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30th Legislature(2017-2018)

Bill Text 30th Legislature


00 Enrolled HB 151                                                                                                         
01 Relating to a special audit; relating to the duties of the Department of Health and Social                              
02 Services; relating to training and workload standards for employees of the Department of                                
03 Health and Social Services and providing immunity from damages related to those standards;                              
04 relating to foster care home licensing; relating to civil and criminal history background checks                        
05 for foster care licensing and payments; relating to placement of a child in need of aid; relating                       
06 to the rights and responsibilities of foster parents; relating to completed investigations of                           
07 reports of harm to a child; requiring the Department of Health and Social Services to provide                           
08 information to a child or person released from the department's custody; and providing for an                           
09 effective date.                                                                                                         
10                           _______________                                                                               
11    * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section                            
12 to read:                                                                                                                
01       SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Children Deserve a Loving Home Act.                                     
02    * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                            
03 read:                                                                                                                   
04 LEGISLATIVE INTENT. It is the intent of the legislature that the division of the                                        
05 Department of Health and Social Services with responsibility over the custody of children, in                           
06 accepting the additional resources made available to the division under this Act, be subject to                         
07 and agree to cooperate with a special audit conducted under AS 24.20.281, as approved by the                            
08 Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, to begin within one year after the effective date of                            
09 secs. 1 - 22 and 24 of this Act.                                                                                        
10    * Sec. 3. AS 47.05.065 is amended to read:                                                                           
11 Sec. 47.05.065. Legislative findings related to children. The legislature finds                                         
12       that                                                                                                              
13 (1)  parents have the following rights and responsibilities relating to the                                             
14       care and control of their child while the child is a minor:                                                       
15 (A)  the responsibility to provide the child with food, clothing,                                                       
16            shelter, education, and medical care;                                                                        
17 (B)  the right and responsibility to protect, nurture, train, and                                                       
18 discipline the child, including the right to direct the child's medical care and                                        
19            the right to exercise reasonable corporal discipline;                                                        
20 (C)  the right to determine where and with whom the child shall                                                         
21            live;                                                                                                        
22 (D)  the right and responsibility to make decisions of legal or                                                         
23            financial significance concerning the child;                                                                 
24 (E)  the right to obtain representation for the child in legal                                                          
25            actions; and                                                                                                 
26 (F)  the responsibility to provide special safeguards and care,                                                         
27            including appropriate prenatal and postnatal protection for the child;                                       
28 (2)  it is the policy of the state to strengthen families and to protect                                                
29 children from child abuse and neglect; the state recognizes that, in some cases,                                        
30 protection of a child may require removal of the child from the child's home; however,                                  
31 (A)  except in those cases involving serious risk to a child's                                                          
01 health or safety, the Department of Health and Social Services should provide                                           
02 time-limited family support services to the child and the child's family in order                                       
03 to offer parents the opportunity to remedy parental conduct or conditions in the                                        
04 home that placed the child at risk of harm so that a child may return home                                              
05            safely and permanently; and                                                                                  
06 (B)  the state also recognizes that when a child is removed from                                                        
07 the home, visitation between the child and the child's parents or guardian and                                          
08 family members reduces the trauma for the child and enhances the likelihood                                             
09 that the child will be able to return home; therefore, whenever a child is                                              
10 removed from the parental home, the Department of Health and Social                                                     
11 Services should encourage frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation of the                                           
12            child with the child's parent or guardian and family members;                                                
