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HB 151: "An Act relating to the duties of the Department of Health and Social Services; relating to training and workload standards for employees of the Department of Health and Social Services; relating to foster care licensing; relating to placement of a child in need of aid; relating to the rights and responsibilities of foster parents; relating to subsidies for adoption or guardianship of a child in need of aid; requiring the Department of Health and Social Services to provide information to a child or person released from the department's custody; and providing for an effective date."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 151                                                                          
01 "An Act relating to the duties of the Department of Health and Social Services; relating                                
02 to training and workload standards for employees of the Department of Health and                                        
03 Social Services; relating to foster care licensing; relating to placement of a child in need                            
04 of aid; relating to the rights and responsibilities of foster parents; relating to subsidies                            
05 for adoption or guardianship of a child in need of aid; requiring the Department of                                     
06 Health and Social Services to provide information to a child or person released from the                                
07 department's custody; and providing for an effective date."                                                             
08 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
09    * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                          
10 to read:                                                                                                                
11       SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Children Deserve a Loving Home Act.                                     
12    * Sec. 2. AS 25.23.210(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
13            (b)  A subsidy granted by the department under this section may be                                           
01                 (1)  paid for a specified length of time not to extend after the child's                                
02       21st [18TH] birthday; and                                                                                     
03                 (2)  a deferred subsidy; in this paragraph, "deferred subsidy" means that                               
04       no monetary reimbursement is paid to a family but other benefits are paid for the                                 
05       child.                                                                                                            
06    * Sec. 3. AS 47.05.065 is amended to read:                                                                         
07            Sec. 47.05.065. Legislative findings related to children. The legislature finds                            
08       that                                                                                                              
09                 (1)  parents have the following rights and responsibilities relating to the                             
10       care and control of their child while the child is a minor:                                                       
11 (A)  the responsibility to provide the child with food, clothing,                                                       
12            shelter, education, and medical care;                                                                        
13 (B)  the right and responsibility to protect, nurture, train, and                                                       
14 discipline the child, including the right to direct the child's medical care and                                        
15            the right to exercise reasonable corporal discipline;                                                        
16 (C)  the right to determine where and with whom the child shall                                                         
17            live;                                                                                                        
18 (D)  the right and responsibility to make decisions of legal or                                                         
19            financial significance concerning the child;                                                                 
20 (E)  the right to obtain representation for the child in legal                                                          
21            actions; and                                                                                                 
22 (F)  the responsibility to provide special safeguards and care,                                                         
23            including appropriate prenatal and postnatal protection for the child;                                       
24 (2)  it is the policy of the state to strengthen families and to protect                                                
25 children from child abuse and neglect; the state recognizes that, in some cases,                                        
26 protection of a child may require removal of the child from the child's home; however,                                  
27 (A)  except in those cases involving serious risk to a child's                                                          
28 health or safety, the Department of Health and Social Services should provide                                           
29 time-limited family support services to the child and the child's family in order                                       
30 to offer parents the opportunity to remedy parental conduct or conditions in the                                        
31 home that placed the child at risk of harm so that a child may return home                                              
01            safely and permanently; and                                                                                  
02 (B)  the state also recognizes that when a child is removed from                                                        
03 the home, visitation between the child and the child's parents or guardian and                                          
04 family members reduces the trauma for the child and enhances the likelihood                                             
05 that the child will be able to return home; therefore, whenever a child is                                              
06 removed from the parental home, the Department of Health and Social                                                     
07 Services should encourage frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation of the                                           
08            child with the child's parent or guardian and family members;                                                
