txt

SCS CSSSHB 53(JUD): "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; relating to the admissibility into evidence of the prior recorded statement of a crime victim less than 16 years of age; amending Rules 9 and 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, Rules 3, 17.2, 18, and 22, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, Rules 14 and 15, Alaska Rules of Probate Procedure, and Rule 801, Alaska Rules of Evidence; and providing for an effective date."

00              SENATE CS FOR CS FOR SS FOR HOUSE BILL NO. 53(JUD)                                                         
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; relating to the                                         
06 admissibility into evidence of the prior recorded statement of a crime victim less than 16                              
07 years of age; amending Rules 9 and 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, Rules 3, 17.2, 18, and 22,                                
08 Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, Rules 14 and 15, Alaska Rules of                                        
09 Probate Procedure, and Rule 801, Alaska Rules of Evidence; and providing for an                                         
10 effective date."                                                                                                        
11 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
12    * Section 1.  AS 13.26.055 is amended to read:                                                                     
13            Sec. 13.26.055.  Court appointment of guardian of minor; qualifications;                                   
14       priority of minor's nominee and adult family member.  The court may appoint as                              
15       guardian any adult [PERSON] whose appointment would be in the best interests of                               
16       the minor and is consistent with a priority given to an adult family member.  The                             
17       court shall appoint a person nominated by the minor, if the minor is 14 years of age or                           
18       older, unless the court finds the appointment contrary to the best interests of the minor.                        
19       In this section, "adult family member" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990.                                 
20    * Sec. 2.  AS 13.26 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
21            Sec. 13.26.064.  Guardianship after voluntary relinquishment; procedure.                                   
22       In addition to the applicable procedures under this chapter, a guardianship decree and                            
23       review of a guardianship decree are governed by the procedures established under                                  
24       AS 25.23.180 and, for a child-in-need-of-aid, AS 47.10.089, pertaining to voluntary                               
25       relinquishment of parental rights and retaining of parental privileges in a guardianship                          
26       decree.                                                                                                           
27    * Sec. 3.  AS 25.23 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
01            Sec. 25.23.127.  Adult family member preference to adopt.   Taking into                                    
02       consideration a child's stated preference under AS 25.23.125(a) and consent given                                 
03       under AS 25.23.040(a)(5), and unless the court finds that a petition to adopt the child                           
04       by an adult family member is contrary to the best interest of the child, the court shall                          
05       grant a petition to adopt a child by an adult family member who has had physical                                  
06       custody of the child for at least 12 consecutive months before the parental rights to the                         
07       child have been terminated.  In this section, "adult family member" has the meaning                               
08       given in AS 47.10.990.                                                                                            
09    * Sec. 4.  AS 25.23.180 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                              
10            (j)  In a relinquishment of parental rights executed under (a) of this section, a                            
11       parent may retain privileges with respect to the child, including the ability to have                             
12       future contact, communication, and visitation with the child.  A retained privilege                               
13       must be stated in writing with specificity.  Not less than 10 days after the                                      
14       relinquishment is signed, the court may enter an order terminating parental rights if the                         
15       court finds that termination of parental rights under the terms of the agreement is in                            
16       the child's best interest.  If a parent has retained one or more privileges, the court shall                      
17       incorporate the retained privileges into the termination order with a recommendation                              
18       that the retained privileges be incorporated in an adoption or legal guardianship                                 
19       decree.                                                                                                           
20            (k)  A voluntary relinquishment may not be withdrawn and a termination order                                 
21       may not be vacated on the ground that a retained privilege has been withheld from the                             
22       relinquishing parent or that the relinquishing parent has been unable, for any reason, to                         
23       act on a retained privilege, except as provided in Rule 60(b), Alaska Rules of Civil                              
24       Procedure.                                                                                                        
25            (l)  After a termination order is entered, a person who has voluntarily                                      
26       relinquished parental rights under this section may request a review hearing, upon a                              
27       showing of good cause, to seek enforcement or modification of or to vacate a privilege                            
28       retained in the termination order.  The court may modify, enforce, or vacate the                                  
29       retained privilege if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in the                        
30       best interest of the child to do so.                                                                              
31            (m)  After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or                             
01       legal guardianship decree, a prospective adoptive parent or a guardian of a child who                             
02       is the subject of an adoption decree may request, after providing notice as specified                             
03       under this subsection, that the court decline to incorporate a privilege retained in a                            
04       termination order and recommended for incorporation in an adoption or guardianship                                
05       decree under (j) of this section.  The request made under this subsection may only be                             
06       considered by the court after providing at least 20 days' notice by certified mail to the                         
07       last known address of the person who has voluntarily relinquished parental rights to                              
08       the child.  The notice under this subsection must describe the request and explain that                           
09       the recipient of the notice may submit a written statement under penalty of perjury to                            
10       the court that the recipient either agrees with or opposes the request.  The notice must                          
11       also include the deadline for submitting the statement and the mailing address of the                             
12       court.  The court may decline to incorporate a retained privilege if the person who                               
13       retained the privilege agrees with the request or if the court finds that it is in the child's                    
14       best interest.                                                                                                    
15            (n)  A person who relinquished parental rights is entitled to the appointment of                             
16       an attorney if a hearing is requested under (l) or (m) of this section to the same extent                         
17       as if the parent's rights had not been terminated in a child-in-need-of-aid proceeding.                           
18    * Sec. 5.  AS 43.23.005(f) is amended to read:                                                                     
19            (f)  The [IN A TIME OF NATIONAL MILITARY EMERGENCY, THE]                                                 
20       commissioner may waive the requirement of (a)(4) of this section for an individual                                
21       absent from the state                                                                                             
22                 (1)  in a time of national military emergency under military orders                                 
23       while serving in the armed forces of the United States, or for the spouse and                                     
24       dependents of that individual; or                                                                             
25                 (2)  while in the custody of the Department of Health and Social                                    
26       Services in accordance with a court order under AS 47.10 or AS 47.12 and placed                               
27       outside of the state by the Department of Health and Social Services for purposes                             
28       of medical or behavioral treatment.                                                                           
29    * Sec. 6.  AS 47.10.005 is amended to read:                                                                        
30            Sec. 47.10.005.  Construction.  The provisions of this chapter shall be                                    
31       liberally construed to                                                                                            
01                 (1)  achieve the end that a child coming within the jurisdiction of the                             
02       court under this chapter may receive the care, guidance, treatment, and control that                              
03       will promote the child's welfare and the parents' participation in the upbringing of                          
04       the child to the fullest extent consistent with the child's best interests; and                               
05                 (2)  follow the findings set out in AS 47.05.065.                                                   
06    * Sec. 7.  AS 47.10.020(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
07            (a)  Whenever circumstances subject a child to the jurisdiction of the court                                 
08       under AS 47.10.005 - 47.10.142, the court shall appoint a competent person or agency                              
09       to make a preliminary inquiry and report for the information of the court to determine                            
10       whether the best interests of the child require that further action be taken.  The court                      
11       shall make the appointment on its own motion or at the request of a person or                                 
12       agency having knowledge of the child's circumstances.  If, under this subsection,                             
13       the court appoints a person or agency to make a preliminary inquiry and to report to it,                          
14       or if the department is conducting an investigation of a report of child abuse or                             
15       neglect, the court may issue any orders necessary to aid the person, the agency,                              
16       or the department in its investigation or in making the preliminary inquiry and                               
17       report.  Upon [THEN, UPON THE] receipt of the report under this subsection, the                           
18       court may                                                                                                         
19                 (1)  close the matter without a court hearing;                                                          
20                 (2)  determine whether the best interests of the child require that further                             
21       action be taken; or                                                                                               
22                 (3)  authorize the person or agency having knowledge of the facts of the                                
23       case to file with the court a petition setting out the facts.                                                     
24    * Sec. 8.  AS 47.10.020 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
25            (e)  Nothing in this section requires the department to obtain authorization                                 
26       from the court before                                                                                             
27                 (1)  conducting an investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect; or                              
28                 (2)  filing a petition.                                                                                 
29    * Sec. 9.  AS 47.10.070(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
30            (a)  The court may conduct the hearing on the petition in an informal manner.                                
31       The court shall give notice of the hearing to the department, and it may send a                                   
01       representative to the hearing.  The court shall also transmit a copy of the petition to the                       
02       department.  The department shall send notice of the hearing to the persons for whom                              
03       notice is required under AS 47.10.030(b) and to each grandparent of the child entitled                            
04       to notice under AS 47.10.030(d).  The department and the persons to whom the                                      
05       department must send notice of the hearing are entitled to be heard at the hearing.                               