13 (3)  it is the policy of the state to recognize that, when a child is a ward                                            
14 of the state, the child is entitled to reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate                                   
15 treatment and that the Department of Health and Social Services as legal custodian and                                  
16 the child's guardian ad litem as guardian of the child's best interests and their agents                                
17 and assignees, each should make reasonable efforts to ensure that the child is provided                                 
18 with reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate treatment for the duration of time                                  
19       that the child is a ward of the state;                                                                            
20 (4)  it is in the best interests of a child who has been removed from the                                               
21 child's own home for the state to apply the following principles in resolving the                                       
22       situation:                                                                                                        
23 (A)  the child should be placed in a safe, secure, and stable                                                           
24            environment;                                                                                                 
25                      (B)  the child should not be moved unnecessarily;                                                  
26 (C)  a planning process should be followed to lead to permanent                                                         
27            placement of the child;                                                                                      
28 (D)  every effort should be made to encourage psychological                                                             
29            attachment between the adult caregiver and the child;                                                        
30 (E)  frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation with the parent                                                       
31            or guardian and family members should be encouraged; [AND]                                                   
01 (F)  parents and guardians must actively participate in family                                                          
02 support services so as to facilitate the child's being able to remain in the home;                                      
03 when children are removed from the home, the parents and guardians must                                                 
04 actively participate in family support services to make return of their children                                        
05            to the home possible; and                                                                                  
06                      (G)  to the extent practicable, the Department of Health and                                     
07            Social Services should enable a child's contact with previous out-of-home                                  
08            caregivers when appropriate and in the best interests of the child;                                        
09                 (5)  numerous studies establish that                                                                    
10 (A)  children undergo a critical attachment process before the                                                          
11            time they reach six years of age;                                                                            
12 (B)  a child who has not attached with an adult caregiver during                                                        
13 this critical stage will suffer significant emotional damage that frequently leads                                      
14 to chronic psychological problems and antisocial behavior when the child                                                
15            reaches adolescence and adulthood; and                                                                       
16 (C)  it is important to provide for an expedited placement                                                              
17 procedure to ensure that all children, especially those under the age of six                                            
18 years, who have been removed from their homes are placed in permanent                                                   
19            homes expeditiously.                                                                                         
20    * Sec. 4. AS 47.05.310(c) is amended to read:                                                                        
21 (c)  Except as provided in (l) of this section, the [THE] department may not                                          
22 issue or renew a license or certification for an entity if an individual is applying for a                              
23       license, license renewal, certification, or certification renewal for the entity and that                         
24 (1)  individual has been found by a court or agency of this or another                                                  
25 jurisdiction to have neglected, abused, or exploited a child or vulnerable adult under                                  
26 AS 47.10, AS 47.24, or AS 47.62 or a substantially similar provision in another                                         
27 jurisdiction, or to have committed medical assistance fraud under AS 47.05.210 or a                                     
28       substantially similar provision in another jurisdiction; or                                                       
29 (2)  individual's name appears on the centralized registry established                                                  
30       under AS 47.05.330 or a similar registry of this state or another jurisdiction.                                   
31    * Sec. 5. AS 47.05.310(i) is amended to read:                                                                        
01 (i)  Except as provided in (l) of this section, for [FOR] purposes of (b) and                                         
02 (c) of this section, in place of nonissuance or nonrenewal of a license or certification,                               
03 an entity or individual service provider that is not required to be licensed or certified                               
04 by the department or a person wishing to become an entity or individual service                                         
05 provider that is not required to be licensed or certified by the department is instead                                  
06 ineligible to receive a payment, in whole or in part, from the department to provide for                                
07 the health, safety, and welfare of persons who are served by the programs                                               