09 (3)  it is the policy of the state to recognize that, when a child is a ward                                            
10 of the state, the child is entitled to reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate                                   
11 treatment and that the Department of Health and Social Services as legal custodian and                                  
12 the child's guardian ad litem as guardian of the child's best interests and their agents                                
13 and assignees, each should make reasonable efforts to ensure that the child is provided                                 
14 with reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate treatment for the duration of time                                  
15       that the child is a ward of the state;                                                                            
16 (4)  it is in the best interests of a child who has been removed from the                                               
17 child's own home for the state to apply the following principles in resolving the                                       
18       situation:                                                                                                        
19 (A)  the child should be placed in a safe, secure, and stable                                                           
20            environment;                                                                                                 
21                      (B)  the child should not be moved unnecessarily;                                                  
22 (C)  a planning process should be followed to lead to permanent                                                         
23            placement of the child;                                                                                      
24 (D)  every effort should be made to encourage psychological                                                             
25            attachment between the adult caregiver and the child;                                                        
26 (E)  frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation with the parent                                                       
27 or guardian and family members, and, if it is in the best interests of the                                          
28 child, with previous out-of-home caregivers, for a child who has been                                               
29 transferred from one out-of-home placement to another, should be                                                    
30            encouraged; and                                                                                              
31 (F)  parents and guardians must actively participate in family                                                          
01 support services so as to facilitate the child's being able to remain in the home;                                      
02 when children are removed from the home, the parents and guardians must                                                 
03 actively participate in family support services to make return of their children                                        
04            to the home possible;                                                                                        
05                 (5)  numerous studies establish that                                                                    
06                      (A)  children undergo a critical attachment process before the                                     
07            time they reach six years of age;                                                                            
08                      (B)  a child who has not attached with an adult caregiver during                                   
09            this critical stage will suffer significant emotional damage that frequently leads                           
10 to chronic psychological problems and antisocial behavior when the child                                                
11            reaches adolescence and adulthood; and                                                                       
12 (C)  it is important to provide for an expedited placement                                                              
13 procedure to ensure that all children, especially those under the age of six                                            
14 years, who have been removed from their homes are placed in permanent                                                   
15            homes expeditiously.                                                                                         
16    * Sec. 4. AS 47.10.080(s) is amended to read:                                                                      
17 (s)  The department may transfer a child, in the child's best interests, from one                                       
18 placement setting to another, and the child, the child's parents or guardian, the child's                               
19 foster parents or out-of-home caregiver, the child's guardian ad litem, the child's                                     
20 attorney, and the child's tribe are entitled to advance notice of a nonemergency                                        
21 transfer. A party opposed to the proposed transfer may request a hearing and must                                       
22 prove by clear and convincing evidence that the transfer would be contrary to the best                                  
23 interests of the child for the court to deny the transfer. A foster parent or out-of-home                               
24 caregiver who requests a nonemergency change in placement of the child shall provide                                    
25 the department with reasonable advance notice of the requested change. When the                                         
26 department transfers a child from one out-of-home placement to another, the                                             
27 department shall search for an appropriate placement with an adult family member or                                     
28 a family friend who meets the foster care licensing requirements established by the                                     
29 department or is eligible for a waiver, variance, or exemption from the licensing                                   
30 requirements under AS 47.32.030(a)(3) or 47.32.032. A supervisor at the                                             
31 department shall certify in writing in the case file whether the department has                                     
01       searched for an appropriate placement with an adult family member or family                                   
02 friend. If the department has not completed the search, the supervisor shall work                                   
03 to ensure that the department completes the search in the shortest time feasible.                                   