06       Except as provided in (c) of this section, and unless prohibited by federal or state                          
07       law, court order, or court rule, a hearing is open to the public  [HOWEVER, THE                               
08       COURT MAY LIMIT THE PRESENCE OF THE FOSTER PARENT OR OTHER                                                        
09       OUT-OF-HOME CARE PROVIDER AND OF ANY GRANDPARENT OF THE                                                           
10       CHILD TO THE TIME DURING WHICH THE PERSON'S TESTIMONY IS BEING                                                    
11       GIVEN IF IT IS (1) IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD; OR (2)                                                      
12       NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PRIVACY INTERESTS OF THE PARTIES                                                         
13       AND WILL NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHILD.  THE PUBLIC SHALL BE                                                    
14       EXCLUDED FROM THE HEARING, BUT THE COURT, IN ITS DISCRETION,                                                      
15       MAY PERMIT INDIVIDUALS TO ATTEND A HEARING IF THEIR                                                               
16       ATTENDANCE IS COMPATIBLE WITH THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE                                                           
17       CHILD].                                                                                                           
18    * Sec. 10.  AS 47.10.070 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
19            (c)  Except as provided in (e) of this section, the following hearings in child-in-                          
20       need-of-aid cases are closed to the public:                                                                       
21                 (1)  the initial court hearing after the filing of a petition to commence                               
22       the child-in-need-of-aid case;                                                                                    
23                 (2)  a hearing following the initial hearing in which a parent, child, or                               
24       other party to the case is present but has not had an opportunity to obtain legal                                 
25       representation;                                                                                                   
26                 (3)  a hearing, or a part of a hearing, for which the court issues a written                            
27       order finding that allowing the hearing, or part of the hearing, to be open to the public                         
28       would reasonably be expected to                                                                                   
29                      (A)  stigmatize or be emotionally damaging to a child;                                             
30                      (B)  inhibit a child's testimony in that hearing;                                                  
31                      (C)  disclose matters otherwise required to be kept confidential                                   
01            by state or federal statute or regulation, court order, or court rule; or                                    
02                      (D)  interfere with a criminal investigation or proceeding or a                                    
03            criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a criminal proceeding; before ruling                           
04            on a request under this subparagraph, the court shall give notice and an                                     
05            opportunity to be heard to the state or a municipal agency that is assigned to                               
06            the criminal investigation or to the prosecuting attorney.                                                   
07            (d)  If a hearing, or part of a hearing, in a child-in-need-of-aid case is not                               
08       closed under (c) of this section, the court shall hear in camera any information offered                          
09       regarding the location, or readily leading to the location, of a parent, child, or other                          
10       party to the case who is a victim of domestic violence or whose safety or welfare may                             
11       be endangered by public release of the information.  Access to testimony heard in                                 
12       camera under this subsection is limited to the court and authorized court personnel.                              
13            (e)  The grandparents of the child and an out-of-home care provider may attend                               
14       hearings that are otherwise closed to the public under (c) of this section.  However, the                         
15       court shall limit the presence of these persons in a hearing closed to the public to the                          
16       time during which the person's testimony is being given if the court determines that                              
17       the limitation is necessary under (c)(3) of this section.                                                         
18            (f)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person attending a                               
19       hearing open to the public may not disclose a name, picture, or other information that                            
20       would readily lead to the identification of a child who is the subject of the child-in-                           
21       need-of-aid case.  At the beginning of the hearing, the court shall issue an order                                
22       specifying the restrictions necessary to comply with this subsection.  If a person                                
23       violates the order, the court may impose any appropriate sanction, including contempt                             
24       and closure of any further hearings to the person.                                                                
25    * Sec. 11.  AS 47.10.080(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
26            (c)  If the court finds that the child is a child in need of aid, the court shall                            
27                 (1)  order the child committed to the department for placement in an                                    
28       appropriate setting for a period of time not to exceed two years or in any event not to                       
29       extend past the date the child becomes 19 years of age, except that the department or                         
30       the child's guardian ad litem may petition for and the court may grant in a hearing                               
31                      (A)  one-year extensions of commitment that do not extend                                          
01            beyond the child's 19th birthday if the extension is in the best interests of the                            
02            child; and                                                                                                   
03                      (B)  an additional one-year period of state custody past [AGE]                                     
04            19 years of age if the continued state custody is in the best interests of the                           
05            person and the person consents to it;                                                                        
06                 (2)  order the child released to a parent, adult family member                                      
07       [RELATIVE], or guardian of the child or to another suitable person, and, in                                       
08       appropriate cases, order the parent, adult family member [RELATIVE], guardian, or                             
09       other person to provide medical or other care and treatment; if the court releases the                            
10       child, it shall direct the department to supervise the care and treatment given to the                            
11       child, but the court may dispense with the department's supervision if the court finds                            
12       that the adult to whom the child is released will adequately care for the child without                           
13       supervision; the department's supervision may not exceed two years or in any event                                
14       extend past the date the child reaches [AGE] 19 years of age, except that the                                 
15       department or the child's guardian ad litem may petition for and the court may grant in                           
16       a hearing                                                                                                         
17                      (A)  one-year extensions of supervision that do not extend                                         
18            beyond the child's 19th birthday if the extensions are in the best interests of the                          
19            child; and                                                                                                   
20                      (B)  an additional one-year period of supervision past [AGE] 19                                    
21            years of age if the continued supervision is in the best interests of the person                         
22            and the person consents to it; or                                                                            
23                 (3)  order, under the grounds specified in (o) of this section or                                       
24       AS 47.10.088, the termination of parental rights and responsibilities of one or both                              
25       parents and commit the child to the custody of the department, and the department                                 
26       shall report quarterly to the court on efforts being made to find a permanent placement                           
27       for the child.                                                                                                    
28    * Sec. 12.  AS 47.10.080(l) is amended to read:                                                                    
29            (l)  Within 12 months after the date a child enters foster care as calculated                                
30       under AS 47.10.088(f), the court shall hold a permanency hearing. The hearing and                                 
31       permanent plan developed in the hearing are governed by the following provisions:                                 
01                 (1)  the persons entitled to be heard under AS 47.10.070 or under (f) of                                
02       this section are also entitled to be heard at the hearing held under this subsection;                             
03                 (2)  when establishing the permanent plan for the child, the court shall                                
04       make appropriate written findings, including findings related to whether                                          
05                      (A)  and when the child should be returned to the parent or                                        
06            guardian;                                                                                                    
07                      (B)  the child should be placed for adoption or legal                                              
08            guardianship and whether a petition for termination of parental rights should be                             
09            filed by the department; and                                                                                 
10                      (C)  the child should be placed in another planned, permanent                                      
11            living arrangement and what steps are necessary to achieve the new                                           
12            arrangement;                                                                                                 
13                 (3)  if the court is unable to make a finding required under (2) of this                                
14       subsection, the court shall hold another hearing within a reasonable period of time;                              
15                 (4)  in addition to the findings required by (2) of this subsection, the                                
16       court shall also make appropriate written findings related to                                                     
17                      (A)  whether the department has made the reasonable efforts                                        
18            required under AS 47.10.086 to offer appropriate family support services to                                  
19            remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home that made                                
20            the child a child in need of aid under this chapter;                                                         
21                      (B)  whether the parent or guardian has made substantial                                           
22            progress to remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home                              
23            that made the child a child in need of aid under this chapter; [AND]                                         
24                      (C)  if the permanent plan is for the child to remain in out-of-                                   
25            home-care, whether the child's out-of-home placement continues to be                                         
26            appropriate and in the best interests of the child; and                                                  
27                      (D)  whether the department has made reasonable efforts to                                     
28            finalize the permanent plan for the child;                                                               
29                 (5)  the court shall hold a hearing to review the permanent plan at least                               
30       annually until successful implementation of the plan; if the plan approved by the court                           
31       changes after the hearing, the department shall promptly apply to the court for another                           
01       permanency hearing, and the court shall conduct the hearing within 30 days after                                  
02       application by the department.                                                                                    
03    * Sec. 13.  AS 47.10.080(p) is amended to read:                                                                  
04            (p)  If a child is removed from the parental home, the department shall provide                              
05       reasonable visitation between the child and the child's parents, guardian, and family.                            
