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




























     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.




     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




     (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


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




     (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


1, 2014.