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S.B. 126 Enrolled

             1     

CHILD WELFARE AMENDMENTS

             2     
2014 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Wayne A. Harper

             5     
House Sponsor: Ronda Rudd Menlove

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill amends provisions of Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Child and Family Services.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    renames, clarifies, and modifies provisions related to in-home services for the
             13      preservation of families; and
             14          .    provides that a parent may not file a petition for restoration of legal custody during
             15      the existence of a permanent guardianship.
             16      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             17          None
             18      Other Special Clauses:
             19          None
             20      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             21      AMENDS:
             22           62A-4a-103 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2009, Chapter 75
             23           62A-4a-105 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2013, Chapter 416
             24           62A-4a-202 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 75
             25           78A-6-1103 , as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 208
             26     
             27      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             28          Section 1. Section 62A-4a-103 is amended to read:
             29           62A-4a-103. Division -- Creation -- Purpose.


             30          (1) (a) There is created the Division of Child and Family Services within the
             31      department, under the administration and general supervision of the executive director.
             32          (b) The division is the child, youth, and family services authority of the state and has
             33      all functions, powers, duties, rights, and responsibilities created in accordance with this
             34      chapter, except those assumed by the department.
             35          (2) (a) The primary purpose of the division is to provide child welfare services.
             36          (b) The division shall, when possible and appropriate, provide [preventive services and
             37      family preservation services] in-home services for the preservation of families in an effort to
             38      protect the child from the trauma of separation from his family, protect the integrity of the
             39      family, and the constitutional rights of parents. In keeping with its ultimate goal and purpose
             40      of protecting children, however, when a child's welfare is endangered or reasonable efforts to
             41      maintain or reunify a child with his family have failed, the division shall act in a timely fashion
             42      in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and Title 78A, Chapter 6, Part 3, Abuse,
             43      Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings, to provide the child with a stable, permanent
             44      environment.
             45          (3) The division shall also provide domestic violence services in accordance with
             46      federal law.
             47          Section 2. Section 62A-4a-105 is amended to read:
             48           62A-4a-105. Division responsibilities.
             49          (1) The division shall:
             50          (a) administer services to minors and families, including:
             51          (i) child welfare services;
             52          (ii) domestic violence services; and
             53          (iii) all other responsibilities that the Legislature or the executive director may assign
             54      to the division;
             55          (b) provide the following services:
             56          (i) financial and other assistance to an individual adopting a child with special needs
             57      under Part 9, Adoption Assistance, not to exceed the amount the division would provide for the


             58      child as a legal ward of the state;
             59          (ii) non-custodial and in-home [preventative] services, including:
             60          (A) services designed to prevent family break-up; and
             61          (B) family preservation services;
             62          (iii) reunification services to families whose children are in substitute care in
             63      accordance with the requirements of this chapter and Title 78A, Chapter 6, Juvenile Court Act
             64      [of 1996];
             65          (iv) protective supervision of a family, upon court order, in an effort to eliminate abuse
             66      or neglect of a child in that family;
             67          (v) shelter care in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and Title 78A,
             68      Chapter 6, Juvenile Court Act [of 1996];
             69          (vi) domestic violence services, in accordance with the requirements of federal law;
             70          (vii) protective services to victims of domestic violence, as defined in Section 77-36-1 ,
             71      and their children, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and Title 78A, Chapter 6,
             72      Part 3, Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency Proceedings;
             73          (viii) substitute care for dependent, abused, neglected, and delinquent children;
             74          (ix) programs and services for minors who have been placed in the custody of the
             75      division for reasons other than abuse or neglect, under Section 62A-4a-250 ; and
             76          (x) training for staff and providers involved in the administration and delivery of
             77      services offered by the division in accordance with this chapter;
             78          (c) establish standards for all:
             79          (i) contract providers of out-of-home care for minors and families;
             80          (ii) facilities that provide substitute care for dependent, abused, neglected, and
             81      delinquent children placed in the custody of the division; and
             82          (iii) direct or contract providers of domestic violence services described in Subsection
             83      (1)(b)(vi);
             84          (d) have authority to:
             85          (i) contract with a private, nonprofit organization to recruit and train foster care