06       When determining what constitutes reasonable visitation with a family member, the                                 
07       department shall consider the nature and quality of the relationship that existed                                 
08       between the child and the family member before the child was committed to the                                     
09       custody of the department.  The court may require the department to file a visitation                             
10       plan with the court.  The department may deny visitation to the parents, guardian, or                             
11       family members if there is clear and convincing evidence that visits are not in the                               
12       child's best interests.  If the department denies visitation to a parent or family                            
13       member of a child, the department shall inform the parent or family member of a                               
14       reason for the denial and of the parent's or adult family member's right to                                   
15       request a review hearing as an interested person.  A parent, adult family member,                         
16       or guardian who is denied visitation may request a review hearing.  A non-party                               
17       adult family member requesting a review hearing under this subsection is not                                  
18       eligible for publicly appointed legal counsel.                                                                
19    * Sec. 14.  AS 47.10.080 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
20            (t)  The court may not terminate parental rights solely on the basis that the                                
21       parent did not complete treatment required of the parent by the department for                                    
22       reunification with the child if the treatment required was unavailable to the parent and                          
23       the department did not provide the treatment.                                                                     
24            (u)  For a child who is placed in foster care, when the department finds that it                             
25       is in the best interest of a child and that the foster family will not be placed in undue                         
26       risk of harm, the department shall require foster parents to provide regular                                      
27       opportunities for visitation with the child by the parents of the child and encourage                             
28       foster parents to serve as mentors for facilitating family reunification.                                         
29            (v)  A hearing conducted under this section is open to the public unless an                                  
30       exception provided in AS 47.10.070(c) applies to make the hearing closed to the                                   
31       public or unless prohibited by federal or state statute or regulation.                                            
01    * Sec. 15.  AS 47.10.084(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
02            (c)  When there has been transfer of legal custody or appointment of a guardian                              
03       and parental rights have not been terminated by court decree, the parents shall have                              
04       residual rights and responsibilities.  These residual rights and responsibilities of the                          
05       parent include, but are not limited to, the right and responsibility of reasonable                                
06       visitation, consent to adoption, consent to marriage, consent to military enlistment,                             
07       consent to major medical treatment except in cases of emergency or cases falling                                  
08       under AS 25.20.025, and the responsibility for support, except if by court order any                              
09       residual right and responsibility has been delegated to a guardian under (b) of this                              
10       section.  In this subsection, "major medical treatment" includes the                                          
11       administration of medication used to treat a mental health disorder.                                          
12    * Sec. 16.  AS 47.10.088(i) is amended to read:                                                                    
13            (i)  The department shall concurrently identify, recruit, process, and approve a                             
14       qualified person or family for an adoption whenever a petition to terminate a parent's                            
15       rights to a child is filed.  Before identifying a placement of the child in an adoptive                       
16       home, the department shall attempt to locate all living adult family members of                               
17       the child and, if an adult family member expresses an interest in adopting the                                
18       child, investigate the adult family member's ability to care for the child.  The                              
19       department shall provide to all adult family members of the child located by the                              
20       department written notice of the adult family members' rights under this chapter                              
21       and of the procedures necessary to gain custody of the child, but the                                         
22       department's obligation to provide written notice under this subsection does not                              
23       apply to a parent of the child whose parental rights are being or have been                                   
24       terminated or to an adult family member who is known by the department to be                                  
25       ineligible for a foster care license under AS 47.35.019 or 47.35.021.  If an adult                            
26       family member of the child requests that the department approve the adult                                     
27       family member for an adoption, the department shall approve the request unless                                
28       there is good cause not to approve the adoption.  If the court issues an order to                             
29       terminate under (j) of this section, the department shall report within 30 days on the                            
30       efforts being made to recruit a permanent placement for the child if a permanent                                  
31       placement was not approved at the time of the trial under (j) of this section.  The                               
01       report must document recruitment efforts made for the child.                                                      
02    * Sec. 17.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
03            Sec. 47.10.089.  Voluntary relinquishment of parental rights and                                           
04       responsibilities.  (a)  When a child is committed to the custody of the department                              
05       under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3) or released under AS 47.10.080(c)(2), the rights of a                             
06       parent with respect to the child, including parental rights to control the child, to                              
07       withhold consent to an adoption, or to receive notice of a hearing on a petition for                              
08       adoption, may be voluntarily relinquished to the department and the relationship of                               
09       parent and child terminated in a proceeding as provided under this section.                                       
10            (b)  A voluntary relinquishment must be in writing and signed by a parent,                                   
11       regardless of the age of the parent, in the presence of a representative of the                                   
12       department or in the presence of  a court of competent jurisdiction with the knowledge                            
13       and approval of the department.  A copy of the signed relinquishment shall be given to                            
14       the parent.                                                                                                       
15            (c)  A voluntary relinquishment may be withdrawn within 10 days after it is                                  
16       signed.  The relinquishment is invalid unless the relinquishment contains the right of                            
17       withdrawal as specified under this subsection.                                                                    
18            (d)  A parent may retain privileges with respect to the child, including the                                 
19       ability to have future contact, communication, and visitation with the child in a                                 
20       voluntary relinquishment executed under this section.  A retained privilege must be in                            
21       writing and stated with specificity.                                                                              
22            (e)  Not less than 10 days after a voluntary relinquishment is signed, the court                             
23       shall enter an order terminating parental rights if the court determines that termination                         
24       of parental rights under the terms of the relinquishment is in the child's best interest.                         
25       If a parent has retained one or more privileges under (d) of this section, the court shall                        
26       incorporate the retained privileges in the termination order with a recommendation                                
27       that the retained privileges be incorporated in an adoption or legal guardianship                                 
28       decree.                                                                                                           
29            (f)  A voluntary relinquishment may not be withdrawn and a termination order                                 
30       may not be vacated on the ground that a retained privilege has been withheld from the                             
31       relinquishing parent or that the relinquishing parent has been unable, for any reason, to                         
01       act on a retained privilege, except as provided in Rule 60(b), Alaska Rules of Civil                              
02       Procedure.                                                                                                        
03            (g)  After a termination order is entered, a person who has voluntarily                                      
04       relinquished parental rights under this section may request a review hearing, upon a                              
05       showing of good cause, to seek enforcement or modification of or to vacate a privilege                            
06       retained in the termination order.  The court may modify, enforce, or vacate the                                  
07       retained privilege if the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that it is in the                        
08       best interest of the child to do so.                                                                              
09            (h)  After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or                             
10       legal guardianship decree, a person who voluntarily relinquished parental rights to a                             
11       child under this section may request a review hearing, upon a showing of good cause,                              
12       to vacate the termination order and reinstate parental rights relating to that child.  A                          
13       court shall vacate a termination order if the person shows, by clear and convincing                               
14       evidence, that reinstatement of parental rights is in the best interest of the child and                          
15       that the person is rehabilitated and capable of providing the care and guidance that will                         
16       serve the moral, emotional, mental, and physical welfare of the child.                                            
17            (i)  A person who relinquished parental rights is entitled to the appointment of                             
18       an attorney if a hearing is requested under (g), (h), or (j) of this section to the same                          
19       extent as if the parent's rights had not been terminated in a child-in-need-of-aid                                
20       proceeding.                                                                                                       
21            (j)  After a termination order is entered and before the entry of an adoption or                             
22       legal guardianship decree, a prospective adoptive parent or a guardian of a child who                             
23       is the subject of the adoption or guardianship decree may request, after providing                                
24       notice as specified under this subsection, that the court decline to incorporate a                                