08       administered by the department if the entity, individual service provider, or person                              
09 (1)  is in violation of (a) of this section or would be in violation based                                              
10 on information received by the department as part of an application, approval, or                                       
11       selection process;                                                                                                
12 (2)  has been found by a court or agency of this or another jurisdiction                                                
13 to have neglected, abused, or exploited a child or vulnerable adult under AS 47.10,                                     
14 AS 47.24, or AS 47.62 or a substantially similar provision in another jurisdiction, or to                               
15 have committed medical assistance fraud under AS 47.05.210 or a substantially                                           
16       similar provision in another jurisdiction; or                                                                     
17 (3)  appears on the centralized registry established under AS 47.05.330                                                 
18       or a similar registry of this state or another jurisdiction.                                                      
19    * Sec. 6. AS 47.05.310(k) is amended by adding new paragraphs to read:                                               
20                 (4)  "adult family member" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990;                                       
21                 (5)  "foster home" has the meaning given in AS 47.32.900.                                               
22    * Sec. 7. AS 47.05.310 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                                
23 (l)  The department may issue or renew a foster home license under AS 47.32                                             
24 or provide payments under AS 47.14.100(b) or (d) to an entity, individual service                                       
25 provider, or person if the applicant or a person who resides in the home is barred from                                 
26       licensure or payment under (c), (i)(2), or (i)(3) of this section and                                             
27 (1)  a person in the home is an adult family member or family friend of                                                 
28       a child in the custody or supervision of the state under AS 47.10;                                                
29 (2)  the department finds that placing the child with the entity,                                                       
30       individual service provider, or person is in the best interests of the child; and                                 
31 (3)  the conduct that is the basis of the finding under (c), (i)(2), or (i)(3)                                          
01 of this section occurred at least 10 years before the date the department receives the                                  
02 application for licensure or renewal or makes a payment to the entity, individual                                       
03       service provider, or person.                                                                                      
04    * Sec. 8. AS 47.10.080(s) is amended to read:                                                                        
05 (s)  The department may transfer a child, in the child's best interests, from one                                       
06 placement setting to another, and the child, the child's parents or guardian, the child's                               
07 foster parents or out-of-home caregiver, the child's guardian ad litem, the child's                                     
08 attorney, and the child's tribe are entitled to advance notice of a nonemergency                                        
09 transfer. A party opposed to the proposed transfer may request a hearing and must                                       
10 prove by clear and convincing evidence that the transfer would be contrary to the best                                  
11 interests of the child for the court to deny the transfer. A foster parent or out-of-home                               
12 caregiver who requests a nonemergency change in placement of the child shall provide                                    
13 the department with reasonable advance notice of the requested change. When the                                         
14 department transfers a child from one out-of-home placement to another, the                                             
15 department shall search for an appropriate placement with an adult family member or                                     
16 a family friend who meets the foster care licensing requirements established by the                                     
17 department. A supervisor at the department shall certify in writing in the case file                                  
18 whether the department has searched for an appropriate placement with an                                              
19 adult family member or family friend. If the department has not complied with                                         
20 the search requirements under this subsection, the supervisor shall work to                                           
21       ensure that the department completes the search in the shortest time feasible.                                  
22    * Sec. 9. AS 47.10.084 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                                
23 (d)  When the child is placed in foster care, the foster parent has the right and                                       
24 responsibility to use a reasonable and prudent parent standard to make decisions                                        
25 relating to the child. The foster parent may make decisions under (a) or (b) of this                                    
26 section that include decisions relating to the child's participation in age-appropriate or                              
27 developmentally appropriate activities, including travel, sports, field trips, overnight                                
28 activities, and extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. The                                       
29 department shall provide foster parents with training regarding the reasonable and                                      
30 prudent parent standard. In this subsection, "reasonable and prudent parent standard"                                   
31 means a standard characterized by careful and sensible decisions to maintain the                                        
01 health, safety, and best interests of the child while encouraging the emotional and                                     
02       developmental growth of the child.                                                                                
03    * Sec. 10. AS 47.10.086 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
