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CSSSHB 53(FIN): "An Act relating to child-in-need-of-aid proceedings; amending the construction of statutes pertaining to children in need of aid; relating to guardianships; relating to the confidentiality of investigations, court hearings, court records, and public agency records and information in child-in-need-of-aid matters and certain child protection matters, to immunity regarding disclosure of information in child-in-need-of-aid matters and certain child protection matters, to proceedings regarding voluntary relinquishment and termination of a parent and child relationship, to eligibility for permanent fund dividends for certain children in the custody of the state, and to juvenile delinquency proceedings and placements; reestablishing and relating to a state citizens' review panel; amending the obligation of a public agency to disclose agency information pertaining to a child in need of aid; relating to disclosure of confidential or privileged information about children and families involved with children's services within the Department of Health and Social Services to officials for review or use in official capacities; relating to reports of harm and to adoptions and foster care; relating to consent for the medication of children in state custody; prescribing the rights of family members related to child-in-need-of-aid cases and establishing a familial priority for adoption; modifying adoption and placement procedures in certain child-in-need-of-aid cases; amending Rules 9 and 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, Rules 3, 17.2, 18, and 22, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, and Rules 14 and 15, Alaska Rules of Probate Procedure; and providing for an effective date."

00            CS FOR SPONSOR SUBSTITUTE FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 53(FIN)                                                         
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 guardianships; relating to the                              
03 confidentiality of investigations, court hearings, court records, and public agency                                     
04 records and information in child-in-need-of-aid matters and certain child protection                                    
05 matters, to immunity regarding disclosure of information in child-in-need-of-aid matters                                
06 and certain child protection matters, to proceedings regarding voluntary relinquishment                                 
07 and termination of a parent and child relationship, to eligibility for permanent fund                                   
08 dividends for certain children in the custody of the state, and to juvenile delinquency                                 
09 proceedings and placements; reestablishing and relating to a state citizens' review panel;                              
10 amending the obligation of a public agency to disclose agency information pertaining to                                 
11 a child in need of aid; relating to disclosure of confidential or privileged information                                
12 about children and families involved with children's services within the Department of                                  
01 Health and Social Services to officials for review or use in official capacities; relating to                           
02 reports of harm and to adoptions and foster care; relating to consent for the medication                                
03 of children in state custody; prescribing the rights of family members related to child-in-                             
04 need-of-aid cases and establishing a familial priority for adoption; modifying adoption                                 
05 and placement procedures in certain child-in-need-of-aid cases; amending Rules 9 and                                    
06 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, Rules 3, 17.2, 18, and 22, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules                                 
07 of Procedure, and Rules 14 and 15, Alaska Rules of Probate Procedure; and providing                                     
08 for an effective date."                                                                                                 
09 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
10    * Section 1.  AS 13.26.055 is amended to read:                                                                     
11            Sec. 13.26.055.  Court appointment of guardian of minor; qualifications;                                   
12       priority of minor's nominee and adult family member.  The court may appoint as                              
13       guardian any adult [PERSON] whose appointment would be in the best interests of                               
14       the minor and is consistent with a priority given to an adult family member.  The                             
15       court shall appoint a person nominated by the minor, if the minor is 14 years of age or                           
16       older, unless the court finds the appointment contrary to the best interests of the minor.                        
17       In this section, "adult family member" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990.                                 
18    * Sec. 2.  AS 13.26 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
19            Sec. 13.26.064.  Guardianship after voluntary relinquishment; procedure.                                   
20       In addition to the applicable procedures under this chapter, a guardianship decree and                            
21       review of a guardianship decree are governed by the procedures established under                                  
22       AS 25.23.180 and, for a child-in-need-of-aid, AS 47.10.089, pertaining to voluntary                               
23       relinquishment of parental rights and retaining of parental privileges in a guardianship                          
24       decree.                                                                                                           
25    * Sec. 3.  AS 25.23 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
26            Sec. 25.23.127.  Adult family member preference to adopt.   Taking into                                    
27       consideration a child's stated preference under AS 25.23.125(a) and consent given                                 
28       under AS 25.23.040(a)(5), and unless the court finds that a petition to adopt the child                           
01       by an adult family member is contrary to the best interest of the child, the court shall                          
02       grant a petition to adopt a child by an adult family member who has had physical                                  
03       custody of the child for at least 12 consecutive months before the parental rights to the                         
04       child have been terminated.  In this section, "adult family member" has the meaning                               
05       given in AS 47.10.990.                                                                                            
06    * Sec. 4.  AS 25.23.180 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                              
07            (j)  In a relinquishment of parental rights executed under (a) of this section, a                            
08       parent may retain privileges with respect to the child, including the ability to have                             
09       future contact, communication, and visitation with the child.  A retained privilege                               
10       must be stated in writing with specificity.  Not less than 10 days after the                                      
11       relinquishment is signed, the court may enter an order terminating parental rights if the                         
12       court finds that termination of parental rights under the terms of the agreement is in                            
13       the child's best interest.  If a parent has retained one or more privileges, the court shall                      
14       incorporate the retained privileges into the termination order with a recommendation                              
15       that the retained privileges be incorporated in an adoption or legal guardianship                                 
16       decree.                                                                                                           
17            (k)  A voluntary relinquishment may not be withdrawn and a termination order                                 
18       may not be vacated on the ground that a retained privilege has been withheld from the                             
19       relinquishing parent or that the relinquishing parent has been unable, for any reason, to                         
20       act on a retained privilege, except as provided in Rule 60(b), Alaska Rules of Civil                              
21       Procedure.                                                                                                        
22            (l)  After a termination order is entered, a person who has voluntarily                                      
23       relinquished parental rights under this section may request a review hearing, upon a                              
24       showing of good cause, to seek enforcement or modification of or to vacate a privilege                            
25       retained in the termination order.  The court may modify, enforce, or vacate the                                  
26       retained privilege if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in the                        
27       best interest of the child to do so.                                                                              
28            (m)  After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or                             
29       legal guardianship decree, a prospective adoptive parent or a guardian of a child who                             
30       is the subject of an adoption decree may request, after providing notice as specified                             
31       under this subsection, that the court decline to incorporate a privilege retained in a                            
01       termination order and recommended for incorporation in an adoption or guardianship                                
02       decree under (j) of this section.  The request made under this subsection may only be                             
03       considered by the court after providing at least 20 days' notice by certified mail to the                         
04       last known address of the person who has voluntarily relinquished parental rights to                              
05       the child.  The notice under this subsection must describe the request and explain that                           
06       the recipient of the notice may submit a written statement under penalty of perjury to                            
07       the court that the recipient either agrees with or opposes the request.  The notice must                          
08       also include the deadline for submitting the statement and the mailing address of the                             
09       court.  The court may decline to incorporate a retained privilege if the person who                               
10       retained the privilege agrees with the request or if the court finds that it is in the child's                    
11       best interest.                                                                                                    
12            (n)  A person who relinquished parental rights is entitled to the appointment of                             
13       an attorney if a hearing is requested under (l) or (m) of this section to the same extent                         
14       as if the parent's rights had not been terminated in a child-in-need-of-aid proceeding.                           