25       privilege retained in a termination order and recommended for incorporation in an                                 
26       adoption or guardianship decree under (e) of this section.  The request made under this                           
27       subsection may only be considered by the court after providing at least 20 days' notice                           
28       by certified mail to the last known address of the person who has voluntarily                                     
29       relinquished parental rights to the child.  The notice under this subsection must                                 
30       describe the request and explain that the recipient of the notice may submit a written                            
31       statement under penalty of perjury to the court that the recipient either agrees with or                          
01       opposes the request.  The notice must also include the deadline for submitting the                                
02       statement and the mailing address of the court.  The court may decline to incorporate a                           
03       retained privilege if the person who retained the privilege agrees with the request or if                         
04       the court finds that it is in the child's best interest.                                                          
05    * Sec. 18.  AS 47.10.090(c) is amended to read:                                                                    
06            (c)  Within 30 days after [OF] the date of a child's [MINOR'S] 18th birthday                         
07       or, if the court retains jurisdiction of a child [MINOR] past the child's [MINOR'S]                       
08       18th birthday, within 30 days after [OF] the date on which the court releases                                 
09       jurisdiction over the child [MINOR], the court shall order all the court's official                           
10       records pertaining to that child [MINOR] in a proceeding under this chapter sealed.  A                        
11       person may not use these sealed records unless authorized by order of [FOR ANY                                
12       PURPOSE EXCEPT THAT] the court upon a finding of [MAY ORDER THEIR                                             
13       USE FOR] good cause [SHOWN].                                                                                      
14    * Sec. 19.  AS 47.10.090(d) is amended to read:                                                                    
15            (d)  The name or picture of a child [MINOR] under the jurisdiction of the court                          
16       may not be made public in connection with the child's [MINOR'S] status as a child in                          
17       need of aid unless authorized by order of the court or unless to implement the                                
18       permanency plan for a child after all parental rights of custody have been                                    
19       terminated.  This subsection does not prohibit the release of aggregate                                       
20       information for statistical or other informational purposes if the identity of any                            
21       particular person is not revealed by the release.                                                             
22    * Sec. 20.  AS 47.10.092(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
23            (a)  Notwithstanding AS 47.10.090 and 47.10.093, a parent or legal guardian of                               
24       a child subject to a proceeding under AS 47.10.005 - 47.10.142 may disclose                                       
25       confidential or privileged information about the child or the child's family, including                           
26       information that has been lawfully obtained from agency or court files, to the                                    
27       governor, the lieutenant governor, a legislator, the ombudsman appointed under                                    
28       AS 24.55, the attorney general, and the commissioner [COMMISSIONERS] of health                                
29       and social services, administration, or public safety, or an employee of these persons,                           
30       for review or use in their official capacities.  The Department of Health and Social                          
31       Services and the Department of Administration [DEPARTMENT] shall disclose                                     
01       additional confidential or privileged information, excluding privileged attorney-                             
02       client information, and make copies of documents available for inspection about the                           
03       child or the child's family to these state officials or employees for review or use in                            
04       their official capacities upon request of the official or employee and submission of                              
05       satisfactory evidence that a parent or legal guardian of the child has requested the state                        
06       official's assistance in the case as part of the official's duties.  A person to whom                             
07       disclosure is made under this section may not disclose confidential or privileged                                 
08       information about the child or the child's family to a person not authorized to receive                           
09       it.                                                                                                               
10    * Sec. 21.  AS 47.10.092 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
11            (d)  The obligations under (a) of this section remain in effect throughout the                               
12       period that the child is in the custody of the department, including after the parent's                           
13       parental rights have been terminated with respect to the child, unless the child's parent                         
14       or legal guardian who made the disclosure under (a) of this section subsequently files                            
15       a notice with the Department of Health and Social Services that the assistance of the                             
16       state official or employee is no longer requested.                                                                
17            (e)  The Department of Health and Social Services shall notify an official                                   
18       identified under (a) of this section of the opportunity for a parent to file a grievance                          
19       under AS 47.10.098 when the official is denied access to all or part of a requested                               
20       record.                                                                                                           
21    * Sec. 22.  AS 47.10.093(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
22            (a)  Except as permitted [SPECIFIED] in AS 47.10.092 and in (b) - (g) and                            
23       (k) - (n) [(b) - (g)] of this section, all information and social records pertaining to a                     
24       child [MINOR] who is subject to this chapter or AS 47.17 prepared by or in the                                
25       possession of a federal, state, or municipal agency or employee in the discharge of the                           
26       agency's or employee's official duty are privileged and may not be disclosed directly                             
27       or indirectly to anyone without a court order.                                                                    
28    * Sec. 23.  AS 47.10.093(b) is amended to read:                                                                    
29            (b)  A state or municipal agency or employee shall disclose appropriate                                      
30       confidential information regarding a case to                                                                  
31                 (1)  a guardian ad litem appointed by the court;                                                        
01                 (2)  a person or an agency requested by the department or the child's                                   
02       legal custodian to provide consultation or services for a child who is subject to the                             
03       jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010 as necessary to enable the provision of                              
04       the consultation or services;                                                                                     
05                 (3) an out-of-home care provider [FOSTER PARENTS OR                                                 
06       RELATIVES WITH WHOM THE CHILD IS PLACED BY THE DEPARTMENT]                                                        
07       as [MAY BE] necessary to enable the out-of-home care provider [FOSTER                                         
08       PARENTS OR RELATIVES] to provide appropriate care to [FOR] the child [WHO                                     
09       IS THE SUBJECT OF THE CASE], to protect the safety of the child [WHO IS THE                                       
10       SUBJECT OF THE CASE], and to protect the safety and property of family members                                    
11       and visitors of the out-of-home care provider [FOSTER PARENTS OR                                              
12       RELATIVES];                                                                                                       
13                 (4) a school official [OFFICIALS] as [MAY BE] necessary to enable                               
14       the school to provide appropriate counseling and support services to a [THE] child                            
15       who is the subject of the case, to protect the safety of the child [WHO IS THE                                    
16       SUBJECT OF THE CASE], and to protect the safety of school students and staff;                                     
17                 (5)  a governmental agency as [MAY BE] necessary to obtain that                                         
18       agency's assistance for the department in its investigation or to obtain physical custody                         
19       of a child;                                                                                                       
20                 (6)  a law enforcement agency of this state or another jurisdiction as                                  
21       [MAY BE] necessary for the protection of any child or for actions by that agency to                               
22       protect the public safety;                                                                                        
23                 (7) a member [MEMBERS] of a multidisciplinary child protection                                      
24       team created under AS 47.14.300 as [MAY BE] necessary for the performance of the                              
25       member's [THEIR] duties;                                                                                      
26                 (8)  the state medical examiner under AS 12.65 as [MAY BE]                                              
27       necessary for the performance of the duties of the state medical examiner;                                        
28                 (9)  a person who has made a report of harm as required by                                              
29       AS 47.17.020 to inform the person that the investigation was completed and of action                              
30       taken to protect the child who was the subject of the report; [AND]                                               
31                 (10)  the child support services agency established in AS 25.27.010 as                                  
01       [MAY BE] necessary to establish and collect child support for a child who is a child in                           
02       need of aid under this chapter;                                                                               
03                 (11)  a parent, guardian, or caregiver of a child or an entity                                      
04       responsible for ensuring the safety of children as necessary to protect the safety                            
05       of a child; and                                                                                               
06                 (12)  a review panel established by the department, the legislature,                                
07       or the governor for the purpose of reviewing the actions taken by the department                              
08       in a specific case.                                                                                           
09    * Sec. 24.  AS 47.10.093(c) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                     
10            (c)  A state or municipal law enforcement agency shall disclose information                                  
11       regarding a case that is needed by the person or agency charged with making a                                     
12       preliminary investigation for the information of the court under AS 47.10.020.                                    