             86      families and child welfare volunteers in accordance with Section 62A-4a-107.5 ; and
             87          (ii) approve facilities that meet the standards established under Subsection (1)(c) to
             88      provide substitute care for dependent, abused, neglected, and delinquent children placed in the
             89      custody of the division;
             90          (e) cooperate with the federal government in the administration of child welfare and
             91      domestic violence programs and other human service activities assigned by the department;
             92          (f) in accordance with Subsection (2)(a), promote and enforce state and federal laws
             93      enacted for the protection of abused, neglected, dependent, delinquent, ungovernable, and
             94      runaway children, and status offenders, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter,
             95      unless administration is expressly vested in another division or department of the state;
             96          (g) cooperate with the Employment Development Division in the Department of
             97      Workforce Services in meeting the social and economic needs of an individual who is eligible
             98      for public assistance;
             99          (h) compile relevant information, statistics, and reports on child and family service
             100      matters in the state;
             101          (i) prepare and submit to the department, the governor, and the Legislature reports of
             102      the operation and administration of the division in accordance with the requirements of
             103      Sections 62A-4a-117 and 62A-4a-118 ;
             104          (j) provide social studies and reports for the juvenile court in accordance with Section
             105      78A-6-605 ;
             106          (k) within appropriations from the Legislature, provide or contract for a variety of
             107      domestic violence services and treatment methods;
             108          (l) ensure regular, periodic publication, including electronic publication, regarding the
             109      number of children in the custody of the division who:
             110          (i) have a permanency goal of adoption; or
             111          (ii) have a final plan of termination of parental rights, pursuant to Section 78A-6-314 ,
             112      and promote adoption of those children;
             113          (m) subject to Subsection (2)(b), refer an individual receiving services from the


             114      division to the local substance abuse authority or other private or public resource for a
             115      court-ordered drug screening test; and
             116          (n) perform other duties and functions required by law.
             117          (2) (a) In carrying out the requirements of Subsection (1)(f), the division shall:
             118          (i) cooperate with the juvenile courts, the Division of Juvenile Justice Services, and
             119      with all public and private licensed child welfare agencies and institutions, to develop and
             120      administer a broad range of services and support;
             121          (ii) take the initiative in all matters involving the protection of abused or neglected
             122      children, if adequate provisions have not been made or are not likely to be made; and
             123          (iii) make expenditures necessary for the care and protection of the children described
             124      in this Subsection (2)(a), within the division's budget.
             125          (b) When an individual is referred to a local substance abuse authority or other private
             126      or public resource for court-ordered drug screening under Subsection (1)(n), the court shall
             127      order the individual to pay all costs of the tests unless:
             128          (i) the cost of the drug screening is specifically funded or provided for by other federal
             129      or state programs;
             130          (ii) the individual is a participant in a drug court; or
             131          (iii) the court finds that the individual is impecunious.
             132          (3) Except to the extent provided by rule, the division is not responsible for
             133      investigating domestic violence in the presence of a child, as described in Section 76-5-109.1 .
             134          (4) The division may not require a parent who has a child in the custody of the division
             135      to pay for some or all of the cost of any drug testing the parent is required to undergo.
             136          Section 3. Section 62A-4a-202 is amended to read:
             137           62A-4a-202. In-home services for the preservation of families.
             138          (1) (a) Within appropriations from the Legislature and money obtained under
             139      Subsection (5), the division shall provide [preventive,] in-home services [and family
             140      preservation services for] for the purpose of family preservation to any family with a child
             141      whose health and safety is not immediately endangered, when:


             142          (i) (A) the child is at risk of being removed from the home; or
             143          (B) the family is in crisis; and
             144          (ii) the division determines that it is reasonable and appropriate.
             145          (b) In determining whether [preventive or family preservation] in-home services are
             146      reasonable and appropriate, in keeping with the provisions of Subsection 62A-4a-201 (1) the
             147      child's health, safety, and welfare shall be the paramount concern.
             148          (c) The division shall consider whether the services described in Subsection (1)(b):
             149          (i) will be effective within a six-month period; and
             150          (ii) are likely to prevent continued abuse or [continued] neglect of the child.
             151          (2) (a) The division shall maintain a statewide inventory of [early intervention,
             152      preventive, and family preservation] in-home services available through public and private
             153      agencies or individuals for use by caseworkers.
             154          (b) The inventory described in Subsection (2)(a) shall include:
             155          (i) the method of accessing each service;
             156          (ii) eligibility requirements for each service;
             157          (iii) the geographic areas and the number of families that can be served by each
             158      service; and
             159          (iv) information regarding waiting lists for each service.
             160          (3) (a) As [a] part of its [preventive] in-home services for the preservation of families,
             161      the division shall provide [family preservation] in-home services in varying degrees of intensity
             162      and contact that[: (a)] are [short-term, intensive, crisis intervention programs;] specific to the
             163      needs of each individual family.
             164          (b) As part of its in-home services, the division shall:
             165          (i) provide customized assistance;
             166          (ii) provide support or interventions that are tailored to the needs of the family;
             167          (iii) discuss the family's needs with the parent;
             168          (iv) discuss an assistance plan for the family with the parent; and
             169          [(b)] (v) address:


             170          [(i)] (A) the safety of children; [and]
             171          [(ii)] (B) the needs of the family; and
             172          (C) services necessary to aid in the preservation of the family and a child's ability to
             173      remain in the home.
             174          (c) In-home services shall be, as practicable, [are] provided within the region that the
             175      family resides, using existing division staff.
             176          (4) (a) The division may use specially trained caseworkers, private providers, or other
             177      persons to provide the [family preservation] in-home services described in Subsection (3).
             178          [(b) Family preservation caseworkers may:]
             179          [(i) only be assigned a minimal number of families;]
             180          [(ii) be available 24 hours for an intensive period of at least six weeks; and]
             181          [(iii) respond to an assigned family within 24 hours.]
             182          [(c) The division shall allow family preservation caseworkers to be creative and
             183      flexible in responding to the needs of each individual family.]
             184          (b) The division shall allow a caseworker to be flexible in responding to the needs of
             185      each individual family, including:
             186          (i) limiting the number of families assigned; and
             187          (ii) being available to respond to assigned families within 24 hours.
             188          (5) To provide, expand, and improve the delivery of in-home services to prevent the
             189      removal of children from their homes and promote the preservation of families, the division
             190      shall make substantial effort to obtain funding, including:
             191          (a) federal grants;
             192          (b) federal waivers; and
             193          (c) private money.
             194          Section 4. Section 78A-6-1103 is amended to read:
             195           78A-6-1103. Modification or termination of custody order or decree -- Grounds --
             196      Procedure.
             197          (1) A parent or guardian of any child whose legal custody has been transferred by the


             198      court to an individual, agency, or institution, except a secure youth corrections facility, may
             199      petition the court for restoration of custody or other modification or revocation of the court's
             200      order, on the ground that a change of circumstances has occurred which requires such
             201      modification or revocation in the best interest of the child or the public.
             202          (2) The court shall make a preliminary investigation. If the court finds that the alleged
             203      change of circumstances, if proved, would not affect the decree, it may dismiss the petition. If
             204      the court finds that a further examination of the facts is needed, or if the court on its own
             205      motion determines that the decree should be reviewed, it shall conduct a hearing. Notice shall
             206      be given to all persons concerned. At the hearing, the court may enter an order continuing,
             207      modifying, or terminating the decree.
             208          (3) (a) A [petition by a] parent may not [be filed] file a petition under this section after
             209      the parent's parental rights have been terminated in accordance with Part 5, Termination of
             210      Parental Rights Act.
             211          (b) A parent may not file a petition for restoration of custody under this section during
             212      the existence of a permanent guardianship established for the child under Subsection
             213      78A-6-117 (2)(y).
             214          (4) An individual, agency, or institution vested with legal custody of a child may
             215      petition the court for a modification of the custody order on the ground that the change is
             216      necessary for the welfare of the child or in the public interest. The court shall proceed upon the
             217      petition in accordance with Subsections (1) and (2).


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