04 (h)  The department shall engage a child who is 14 years of age or older in the                                         
05 development or revision of a case plan, permanency goal, or alternative permanency                                      
06 plan for the child. The department shall also allow the child to select not more than                                   
07 two adults to participate in the development or revision of the plan in addition to the                                 
08 child's foster parents or department employees who are supervising the care of the                                      
09 child. The department may reject an adult selected by the child if the department has                                   
10 good cause to believe that the adult will not act in the best interests of the child. If the                            
11 department rejects an adult, the child may select another adult. The child may                                          
12 designate one of the adults to be the child's advisor, and the advisor may advocate for                                 
13       the child.                                                                                                        
14    * Sec. 11. AS 47.10.093(a) is amended to read:                                                                       
15 (a)  Except as permitted in AS 47.10.092, [AND IN] (b) - (g) and (i) - (l) of                                         
16 this section, and AS 47.17.030(g), all information and social records pertaining to a                                 
17 child who is subject to this chapter or AS 47.17 prepared by or in the possession of a                                  
18 federal, state, or municipal agency or employee in the discharge of the agency's or                                     
19 employee's official duty are privileged and may not be disclosed directly or indirectly                                 
20       to anyone without a court order.                                                                                  
21    * Sec. 12. AS 47.10.093(b) is amended to read:                                                                       
22 (b)  A state or municipal agency or employee shall disclose appropriate                                                 
23       confidential information regarding a case to                                                                      
24                 (1)  a guardian ad litem appointed by the court;                                                        
25 (2)  a person or an agency requested by the department or the child's                                                   
26 legal custodian to provide consultation or services for a child who is subject to the                                   
27 jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010 as necessary to enable the provision of                                    
28       the consultation or services;                                                                                     
29                 (3)  an out-of-home care provider as necessary to enable the out-of-                                    
30 home care provider to provide appropriate care to the child, to protect the safety of the                               
31 child, and to protect the safety and property of family members and visitors of the out-                                
01       of-home care provider;                                                                                            
02                 (4)  a school official as necessary to enable the school to provide                                     
03       appropriate counseling and support services to a child who is the subject of the case, to                         
04       protect the safety of the child, and to protect the safety of school students and staff;                          
05                 (5)  a governmental agency as necessary to obtain that agency's                                         
06       assistance for the department in its investigation or to obtain physical custody of a                             
07       child;                                                                                                            
08                 (6)  a law enforcement agency of this state or another jurisdiction as                                  
09       necessary for the protection of any child or for actions by that agency to protect the                            
10       public safety;                                                                                                    
11 (7)  a member of a multidisciplinary child protection team created                                                      
12       under AS 47.14.300 as necessary for the performance of the member's duties;                                       
13 (8)  the state medical examiner under AS 12.65 as necessary for the                                                     
14       performance of the duties of the state medical examiner;                                                          
15 (9)  a person who has made a report of harm as required by                                                              
16 AS 47.17.020 to inform the person that the investigation was completed and of action                                    
17       taken to protect the child who was the subject of the report;                                                     
18 (10)  the child support services agency established in AS 25.27.010 as                                                  
19 necessary to establish and collect child support for a child who is a child in need of aid                              
20       under this chapter;                                                                                               
21 (11)  a parent, guardian, or caregiver of a child or an entity responsible                                              
22       for ensuring the safety of children as necessary to protect the safety of a child;                                
23 (12)  a review panel established by the department for the purpose of                                                   
24       reviewing the actions taken by the department in a specific case;                                                 
25 (13)  the University of Alaska under the Alaska higher education                                                        
26 savings program for children established under AS 47.14.400, but only to the extent                                     
27 that the information is necessary to support the program and only if the information                                    
28       released is maintained as a confidential record by the University of Alaska;                                      
29 (14)  a child placement agency licensed under AS 47.32 as necessary to                                                  