13    * Sec. 25.  AS 47.10.093(f) is amended to read:                                                                    
14            (f)  The department may release to a person with a legitimate interest                                       
15       confidential information relating to children [MINORS] not subject to the                                 
16       jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010. [THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ADOPT                                         
17       REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION AND                                                              
18       IDENTIFYING A SUFFICIENT LEGITIMATE INTEREST.]                                                                    
19    * Sec. 26.  AS 47.10.093(g) is amended to read:                                                                    
20            (g)  The department and affected law enforcement agencies shall work with                                    
21       school districts and private schools to develop procedures for the disclosure of                                  
22       confidential information to a school official [OFFICIALS] under (b)(3) [(b)(4)] of                
23       this section.  The procedures must provide a method for informing the principal or the                            
24       principal's designee of the school that the student attends as soon as it is reasonably                       
25       practicable.                                                                                                      
26    * Sec. 27.  AS 47.10.093 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
27            (k)  The commissioner of health and social services or the commissioner's                                    
28       designee or the commissioner of administration or the commissioner's designee, as                                 
29       appropriate, may disclose to the public, upon request, confidential information, as set                           
30       out in (l) of this section, when                                                                                  
31                 (1)  the parent or guardian of a child who is the subject of a report of                                
01       harm under AS 47.17 has made a public disclosure concerning the department's                                      
02       involvement with the family;                                                                                      
03                 (2)  the alleged perpetrator named in a report of harm under AS 47.17                                   
04       has been charged with a crime concerning the alleged abuse or neglect; or                                         
05                 (3)  a report of harm under AS 47.17 has resulted in the fatality or near                               
06       fatality of that child.                                                                                           
07            (l)  The type of information that may be publicly disclosed under (k) of this                                
08       section is information related to the determination, if any, made by the department                               
09       regarding the validity of a report of harm under AS 47.17 and the department's                                    
10       activities arising from the department's investigation of the report.  The commissioner                           
11       or the commissioner's designee                                                                                    
12                 (1)  shall withhold disclosure of the child's name, picture, or other                                   
13       information that would readily lead to the identification of the child if the department                          
14       determines that the disclosure would be contrary to the best interests of the child, the                          
15       child's siblings, or other children in the child's household; or                                                  
16                 (2)  after consultation with a prosecuting attorney, shall withhold                                     
17       disclosure of information that would reasonably be expected to interfere with a                                   
18       criminal investigation or proceeding or a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a                         
19       criminal proceeding.                                                                                              
20            (m)  Except for a disclosure made under (k) of this section, a person to whom                                
21       disclosure is made under this section may not disclose confidential information about                             
22       the child or the child's family to a person not authorized to receive it.                                         
23            (n)  The Department of Health and Social Services and the Department of                                      
24       Administration shall adopt regulations to implement and interpret the duties of the                               
25       respective department under this section, including regulations governing the release                             
26       of confidential information and identifying a sufficient legitimate interest under (f) of                         
27       this section.                                                                                                     
28            (o)  A person may not bring an action for damages against the state, the                                     
29       commissioner, or the commissioner's designee based on the disclosure or                                           
30       nondisclosure of information under (k) of this section except for civil damages                                   
31       resulting from gross negligence or reckless or intentional misconduct.                                            
01    * Sec. 28.  AS 47.10 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                   
02            Sec. 47.10.098.  Grievance procedure.  (a)  The department shall develop, in                             
03       regulation, a grievance procedure for a parent to file a complaint based on                                       
04                 (1)  the application of a department policy or procedure under this                                     
05       chapter;                                                                                                          
06                 (2)  compliance with this chapter or a regulation adopted under this                                    
07       chapter; or                                                                                                       
08                 (3)  an act or failure to act by the department under this chapter.                                     
09            (b)  The department shall prepare and distribute to each parent of a child who                               
10       is under the jurisdiction of the department a written copy of the grievance procedure                             
11       developed under (a) of this section.                                                                              
12    * Sec. 29.  AS 47.10.960 is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                        
13            Sec. 47.10.960.  Civil liability.  Failure to comply with a provision of this title                        
14       does not constitute a basis for civil liability for damages.                                                      
15    * Sec. 30.  AS 47.10.990(16) is amended to read:                                                                   
16                 (16)  "mental health professional" has the meaning given in                                             
17       AS 47.30.915, except that, if the child is placed in another state by the                                     
18       department, "mental health professional" also includes a professional listed in                               
19       the definition of "mental health professional" in AS 47.30.915 who is not licensed                            
20       to practice by a board of this state but is licensed by a corresponding licensing                             
21       authority to practice in the state in which the child is placed;                                              
22    * Sec. 31.  AS 47.10.990 is amended by adding new paragraphs to read:                                              
23                 (28)  "adult family member" means a person who is 18 years of age or                                    
24       older and who is                                                                                                  
25                      (A)  related to the child as the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle,                                 
26            or sibling; or                                                                                               
27                      (B)  the child's sibling's legal guardian or parent;                                               
28                 (29)  "family member" means a person of any age who is                                                  
29                      (A)  related to the child as the child's grandparent, aunt, uncle,                                 
30            or sibling; or                                                                                               
31                      (B)  the child's sibling's legal guardian or parent;                                               
01                 (30)  "near fatality" means physical injury or other harm, as certified by                              
02       a physician, caused by an act or omission that created a substantial risk of death;                               
03                 (31)  "out-of-home care provider" means a foster parent or relative                                     
04       other than a parent with whom the child is placed.                                                                
05    * Sec. 32.  AS 47.12.990(10) is amended to read:                                                                   
06                 (10)  "mental health professional" has the meaning given in                                             
07       AS 47.30.915, except that, if the minor is placed in another state by the                                     
08       department, "mental health professional" also includes a professional listed in                               
09       the definition of "mental health professional" in  AS 47.30.915 who is not licensed                           
10       to practice by a board of this state but is licensed by a corresponding licensing                             
11       authority to practice in the state in which the minor is placed;                                              
12    * Sec. 33.  AS 47.14.100(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
13            (a)  Subject to (e), (f), and (i) - (m) [(i) - (l)] of this section, the department                      
14       shall arrange for the care of every child committed to its custody by placing the child                           
15       in a foster home or in the care of an agency or institution providing care for children                           
16       inside or outside the state. The department may place a child in a suitable family                                
17       home, with or without compensation, and may place a child released to it, in writing                              
18       verified by the parent, or guardian or other person having legal custody, for adoptive                            
19       purposes, in a home for adoption in accordance with existing law.                                                 
20    * Sec. 34.  AS 47.14.100(e) is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                     
21            (e)  When a child is removed from a parent's home, the department shall place                                
22       the child, in the absence of a showing of good cause to the contrary,                                             
23                 (1)  in the least restrictive setting that most closely approximates a                                  
24       family and that meets the child's special needs, if any;                                                          
25                 (2)  within reasonable proximity to the child's home, taking into                                       
26       account any special needs of the child and the preferences of the child or parent;                                
27                 (3)  with, in the following order of preference,                                                        
28                      (A)  an adult family member;                                                                       
29                      (B)  a family friend who meets the foster care licensing                                           
30            requirements established by the department;                                                                  
31                      (C)  a licensed foster home that is not an adult family member                                     
01            or family friend;                                                                                            
02                      (D)  an institution for children that has a program suitable to                                    
03            meet the child's needs.                                                                                      
04    * Sec. 35.  AS 47.14.100(f) is amended to read:                                                                  
05            (f)  If an adult family member [A BLOOD RELATIVE] of the child                                           
06       specified under (e) of this section exists and agrees that the child should be placed                             
07       elsewhere, before placement elsewhere, the department shall fully communicate the                                 
08       nature of the placement proceedings to the adult family member [RELATIVE].                                    
09       Communication under this subsection shall be made in the adult family member's                                
10       [RELATIVE'S] native language, if necessary.  [NOTHING IN THIS SUBSECTION                                          
11       OR IN (e) OF THIS SECTION APPLIES TO CHILD PLACEMENT FOR                                                          
12       ADOPTIVE PURPOSES.]                                                                                               
13    * Sec. 36.  AS 47.14.100(j) is amended to read:                                                                    
14            (j)  For the purpose of determining whether the home of a relative meets the                                 
15       requirements for placement of a child under (e) of this section or under                                      
16       AS 47.10.088(i), the department shall conduct a criminal background check from state                          
17       and national criminal justice information available under AS 12.62.  The department                               
18       may conduct a fingerprint background check on any member of the relative's                                        
19       household who is 16 [12] years of age or older when the relative requests placement of                        
20       the child.  For the purposes of obtaining criminal justice information under this                                 
21       subsection, the department is a criminal justice agency conducting a criminal justice                             
22       activity under AS 12.62.                                                                                          
23    * Sec. 37.  AS 47.14.100 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
24            (m)  Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult                                   
25       family member or family friend under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section                                 
26       includes grounds for denial of a foster care license under AS 47.35.019 or 47.35.021.                             
27       Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult family member                               
28       or adult family friend does not include poverty or inadequate or crowded housing.  If                             
29       the department denies a request for placement with an adult family member or a                                    
30       family friend, the department shall inform the adult family member or family friend of                            
31       the basis for the denial and the right to request a hearing to review the decision.  A                            
01       non-party adult family member or family friend requesting a review hearing under                                  
02       AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section is not eligible for publicly appointed legal                         
03       counsel.                                                                                                          
04    * Sec. 38.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
05            Sec. 47.14.205.  State Citizen Review Panel.  (a)  There is established within                             
06       the department a Citizen Review Panel.  The panel shall be composed of volunteer                                  
07       members who are broadly representative of the state, including members who have                                   
08       expertise in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect.                                             
09            (b)  The panel shall meet not less than once every three months.  Meetings may                               
10       take place telephonically.                                                                                        
11    * Sec. 39.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
12            Sec. 47.14.215.  Duties of the state panel.  (a)  The state panel shall evaluate                           
13       the extent to which the department is effectively discharging its child protection                                
14       responsibilities under                                                                                            
15                 (1)  the state plan submitted to the United States Department of Health                                 
16       and Human Services under 42 U.S.C. 5106a(b);                                                                      
17                 (2)  child protection standards under federal and state laws; and                                       
18                 (3)  any other criteria that the panel considers important to ensuring the                              
19       protection of children, including the level and efficiency of coordination of foster care                         
20       and adoption programs in the state and a review of child fatalities and near fatalities.                          