15    * Sec. 5.  AS 43.23.005(f) is amended to read:                                                                     
16            (f)  The [IN A TIME OF NATIONAL MILITARY EMERGENCY, THE]                                                 
17       commissioner may waive the requirement of (a)(4) of this section for an individual                                
18       absent from the state                                                                                             
19                 (1)  in a time of national military emergency under military orders                                 
20       while serving in the armed forces of the United States, or for the spouse and                                     
21       dependents of that individual; or                                                                             
22                 (2)  while in the custody of the Department of Health and Social                                    
23       Services in accordance with a court order under AS 47.10 or AS 47.12 and placed                               
24       outside of the state by the Department of Health and Social Services for purposes                             
25       of medical or behavioral treatment.                                                                           
26    * Sec. 6.  AS 47.10.005 is amended to read:                                                                        
27            Sec. 47.10.005.  Construction.  The provisions of this chapter shall be                                    
28       liberally construed to                                                                                            
29                 (1)  achieve the end that a child coming within the jurisdiction of the                             
30       court under this chapter may receive the care, guidance, treatment, and control that                              
31       will promote the child's welfare and the parents' participation in the upbringing of                          
01       the child to the fullest extent consistent with the child's best interests; and                               
02                 (2)  follow the findings set out in AS 47.05.065.                                                   
03    * Sec. 7.  AS 47.10.020(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
04            (a)  Whenever circumstances subject a child to the jurisdiction of the court                                 
05       under AS 47.10.005 - 47.10.142, the court shall appoint a competent person or agency                              
06       to make a preliminary inquiry and report for the information of the court to determine                            
07       whether the best interests of the child require that further action be taken.  The court                      
08       shall make the appointment on its own motion or at the request of a person or                                 
09       agency having knowledge of the child's circumstances.  If, under this subsection,                             
10       the court appoints a person or agency to make a preliminary inquiry and to report to it,                          
11       or if the department is conducting an investigation of a report of child abuse or                             
12       neglect, the court may issue any orders necessary to aid the person, the agency,                              
13       or the department in its investigation or in making the preliminary inquiry and                               
14       report.  Upon [THEN, UPON THE] receipt of the report under this subsection, the                           
15       court may                                                                                                         
16                 (1)  close the matter without a court hearing;                                                          
17                 (2)  determine whether the best interests of the child require that further                             
18       action be taken; or                                                                                               
19                 (3)  authorize the person or agency having knowledge of the facts of the                                
20       case to file with the court a petition setting out the facts.                                                     
21    * Sec. 8.  AS 47.10.020 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
22            (e)  Nothing in this section requires the department to obtain authorization                                 
23       from the court before                                                                                             
24                 (1)  conducting an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect; or                              
25                 (2)  filing a petition.                                                                                 
26    * Sec. 9.  AS 47.10.070(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
27            (a)  The court may conduct the hearing on the petition in an informal manner.                                
28       The court shall give notice of the hearing to the department, and it may send a                                   
29       representative to the hearing.  The court shall also transmit a copy of the petition to the                       
30       department.  The department shall send notice of the hearing to the persons for whom                              
31       notice is required under AS 47.10.030(b) and to each grandparent of the child entitled                            
01       to notice under AS 47.10.030(d).  The department and the persons to whom the                                      
02       department must send notice of the hearing are entitled to be heard at the hearing.                               
03       Except as provided in (c) of this section, and unless prohibited by federal or state                          
04       law, court order, or court rule, a hearing is open to the public  [HOWEVER, THE                               
05       COURT MAY LIMIT THE PRESENCE OF THE FOSTER PARENT OR OTHER                                                        
06       OUT-OF-HOME CARE PROVIDER AND OF ANY GRANDPARENT OF THE                                                           
07       CHILD TO THE TIME DURING WHICH THE PERSON'S TESTIMONY IS BEING                                                    
08       GIVEN IF IT IS (1) IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD; OR (2)                                                      
09       NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY INTERESTS OF THE PARTIES                                                         
10       AND WILL NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHILD.  THE PUBLIC SHALL BE                                                    
11       EXCLUDED FROM THE HEARING, BUT THE COURT, IN ITS DISCRETION,                                                      
12       MAY PERMIT INDIVIDUALS TO ATTEND A HEARING IF THEIR                                                               
13       ATTENDANCE IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE                                                           
14       CHILD].                                                                                                           
15    * Sec. 10.  AS 47.10.070 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
16            (c)  Except as provided in (e) of this section, the following hearings in child-in-                          
17       need-of-aid cases are closed to the public:                                                                       
18                 (1)  the initial court hearing after the filing of a petition to commence                               
19       the child-in-need-of-aid case;                                                                                    
20                 (2)  a hearing following the initial hearing in which a parent, child, or                               
21       other party to the case is present but has not had an opportunity to obtain legal                                 
22       representation;                                                                                                   
23                 (3)  a hearing, or a part of a hearing, for which the court issues a written                            
24       order finding that allowing the hearing, or part of the hearing, to be open to the public                         
25       would reasonably be expected to                                                                                   
26                      (A)  stigmatize or be emotionally damaging to a child;                                             
27                      (B)  inhibit a child's testimony in that hearing;                                                  
28                      (C)  disclose matters otherwise required to be kept confidential                                   
29            by state or federal statute or regulation, court order, or court rule; or                                    
30                      (D)  interfere with a criminal investigation or proceeding or a                                    
31            criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a criminal proceeding; before ruling                           
01            on a request under this subparagraph, the court shall give notice and an                                     
02            opportunity to be heard to the state or a municipal agency that is assigned to                               
03            the criminal investigation or to the prosecuting attorney.                                                   
04            (d)  If a hearing, or part of a hearing, in a child-in-need-of-aid case is not                               
05       closed under (c) of this section, the court shall hear in camera any information offered                          
06       regarding the location, or readily leading to the location, of a parent, child, or other                          
07       party to the case who is a victim of domestic violence or whose safety or welfare may                             
08       be endangered by public release of the information.  Access to testimony heard in                                 
09       camera under this subsection is limited to the court and authorized court personnel.                              
10            (e)  The grandparents of the child and an out-of-home care provider may attend                               
11       hearings that are otherwise closed to the public under (c) of this section.  However, the                         
12       court shall limit the presence of these persons in a hearing closed to the public to the                          
13       time during which the person's testimony is being given if the court determines that                              
14       the limitation is necessary under (c)(3) of this section.                                                         
15            (f)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person attending a                               
16       hearing open to the public may not disclose a name, picture, or other information that                            
17       would readily lead to the identification of a child who is the subject of the child-in-                           
18       need-of-aid case.  At the beginning of the hearing, the court shall issue an order                                
19       specifying the restrictions necessary to comply with this subsection.  If a person                                
20       violates the order, the court may impose any appropriate sanction, including contempt                             
21       and closure of any further hearings to the person.                                                                
22    * Sec. 11.  AS 47.10.080(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
23            (c)  If the court finds that the child is a child in need of aid, the court shall                            
24                 (1)  order the child committed to the department for placement in an                                    
25       appropriate setting for a period of time not to exceed two years or in any event not to                       
26       extend past the date the child becomes 19 years of age, except that the department or                         
27       the child's guardian ad litem may petition for and the court may grant in a hearing                               
28                      (A)  one-year extensions of commitment that do not extend                                          
29            beyond the child's 19th birthday if the extension is in the best interests of the                            
30            child; and                                                                                                   
31                      (B)  an additional one-year period of state custody past [AGE]                                     
01            19 years of age if the continued state custody is in the best interests of the                           
02            person and the person consents to it;                                                                        
03                 (2)  order the child released to a parent, adult family member                                      
04       [RELATIVE], or guardian of the child or to another suitable person, and, in                                       
05       appropriate cases, order the parent, adult family member [RELATIVE], guardian, or                             
06       other person to provide medical or other care and treatment; if the court releases the                            
07       child, it shall direct the department to supervise the care and treatment given to the                            
08       child, but the court may dispense with the department's supervision if the court finds                            
09       that the adult to whom the child is released will adequately care for the child without                           
10       supervision; the department's supervision may not exceed two years or in any event                                
11       extend past the date the child reaches [AGE] 19 years of age, except that the                                 
12       department or the child's guardian ad litem may petition for and the court may grant in                           
13       a hearing                                                                                                         
14                      (A)  one-year extensions of supervision that do not extend                                         
15            beyond the child's 19th birthday if the extensions are in the best interests of the                          
16            child; and                                                                                                   
17                      (B)  an additional one-year period of supervision past [AGE] 19                                    
18            years of age if the continued supervision is in the best interests of the person                         
19            and the person consents to it; or                                                                            
20                 (3)  order, under the grounds specified in (o) of this section or                                       
21       AS 47.10.088, the termination of parental rights and responsibilities of one or both                              
22       parents and commit the child to the custody of the department, and the department                                 
23       shall report quarterly to the court on efforts being made to find a permanent placement                           
24       for the child.                                                                                                    
25    * Sec. 12.  AS 47.10.080(l) is amended to read:                                                                    
26            (l)  Within 12 months after the date a child enters foster care as calculated                                
27       under AS 47.10.088(f), the court shall hold a permanency hearing. The hearing and                                 
28       permanent plan developed in the hearing are governed by the following provisions:                                 
29                 (1)  the persons entitled to be heard under AS 47.10.070 or under (f) of                                
30       this section are also entitled to be heard at the hearing held under this subsection;                             
31                 (2)  when establishing the permanent plan for the child, the court shall                                
01       make appropriate written findings, including findings related to whether                                          
02                      (A)  and when the child should be returned to the parent or                                        
03            guardian;                                                                                                    
04                      (B)  the child should be placed for adoption or legal                                              
05            guardianship and whether a petition for termination of parental rights should be                             
06            filed by the department; and                                                                                 
07                      (C)  the child should be placed in another planned, permanent                                      
08            living arrangement and what steps are necessary to achieve the new                                           
09            arrangement;                                                                                                 
10                 (3)  if the court is unable to make a finding required under (2) of this                                
11       subsection, the court shall hold another hearing within a reasonable period of time;                              
12                 (4)  in addition to the findings required by (2) of this subsection, the                                
13       court shall also make appropriate written findings related to                                                     
14                      (A)  whether the department has made the reasonable efforts                                        
15            required under AS 47.10.086 to offer appropriate family support services to                                  
16            remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home that made                                
17            the child a child in need of aid under this chapter;                                                         
18                      (B)  whether the parent or guardian has made substantial                                           
19            progress to remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home                              
20            that made the child a child in need of aid under this chapter; [AND]                                         
21                      (C)  if the permanent plan is for the child to remain in out-of-                                   
22            home-care, whether the child's out-of-home placement continues to be                                         
23            appropriate and in the best interests of the child; and                                                  
24                      (D)  whether the department has made reasonable efforts to                                     
25            finalize the permanent plan for the child;                                                               
26                 (5)  the court shall hold a hearing to review the permanent plan at least                               
27       annually until successful implementation of the plan; if the plan approved by the court                           
28       changes after the hearing, the department shall promptly apply to the court for another                           
29       permanency hearing, and the court shall conduct the hearing within 30 days after                                  
30       application by the department.                                                                                    
31    * Sec. 13.  AS 47.10.080(p) is amended to read:                                                                  
01            (p)  If a child is removed from the parental home, the department shall provide                              
02       reasonable visitation between the child and the child's parents, guardian, and family.                            
