HB-4649, As Passed House, May 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBSTITUTE FOR

 

HOUSE BILL NO. 4649

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     A bill to amend 1994 PA 203, entitled

 

"Foster care and adoption services act,"

 

by amending section 3 (MCL 722.953) and by adding section 8a.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 3. The purposes of this act are all of the following:

 

     (a) To assist foster parents to provide a stable, loving

 

family environment for children who are placed outside of their

 

homes on a temporary basis.

 

     (b) To help eliminate barriers to the adoption of children and

 

to promote the provision of a stable and loving family environment

 

to children who are without permanent families.

 

     (c) To promote the well-being and safety of all children who

 

receive foster care or are adopted under the laws of this state.

 


     (d) To protect and assist prospective adoptive families as

 

they negotiate the adoption process.

 

     (e) To regulate child placing agencies who certify foster

 

parents and serve adoptees and adoptive families in this state.

 

     (f) To regulate adoption attorneys who facilitate direct

 

placement adoptions.

 

     (g) To ensure foster parents and prospective adoptive parents

 

receive all applicable resources as described in section 8a.

 

     Sec. 8a. (1) This section shall be known and may be cited as

 

the "foster parent's bill of rights law".

 

     (2) To ensure that each foster parent is treated with dignity,

 

respect, trust, and consideration, the supervising agency shall

 

ensure that each foster parent has access to or receives the

 

following:

 

     (a) Explanation and clarification regarding the supervising

 

agency's role and expectations, information concerning the

 

supervising agency's policies and procedures, and changes to those

 

policies or procedures relative to the role as a foster parent or

 

the children in the foster parent's care within 30 days after those

 

changes are made.

 

     (b) Treatment by the supervising agency that does not violate

 

the provisions of the Elliott-Larsen civil rights act, 1976 PA 453,

 

MCL 37.2101 to 37.2804.

 

     (c) Evaluation and feedback regarding the foster parent's

 

provision of care role. As used in this subdivision, "feedback"

 

means providing a copy of the written annual assessment of rule

 

compliance and the written special evaluation report upon

 


completion of the report to the foster parent.

 

     (d) Necessary training to enable the foster parent to provide

 

quality services to children who are or will be in his or her care

 

that includes information on the policies developed by the

 

supervising agency designed to support and aid foster, kinship, and

 

adoptive families relative to foster care and prospective adoptive

 

placement.

 

     (e) Necessary support for the foster parent that includes all

 

of the following:

 

     (i) Reasonable relief and respite as allowed by the supervising

 

agency's resources. As used in this subparagraph, "respite" means

 

substitute care that is provided to a foster child when the foster

 

parent is not present or not available as defined in the

 

supervising agency's substitute care policy or as facilitated by

 

the supervising agency.

 

     (ii) Access to the supervising agency staff for assistance

 

dealing with family loss and separation when a child leaves the

 

foster parent's home.

 

     (iii) Access to information about local and statewide support

 

groups that includes local and statewide foster, kinship, and

 

adoptive parent associations.

 

     (f) Access to the appropriate supervising agency 24 hours a

 

day, 7 days a week, for emergency information and assistance for

 

children in the foster parent's care.

 

     (g) Timely financial reimbursement for foster children in the

 

foster parent's care. As used in this subdivision, "timely

 

financial reimbursement" means payment issued within 30 days after

 


submission of accurate and complete documentation.

 

     (h) Timely investigation of complaints concerning the foster

 

parent's licensure, the right to have a person of the foster

 

parent's choosing present during a licensing investigation, and the

 

right to file a grievance when the foster parent disagrees with a

 

finding in a licensing investigation. As used in this subdivision,

 

"timely investigation" means an investigation is completed within

 

45 calendar days after receipt of the information. If additional

 

time is required, the supervising agency shall inform the foster

 

parent, in writing, of the basis for the extension. Any extensions

 

under this subdivision shall not exceed a cumulative total of 90

 

days.

 

     (i) A hearing regarding licensing as provided in section 11(2)

 

of 1973 PA 116, MCL 722.121.

 

     (j) Decisions concerning a licensing corrective action plan

 

that are specifically tied to the applicable licensing rules

 

regarding the licensing violation.

 

     (k) To the extent permitted by state and federal law, copies

 

of information relative to the foster family and services contained

 

in the personal foster home or foster parent records.

 

     (l) Information before placement of the child regarding the

 

child's behavior, individual or special needs, background, health

 

history, or other issues relative to the child that may jeopardize

 

the health and safety of the foster family or alter the manner in

 

which foster care should be provided. In an emergency situation,

 

the supervising agency shall provide information as soon as the

 

information is available.

 


     (m) The option to refuse placement of a child into the foster

 

home or to request, upon reasonable notice, the removal of a child

 

from the foster home, without adverse effect on assignments of

 

future foster children or prospective adoptive placements.