04    * Sec. 5. AS 47.10.080 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                              
05 (z)  When the department transfers a child from one placement setting to                                                
06 another, the department shall require the out-of-home caregiver to encourage and                                        
07 provide opportunities for the child to maintain contact with a previous out-of-home                                     
08       caregiver if maintaining contact is in the best interests of the child.                                           
09    * Sec. 6. AS 47.10.084 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                              
10 (d)  When the child is placed in foster care, the foster parent has the right and                                       
11 responsibility to use a reasonable and prudent parent standard to make decisions                                        
12 relating to the child. In addition to other decisions delegated to the foster parent under                              
13 (a) or (b) of this section, the foster parent may make decisions relating to the                                        
14 participation of the child in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities,                                
15 including travel, sports, field trips, overnight activities, and extracurricular,                                       
16 enrichment, cultural, and social activities. The department shall provide foster parents                                
17 with training regarding the reasonable and prudent parent standard. In this subsection,                                 
18 "reasonable and prudent parent standard" means a standard characterized by careful                                      
19 and sensible decisions to maintain the health, safety, and best interests of the child                                  
20       while encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.                                            
21    * Sec. 7. AS 47.10.086 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                              
22 (h)  In developing or revising a case plan, permanency plan, or alternative                                             
23 permanency plan for a child who is 14 years of age or older, the department shall                                       
24 consult with the child. The department shall also allow the child to select not more                                    
25 than two adults to participate in the development or revision of the plan. The adults                                   
26 may not be the child's foster parents or department employees who are supervising the                                   
27 care of the child. The department may reject an adult selected by the child if the                                      
28 department has good cause to believe that the adult will not act in the best interests of                               
29 the child. If the department rejects an adult, the child may select another adult. The                                  
30 child may designate one of the adults to be the child's advisor, and the advisor may                                    
31       advocate for the child.                                                                                           
01    * Sec. 8. AS 47.10.088(i) is amended to read:                                                                      
02 (i)  The department shall concurrently identify, recruit, process, and approve a                                        
03 qualified person or family for an adoption whenever a petition to terminate a parent's                                  
04 rights to a child is filed. Before identifying a placement of the child in an adoptive                                  
05 home, the department shall attempt to locate all living adult family members of the                                     
06 child and, if an adult family member expresses an interest in adopting the child,                                       
07 investigate the adult family member's ability to care for the child. The department                                     
08 shall provide to all adult family members of the child located by the department                                        
09 written notice of the adult family members' rights under this chapter and of the                                        
10 procedures necessary to gain custody of the child, but the department's obligation to                                   
11 provide written notice under this subsection does not apply to a parent of the child                                    
12 whose parental rights are being or have been terminated or to an adult family member                                    
13 who is known by the department to be ineligible for a foster care license under                                         
14 AS 47.32 and regulations adopted under AS 47.32, unless the placement is in the                                     
15 best interests of the child and the adult family member is eligible for a waiver,                                   
16 variance, or exemption under AS 47.32.032. If an adult family member of the child                                   
17 requests that the department approve the adult family member for an adoption, the                                       
18 department shall approve the request unless there is good cause not to approve the                                      
19 adoption. The department shall make a decision on the adult family member's                                         
20 request not more than 45 days after the date the department receives the request.                                   
21 If the court issues an order to terminate under (j) of this section, the department shall                               
22 report within 30 days on the efforts being made to recruit a permanent placement for                                    
23 the child if a permanent placement was not approved at the time of the trial under (j)                                  
24       of this section. The report must document recruitment efforts made for the child.                                 