03       When determining what constitutes reasonable visitation with a family member, the                                 
04       department shall consider the nature and quality of the relationship that existed                                 
05       between the child and the family member before the child was committed to the                                     
06       custody of the department.  The court may require the department to file a visitation                             
07       plan with the court.  The department may deny visitation to the parents, guardian, or                             
08       family members if there is clear and convincing evidence that visits are not in the                               
09       child's best interests.  If the department denies visitation to a parent or family                            
10       member of a child, the department shall inform the parent or family member of a                               
11       reason for the denial and of the parent's or adult family member's right to                                   
12       request a review hearing as an interested person.  A parent, adult family member,                         
13       or guardian who is denied visitation may request a review hearing.  A non-party                               
14       adult family member requesting a review hearing under this subsection is not                                  
15       eligible for publicly appointed legal counsel.                                                                
16    * Sec. 14.  AS 47.10.080 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
17            (t)  The court may not terminate parental rights solely on the basis that the                                
18       parent did not complete treatment required of the parent by the department for                                    
19       reunification with the child if the treatment required was unavailable to the parent and                          
20       the department did not provide the treatment.                                                                     
21            (u)  For a child who is placed in foster care, when the department finds that it                             
22       is in the best interest of a child and that the foster family will not be placed in undue                         
23       risk of harm, the department shall require foster parents to provide regular                                      
24       opportunities for visitation with the child by the parents of the child and encourage                             
25       foster parents to serve as mentors for facilitating family reunification.                                         
26            (v)  A hearing conducted under this section is open to the public unless an                                  
27       exception provided in AS 47.10.070(c) applies to make the hearing closed to the                                   
28       public or unless prohibited by federal or state statute or regulation.                                            
29    * Sec. 15.  AS 47.10.084(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
30            (c)  When there has been transfer of legal custody or appointment of a guardian                              
31       and parental rights have not been terminated by court decree, the parents shall have                              
01       residual rights and responsibilities.  These residual rights and responsibilities of the                          
02       parent include, but are not limited to, the right and responsibility of reasonable                                
03       visitation, consent to adoption, consent to marriage, consent to military enlistment,                             
04       consent to major medical treatment except in cases of emergency or cases falling                                  
05       under AS 25.20.025, and the responsibility for support, except if by court order any                              
06       residual right and responsibility has been delegated to a guardian under (b) of this                              
07       section.  In this subsection, "major medical treatment" includes the                                          
08       administration of medication used to treat a mental health disorder.                                          
09    * Sec. 16.  AS 47.10.088(i) is amended to read:                                                                    
10            (i)  The department shall concurrently identify, recruit, process, and approve a                             
11       qualified person or family for an adoption whenever a petition to terminate a parent's                            
12       rights to a child is filed.  Before identifying a placement of the child in an adoptive                       
13       home, the department shall attempt to locate all living adult family members of                               
14       the child and, if an adult family member expresses an interest in adopting the                                
15       child, investigate the adult family member's ability to care for the child.  The                              
16       department shall provide to all adult family members of the child located by the                              
17       department written notice of the adult family members' rights under this chapter                              
18       and of the procedures necessary to gain custody of the child, but the                                         
19       department's obligation to provide written notice under this subsection does not                              
20       apply to a parent of the child whose parental rights are being or have been                                   
21       terminated or to an adult family member who is known by the department to be                                  
22       ineligible for a foster care license under AS 47.35.019 or 47.35.021.  If an adult                            
23       family member of the child requests that the department approve the adult                                     
24       family member for an adoption, the department shall approve the request unless                                
25       there is good cause not to approve the adoption.  If the court issues an order to                             
26       terminate under (j) of this section, the department shall report within 30 days on the                            
27       efforts being made to recruit a permanent placement for the child if a permanent                                  
28       placement was not approved at the time of the trial under (j) of this section.  The                               
29       report must document recruitment efforts made for the child.                                                      
30    * Sec. 17.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
31            Sec. 47.10.089.  Voluntary relinquishment of parental rights and                                           
01       responsibilities.  (a)  When a child is committed to the custody of the department                              
02       under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3) or released under AS 47.10.080(c)(2), the rights of a                             
03       parent with respect to the child, including parental rights to control the child, to                              
04       withhold consent to an adoption, or to receive notice of a hearing on a petition for                              
05       adoption, may be voluntarily relinquished to the department and the relationship of                               
06       parent and child terminated in a proceeding as provided under this section.                                       
07            (b)  A voluntary relinquishment must be in writing and signed by a parent,                                   
08       regardless of the age of the parent, in the presence of a representative of the                                   
09       department or in the presence of  a court of competent jurisdiction with the knowledge                            
10       and approval of the department.  A copy of the signed relinquishment shall be given to                            
11       the parent.                                                                                                       
12            (c)  A voluntary relinquishment may be withdrawn within 10 days after it is                                  
13       signed.  The relinquishment is invalid unless the relinquishment contains the right of                            
14       withdrawal as specified under this subsection.                                                                    
15            (d)  A parent may retain privileges with respect to the child, including the                                 
16       ability to have future contact, communication, and visitation with the child in a                                 
17       voluntary relinquishment executed under this section.  A retained privilege must be in                            
18       writing and stated with specificity.                                                                              
19            (e)  Not less than 10 days after a voluntary relinquishment is signed, the court                             
20       shall enter an order terminating parental rights if the court determines that termination                         
21       of parental rights under the terms of the relinquishment is in the child's best interest.                         