30       provide services for a child who is the subject of the case; [AND]                                                
31 (15)  a state or municipal agency of this state or another jurisdiction                                                 
01 that is responsible for delinquent minors, as may be necessary for the administration of                                
02 services, protection, rehabilitation, or supervision of a child or for actions by the                                   
03 agency to protect the public safety; however, a court may review an objection made to                                   
04 a disclosure under this paragraph; the person objecting to the disclosure bears the                                     
05 burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that disclosure is not in the                                 
06       child's best interest; and                                                                                      
07 (16)  a sibling of a child who is the subject of the case to allow the                                                
08 siblings to contact each other if it is in the best interests of the child to maintain                                
09 contact; in this paragraph, "sibling" means an adult or minor who is related to                                       
10 the child who is the subject of the case by blood, adoption, or marriage as a child                                   
11 of one or both of the parents of the child who is the subject of the case; a sibling                                  
12 who is adopted by a person other than the parent of the child who is the subject                                      
13       of the case remains a sibling of the child.                                                                     
14    * Sec. 13. AS 47.10.142(i) is amended to read:                                                                       
15 (i)  When the department takes emergency custody of a child under this section                                          
16 or a court orders a child committed to the department for temporary placement under                                     
17 this section, the department shall, to the extent feasible and consistent with the best                                 
18 interests of the child, place the child according to the criteria specified under                                       
19 AS 47.14.100(e). A supervisor at the department shall certify in writing in the                                       
20 case file whether the department has searched for an appropriate placement with                                       
21 an adult family member or family friend. If the department has not complied                                           
22 with the search requirements under this subsection, the supervisor shall work to                                      
23 ensure that the department completes the search in the shortest time feasible if it                                   
24       is consistent with the best interests of the child.                                                             
25    * Sec. 14. AS 47.14.100(e) is amended to read:                                                                       
26 (e)  When a child is removed from a parent's home, the department shall                                                 
27 search for an appropriate placement with an adult family member or family                                             
28 friend. A supervisor at the department shall certify in writing in the case file                                      
29 whether the department has searched for an appropriate placement with an                                              
30 adult family member or family friend. If the department has not complied with                                         
31 the search requirements under this subsection, the supervisor shall work to                                           
01       ensure that the department completes the search in the shortest time feasible. The                              
02       department shall place the child, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence of                            
03       good cause to the contrary,                                                                                       
04                 (1)  in the least restrictive setting that most closely approximates a                                  
05       family and that meets the child's special needs, if any;                                                          
06                 (2)  within reasonable proximity to the child's home, taking into                                       
07       account any special needs of the child and the preferences of the child or parent;                                
08                 (3)  with, in the following order of preference,                                                        
09                      (A)  an adult family member;                                                                       
10 (B)  a family friend who meets the foster care licensing                                                                
11            requirements established by the department;                                                                  
12 (C)  a licensed foster home that is not an adult family member                                                          
13            or family friend;                                                                                            
14 (D)  an institution for children that has a program suitable to                                                         
15            meet the child's needs.                                                                                      
16    * Sec. 15. AS 47.14.100(i) is amended to read:                                                                       
17 (i)  A child may not be placed with an out-of-home care provider if the                                                 
18 department determines that the child can remain safely at home with an adult family                                   
19 member [ONE PARENT] or guardian who lives with the child. In this subsection,                                       
20 "out-of-home care provider" means an agency or person, other than the child's legal                                     
21 parents, with whom a child who is in the custody of the state under                                                     
22 AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or (c) of this section is currently placed; "agency                               
23 or person" includes a foster parent, a relative other than a parent, a person who has                                   
24       petitioned for adoption of the child, and a residential child care facility.                                      