21            (b)  In carrying out the responsibilities under (a) of this section, the state panel                         
22       shall examine the policies, procedures, and practices of the department, and, where                               
23       appropriate, evaluate specific cases of child abuse or neglect.                                                   
24            (c)  The commissioner shall, by regulation, establish policies and procedures                                
25       necessary to carrying out the duties of the state panel under this section.                                       
26    * Sec. 40.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 read:                                         
27            Sec. 47.14.225.  Cooperation with state panel.   (a)  The department shall                                 
28       provide the panel access to information on child abuse or neglect cases that is                                   
29       necessary for the panel to carry out its duties under AS 47.14.215.                                               
30            (b)  The department shall serve as staff to the state panel as requested by the                              
31       panel members.                                                                                                    
01    * Sec. 41.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
02            Sec. 47.14.235.  Confidentiality.  (a)  A person attending a meeting of the                                
03       state panel or a member or staff of the state panel may not make any disclosure related                           
04       to information obtained during a review by the state panel unless authorized under                                
05       AS 47.10.092 or 47.10.093.                                                                                        
06            (b)  Meetings of the state panel are subject to AS 44.62.310 and 44.62.312.                                  
07    * Sec. 42.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
08            Sec. 47.14.245.  Public outreach.  The state panel shall conduct public                                    
09       outreach and gather public comment on current department procedures and practices                                 
10       involving children and family services.                                                                           
11    * Sec. 43.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
12            Sec. 47.14.255.  Report.  (a)  The state panel shall prepare and make available                            
13       to the governor, the legislature, and to the public an annual report containing a                                 
14       summary of the activities of the panel conducted under AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295 and                               
15       recommendations for the improvement of child protection services in the state.                                    
16            (b)  Not later than six months after the date on which the report is released                                
17       under (a) of this section, the department shall submit a written response to the report.                          
18       The department's response must include a description of whether and how the                                       
19       department will incorporate the recommendations of the panel, where appropriate.                                  
20    * Sec. 44.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
21            Sec. 47.14.265. Civil penalty for violation of AS 47.14.235.  A violation                                  
22       under 47.14.235 is subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for each violation.                                 
23    * Sec. 45.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                      
24            Sec.  47.14.275.  Immunity.  A member of the state panel and a person who                                  
25       furnishes services to or advises the state panel is not liable for damages or other relief                        
26       in an action involving the performance or failure to perform a duty or other activity of                          
27       the state panel.                                                                                                  
28    * Sec. 46.  AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to article 3 to read:                                    
29            Sec. 47.14.295.  Definitions.  In AS 47.14.205 - 47.14.295,                                                
30                 (1)  "adult family member" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990;                                       
31                 (2)  "near fatality" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990;                                             
01                 (3)  "state panel" means the Citizen Review Panel established under                                     
02       AS 47.14.205.                                                                                                     
03    * Sec. 47.  AS 47.17.025 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                            
04            (c)  Within 20 days after receiving a report of harm, whether or not the matter                              
05       is referred to a local government agency, the department shall notify the person who                              
06       made the report and who made a request to be notified, about the status of the                                    
07       investigation, without disclosing any confidential information.                                                 
08    * Sec. 48.  AS 47.17.027(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
09            (a)  If the department or a law enforcement agency provides written                                          
10       certification to the child's school officials that (1) there is reasonable cause to suspect                       
11       that the child has been abused or neglected by a person responsible for the child's                               
12       welfare or as a result of conditions created by a person responsible for the child's                              
13       welfare; (2) an interview at school is a necessary part of an investigation to determine                          
14       whether the child has been abused or neglected; and (3) the interview at school is in                             
15       the best interests of the child, school officials shall permit the child to be interviewed                        
16       at school by the department or a law enforcement agency before notification of, or                                
17       receiving permission from, the child's parent, guardian, or custodian. A school official                          
18       shall be present during an interview at the school unless the child objects or the                                
19       department or law enforcement agency determines that the presence of the school                                   
20       official will interfere with the investigation.  The interview shall be conducted as                          
21       required under AS 47.17.033.  Immediately after conducting an interview authorized                            
22       under this section, and after informing the child of the intention to notify the child's                          
23       parent, guardian, or custodian, the department or agency shall make every reasonable                              
24       effort to notify the child's parent, guardian, or custodian that the interview occurred                           
25       unless it appears to the department or agency that notifying the child's parent,                                  
26       guardian, or custodian would endanger the child.                                                                  
27    * Sec. 49.  AS 47.17.033 is amended by adding new subsections to read:                                             
28            (c)  An investigation by the department of child abuse or neglect reported                                   
29       under this chapter shall be conducted by a person trained to conduct a child abuse and                            
30       neglect investigation and without subjecting a child to more than one interview about                             
31       the abuse or neglect except when new information is obtained that requires further                                
01       information from the child.                                                                                       
02            (d)  An interview of a child conducted as a result of a report of harm may be                                
03       audiotaped or videotaped.  If an interview of a child concerns a report of sexual abuse                           
04       of the child by a parent or caretaker of the child, the interview shall be videotaped,                            
05       unless videotaping the interview is not feasible or will, in the opinion of the                                   
06       investigating agency, result in trauma to the child.                                                              
07            (e)  An interview of a child that is audiotaped or videotaped under (d) of this                              
08       section shall be conducted                                                                                        
09                 (1)  by a person trained and competent to conduct the interview;                                        
10                 (2)  if available, at a child advocacy center; and                                                      
11                 (3)  by a person who is a party to a memorandum of understanding with                                   
12       the department to conduct the interview or who is employed by an agency that is                                   
13       authorized to conduct investigations.                                                                             
14            (f)  An interview of a child may not be videotaped more than one time unless                                 
15       the interviewer or the investigating agency determines that one or more additional                                
16       interviews are necessary to complete an investigation.  If additional interviews are                              
17       necessary, the additional interviews shall be conducted, to the extent possible, by the                           
18       same interviewer who conducted the initial interview of the child.                                                
19            (g)  A recorded interview of a child shall be preserved in the manner and for a                              
20       period provided by law for maintaining evidence and records of a public agency.                                   
