Notwithstanding AS 47.14.205, enacted                                           
28 by sec. 15 of this Act, the governor shall appoint the initial public members of the Citizens'                          
29 Review Panel for Permanency Planning so that one serves a one-year term, two serve two-                                 
30 year terms, and two serve three-year terms.  The initial public members must be persons who                             
31 have experience, special knowledge, or a demonstrated interest in the welfare of children.                              
01    * Sec. 35.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
02 read:                                                                                                                   
03       APPLICABILITY.  (a)  AS 47.10.065, enacted by sec. 4 of this Act, 47.10.080(c), as                                
04 amended by sec. 7 of this Act, and Rules 18(e) and 18(g), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules                             
05 of Procedure, as amended by secs. 29 and 30 of this Act, apply to petitions to terminate                                
06 parental rights that are filed on or after the effective date of secs. 4, 7, 29, and 30 of this Act.                    
07       (b)  AS 47.10.070(a), as amended by sec. 5 of this Act, and Rule 3, Alaska Child in                               
08 Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, as amended by secs. 27 and 28 of this Act, apply to hearings                            
09 that are conducted on or after the effective date of secs. 5, 27, and 28 of this Act.                                   
10    * Sec. 36.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12       TRANSITION:  REGULATIONS.  The Department of Health and Social Services                                           
13 may proceed to adopt regulations necessary to implement AS 47.10.960 as amended by sec.                                 
14 12 of this Act.  The regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act),                             
15 but not before the effective date of sec. 12 of this Act.                                                               
16    * Sec. 37.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
17 read:                                                                                                                   
18       CONDITIONAL EFFECT.  (a)  Rules 18(e) and 18(g), Alaska Child in Need of Aid                                      
19 Rules of Procedure, as amended by secs. 29 and 30 of this Act, respectively, to the extent that                         
20 the amendments require adherence to the Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure or otherwise                                    
21 modify procedure, take effect only if secs. 29 and 30 of this Act receive the two-thirds                                
22 majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                          
23       (b)  The amendment of AS 47.10.070(a) made by sec. 5 of this Act and Rule 3, Alaska                               
24 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, as amended by secs. 27 and 28 of this Act, take                                
25 effect only if secs. 27 and 28 of this Act receive the two-thirds majority vote of each house                           
26 required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                      
27    * Sec. 38.  AS 47.10.960, as amended by sec. 12 of this Act, takes effect 180 days after the                       
28 effective date of secs. 1 - 11 of this Act.                                                                             
29    * Sec. 39.  Except as provided in sec. 38 of this Act, this Act takes effect immediately under                     
30 AS 01.10.070(c).