25    * Sec. 16. AS 47.14.100(r) is amended to read:                                                                       
26 (r)  The department shall make reasonable efforts to place siblings in the same                                         
27 placement if the siblings are residing in the same home when taken into the custody of                                  
28 the department. If siblings are not placed together after reasonable efforts have been                                  
29 made, the case supervisor for the division with responsibility over the custody of                                      
30 children shall document in the file the efforts that were made and the reason separating                                
31 the siblings for placement purposes is in the best interest of the children. If it is in the                          
01 best interests of the children to maintain contact, the department shall provide                                      
02 each sibling with contact information for the other sibling and encourage the                                         
03 children's caregivers to provide opportunities for contact between the siblings. In                                   
04 this subsection, "sibling" means two or more persons who are related by blood,                                          
05       adoption, or marriage as a child of one or both parents.                                                          
06    * Sec. 17. AS 47.14 is amended by adding a new section to read:                                                      
07 Sec. 47.14.112. Training and workload standards; reports to legislature.                                                
08 (a) The department shall implement workload standards and a training program for                                        
09 employees who supervise the care of children committed to the supervision or custody                                    
10 of the department under AS 47.10, work with families to prevent the removal of a                                        
11 child from the child's home under AS 47.10, or investigate reports of harm under                                        
12 AS 47.17. The department shall prepare a staffing report under (b) of this section if the                               
13       department is unable                                                                                              
14 (1)  to employ the number of qualified employees necessary to ensure                                                    
15       that                                                                                                              
16 (A)  the department reasonably and safely minimizes the time a                                                          
17 child is not in a permanent living arrangement or under a permanent                                                     
18            guardianship;                                                                                                
19 (B)  a child is not removed from the child's home when it is                                                            
20 possible and in the child's best interest for the department to work with the                                           
21            child's family to prevent the removal of the child from the child's home;                                    
22 (C)  each child is placed in a permanent home not more than 24                                                          
23            months after the date the child is first removed from the child's home;                                      
24 (2)  to meet best practices standards set by the department requiring the                                               
25 employment of mentors for employees who supervise the care of children committed                                        
26 to the supervision or custody of the department under AS 47.10, work with families to                                   
27 prevent the removal of a child from the child's home under AS 47.10, or investigate                                     
28       reports of harm under AS 47.17;                                                                                   
29 (3)  for a new employee who supervises the care of a child committed                                                    
30 to the supervision or custody of the department under AS 47.10, works with families                                     
31 to prevent the removal of a child from the child's home under AS 47.10, or                                              
01       investigates reports of harm under AS 47.17, to                                                                   
02                      (A)  provide a minimum of six weeks of training unless the                                         
03            department finds that the new employee has sufficient experience to justify a                                
04            shorter training period;                                                                                     
05                      (B)  limit the employee's workload as follows:                                                     
06                           (i)  before the beginning of an employee's fourth month                                       
07                 of work with the department, the employee may supervise not more                                        
08                 than six families;                                                                                      
09                           (ii)  after the beginning of the employee's fourth month                                      
10 of work but before the end of the employee's sixth month of work with                                                   
11                 the department, the employee may supervise not more than 12 families;                                   
12 (iii)  when an employee supervises families in a region                                                                 
13 where travel distances negatively affect the employee's ability to                                                      
14 supervise families and the employee has worked for the department for                                                   
15 less than 12 months, the employee may not supervise the maximum                                                         
16                 number of families provided under (i) and (ii) of this subparagraph; and                                
17 (4)  for an employee, other than a new employee, who supervises the                                                     
18 care of children committed to the supervision or custody of the department under                                        
19 AS 47.10, works with families to prevent the removal of a child from the child's home                                   
20 under AS 47.10, or investigates reports of harm under AS 47.17, to ensure that the                                      
21       average statewide caseload is not more than 13 families for each worker.                                          
22 (b)  A staffing report prepared as a result of the department's inability to meet                                       
23 the training and workload standards in (a) of this section must be included in the                                      
24 department's annual report to the legislature required under AS 18.05.020. The                                          
25 department shall explain in the staffing report the reasons the department has not been                                 
26       able to meet the standards and provide the following information:                                                 