25    * Sec. 9. AS 47.10.093(b) is amended to read:                                                                      
26 (b)  A state or municipal agency or employee shall disclose appropriate                                                 
27       confidential information regarding a case to                                                                      
28                 (1)  a guardian ad litem appointed by the court;                                                        
29 (2)  a person or an agency requested by the department or the child's                                                   
30 legal custodian to provide consultation or services for a child who is subject to the                                   
31 jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010 as necessary to enable the provision of                                    
01       the consultation or services;                                                                                     
02                 (3)  an out-of-home care provider as necessary to enable the out-of-                                    
03       home care provider to provide appropriate care to the child, to protect the safety of the                         
04       child, and to protect the safety and property of family members and visitors of the out-                          
05       of-home care provider;                                                                                            
06                 (4)  a school official as necessary to enable the school to provide                                     
07       appropriate counseling and support services to a child who is the subject of the case, to                         
08       protect the safety of the child, and to protect the safety of school students and staff;                          
09                 (5)  a governmental agency as necessary to obtain that agency's                                         
10 assistance for the department in its investigation or to obtain physical custody of a                                   
11       child;                                                                                                            
12 (6)  a law enforcement agency of this state or another jurisdiction as                                                  
13 necessary for the protection of any child or for actions by that agency to protect the                                  
14       public safety;                                                                                                    
15 (7)  a member of a multidisciplinary child protection team created                                                      
16       under AS 47.14.300 as necessary for the performance of the member's duties;                                       
17 (8)  the state medical examiner under AS 12.65 as necessary for the                                                     
18       performance of the duties of the state medical examiner;                                                          
19 (9)  a person who has made a report of harm as required by                                                              
20 AS 47.17.020 to inform the person that the investigation was completed and of action                                    
21       taken to protect the child who was the subject of the report;                                                     
22 (10)  the child support services agency established in AS 25.27.010 as                                                  
23 necessary to establish and collect child support for a child who is a child in need of aid                              
24       under this chapter;                                                                                               
25 (11)  a parent, guardian, or caregiver of a child or an entity responsible                                              
26       for ensuring the safety of children as necessary to protect the safety of a child;                                
27 (12)  a review panel established by the department for the purpose of                                                   
28       reviewing the actions taken by the department in a specific case;                                                 
29 (13)  the University of Alaska under the Alaska higher education                                                        
30 savings program for children established under AS 47.14.400, but only to the extent                                     
31 that the information is necessary to support the program and only if the information                                    
01       released is maintained as a confidential record by the University of Alaska;                                      
02 (14)  a child placement agency licensed under AS 47.32 as necessary to                                                  
03       provide services for a child who is the subject of the case; [AND]                                                
04 (15)  a state or municipal agency of this state or another jurisdiction                                                 
05 that is responsible for delinquent minors, as may be necessary for the administration of                                
06 services, protection, rehabilitation, or supervision of a child or for actions by the                                   
07 agency to protect the public safety; however, a court may review an objection made to                                   
08 a disclosure under this paragraph; the person objecting to the disclosure bears the                                     
09 burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that disclosure is not in the                                 
10       child's best interest; and                                                                                    
11 (16)  a sibling of a child who is the subject of the case to allow the                                              
12 siblings to contact each other if it is in the best interests of the child to maintain                              
13 contact; in this paragraph, "sibling" means an adult or minor who is related to                                     
14 the child who is the subject of the case by blood, adoption, or marriage as a child                                 
15 of one or both of the parents of the child who is the subject of the case; a sibling                                
16 who is adopted by a person other than the parent of the child who is the subject                                    
17       of the case remains a sibling of the child.                                                                   
18    * Sec. 10. AS 47.10.142(i) is amended to read:                                                                     
19 (i)  When the department takes emergency custody of a child under this section                                          
20 or a court orders a child committed to the department for temporary placement under                                     
21 this section, the department shall, to the extent feasible and consistent with the best                                 
22 interests of the child, place the child according to the criteria specified under                                       
23 AS 47.14.100(e). A supervisor at the department shall certify in writing in the                                     
24 case file whether the department has searched for an appropriate placement with                                     
25 an adult family member or family friend. If the department has not completed                                        
26 the search, the supervisor shall work to ensure that the department completes the                                   
27 search in the shortest time feasible if it is consistent with the best interests of the                             
28       child.                                                                                                        
29    * Sec. 11. AS 47.14.100(b) is amended to read:                                                                     