21            (h)  A recorded interview of a child is subject to disclosure under the                                      
22       applicable court rules for discovery in a civil or criminal case.                                                 
23            (i)  In this section, "child advocacy center" means a facility operated with a                               
24       child-focused, community partnership committed to a multidisciplinary team approach                               
25       that includes representatives from law enforcement, child protection, criminal                                    
26       prosecution, victim advocacy, and the medical and mental health fields who                                        
27       collaborate and assist in investigating allegations of sexual or other abuse and neglect                          
28       of children.                                                                                                      
29    * Sec. 50.  AS 47.18.300(a) is amended to read:                                                                    
30            (a)  The department, in coordination with local public and private agencies,                                 
31       shall design, develop, and implement a foster care transition program to provide                                  
01       support and services to individuals who                                                                           
02                 (1)  reach or have reached the age of 16 or older while in state foster                                 
03       care and have not yet reached 23 years of age [THE AGE OF 21]; and                                            
04                 (2)  meet other eligibility criteria established by the department under                                
05       (b) of this section.                                                                                              
06    * Sec. 51.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
07 read:                                                                                                                   
08            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 3(c), Alaska Child in Need of                                             
09       Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                       
10            (c)  Presence of Grandparent or Foster Parent. A grandparent of a child                            
11       and the foster parent or other out-of-home care provider are [IS] entitled to be heard                    
12       at any hearing at which the person is present.  However, the court may limit the                                  
13       presence of these persons in a hearing that has been closed to the public under                               
14       (f)(2) of this rule [THE FOSTER PARENT OR CARE PROVIDER] to the time                                          
15       during which the person's testimony is being given if the court determines that such                          
16       a limitation is necessary under the circumstances listed in (f)(2)(C) of this rule [IT                        
17       IS (1) IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD; OR (2) NECESSARY TO                                                     
18       PROTECT THE PRIVACY INTERESTS OF THE PARTIES AND WILL NOT BE                                                      
19       DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHILD].                                                                                        
20    * Sec. 52.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
21 read:                                                                                                                   
22            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 3(f), Alaska Child in Need of                                             
23       Aid Rules of Procedure, is repealed and reenacted to read:                                                        
24            (f)  General Public Access to Hearings.                                                                    
25                 (1)  Except as provided in (2) of this paragraph, and unless prohibited                                 
26       by federal or state statute or regulation, court order, or other court rule, hearings are                         
27       open to the public.                                                                                               
28                 (2)  The following hearings are closed to the public:                                                   
29                      (A)  the initial court hearing after the filing of a petition that                                 
30            begins the child-in-need-of-aid case;                                                                        
31                      (B)  a hearing following the initial hearing in which a parent,                                    
01            child, or other party to the case is present but has not had an opportunity to                               
02            obtain legal representation;                                                                                 
03                      (C)  a hearing, or a part of a hearing, for which the court issues                                 
04            a written order finding that allowing the hearing, or part of the hearing, to be                             
05            open to the public would reasonably be expected to stigmatize or be                                          
06            emotionally damaging to a child; inhibit a child's testimony in the hearing;                                 
07            disclose matters otherwise required to be kept confidential by state or federal                              
08            statute or regulation, court order, or court rule; or interfere with a criminal                              
09            investigation or proceeding or a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a                             
10            criminal proceeding.                                                                                         
11                 (3)  Before ruling on a request under (2)(C) of this paragraph                                          
12       concerning potential interference with a criminal investigation or proceeding, the court                          
13       shall give notice and an opportunity to be heard to the state or a municipal agency that                          
14       is assigned to the criminal investigation or to the prosecuting attorney.                                         
15                 (4)  If the court closes a hearing to the public under (2)(C) of this                                   
16       paragraph, the court shall close only the portions of the hearing necessary to prevent                            
17       the potential harm listed in (2)(C) of this paragraph.  If a hearing, or part of a hearing,                       
18       is open to the public, the court shall hear in camera any information offered regarding                           
19       the location, or readily leading to the location, of a parent, child, or other party to the                       
20       case who is a victim of domestic violence or whose safety or welfare may be                                       
21       endangered by the public release of information.  Access to testimony heard in camera                             
22       under this subparagraph is limited to the court and authorized court personnel.                                   
23                 (5)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this rule, the court shall                                  
24       issue an order to prohibit all persons in a hearing open to the public from disclosing to                         
25       any person a name, picture, or other information that would readily lead to the                                   
26       identification of a child who is the subject of the proceeding.  If a person violates the                         
27       order, the court may impose any appropriate sanction, including contempt and closure                              
28       of any further hearings in the proceeding to the person.                                                          
29                 (6)  A party to the proceeding may move the court to close to the public                                
30       a hearing, or part of the hearing, to avoid the harm specified in (2)(C) of this                                  
31       paragraph.  A member of the public may request in writing to be served with a motion                              
01       filed under this subparagraph.  If such a request has been filed in advance of the filing                         
02       of the motion, the party filing the motion must also serve the member of the public                               
03       who requested notice under this subparagraph.  The court may waive the service                                    
04       required under this subparagraph to a member of the public if a motion to close the                               
05       hearing, or part of the hearing, is made under this subparagraph immediately before or                            
06       during the hearing and the court finds that                                                                       
07                      (A)  the need for closure was not reasonably foreseeable                                           
08            sufficiently in advance of the hearing to allow for notice;                                                  
09                      (B)  there is good cause not to delay the hearing in order to                                      
10            achieve notice, taking into consideration the age of the child and the potential                             
11            adverse effect that a delay could have on the child; and                                                     
12                      (C)  whatever notice is practicable under the circumstances has                                    
13            occurred.                                                                                                    
14    * Sec. 53.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
15 read:                                                                                                                   
16            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 17.2(f), Alaska Child in Need                                             
17       of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                    
18            (f)  Additional Findings.  In addition to the findings required under paragraph                            
19       (e), the court shall also make written findings related to                                                        
20                 (1)  whether the Department has made reasonable efforts required                                        
21       under AS 47.10.086 or, in the case of an Indian child, whether the Department has                                 
22       made active efforts to provide remedial services and rehabilitative programs as                                   
23       required by 25 U.S.C. Sec. 1912(d);                                                                               
24                 (2)  whether the parent or guardian has made substantial progress to                                    
25       remedy the parent's or guardian's conduct or conditions in the home that made the                                 
26       child a child in need of aid; [AND]                                                                               
27                 (3)  if the permanent plan is for the child to remain in out-of-home care,                              
28       whether the child's out-of-home placement continues to be appropriate and in the best                             
29       interests of the child; and                                                                                   
30                 (4)  whether the Department has made reasonable efforts to finalize                                 
31       the permanent plan for the child.                                                                             
01    * Sec. 54.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
02 read:                                                                                                                   
03            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 18(d)(1), Alaska Child in                                                 
04       Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                               
05            (d)  Relinquishment.                                                                                       
06                 (1)  Notwithstanding other provisions of this rule, the court may                                       
07       terminate parental rights after a voluntary relinquishment pursuant to AS 47.10.089                           
08       [AS 25.23.180].  In the case of an Indian child, the relinquishment must meet the                                 
09       requirements set forth in 25 U.S.C. § 1913(c).                                                                    
10    * Sec. 55.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 22(c), Alaska Child in Need                                               
13       of Aid Rules of Procedure, is amended to read:                                                                    
14            (c)  Child's Name or Picture. The name or picture of a child who is the                                    
15       subject of a CINA proceeding may not be made available to the public unless                                       
16       authorized by court order accompanied by a written statement reciting the                                         
17       circumstances which support such authorization, or unless to implement the                                    
18       permanency plan for the child after all parental rights of custody have been                                  
19       terminated.                                                                                                   
20    * Sec. 56.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
21 read:                                                                                                                   
22            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 9(a), Alaska Adoption Rules,                                              
23       is amended to read:                                                                                               
24            (a)  Form.  A consent or relinquishment must be in writing and must include:                               
25                 (1)  notice of the person's right to withdraw the consent or                                            
26       relinquishment as provided by paragraphs (g) and (h) of this rule;                                                
27                 (2)  the address and telephone number of the court in which the                                         
28       adoption or relinquishment proceeding has or is expected to be filed;                                             
29                 (3)  a statement of the right to counsel as stated in Rule 8;                                           
30                 (4)  a statement concerning whether or not any visitation rights or                                 
31       other parental privileges are sought to be retained after the adoption;                                       
01                 (5)  if a consent, the information required in AS 25.23.060; and                                        
02                 (6)  if signed by a parent, a statement of whether the parent is a minor.                               
03    * Sec. 57.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
04 read:                                                                                                                   
05            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 9(g), Alaska Adoption Rules,                                              
06       is amended to read:                                                                                               
07            (g)  Withdrawal of Consent or Relinquishment of a Non-Indian Child.                                        
08       The parent of a non-Indian child may withdraw a consent or relinquishment by                                      
09       notifying in writing the court, or the person or agency obtaining the consent or                                  
10       relinquishment, within 10 days of the birth or signing of the consent or                                          
11       relinquishment, whichever is later. Notification is timely if received or postmarked on                           
12       or before the last day of this time period. The parent may move the court to permit                               
13       withdrawal of the consent or relinquishment after the 10 day period pursuant to                                   
14       AS 25.23.070 for a consent or AS 25.23.180(g) or AS 47.10.089(h) for a                                        
15       relinquishment.                                                                                                   
16    * Sec. 58.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
17 read:                                                                                                                   
18            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 13(a), Alaska Adoption                                                    
19       Rules, is amended to read:                                                                                        
20            (a)  Voluntary Relinquishment.  A decree terminating parental rights may be                                
21       entered after a voluntary relinquishment pursuant to AS 25.23.180 or AS 47.10.089.                            