22       If a parent has retained one or more privileges under (d) of this section, the court shall                        
23       incorporate the retained privileges in the termination order with a recommendation                                
24       that the retained privileges be incorporated in an adoption or legal guardianship                                 
25       decree.                                                                                                           
26            (f)  A voluntary relinquishment may not be withdrawn and a termination order                                 
27       may not be vacated on the ground that a retained privilege has been withheld from the                             
28       relinquishing parent or that the relinquishing parent has been unable, for any reason, to                         
29       act on a retained privilege, except as provided in Rule 60(b), Alaska Rules of Civil                              
30       Procedure.                                                                                                        
31            (g)  After a termination order is entered, a person who has voluntarily                                      
01       relinquished parental rights under this section may request a review hearing, upon a                              
02       showing of good cause, to seek enforcement or modification of or to vacate a privilege                            
03       retained in the termination order.  The court may modify, enforce, or vacate the                                  
04       retained privilege if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in the                        
05       best interest of the child to do so.                                                                              
06            (h)  After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or                             
07       legal guardianship decree, a person who voluntarily relinquished parental rights to a                             
08       child under this section may request a review hearing, upon a showing of good cause,                              
09       to vacate the termination order and reinstate parental rights relating to that child.  A                          
10       court shall vacate a termination order if the person shows, by clear and convincing                               
11       evidence, that reinstatement of parental rights is in the best interest of the child and                          
12       that the person is rehabilitated and capable of providing the care and guidance that will                         
13       serve the moral, emotional, mental, and physical welfare of the child.                                            
14            (i)  A person who relinquished parental rights is entitled to the appointment of                             
15       an attorney if a hearing is requested under (g), (h), or (j) of this section to the same                          
16       extent as if the parent's rights had not been terminated in a child-in-need-of-aid                                
17       proceeding.                                                                                                       
18            (j)  After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or                             
19       legal guardianship decree, a prospective adoptive parent or a guardian of a child who                             
20       is the subject of the adoption or guardianship decree may request, after providing                                
21       notice as specified under this subsection, that the court decline to incorporate a                                
22       privilege retained in a termination order and recommended for incorporation in an                                 
23       adoption or guardianship decree under (e) of this section.  The request made under this                           
24       subsection may only be considered by the court after providing at least 20 days' notice                           
25       by certified mail to the last known address of the person who has voluntarily                                     
26       relinquished parental rights to the child.  The notice under this subsection must                                 
27       describe the request and explain that the recipient of the notice may submit a written                            
28       statement under penalty of perjury to the court that the recipient either agrees with or                          
29       opposes the request.  The notice must also include the deadline for submitting the                                
30       statement and the mailing address of the court.  The court may decline to incorporate a                           
31       retained privilege if the person who retained the privilege agrees with the request or if                         
01       the court finds that it is in the child's best interest.                                                          
02    * Sec. 18.  AS 47.10.090(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
03            (c)  Within 30 days after [OF] the date of a child's [MINOR'S] 18th birthday                         
04       or, if the court retains jurisdiction of a child [MINOR] past the child's [MINOR'S]                       
05       18th birthday, within 30 days after [OF] the date on which the court releases                                 
06       jurisdiction over the child [MINOR], the court shall order all the court's official                           
07       records pertaining to that child [MINOR] in a proceeding under this chapter sealed.  A                        
08       person may not use these sealed records unless authorized by order of [FOR ANY                                
09       PURPOSE EXCEPT THAT] the court upon a finding of [MAY ORDER THEIR                                             
10       USE FOR] good cause [SHOWN].                                                                                      
11    * Sec. 19.  AS 47.10.090(d) is amended to read:                                                                    
12            (d)  The name or picture of a child [MINOR] under the jurisdiction of the court                          
13       may not be made public in connection with the child's [MINOR'S] status as a child in                          
14       need of aid unless authorized by order of the court or unless to implement the                                
15       permanency plan for a child after all parental rights of custody have been                                    
16       terminated.  This subsection does not prohibit the release of aggregate                                       
17       information for statistical or other informational purposes if the identity of any                            
18       particular person is not revealed by the release.                                                             
19    * Sec. 20.  AS 47.10.092(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
20            (a)  Notwithstanding AS 47.10.090 and 47.10.093, a parent or legal guardian of                               
21       a child subject to a proceeding under AS 47.10.005 - 47.10.142 may disclose                                       
22       confidential or privileged information about the child or the child's family, including                           
23       information that has been lawfully obtained from agency or court files, to the                                    
24       governor, the lieutenant governor, a legislator, the ombudsman appointed under                                    
25       AS 24.55, the attorney general, and the commissioner [COMMISSIONERS] of health                                
26       and social services, administration, or public safety, or an employee of these persons,                           
27       for review or use in their official capacities.  The Department of Health and Social                          
28       Services and the Department of Administration [DEPARTMENT] shall disclose                                     
29       additional confidential or privileged information, excluding privileged attorney-                             
30       client information, and make copies of documents available for inspection about the                           
31       child or the child's family to these state officials or employees for review or use in                            
01       their official capacities upon request of the official or employee and submission of                              
02       satisfactory evidence that a parent or legal guardian of the child has requested the state                        
03       official's assistance in the case as part of the official's duties.  A person to whom                             
04       disclosure is made under this section may not disclose confidential or privileged                                 
05       information about the child or the child's family to a person not authorized to receive                           
06       it.                                                                                                               
07    * Sec. 21.  AS 47.10.092 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
08            (d)  The obligations under (a) of this section remain in effect throughout the                               
09       period that the child is in the custody of the department, including after the parent's                           
10       parental rights have been terminated with respect to the child, unless the child's parent                         
11       or legal guardian who made the disclosure under (a) of this section subsequently files                            
12       a notice with the Department of Health and Social Services that the assistance of the                             
13       state official or employee is no longer requested.                                                                
14            (e)  The Department of Health and Social Services shall notify an official                                   
15       identified under (a) of this section of the opportunity for a parent to file a grievance                          
16       under AS 47.10.098 when the official is denied access to all or part of a requested                               
17       record.                                                                                                           
18    * Sec. 22.  AS 47.10.093(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
19            (a)  Except as permitted [SPECIFIED] in AS 47.10.092 and in (b) - (g) and                            
20       (k) - (n) [(b) - (g)] of this section, all information and social records pertaining to a                     
21       child [MINOR] who is subject to this chapter or AS 47.17 prepared by or in the                                
22       possession of a federal, state, or municipal agency or employee in the discharge of the                           
23       agency's or employee's official duty are privileged and may not be disclosed directly                             
24       or indirectly to anyone without a court order.                                                                    
25    * Sec. 23.  AS 47.10.093(b) is amended to read:                                                                    
26            (b)  A state or municipal agency or employee shall disclose appropriate                                      
27       confidential information regarding a case to                                                                  
28                 (1)  a guardian ad litem appointed by the court;                                                        
29                 (2)  a person or an agency requested by the department or the child's                                   
30       legal custodian to provide consultation or services for a child who is subject to the                             
31       jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010 as necessary to enable the provision of                              
01       the consultation or services;                                                                                     
02                 (3) an out-of-home care provider [FOSTER PARENTS OR                                                 
03       RELATIVES WITH WHOM THE CHILD IS PLACED BY THE DEPARTMENT]                                                        
04       as [MAY BE] necessary to enable the out-of-home care provider [FOSTER                                         
05       PARENTS OR RELATIVES] to provide appropriate care to [FOR] the child [WHO                                     
06       IS THE SUBJECT OF THE CASE], to protect the safety of the child [WHO IS THE                                       
07       SUBJECT OF THE CASE], and to protect the safety and property of family members                                    
08       and visitors of the out-of-home care provider [FOSTER PARENTS OR                                              
09       RELATIVES];                                                                                                       
10                 (4) a school official [OFFICIALS] as [MAY BE] necessary to enable                               
11       the school to provide appropriate counseling and support services to a [THE] child                            
12       who is the subject of the case, to protect the safety of the child [WHO IS THE                                    
13       SUBJECT OF THE CASE], and to protect the safety of school students and staff;                                     
14                 (5)  a governmental agency as [MAY BE] necessary to obtain that                                         
15       agency's assistance for the department in its investigation or to obtain physical custody                         
16       of a child;                                                                                                       
17                 (6)  a law enforcement agency of this state or another jurisdiction as                                  
18       [MAY BE] necessary for the protection of any child or for actions by that agency to                               
19       protect the public safety;                                                                                        
20                 (7) a member [MEMBERS] of a multidisciplinary child protection                                      
21       team created under AS 47.14.300 as [MAY BE] necessary for the performance of the                              
22       member's [THEIR] duties;                                                                                      
23                 (8)  the state medical examiner under AS 12.65 as [MAY BE]                                              
24       necessary for the performance of the duties of the state medical examiner;                                        
25                 (9)  a person who has made a report of harm as required by                                              
26       AS 47.17.020 to inform the person that the investigation was completed and of action                              
27       taken to protect the child who was the subject of the report; [AND]                                               
28                 (10)  the child support services agency established in AS 25.27.010 as                                  
29       [MAY BE] necessary to establish and collect child support for a child who is a child in                           
30       need of aid under this chapter;                                                                               
31                 (11)  a parent, guardian, or caregiver of a child or an entity                                      
01       responsible for ensuring the safety of children as necessary to protect the safety                            
02       of a child; and                                                                                               
03                 (12)  a review panel established by the department, the legislature,                                
04       or the governor for the purpose of reviewing the actions taken by the department                              
05       in a specific case.                                                                                           
06    * Sec. 24.  AS 47.10.093(c) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                     
07            (c)  A state or municipal law enforcement agency shall disclose information                                  
08       regarding a case that is needed by the person or agency charged with making a                                     
09       preliminary investigation for the information of the court under AS 47.10.020.                                    