30 (b)  The department may pay the costs of maintenance that are necessary to                                              
31 ensure [ASSURE] adequate care of the child, if the child is under 21 years of age,                              
01 and may accept funds from the federal government that are granted to assist in                                          
02 carrying out the purposes of this chapter, or that are paid under contract entered into                                 
03 with a federal department or agency. A child under the care of the department may not                                   
04 be placed in a family home or institution that does not maintain adequate standards of                                  
05       care.                                                                                                             
06    * Sec. 12. AS 47.14.100(d) is amended to read:                                                                     
07            (d)  In addition to money paid for the maintenance of foster children under (b)                              
08       of this section, for a child who is under 21 years of age, the department                                     
09                 (1)  shall pay the costs of caring for a foster child [CHILDREN] with a                     
10 physical or mental disability [DISABILITIES], including the additional costs of                                     
11 medical care, habilitative and rehabilitative treatment, services and equipment, and                                    
12 special clothing, and the indirect costs of medical care, including child care and                                      
13       transportation expenses;                                                                                          
14 (2)  may pay for respite care; in this paragraph, "respite care" means                                                  
15 child care for the purpose of providing temporary relief from the stresses of caring for                                
16       a foster child; and                                                                                               
17 (3)  may pay a subsidized guardianship payment under AS 25.23.210                                                       
18 when a foster child's foster parents or other persons approved by the department                                        
19       become court-appointed legal guardians of the child.                                                              
20    * Sec. 13. AS 47.14.100(e) is amended to read:                                                                     
21 (e)  When a child is removed from a parent's home, the department shall                                                 
22 search for an appropriate placement with an adult family member or family                                           
23 friend. A supervisor at the department shall certify in writing in the case file                                    
24 whether the department has searched for an appropriate placement with an                                            
25 adult family member or family friend. If the department has not completed the                                       
26 search, the supervisor shall work to ensure that the department completes the                                       
27 search in the shortest time feasible. The department shall place the child, in the                                  
28       absence of clear and convincing evidence of good cause to the contrary,                                           
29 (1)  in the least restrictive setting that most closely approximates a                                                  
30       family and that meets the child's special needs, if any;                                                          
31 (2)  within reasonable proximity to the child's home, taking into                                                       
01       account any special needs of the child and the preferences of the child or parent;                                
02                 (3)  with, in the following order of preference,                                                        
03                      (A)  an adult family member;                                                                       
04                      (B)  a family friend who meets the foster care licensing                                           
05            requirements established by the department;                                                                  
06                      (C)  a licensed foster home that is not an adult family member                                     
07            or family friend;                                                                                            
08                      (D)  an institution for children that has a program suitable to                                    
09            meet the child's needs.                                                                                      
10    * Sec. 14. AS 47.14.100(i) is amended to read:                                                                     
11 (i)  A child may not be placed with an out-of-home care provider if the                                                 
12 department determines that the child can remain safely at home with an adult family                                 
13 member [ONE PARENT] or guardian who lives with the child. In this subsection,                                   
14 "out-of-home care provider" means an agency or person, other than the child's legal                                     
15 parents, with whom a child who is in the custody of the state under                                                     
16 AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or (c) of this section is currently placed; "agency                               
17 or person" includes a foster parent, a relative other than a parent, a person who has                                   
18       petitioned for adoption of the child, and a residential child care facility.                                      
19    * Sec. 15. AS 47.14.100(m) is amended to read:                                                                     
20 (m)  If it is in a child's best interests [PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF                                                  
21 GOOD CAUSE NOT] to place the [A] child with an adult family member or family                                        
22 friend under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section, but the adult family                                     
23 member or family friend fails [INCLUDES THE FAILURE] to meet the                                                    
24 requirements for a foster care license under AS 47.32 and regulations adopted under                                     
25 AS 47.32, the department shall grant [TAKING INTO ACCOUNT] a waiver,                                                
26 variance, or exemption allowed under AS 47.32.030(a)(3) and 47.32.032. Prima facie                                      
27 evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult family member or adult                                        
28 family friend does not include poverty or inadequate or crowded housing. The                                        
29 department shall make a decision on an adult family member's or family friend's                                     
30 request for placement not more than 45 days after the date the department                                           
31 receives the request for placement. If the department denies a request for placement                                
01 with an adult family member or a family friend, the department shall inform the adult                                   
02 family member or family friend of the basis for the denial and the right to request a                                   
03 hearing to review the decision. A non-party adult family member or family friend                                        
04 requesting a review hearing under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section is not                                   