22       The court shall enter findings of fact which must include a statement concerning                                  
23       whether visitation rights are being allowed under AS 25.23.130(c) or other privileges                         
24       are being retained under AS 25.23.180 or AS 47.10.089, and whether the time limit                             
25       for withdrawal of the relinquishment has elapsed.  If the relinquishment was signed in                            
26       the presence of the court, findings also must be entered as to whether the parent                                 
27       understood the consequences of the relinquishment, and whether the relinquishment                                 
28       was voluntarily signed.                                                                                           
29            In the case of a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights to an Indian child,                             
30       the court shall make additional findings concerning whether any notice required by                                
31       Rule 10(e) was timely given; whether the relinquishment was voluntary and in                                      
01       compliance with the requirements of 25 U.S.C. Section 1913; and whether the child's                               
02       placement complies with the preferences set out in 25 U.S.C. Section 1915 or good                                 
03       cause exists for deviation from the placement preference.                                                         
04    * Sec. 59.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
05 read:                                                                                                                   
06            DIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  Rule 801(d), Alaska Rules of                                                   
07       Evidence, is amended by adding a new paragraph to read:                                                           
08                 (3)  Recorded Statement by Child Victims of Crime.  The statement is a                                  
09       recorded statement by the victim of a crime who is less than 16 years of age and                                  
10                      (A)  the recording was made before the proceeding;                                                 
11                      (B)  the victim is available for cross-examination;                                                
12                      (C)  the prosecutor and any attorney representing the defendant                                    
13            were not present when the statement was taken;                                                               
14                      (D)  the recording is on videotape or other format that records                                    
15            both the visual and aural components of the statement;                                                       
16                      (E)  each person who participated in the taking of the statement                                   
17            is identified on the recording;                                                                              
18                      (F)  the taking of the statement as a whole was conducted in a                                     
19            manner that would avoid undue influence of the victim;                                                       
20                      (G)  the defense has been provided a reasonable opportunity to                                     
21            view the recording before the proceeding; and                                                                
22                      (H)  the court has had an opportunity to view the recording and                                    
23            determine that it is sufficiently reliable and trustworthy and that the interests of                         
24            justice are best served by admitting the recording into evidence.                                            
25    * Sec. 60.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
26 read:                                                                                                                   
27       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  (a)  AS 13.26.064, added by sec. 2 of                                             
28 this Act, amends Rules 14 and 15, Alaska Rules of Probate Procedure, by providing that                                  
29 retained privileges be set out in the guardianship decree and by providing additional                                   
30 procedures related to a voluntary relinquishment of parental rights.                                                    
31       (b)  AS 25.23.180(j) - (n) and AS 47.10.089, added by secs. 4 and 17 of this Act,                                 
01 amend Rules 9 and 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, by requiring retained privileges to be set out                             
02 in the relinquishment form and order and by providing additional procedures related to the                              
03 relinquishment.                                                                                                         
04       (c)  AS 25.23.180(k) - (n) and AS 47.10.089(g), (h), and (j), added by secs. 4 and 17                             
05 of this Act, amend Rule 13, Alaska Adoption Rules, by authorizing review hearings for                                   
06 voluntary relinquishments.                                                                                              
07       (d)  AS 47.10.080(l), as amended by sec. 12 of this Act, amends Rule 17.2(f), Alaska                              
08 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by modifying the grounds for review of a                                       
09 permanent plan.                                                                                                         
10       (e)  AS 47.10.089, added by sec. 17 of this Act, amends Rule 18, Alaska Child in                                  
11 Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by providing that a relinquishment be in writing, allowing                              
12 for the withdrawal of the relinquishment, allowing for the retention of certain privileges, and                         
13 authorizing a review hearing before the entry of an adoption or legal guardianship decree.                              
14    * Sec. 61.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
15 read:                                                                                                                   
16       INDIRECT COURT RULE AMENDMENT.  (a)  Sections 9 and 10 of this Act, and                                           
17 AS 47.10.080(v), enacted by sec. 14 of this Act, have the effect of changing Rule 3, Alaska                             
18 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by allowing members of the public to attend court                              
19 hearings except in certain circumstances.                                                                               
20       (b)  Sections 19 and 22 - 27 of this Act have the effect of changing Rule 22, Alaska                              
21 Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure, by allowing the disclosure of confidential                                     
22 information pertaining to a child, including a child's name or picture to be made public in                             
23 certain circumstances.                                                                                                  
24    * Sec. 62.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
25 read:                                                                                                                   
26       APPLICABILITY.  (a)  The amendments to Rule 3, Alaska Child in Need of Aid                                        
27 Rules of Procedure, made by secs. 51 and 52 of this Act, apply to hearings that are conducted                           
28 on or after the effective date of secs. 51 and 52 of this Act.                                                          
29       (b)  Sections 9 - 11, 14, 18, 19, 22 - 27, 51, 52, and 55 of this Act apply to all                                
30 proceedings and hearings conducted on or after the effective date of those sections.                                    
31       (c)  Sections 9, 10, 14, and 19 - 27 of this Act apply to all information, records, and                           
01 files created on or after the effective date of those sections; however, if a file contains                             
02 information and records that were created before the effective date of secs. 9, 10, 14, and 19 -                        
03 27 of this Act, that information and those records retain the confidentiality that they had under                       
04 the law on the day before the effective date of secs. 9, 10, 14, and 19 - 27 of this Act.                               
05    * Sec. 63.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
06 read:                                                                                                                   
07       TRANSITION:  REGULATIONS.  The Department of Health and Social Services                                           
08 may proceed to adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act.  The                              
09 regulations take effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the                               
10 effective date of the relevant statutory change.                                                                        
11    * Sec. 64.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
12 read:                                                                                                                   
13       REVISOR'S INSTRUCTION.  The revisor of statutes is instructed to change the                                       
14 heading of AS 47.10.088 from "Termination of parental rights and responsibilities" to                                   
15 "Involuntary termination of parental rights and responsibilities."                                                      
16    * Sec. 65.  The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                        
17 read:                                                                                                                   
18       CONDITIONAL EFFECT.  (a)  The amendments to Rule 3, Alaska Child in Need of                                       
19 Aid Rules of Procedure, made by secs. 51 and 52 of this Act, take effect only if secs. 51 and                           
20 52 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       (b)  Section 12 of this Act and Rule 17.2(f), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules, as                               
23 amended by sec. 53 of this Act, take effect only if sec. 53 and sec. 60(d) of this Act receive                          
24 the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the                            
25 State of Alaska.                                                                                                        
26       (c)  Rule 18(d)(1), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules, as amended by sec. 54 of this                              
27 Act, takes effect only if sec. 54 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house                       
28 required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                      
29       (d)  The amendments to Rule 22(c), Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules of Procedure,                                
30 made by sec. 55 of this Act take effect only if sec. 55 of this Act receives the two-thirds                             
31 majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                          
01       (e)  Sections 9 and 10 of this Act, AS 47.10.080(v), enacted by sec. 14 of this Act, and                          
02 secs. 19 and 22 - 27 of this Act, take effect only if secs. 51, 52, 53, and 61 of this Act receive                      
03 the two-thirds majority vote of each house as required by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the                         
04 State of Alaska.                                                                                                        
05       (f)  Rule 9(a), Alaska Adoption Rules, as amended by sec. 56 of this Act, takes effect                            
06 only if sec. 56 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art.                        
07 IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                       
08       (g)  Rule 9(g), Alaska Adoption Rules, as amended by sec. 57 of this Act, takes effect                            
09 only if sec. 57 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art.                        
10 IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                       
11       (h)  Rule 13(a), Alaska Adoption Rules, as amended by sec. 58 of this Act, takes effect                           
12 only if sec. 58 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art.                        
13 IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                       
14       (i)  AS 13.26.064, added by sec. 2 of this Act, AS 25.23.180(j) - (n), added by sec. 4                            
15 of this Act, and AS 47.10.089, added by sec. 17 of this Act, take effect only if sec. 60(a) and                         
16 (b) of this Act receive the two-thirds majority vote of each house required by art. IV, sec. 15,                        
17 Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                                                    
18       (j)  Rule 801(d)(3), Alaska Rules of Evidence, added by sec. 59 of this Act, takes                                
19 effect only if sec. 59 of this Act receives the two-thirds majority vote of each house required                         
20 by art. IV, sec. 15, Constitution of the State of Alaska.                                                               
21    * Sec. 66.  If, under sec. 65 of this Act, secs. 9 and 10 of this Act, AS 47.10.080(v), enacted                    
22 by sec. 14 of this Act, and secs. 19 and 22 - 27 of this Act take effect, they take effect July 1,                      
23 2005.                                                                                                                   
24    * Sec. 67.  Except as provided in sec. 66 of this Act, this Act takes effect immediately under                     
25 AS 01.10.070(c).