27 (1)  the number of employees who vacated positions during the                                                           
28       reporting period;                                                                                                 
29                 (2)  the number of funded positions that are vacant;                                                    
30                 (3)  a description of efforts made to recruit and retain employees;                                     
31 (4)  if the department determines additional employee positions are                                                     
01       necessary to meet the standards, the number and cost of the additional positions;                                 
02                 (5)  if the department determines additional funding is necessary to                                    
03       meet the standards, the amount and purpose of the additional funding; and                                         
04                 (6)  the effects on a child and the child's family of the department's                                  
05       inability to meet the standards.                                                                                  
06 (c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the department is                                             
07 immune from suit under this section if the department was unable to meet the                                            
08 workload standards and adjusted workload standards because of a lack of sufficient                                      
09 appropriations or because the department's efforts to recruit or retain employees did                                   
10 not result in an adequate number of qualified applicants to meet the workload                                           
11       standards, as outlined in the staffing report.                                                                    
12 (d)  The division of the department with responsibility over the custody of                                             
13 children shall prepare and make available to the legislature an annual report on                                        
14 employee recruitment and retention, including a five-year plan, for the division. Not                                   
15 later than November 15 of each year, the department shall deliver the report to the                                     
16 senate secretary and the chief clerk of the house of representatives and notify the                                     
17 legislature that the report is available. The report prepared under this subsection is                                  
18 separate from the annual report to the legislature required under AS 18.05.020 and                                      
19       must include, for the previous 12 months,                                                                         
20 (1)  the number of frontline social workers employed by the division,                                                   
21 the annual average turnover rate of the workers, and the average caseload of the                                        
22       workers on January 1 and July 1 of that year;                                                                     
23                 (2)  the number of children removed from their homes;                                                   
24                 (3)  the achievement of success measured by the following:                                              
25                      (A)  rate of family reunification;                                                                 
26 (B)  average length of time children spent in custody of the                                                            
27            department;                                                                                                  
28 (C)  rate of placement with an adult family member or family                                                            
29            friend;                                                                                                      
30 (D)  number of children placed in a permanent living                                                                    
31            arrangement with a guardian or biological or adoptive parent;                                                
01                      (E)  number of children released from the custody of the                                           
02            department;                                                                                                  
03 (4)  if the department has met or exceeded the caseload standards under                                                 
04 this chapter and, if the standards were exceeded, the number of caseworker positions                                    
05 in the division that could be eliminated and the amount of funding that could be                                        
06       reduced while continuing to meet but not routinely exceed the caseload standards;                                 
07                 (5)  the performance of the department on federal benchmarks focused                                    
08       on the safety, well-being, and permanent placements of foster children compared with                              
09       the previous five years.                                                                                          
10    * Sec. 18. AS 47.14.115 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
11 (b)  If the department determines that it is in the best interests of a child in the                                    
12 custody of the department to place the child with an adult family member who does                                       
13 not have a foster care home license under AS 47.32, the department shall assist the                                     
14 adult family member in obtaining a license, including assisting the adult family                                        
15 member with obtaining any variances necessary to obtain the license, so that the                                        
16       family member is eligible for payments under AS 47.14.100(b) and (d).                                             
17    * Sec. 19. AS 47.17.030 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
18 (g)  When the department or a local government health or social services                                                
19 agency (1) completes an investigation of a report of harm concerning a child, (2)                                       
20 determines, based on the investigation findings, that department or local agency                                        
21 services to protect the child are not required, and (3) identifies an appropriate                                       
22 community organization that will actively reach out to families to provide needed                                       
23 support services, the department or local government health or social services agency                                   
24 shall seek the written consent of the child's parent or guardian to refer the family to the                             
25 community organization. If the parent or guardian consents to the referral, the                                         
26 department or local government health or social services agency shall refer the parent                                  
27 or guardian to the community organization identified by the department. If the child                                    
28 has more than one parent or guardian and only one parent or guardian consents to the                                    