05       eligible for publicly appointed legal counsel.                                                                    
06    * Sec. 16. AS 47.14.100(r) is amended to read:                                                                     
07 (r)  The department shall make reasonable efforts to place siblings in the same                                         
08 placement if the siblings are residing in the same home when taken into the custody of                                  
09 the department. If siblings are not placed together after reasonable efforts have been                                  
10 made, the case supervisor for the division with responsibility over the custody of                                      
11 children shall document in the file the efforts that were made and the reason separating                                
12 the siblings for placement purposes is in the best interest of the children. The                                    
13 department shall provide each sibling with contact information for the other                                        
14 sibling and require the children's caregivers to encourage and provide                                              
15 opportunities for contact between the siblings if it is in the best interests of the                                
16 children to maintain contact. In this subsection, "sibling" means two or more                                       
17 persons who are related by blood, adoption, or marriage as a child of one or both                                       
18       parents.                                                                                                          
19    * Sec. 17. AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                    
20 Sec. 47.14.112. Training and workload standards; report to legislature. (a)                                           
21 The department shall implement workload standards and a training program for                                            
22 employees who supervise the care of children committed to the supervision or custody                                    
23 of the department under AS 47.10. Except as provided under (b) of this section, the                                     
24       department shall prepare a staffing report if the department is unable                                            
25 (1)  to employ the number of qualified employees necessary to ensure                                                    
26       that                                                                                                              
27 (A)  the department reasonably and safely minimizes the time a                                                          
28 child is not in a permanent living arrangement or under a permanent                                                     
29            guardianship;                                                                                                
30 (B)  a child is not removed from the child's home when it is                                                            
31 possible and in the child's best interest for the department to work with the                                           
01            child's family to prevent the removal of the child from the child's home;                                    
02                      (C)  each child is placed in a permanent home not more than 24                                     
03            months after the date the child is first removed from the child's home;                                      
04                 (2)  to meet best practices standards set by the department requiring the                               
05       employment of mentors for employees who supervise the care of children committed                                  
06       to the supervision or custody of the department under AS 47.10;                                                   
07                 (3)  for a new employee who supervises the care of a child committed                                    
08       to the supervision or custody of the department under AS 47.10, to                                                
09                      (A)  provide a minimum of six weeks of training unless the                                         
10 department finds that the new employee has sufficient experience to justify a                                           
11            shorter training period;                                                                                     
12                      (B)  limit the employee's workload as follows:                                                     
13 (i)  before the beginning of an employee's fourth month                                                                 
14 of work with the department, the employee may supervise not more                                                        
15                 than six families;                                                                                      
16 (ii)  after the beginning of the employee's fourth month                                                                
17 of work but before the end of the employee's twelfth month of work                                                      
18 with the department, the employee may supervise not more than 12                                                        
19                 families;                                                                                               
20 (iii)  when an employee supervises families in a region                                                                 
21 where travel distances negatively affect the employee's ability to                                                      
22 supervise families and the employee has worked for the department for                                                   
23 less than 12 months, the employee may not supervise the maximum                                                         
24                 number of families provided under (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph.                                    
25 (b)  If a staffing report is required under this section, the department shall                                          
26 explain in the staffing report why the department is not able to meet the standards, the                                
27 amount of funding that would be necessary to meet the standards, and the effects on a                                   
28 child and the child's family of not meeting the standards. The department shall include                                 
29       the staffing report in the annual report to the legislature required under AS 18.05.020.                          
30 (c)  The department is not required to submit a staffing report under this                                              
31 section if the department is unable to maintain adequate staffing levels because                                        
01       qualified applicants are not available and the department is actively recruiting                                  
02       qualified applicants.                                                                                             
03    * Sec. 18. AS 47.14.115 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
04 (b)  If the department determines that it is in the best interests of a child in the                                    
05 department's custody to place the child with an adult family member who does not                                        
06 have a foster care home license under AS 47.32, the department shall assist the adult                                   
07 family member in obtaining a license, including assisting the adult family member                                       
08 with obtaining any waivers, variances, or exemptions necessary to obtain the license,                                   
09       so that the family member is eligible for payments under AS 47.14.100(b) and (d).                                 
