Missouri State Senate

Introduced

SB 388 - This act modifies various provisions relating to foster care and adoption.

This act provides that any employee of the Children's Division of the Department of Social Services may choose to become qualified or licensed as an emergency placement provider, a respite care provider, or a licensed foster home. Any employee who becomes qualified or licensed shall not provide care for any child in his or her caseload, but may, upon supervisory approval, choose to transfer the case to another employee in order to be able to provide such care. Sections 210.482, 210.486.7, and 210.545.

Also, the Children's Division is required to establish procedures and promulgate rules to provide applications to become a licensed foster or preadoptive home, and approximately one half of all training, education, or other coursework to become licensed shall be available and able to be completed on an Internet web site created and maintained by the division. Section 210.486.8.

This act requires the guardian ad litem to ascertain the child's wishes and feelings about potential foster care placement or adoption by conducting an interview or interviews with the child, if appropriate based on the child's age and maturity level. The child's wishes and feelings shall be considered as a factor when the children's division makes decisions and recommendations regarding foster care placement, and shall be considered by the court as a factor in determining if adoption is in the child's best interests. Such consideration shall not supersede the preference for placement with relatives. Section 210.565 and 453.030.

This act also provides that if an employee or agent of the children's division knowingly provides incorrect information to a foster parent or prospective adoptive parent in order to secure placement of a child, or knowingly fails to provide information that is pertinent to the care of the child or the protection of the foster family, the action shall result in three days suspension without pay, and shall be recorded and kept on record by the division. If an employee or agent of a licensed child placing agency knowingly provides such incorrect information or fails to provide such pertinent information to a foster or prospective adoptive parent, the action shall also result in three days suspension without pay, shall be recorded and kept on record by the licensing division or department following consideration as to whether such action constitutes a basis for suspension or revocation of the agency's license. Sections 210.566 and 453.026.

Some of the provisions in this act are identical to provisions contained in CCS #2/SS/HCS/HB 154 (2009) and to SB 1242 (2008).

ADRIANE CROUSE

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