29 referral, the department or local government health or social services agency shall                                     
30 refer the parent or guardian who consents to the community organization but may not                                     
31 provide information to the community organization concerning the parent or guardian                                     
01 who does not consent to the referral. A community organization that receives                                            
02 information from the department or a local government health or social services                                         
03 agency under this subsection may not disclose the information to a person who is not                                    
04       authorized by law to receive it.                                                                                  
05    * Sec. 20. AS 47.18.320 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
06 (d)  When an individual 16 years of age or older who has been in state custody                                          
07 under AS 47.10 for at least six months is released from state custody, the department                                   
08 shall, in addition to any training, services, and assistance provided under (a) - (c) of                                
09 this section, provide the individual with or assist the individual with obtaining the                                   
10       individual's                                                                                                      
11 (1)  birth certificate; the birth certificate may be an official or certified                                           
12       copy;                                                                                                             
13                 (2)  social security card;                                                                              
14                 (3)  health insurance information;                                                                      
15                 (4)  medical records;                                                                                   
16                 (5)  driver's license or identification card; and                                                       
17 (6)  certificate of degree of Indian or Alaska Native blood, if                                                         
18       applicable.                                                                                                       
19    * Sec. 21. AS 47.32.032 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:                                               
20 (c)  To the extent feasible, the department shall approve or deny a foster care                                         
21 home license, including a request for a variance under this section, not more than 45                                   
22 days after the date the department receives the application for a foster care home                                      
23 license. If it is not feasible to approve or deny a foster care home license not more than                              
24 45 days after receiving the application, a supervisory-level employee may authorize a                                   
25 longer period of time for the decision, but the period must be the shortest period                                      
26       feasible.                                                                                                         
27    * Sec. 22. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                           
28 read:                                                                                                                   
29 APPLICABILITY. (a) Sections 3, 8 - 10, 12 - 16, 18, and 20 of this Act apply to a                                       
30 child in the custody or under the supervision of the Department of Health and Social Services                           
31 under AS 47.10 on or after the effective date of secs. 3, 8 - 10, 12 - 16, 18, and 20 of this Act.                      
01       (b)  Sections 4 - 7 and 21 of this Act apply to applications for a license, license                               
02 renewal, certification, certification renewal, or payment received by the Department of Health                          
03 and Social Services on or after the effective date of secs. 4 - 7 and 21 of this Act.                                   
04    * Sec. 23. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                           
05 read:                                                                                                                   
06 TRANSITION: REGULATIONS. The Department of Health and Social Services may                                               
07 adopt regulations necessary to implement the changes made by this Act. The regulations take                             
08 effect under AS 44.62 (Administrative Procedure Act), but not before the effective date of the                          
09 law implemented by the regulation.                                                                                      
10    * Sec. 24. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to                           
11 read:                                                                                                                   
12 TRANSITION: IMPLEMENTATION. The Department of Health and Social Services                                                
13 shall implement all of the provisions of this Act as expeditiously as possible. Notwithstanding                         
14 this requirement, the Department of Health and Social Services shall, not later than                                    
15 (1)  90 days after the effective date of secs. 8 - 10 and 13 - 15 of this Act,                                          
16 implement the changes made by AS 47.10.080(s), as amended by sec. 8 of this Act,                                        
17 AS 47.10.084(d), enacted by sec. 9 of this Act, AS 47.10.086(h), enacted by sec. 10 of this                             
18 Act, AS 47.10.142(i), as amended by sec. 13 of this Act, AS 47.14.100(e), as amended by sec.                            
19 14 of this Act, and AS 47.14.100(i), as amended by sec. 15 of this Act;                                                 
20 (2)  one year after the effective date of secs. 3 - 7, 12, 16 - 18, 20, and 21 of                                       
21 this Act, implement the changes made by AS 47.05.065, as amended by sec. 3 of this Act,                                 
22 AS 47.05.310(c), as amended by sec. 4 of this Act, AS 47.05.310(i), as amended by sec. 5 of                             
23 this Act, AS 47.05.310(k), as amended by sec. 6 of this Act, AS 47.05.310(l), enacted by sec.                           
24 7 of this Act, AS 47.10.093(b), as amended by sec. 12 of this Act, AS 47.14.100(r), as                                  
25 amended by sec. 16 of this Act, AS 47.14.112(a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3)(A), and (b), enacted by sec.                         
26 17 of this Act, AS 47.14.115(b), enacted by sec. 18 of this Act, AS 47.18.320(d), enacted by                            
27 sec. 20 of this Act, and AS 47.32.032(c), enacted by sec. 21 of this Act;                                               
28 (3)  two years after the effective date of sec. 17 of this Act, implement the                                           
29 changes made by AS 47.14.112(a)(3)(B) and (a)(4), enacted by sec. 17 of this Act.                                       
30    * Sec. 25. Section 23 of this Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).                                    
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