10    * Sec. 25.  AS 47.10.093(f) is amended to read:                                                                    
11            (f)  The department may release to a person with a legitimate interest                                       
12       confidential information relating to children [MINORS] not subject to the                                 
13       jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010. [THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ADOPT                                         
14       REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION AND                                                              
15       IDENTIFYING A SUFFICIENT LEGITIMATE INTEREST.]                                                                    
16    * Sec. 26.  AS 47.10.093(g) is amended to read:                                                                    
17            (g)  The department and affected law enforcement agencies shall work with                                    
18       school districts and private schools to develop procedures for the disclosure of                                  
19       confidential information to a school official [OFFICIALS] under (b)(4) of this                        
20       section.  The procedures must provide a method for informing the principal or the                                 
21       principal's designee of the school that the student attends as soon as it is reasonably                       
22       practicable.                                                                                                      
23    * Sec. 27.  AS 47.10.093 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
24            (k)  The Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of                                      
25       Administration may disclose to the public, upon request, confidential information, as                             
26       set out in (l) of this section, when                                                                              
27                 (1)  the parent or guardian of a child who is the subject of a report of                                
28       harm under AS 47.17 has made a public disclosure concerning the department's                                      
29       involvement with the family;                                                                                      
30                 (2)  the alleged perpetrator named in a report of harm under AS 47.17                                   
31       has been charged with a crime concerning the alleged abuse or neglect; or                                         
01                 (3)  a report of harm under AS 47.17 has resulted in the fatality or near                               
02       fatality of that child.                                                                                           
03            (l)  The type of information that may be publicly disclosed under (k) of this                                
04       section is information related to the determination, if any, made by the department                               
05       regarding the validity of a report of harm under AS 47.17 and the department's                                    
06       activities arising from the department's investigation of the report.  The department                             
07                 (1)  may withhold disclosure of the child's name, picture, or other                                     
08       information that would readily lead to the identification of the child if the department                          
09       determines that the disclosure would be contrary to the best interests of the child, the                          
10       child's siblings, or other children in the child's household; or                                                  
11                 (2)  after consultation with a prosecuting attorney, may withhold                                       
12       disclosure of information that would reasonably be expected to interfere with a                                   
13       criminal investigation or proceeding or a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a                         
14       criminal proceeding.                                                                                              
15            (m)  Except for a disclosure made under (k) of this section, a person to whom                                
16       disclosure is made under this section may not disclose confidential information about                             
17       the child or the child's family to a person not authorized to receive it.                                         
18            (n)  The Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of                                      
19       Administration may adopt regulations to implement and interpret the duties of the                                 
20       respective department under this section, including regulations governing the release                             
21       of confidential information and identifying a sufficient legitimate interest under (f) of                         
22       this section.                                                                                                     
23            (o)  A person may not bring an action for damages against the state, the                                     
24       commissioner, or the commissioner's designee based on the disclosure or                                           
25       nondisclosure of information under (k) of this section except for civil damages                                   
26       resulting from gross negligence or reckless or intentional misconduct.                                            
27    * Sec. 28.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
28            Sec. 47.10.098.  Grievance procedure.  (a)  The department shall develop, in                             
29       regulation, a grievance procedure for a parent to file a complaint based on                                       
30                 (1)  the application of a department policy or procedure under this                                     
31       chapter;                                                                                                          
01                 (2)  compliance with this chapter or a regulation adopted under this                                    
02       chapter; or                                                                                                       
03                 (3)  an act or failure to act by the department under this chapter.                                     
04            (b)  The department shall prepare and distribute to each parent of a child who                               
05       is under the jurisdiction of the department a written copy of the grievance procedure                             
06       developed under (a) of this section.                                                                              
07    * Sec. 29.  AS 47.10.960 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                        
08            Sec. 47.10.960.  Civil liability.  Failure to comply with a provision of this title                        
09       does not constitute a basis for civil liability for damages.                                                      
10    * Sec. 30.  AS 47.10.990(16) is amended to read:                                                                   
11                 (16)  "mental health professional" has the meaning given in                                             
12       AS 47.30.915, except that, if the child is placed in another state by the                                     
13       department, "mental health professional" also includes a professional listed in                               
14       the definition of "mental health professional" in AS 47.30.915 who is not licensed                            
15       to practice by a board of this state but is licensed by a corresponding licensing                             
16       authority to practice in the state in which the child is placed;                                              
17    * Sec. 31.  AS 47.10.990 is amended by adding new paragraphs to read:                                              
18                 (28)  "adult family member" means a person who is 18 years of age or                                    
19       older and who is                                                                                                  
20                      (A)  related to the child as the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle,                                 
21            legal guardian, or sibling; or                                                                               
22                      (B)  the child's sibling's legal guardian or parent;                                               
23                 (29)  "family member" means a person of any age who is                                                  
24                      (A)  related to the child as the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle,                                 
25            legal guardian, or sibling; or                                                                               
26                      (B)  the child's sibling's legal guardian or parent;                                               
27                 (30)  "near fatality" means physical injury or other harm, as certified by                              
28       a physician, caused by an act or omission that created a substantial risk of death;                               
29                 (31)  "out-of-home care provider" means a foster parent or relative                                     
30       other than a parent with whom the child is placed.                                                                
31    * Sec. 32.  AS 47.12.990(10) is amended to read:                                                                   
01                 (10)  "mental health professional" has the meaning given in                                             
02       AS 47.30.915, except that, if the minor is placed in another state by the                                     
03       department, "mental health professional" also includes a professional listed in                               
04       the definition of "mental health professional" in  AS 47.30.915 who is not licensed                           
05       to practice by a board of this state but is licensed by a corresponding licensing                             
06       authority to practice in the state in which the minor is placed;                                              
07    * Sec. 33.  AS 47.14.100(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
08            (a)  Subject to (e), (f), and (i) - (m) [(i) - (l)] of this section, the department                      
09       shall arrange for the care of every child committed to its custody by placing the child                           
10       in a foster home or in the care of an agency or institution providing care for children                           
11       inside or outside the state. The department may place a child in a suitable family                                
12       home, with or without compensation, and may place a child released to it, in writing                              
13       verified by the parent, or guardian or other person having legal custody, for adoptive                            
14       purposes, in a home for adoption in accordance with existing law.                                                 
15    * Sec. 34.  AS 47.14.100(e) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                     
16            (e)  When a child is removed from a parent's home, the department shall place                                
17       the child, in the absence of a showing of good cause to the contrary,                                             
18                 (1)  in the least restrictive setting that most closely approximates a                                  
19       family and that meets the child's special needs, if any;                                                          
20                 (2)  within reasonable proximity to the child's home, taking into                                       
21       account any special needs of the child and the preferences of the child or parent;                                
22                 (3)  with, in the following order of preference,                                                        
23                      (A)  an adult family member;                                                                       
24                      (B)  a family friend who meets the foster care licensing                                           
25            requirements established by the department;                                                                  
26                      (C)  a licensed foster home that is not an adult family member                                     
27            or family friend;                                                                                            
28                      (D)  an institution for children that has a program suitable to                                    
29            meet the child's needs.                                                                                      
30    * Sec. 35.  AS 47.14.100(f) is amended to read:                                                                  
31            (f)  If an adult family member [A BLOOD RELATIVE] of the child                                           
01       specified under (e) of this section exists and agrees that the child should be placed                             
02       elsewhere, before placement elsewhere, the department shall fully communicate the                                 
03       nature of the placement proceedings to the adult family member [RELATIVE].                                    