 

     (n) Information through the supervising agency regarding the

 

number of times a child has been moved, the reason for the move,

 

and names and telephone numbers of previous foster parents, if the

 

previous foster parent has authorized release of that information.

 

     (o) Advance notice of a child's move from a foster home in

 

order to prepare the child and foster family members. The advance

 

notice required in this subdivision does not apply in a case of an

 

emergency situation when there is evidence of mistreatment as

 

provided in section 13b(7) of chapter XIIA of the probate code of

 

1939, 1939 PA 288, MCL 712A.13b, or when the court orders a child

 

to be moved from a foster home but does not allow for advance

 

notice.

 

     (p) Notification and the option to participate in writing or

 

in person, depending on the case, in meetings concerning the child,

 

to be informed of decisions made by the court or the supervising

 

agency concerning the child, and to provide input concerning the

 

case service plan for the child and to have that input considered

 

by the supervising agency.

 

     (q) The option to receive a copy of the supervising agency's

 

placement and case service plan concerning the child's care in the

 

foster parent's home and to participate in and receive case service

 

plan revisions as well as any other information relevant to the

 

child's care, including subsequent revisions to the case service

 


plan as allowed by state and federal law in a timely manner. Foster

 

parents are to be meaningful participants in the development or

 

revision, or both, of the case service plan for the child in that

 

foster parent's home. Case service plans must be provided within 10

 

days after a foster parent's written request.

 

     (r) Timely and complete written notice from the supervising

 

agency of all court proceedings, including notice of the hearing

 

date, time, location, the name of the judge or hearing officer

 

assigned, the court docket number, and the option to submit factual

 

written statements to the court as provided by state or federal

 

law. As used in this subdivision, "timely notice" means

 

notification of a hearing within 7 days after the supervising

 

agency receives notice from the court.

 

     (s) The option to be considered as a foster parent when a

 

child formerly placed with the foster parent is reentering foster

 

care and the option to be considered when a child previously placed

 

in the foster parent's home becomes available for adoption, if

 

relative placement is not available and the placement is consistent

 

with the best interest of the child and other children in the

 

foster parent's home.

 

     (3) The supervising agency shall maintain a written policy

 

describing the grievance procedure for foster parents and

 

prospective adoptive parents to address any noncompliance with the

 

items listed in subsection (2). The procedure shall include

 

information on how and where to file a grievance.

 

     (4) A foster parent may file a grievance with the supervising

 

agency regarding any of the items listed in subsection (2) as

 


outlined in the supervising agency's written policy described in

 

subsection (3). Within 30 days after receiving the grievance, the

 

supervising agency shall respond with a written statement of how

 

the foster parent's grievance will be addressed. If the supervising

 

agency does not provide a written response within 30 days after the

 

grievance is filed with the supervising agency, the foster parent

 

may file a complaint with the department's bureau of children and

 

adult licensing.

 

     (5) If the grievance is not resolved by filing a complaint

 

with the department's bureau of children and adult licensing, the

 

foster parent may request that a hearing be conducted under chapter

 

4 of the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL

 

24.271 to 24.287.

 

     (6) The sole remedy that may be provided under this section is

 

limited to injunctive relief.

 

     (7) In accordance with the provisions set forth in section 5

 

of the children's ombudsman act, 1994 PA 204, MCL 722.925, a foster

 

parent may file a complaint with the office of the children's

 

ombudsman to investigate the supervising agency's alleged violation

 

of law, rule, or policy.

 

     (8) The supervising agencies shall provide the information

 

regarding the grievances and administrative hearings received under

 

this section to the department for compilation and submission of a

 

report to the appropriations subcommittees for the department's

 

budget and the senate and house of representatives standing

 

committees having jurisdiction over issues involving human

 

services. The department shall provide the report described in this

 


section beginning October 1, 2015, and each October 1 after that.

 

The report shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:

 

     (a) The total number of grievances filed for the reporting

 

period.

 

     (b) The total number of grievances resolved within 30 days.

 

     (c) The total number of grievances that were not resolved

 

within 30 days.

 

     (d) The total number of complaints filed with the department's

 

bureau of children and adult licensing, including the number of

 

licensing actions that resulted from those complaints.

 

     (e) A summary of any policy changes that were initiated in

 

response to the grievances filed.

 

     (f) The total number of grievances that resulted in an

 

administrative hearing process, including the number of actions

 

where the administrative law judge denied or dismissed the action,

 

agreed with the supervising agency, or agreed with the foster

 

parent.

 

     (9) The children's ombudsman's investigations of the

 

violations under this section are subject to an appropriation of

 

funds for those investigations.

 

     Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect October

 

1, 2014.