10    * Sec. 19. AS 47.18.320 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
11 (d)  When an individual who has been in state custody under AS 47.10 for at                                             
12 least six months is released from state custody, the department shall, in addition to any                               
13 training, services, and assistance provided under (a) - (c) of this section, provide the                                
14       individual with the individual's                                                                                  
15 (1)  birth certificate; the birth certificate may be an official or certified                                           
16       copy;                                                                                                             
17                 (2)  social security card;                                                                              
18                 (3)  health insurance information;                                                                      
19                 (4)  medical records;                                                                                   
20 (5)  driver's license or identification card; if the individual has not                                                 
21 obtained a driver's license or identification card, the department shall assist the                                     
22       individual in obtaining one.                                                                                      
23    * Sec. 20. AS 47.32.032(a) is amended to read:                                                                     
24 (a)  The department shall streamline the application and licensing paperwork                                            
25 necessary for a person to be approved as a foster parent or relative placement to the                                   
26 extent consistent with federal law. In addition, if the department determines that                                  
27 placing the child with an adult family member is in the best interests of the child,                                
28 the department shall grant, as necessary to allow the placement, a waiver,                                          
29 variance, or exemption from the requirements of this chapter under                                                  
30 AS 47.32.030(a)(3)(D) or a variance from building code requirements under (b)                                       
31       of this section.                                                                                              
01    * Sec. 21. AS 47.32.032 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                             
02 (c)  To the extent feasible, the department shall approve or deny a foster care                                         
03 home license, including a request for a waiver, variance, or exemption, not more than                                   
04 45 days after the date the department receives the application for a foster care home                                   
05 license. If it is not feasible to approve or deny a foster care home license not more than                              
06 45 days after receiving the application, a supervisory-level employee may authorize a                                   
07 longer period of time for the decision, but the period must be the shortest period                                      
08       feasible.                                                                                                         
09    * Sec. 22. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
10 read:                                                                                                                   
11 APPLICABILITY. (a) Sections 3 - 10 and 13 - 21 of this Act apply to a child in the                                      
12 custody or under the supervision of the Department of Health and Social Services under                                  
13 AS 47.10 on or after the effective date of secs. 3 - 10 and 13 - 21 of this Act.                                        
14 (b)  Sections 2, 11, and 12 of this Act apply to a person who is eligible for a subsidy or                              
15 payment for the care of a child under AS 25.23.190 - 25.23.240 or AS 47.14.100 on or after                              
16 the effective date of secs. 2, 11, and 12 of this Act, including a person who was ineligible for                        
17 a payment under AS 25.23.190 - 25.23.240 or AS 47.14.100 before the effective date of secs.                             
18 2, 11, and 12 of this Act solely because the child turned 18.                                                           
19    * Sec. 23. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
20 read:                                                                                                                   
21 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Health and Social Services may                                               
22 adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act. The regulations take                             
23 effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the effective date of the                          
24 law implemented by the regulation.                                                                                      
25    * Sec. 24. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                         
26 read:                                                                                                                   
27 TRANSITION: IMPLEMENTATION OF DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND                                                                  
28 SOCIAL SERVICES STAFFING AND TRAINING STANDARDS. The Department of                                                      
29 Health and Social Services shall implement all of the provisions of this Act as expeditiously                           
30 as possible, and, not later than                                                                                        
31 (1)  one year after the effective date of sec. 17 of this Act, shall adopt training                                     
01 regulations and hire staff necessary to meet the standards in AS 47.14.112, added by sec. 17                            
02 of this Act;                                                                                                            
03            (2)  three years after the effective date of secs. 1 - 16 and 18 - 21 of this Act,                           
04 shall implement the changes made by secs. 1 - 16 and 18 - 21 of this Act.                                               
05    * Sec. 25. Section 23 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).