04       Communication under this subsection shall be made in the adult family member's                                
05       [RELATIVE'S] native language, if necessary.  [NOTHING IN THIS SUBSECTION                                          
06       OR IN (e) OF THIS SECTION APPLIES TO CHILD PLACEMENT FOR                                                          
07       ADOPTIVE PURPOSES.]                                                                                               
08    * Sec. 36.  AS 47.14.100(j) is amended to read:                                                                    
09            (j)  For the purpose of determining whether the home of a relative meets the                                 
10       requirements for placement of a child under (e) of this section or under                                      
11       AS 47.10.088(i), the department shall conduct a criminal background check from state                          
12       and national criminal justice information available under AS 12.62.  The department                               
13       may conduct a fingerprint background check on any member of the relative's                                        
14       household who is 16 [12] years of age or older when the relative requests placement of                        
15       the child.  For the purposes of obtaining criminal justice information under this                                 
16       subsection, the department is a criminal justice agency conducting a criminal justice                             
17       activity under AS 12.62.                                                                                          
18    * Sec. 37.  AS 47.14.100 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
19            (m)  Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult                                   
20       family member or family friend under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section                                 
21       includes grounds for denial of a foster care license under AS 47.35.019 or 47.35.021.                             
22       Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult family member                               
23       or adult family friend does not include poverty or inadequate or crowded housing.  If                             
24       the department denies a request for placement with an adult family member or a                                    
25       family friend, the department shall inform the adult family member or family friend of                            
26       the basis for the denial and the right to request a hearing to review the decision.  A                            
27       non-party adult family member or family friend requesting a review hearing under                                  
28       AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section is not eligible for publicly appointed legal                         
29       counsel.                                                                                                          
30    * Sec. 38.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
31            Sec. 47.14.205.  State Citizen Review Panel.  (a)  There is established within                             
01       the department a Citizen Review Panel.  The panel shall be composed of volunteer                                  
02       members who are broadly representative of the state, including members who have                                   
03       expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.                                             
04            (b)  The panel shall meet not less than once every three months.  Meetings may                               
05       take place telephonically.                                                                                        
06    * Sec. 39.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
07            Sec. 47.14.215.  Duties of the state panel.  (a)  The state panel shall evaluate                           
08       the extent to which the department is effectively discharging its child protection                                
09       responsibilities under                                                                                            
10                 (1)  the state plan submitted to the United States Department of Health                                 
11       and Human Services under 42 U.S.C. 5106a(b);                                                                      
12                 (2)  child protection standards under federal and state laws; and                                       
13                 (3)  any other criteria that the panel considers important to ensuring the                              
14       protection of children, including the level and efficiency of coordination of foster care                         
15       and adoption programs in the state and a review of child fatalities and near fatalities.                          
16            (b)  In carrying out the responsibilities under (a) of this section, the state panel                         
17       shall examine the policies, procedures, and practices of the department, and, where                               
18       appropriate, evaluate specific cases of child abuse or neglect.                                                   
19            (c)  The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish policies and procedures                                
20       necessary to carrying out the duties of the state panel under this section.                                       
21    * Sec. 40.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 read:                                         
22            Sec. 47.14.225.  Cooperation with state panel.   (a)  The department shall                                 
23       provide the panel access to information on child abuse or neglect cases that is                                   
24       necessary for the panel to carry out its duties under AS 47.14.215.                                               
25            (b)  The department shall serve as staff to the state panel as requested by the                              
26       panel members.                                                                                                    
27    * Sec. 41.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
28            Sec. 47.14.235.  Confidentiality.  (a)  A person attending a meeting of the                                
29       state panel or a member or staff of the state panel may not make any disclosure related                           
30       to information obtained during a review by the state panel unless authorized under                                
31       AS 47.10.092 or 47.10.093.                                                                                        
01            (b)  Meetings of the state panel are subject to AS 44.62.310 and 44.62.312.                                  
02    * Sec. 42.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
03            Sec. 47.14.245.  Public outreach.  The state panel shall conduct public                                    
04       outreach and gather public comment on current department procedures and practices                                 
05       involving children and family services.                                                                           
06    * Sec. 43.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
07            Sec. 47.14.255.  Report.  (a)  The state panel shall prepare and make available                            
08       to the governor, the legislature, and to the public an annual report containing a                                 
09       summary of the activities of the panel conducted under AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295 and                               
10       recommendations for the improvement of child protection services in the state.                                    
11            (b)  Not later than six months after the date on which the report is released                                
12       under (a) of this section, the department shall submit a written response to the report.                          
13       The department's response must include a description of whether and how the                                       
14       department will incorporate the recommendations of the panel, where appropriate.                                  
15    * Sec. 44.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
16            Sec. 47.14.265. Civil penalty for violation of AS 47.14.235.  A violation                                  
17       under 47.14.235 is subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for each violation.                                 
18    * Sec. 45.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
19            Sec.  47.14.275.  Immunity.  A member of the state panel and a person who                                  
20       furnishes services to or advises the state panel is not liable for damages or other relief                        
21       in an action involving the performance or failure to perform a duty or other activity of                          
22       the state panel.                                                                                                  
23    * Sec. 46.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                    
24            Sec. 47.14.295.  Definitions.  In AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295,                                                
25                 (1)  "adult family member" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990;                                       
26                 (2)  "near fatality" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990;                                             
27                 (3)  "state panel" means the Citizen Review Panel established under                                     
28       AS 47.14.205.                                                                                                     
29    * Sec. 47.  AS 47.17.025 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
30            (c)  Within 20 days after receiving a report of harm, whether or not the matter                              
31       is referred to a local government agency, the department shall notify the person who                              
01       made the report and who made a request to be notified, about the status of the                                    
02       investigation, without disclosing any confidential information.                                                 
03    * Sec. 48.  AS 47.17.027(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
04            (a)  If the department or a law enforcement agency provides written                                          
05       certification to the child's school officials that (1) there is reasonable cause to suspect                       
06       that the child has been abused or neglected by a person responsible for the child's                               
07       welfare or as a result of conditions created by a person responsible for the child's                              
08       welfare; (2) an interview at school is a necessary part of an investigation to determine                          
09       whether the child has been abused or neglected; and (3) the interview at school is in                             
10       the best interests of the child, school officials shall permit the child to be interviewed                        
11       at school by the department or a law enforcement agency before notification of, or                                
12       receiving permission from, the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. A school official                          
13       shall be present during an interview at the school unless the child objects or the                                
14       department or law enforcement agency determines that the presence of the school                                   
15       official will interfere with the investigation.  The interview shall be conducted as                          
16       required under AS 47.17.033.  Immediately after conducting an interview authorized                            
17       under this section, and after informing the child of the intention to notify the child's                          
18       parent, guardian, or custodian, the department or agency shall make every reasonable                              
19       effort to notify the child's parent, guardian, or custodian that the interview occurred                           
20       unless it appears to the department or agency that notifying the child's parent,                                  
21       guardian, or custodian would endanger the child.                                                                  
22    * Sec. 49.  AS 47.17.033 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
23            (c)  An investigation by the department of child abuse or neglect reported                                   
24       under this chapter shall be conducted by a person trained to conduct a child abuse and                            
25       neglect investigation and without subjecting a child to more than one interview about                             
26       the abuse or neglect except when new information is obtained that requires further                                
27       information from the child.                                                                                       
28            (d)  An interview of a child conducted as a result of a report of harm may be                                
29       audiotaped or videotaped.  If an interview of a child concerns a report of sexual abuse                           
30       of the child by a parent or caretaker of the child, the interview shall be videotaped,                            
31       unless videotaping the interview is not feasible or will, in the opinion of the                                   
01       investigating agency, result in trauma to the child.                                                              
02            (e)  An interview of a child that is audiotaped or videotaped under (d) of this                              
03       section shall be conducted                                                                                        
04                 (1)  by a person trained and competent to conduct the interview;                                        
05                 (2)  if available, at a child advocacy center; and                                                      
06                 (3)  by a person who is a party to a memorandum of understanding with                                   
07       the department to conduct the interview or who is employed by an agency that is                                   
08       authorized to conduct investigations.                                                                             
09            (f)  An interview of a child may not be videotaped more than one time unless                                 
10       the interviewer or the investigating agency determines that one or more additional                                
11       interviews are necessary to complete an investigation.  If additional interviews are                              
12       necessary, the additional interviews shall be conducted, to the extent possible, by the                           
13       same interviewer who conducted the initial interview of the child.                                                
14            (g)  A recorded interview of a child shall be preserved in the manner and for a                              
15       period provided by law for maintaining evidence and records of a public agency.                                   
