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