16            (h)  A recorded interview of a child is subject to disclosure under the                                      
17       applicable court rules for discovery in a civil or criminal case.                                                 
18            (i)  In this section, "child advocacy center" means a facility operated with a                               
19       child-focused, community partnership committed to a multidisciplinary team approach                               
20       that includes representatives from law enforcement, child protection, criminal                                    
21       prosecution, victim advocacy, and the medical and mental health fields who                                        
22       collaborate and assist in investigating allegations of sexual or other abuse and neglect                          
23       of children.                                                                                                      
24    * Sec. 50.  AS 47.18.300(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
25            (a)  The department, in coordination with local public and private agencies,                                 
26       shall design, develop, and implement a foster care transition program to provide                                  
27       support and services to individuals who                                                                           
28                 (1)  reach or have reached the age of 16 or older while in state foster                                 
29       care and have not yet reached 23 years of age [THE AGE OF 21]; and                                            
30                 (2)  meet other eligibility criteria established by the department under                                
31       (b) of this section.                                                                                              
01    * Sec. 51.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
02 read:                                                                                                                   
03            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 3(c), Alaska Child in Need of                                             
04       Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                       
05            (c)  Presence of Grandparent or Foster Parent. A grandparent of a child                            
06       and the foster parent or other out-of-home care provider are [IS] entitled to be heard                    
07       at any hearing at which the person is present.  However, the court may limit the                                  
08       presence of these persons in a hearing that has been closed to the public under                               
09       (f)(2) of this rule [THE FOSTER PARENT OR CARE PROVIDER] to the time                                          
10       during which the person's testimony is being given if the court determines that such                          
11       a limitation is necessary under the circumstances listed in (f)(2)(C) of this rule [IT                        
12       IS (1) IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD; OR (2) NECESSARY TO                                                     
13       PROTECT THE PRIVACY INTERESTS OF THE PARTIES AND WILL NOT BE                                                      
14       DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHILD].                                                                                        
15    * Sec. 52.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
16 read:                                                                                                                   
17            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 3(f), Alaska Child in Need of                                             
18       Aid Rules of Procedure, is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                        
19            (f)  General Public Access to Hearings.                                                                    
20                 (1)  Except as provided in (2) of this paragraph, and unless prohibited                                 
21       by federal or state statute or regulation, court order, or other court rule, hearings are                         
22       open to the public.                                                                                               
23                 (2)  The following hearings are closed to the public:                                                   
24                      (A)  the initial court hearing after the filing of a petition that                                 
25            begins the child-in-need-of-aid case;                                                                        
26                      (B)  a hearing following the initial hearing in which a parent,                                    
27            child, or other party to the case is present but has not had an opportunity to                               
28            obtain legal representation;                                                                                 
29                      (C)  a hearing, or a part of a hearing, for which the court issues                                 
30            a written order finding that allowing the hearing, or part of the hearing, to be                             
31            open to the public would reasonably be expected to stigmatize or be                                          
01            emotionally damaging to a child; inhibit a child's testimony in the hearing;                                 
02            disclose matters otherwise required to be kept confidential by state or federal                              
03            statute or regulation, court order, or court rule; or interfere with a criminal                              
04            investigation or proceeding or a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a                             
05            criminal proceeding.                                                                                         
06                 (3)  Before ruling on a request under (2)(C) of this paragraph                                          
07       concerning potential interference with a criminal investigation or proceeding, the court                          
08       shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the state or a municipal agency that                          
09       is assigned to the criminal investigation or to the prosecuting attorney.                                         
10                 (4)  If the court closes a hearing to the public under (2)(C) of this                                   
11       paragraph, the court shall close only the portions of the hearing necessary to prevent                            
12       the potential harm listed in (2)(C) of this paragraph.  If a hearing, or part of a hearing,                       
13       is open to the public, the court shall hear in camera any information offered regarding                           
14       the location, or readily leading to the location, of a parent, child, or other party to the                       
15       case who is a victim of domestic violence.  Access to testimony heard in camera under                             
16       this subparagraph is limited to the court and authorized court personnel.                                         
17                 (5)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, the court shall                                  
18       issue an order to prohibit all persons in a hearing open to the public from disclosing to                         
19       any person a name, picture, or other information that would readily lead to the                                   
20       identification of a child who is the subject of the proceeding.  If a person violates the                         
21       order, the court may impose any appropriate sanction, including contempt and closure                              
22       of any further hearings in the proceeding to the person.                                                          
23                 (6)  A party to the proceeding may move the court to close to the public                                
24       a hearing, or part of the hearing, to avoid the harm specified in (2)(C) of this                                  
25       paragraph.  A member of the public may request in writing to be served with a motion                              
26       filed under this subparagraph.  If such a request has been filed in advance of the filing                         
27       of the motion, the party filing the motion must also serve the member of the public                               
28       who requested notice under this subparagraph.  The court may waive the service                                    
29       required under this subparagraph to a member of the public if a motion to close the                               
30       hearing, or part of the hearing, is made under this subparagraph immediately before or                            
31       during the hearing and the court finds that                                                                       
01                      (A)  the need for closure was not reasonably foreseeable                                           
02            sufficiently in advance of the hearing to allow for notice;                                                  
03                      (B)  there is good cause not to delay the hearing in order to                                      
04            achieve notice, taking into consideration the age of the child and the potential                             
05            adverse effect that a delay could have on the child; and                                                     
06                      (C)  whatever notice is practicable under the circumstances has                                    
07            occurred.                                                                                                    
08    * Sec. 53.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
09 read:                                                                                                                   
10            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 17.2(f), Alaska Child in Need                                             
11       of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                    
12            (f)  Additional Findings.  In addition to the findings required under paragraph                            
13       (e), the court shall also make written findings related to                                                        
14                 (1)  whether the Department has made reasonable efforts required                                        
15       under AS 47.10.086 or, in the case of an Indian child, whether the Department has                                 
16       made active efforts to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs as                                   
17       required by 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1912(d);                                                                               
18                 (2)  whether the parent or guardian has made substantial progress to                                    
19       remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home that made the                                 
20       child a child in need of aid; [AND]                                                                               
21                 (3)  if the permanent plan is for the child to remain in out-of-home care,                              
22       whether the child's out-of-home placement continues to be appropriate and in the best                             
23       interests of the child; and                                                                                   
24                 (4)  whether the Department has made reasonable efforts to finalize                                 
25       the permanent plan for the child.                                                                             
26    * Sec. 54.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
27 read:                                                                                                                   
28            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 18(d)(1), Alaska Child in                                                 
29       Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                               
30            (d)  Relinquishment.                                                                                       
31                 (1)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this rule, the court may                                       
01       terminate parental rights after a voluntary relinquishment pursuant to AS 47.10.089                           
02       [AS 25.23.180].  In the case of an Indian child, the relinquishment must meet the                                 
03       requirements set forth in 25 U.S.C. § 1913(c).                                                                    
04    * Sec. 55.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
05 read:                                                                                                                   
06            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 22(c), Alaska Child in Need                                               
07       of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                    
08            (c)  Child's Name or Picture. The name or picture of a child who is the                                    
09       subject of a CINA proceeding may not be made available to the public unless                                       
10       authorized by court order accompanied by a written statement reciting the                                         
11       circumstances which support such authorization, or unless to implement the                                    
12       permanency plan for the child after all parental rights of custody have been                                  
13       terminated.                                                                                                   
14    * Sec. 56.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
15 read:                                                                                                                   
16            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 9(a), Alaska Adoption Rules,                                              
17       is amended to read:                                                                                               
18            (a)  Form.  A consent or relinquishment must be in writing and must include:                               
19                 (1)  notice of the person's right to withdraw the consent or                                            
20       relinquishment as provided by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this rule;                                                
21                 (2)  the address and telephone number of the court in which the                                         
22       adoption or relinquishment proceeding has or is expected to be filed;                                             
23                 (3)  a statement of the right to counsel as stated in Rule 8;                                           
24                 (4)  a statement concerning whether or not any visitation rights or                                 
25       other parental privileges are sought to be retained after the adoption;                                       
26                 (5)  if a consent, the information required in AS 25.23.060; and                                        
27                 (6)  if signed by a parent, a statement of whether the parent is a minor.                               
28    * Sec. 57.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
29 read:                                                                                                                   
30            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 9(g), Alaska Adoption Rules,                                              
31       is amended to read:                                                                                               
01            (g)  Withdrawal of Consent or Relinquishment of a Non-Indian Child.                                        
02       The parent of a non-Indian child may withdraw a consent or relinquishment by                                      
03       notifying in writing the court, or the person or agency obtaining the consent or                                  
04       relinquishment, within 10 days of the birth or signing of the consent or                                          
05       relinquishment, whichever is later. Notification is timely if received or postmarked on                           
06       or before the last day of this time period. The parent may move the court to permit                               
07       withdrawal of the consent or relinquishment after the 10 day period pursuant to                                   
08       AS 25.23.070 for a consent or AS 25.23.180(g) or AS 47.10.089(h) for a                                        
09       relinquishment.                                                                                                   
10    * Sec. 58.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 13(a), Alaska Adoption                                                    
13       Rules, is amended to read:                                                                                        
14            (a)  Voluntary Relinquishment.  A decree terminating parental rights may be                                
15       entered after a voluntary relinquishment pursuant to AS 25.23.180 or AS 47.10.089.                            
16       The court shall enter findings of fact which must include a statement concerning                                  
17       whether visitation rights are being allowed under AS 25.23.130(c) or other privileges                         
18       are being retained under AS 25.23.180 or AS 47.10.089, and whether the time limit                             
19       for withdrawal of the relinquishment has elapsed.  If the relinquishment was signed in                            
20       the presence of the court, findings also must be entered as to whether the parent                                 
21       understood the consequences of the relinquishment, and whether the relinquishment                                 
22       was voluntarily signed.                                                                                           
23            In the case of a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights to an Indian child,                             
24       the court shall make additional findings concerning whether any notice required by                                
25       Rule 10(e) was timely given; whether the relinquishment was voluntary and in                                      
26       compliance with the requirements of 25 U.S.C. Section 1913; and whether the child's                               
27       placement complies with the preferences set out in 25 U.S.C. Section 1915 or good                                 
28       cause exists for deviation from the placement preference.                                                         
29    * Sec. 59.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
30 read:                                                                                                                   
31       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  (a)  AS 13.26.064, added by sec. 2 of                                             
01 this Act, amends Rules 14 and 15, Alaska Rules of Probate Procedure, by providing that                                  
02 retained privileges be set out in the guardianship decree and by providing additional                                   
03 procedures related to a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.                                                    
04       (b)  AS 25.23.180(j) - (n) and AS 47.10.089, added by secs. 4 and 17 of this Act,                                 
05 amend Rules 9 and 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, by requiring retained privileges to be set out                             
06 in the relinquishment form and order and by providing additional procedures related to the                              
07 relinquishment.                                                                                                         
08       (c)  AS 25.23.180(k) - (n) and AS 47.10.089(g), (h), and (j), added by secs. 4 and 17                             
09 of this Act, amend Rule 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, by authorizing review hearings for                                   
10 voluntary relinquishments.                                                                                              
11       (d)  AS 47.10.080(l), as amended by sec. 12 of this Act, amends Rule 17.2(f), Alaska                              
12 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by modifying the grounds for review of a                                       
13 permanent plan.                                                                                                         
14       (e)  AS 47.10.089, added by sec. 17 of this Act, amends Rule 18, Alaska Child in                                  
15 Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by providing that a relinquishment be in writing, allowing                              
16 for the withdrawal of the relinquishment, allowing for the retention of certain privileges, and                         
17 authorizing a review hearing before the entry of an adoption or legal guardianship decree.                              
18    * Sec. 60.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
19 read:                                                                                                                   
20       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  (a)  Sections 9 and 10 of this Act, and                                           
21 AS 47.10.080(v), enacted by sec. 14 of this Act, have the effect of changing Rule 3, Alaska                             
22 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by allowing members of the public to attend court                              
23 hearings except in certain circumstances.                                                                               
24       (b)  Sections 19 and 22 - 27 of this Act have the effect of changing Rule 22, Alaska                              
25 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by allowing the disclosure of confidential                                     
26 information pertaining to a child, including a child's name or picture to be made public in                             
27 certain circumstances.                                                                                                  
28    * Sec. 61.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
29 read:                                                                                                                   
30       APPLICABILITY.  (a)  The amendments to Rule 3, Alaska Child in Need of Aid                                        
31 Rules of Procedure, made by secs. 51 and 52 of this Act, apply to hearings that are conducted                           
01 on or after the effective date of secs. 51 and 52 of this Act.                                                          
02       (b)  Sections 9 - 11, 14, 18, 19, 22 - 27, 51, 52, and 55 of this Act apply to all                                
03 proceedings and hearings conducted on or after the effective date of those sections.                                    
04       (c)  Sections 9, 10, 14, and 19 - 27 of this Act apply to all information, records, and                           
05 files created on or after the effective date of those sections; however, if a file contains                             
06 information and records that were created before the effective date of secs. 9, 10, 14, and 19 -                        
07 27 of this Act, that information and those records retain the confidentiality that they had under                       
08 the law on the day before the effective date of secs. 9, 10, 14, and 19 - 27 of this Act.                               
09    * Sec. 62.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
10 read:                                                                                                                   
11       TRANSITION:  REGULATIONS.  The Department of Health and Social Services                                           
12 may proceed to adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act.  The                              
13 regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the                               
14 effective date of the relevant statutory change.                                                                        
15    * Sec. 63.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
16 read:                                                                                                                   
17       REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.  The revisor of statutes is instructed to change the                                       
18 heading of AS 47.10.088 from "Termination of parental rights and responsibilities" to                                   
19 "Involuntary termination of parental rights and responsibilities."                                                      
20    * Sec. 64.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
21 read:                                                                                                                   
22       CONDITIONAL EFFECT.  (a)  The amendments to Rule 3, Alaska Child in Need of                                       
23 Aid Rules of Procedure, made by secs. 51 and 52 of this Act, take effect only if secs. 51 and                           
24 52 of this Act receive the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15,                         
25 Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                                    
26       (b)  Section 12 of this Act and Rule 17.2(f), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules, as                               
27 amended by sec. 53 of this Act, take effect only if sec. 53 and sec. 59(d) of this Act receive                          
28 the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the                            
29 State of Alaska.                                                                                                        
30       (c)  Rule 18(d)(1), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules, as amended by sec. 54 of this                              
31 Act, takes effect only if sec. 54 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house                       
01 required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                      
02       (d)  The amendments to Rule 22(c), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure,                                
03 made by sec. 55 of this Act take effect only if sec. 55 of this Act receives the two-thirds                             
04 majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                          
05       (e)  Sections 9 and 10 of this Act, AS 47.10.080(v), enacted by sec. 14 of this Act, and                          
06 secs. 19 and 22 - 27 of this Act, take effect only if secs. 51, 52, 53, and 60 of this Act receive                      
07 the two-thirds majority vote of each house as required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the                         
08 State of Alaska.                                                                                                        
09       (f)  Rule 9(a), Alaska Adoption Rules, as amended by sec. 56 of this Act, takes effect                            
10 only if sec. 56 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art.                        
11 IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                       
12       (g)  Rule 9(g), Alaska Adoption Rules, as amended by sec. 57 of this Act, takes effect                            
13 only if sec. 57 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art.                        
14 IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                       
15       (h)  Rule 13(a), Alaska Adoption Rules, as amended by sec. 58 of this Act, takes effect                           
16 only if sec. 58 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art.                        
17 IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                       
18       (i)  AS 13.26.064, added by sec. 2 of this Act, AS 25.23.180(j) - (n), added by sec. 4                            
19 of this Act, and AS 47.10.089, added by sec. 17 of this Act, take effect only if sec. 59(a) and                         
20 (b) of this Act receive the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15,                        
21 Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                                    
22    * Sec. 65.  If, under sec. 64 of this Act, secs. 9 and 10 of this Act, AS 47.10.080(v), enacted                    
23 by sec. 14 of this Act, and secs. 19 and 22 - 27 of this Act take effect, they take effect July 1,                      
24 2005.                                                                                                                   
25    * Sec. 66.  Except as provided in sec. 65 of this Act, this Act takes effect immediately under                     
26 AS 01.10.070(c).