SB 823
Modifies provisions relating to child protection
Sponsor:
LR Number:
4084H.08C
Last Action:
5/13/2022 - HCS Reported Do Pass H Special Committee on Public Policy
Journal Page:
Title:
HCS SS#2 SB 823
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022
House Handler:

Current Bill Summary

HCS/SS#2/SB 823 - This act modifies provisions relating to the care of children, including: (1) missing children; (2) licenses issued by the Department of Revenue; (3) corporal punishment; (4) educational funding for children in state custody; (5) epinephrine auto syringes; (6) transfer of authority of certain child care facility programs to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; (7) MO HealthNet services for pregnant and postpartum women; (8) diligent searches; (9) Children's Division employees, programs, and residential congregate settings; (10) definition of "child" in child care licensing and ; (11) day and summer camps; (12) parental complaints against child care facilities; (13) family child care homes; (14) neighborhood youth development programs; (15) background checks; (16) licensed residential care facilities; (17) child custody; (18) identifying information of minors in court documents; (19) the offense of endangering the welfare of a child; and (20) "Blair's Law".

MISSING CHILDREN (Sections 43.400, 43.401, 210.762, and 210.795)

Current law defines a "missing child" or "missing juvenile" when referencing certain missing persons statutes as including any person under the age of 17. This act modifies that definition to include person under the age of 18 and persons in foster care regardless of the person's age.

Additionally, an agency or placement provider with legal custody of a child shall ensure the missing child report is filed once the child is determined to be missing. Within 72 hours of a missing child report being filed or within 72 hours of the agency or provider being notified that a child under its custody is missing, a family support team meeting shall be held concerning the missing child, including a discussion on the initial placement of the child. If the missing child is brought back into custody, another family support team meeting shall be held. Any agency or provider who fails to comply with these provisions shall be liable to the child, parent, foster parent, or legal guardian of the missing child, as well as the state, and subject to a civil penalty of $50,000 per occurrence. The agency or provider shall maintain all missing child reports of any child under the legal custody of the agency or provider.

This act adds a definition of "family support team".

Under this act, a case worker shall notify a juvenile officer if a child goes missing. Once notified, the juvenile officer shall file with the court a notice in the child's case file that states the child is missing and include the missing child report. The juvenile officer shall update the report if the child is located.

This provision is identical to HCS/HB 1559 (2022) and similar to a provision in HCS/SCS/SB 982 (2022).

LICENSES ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE (Sections 136.055, 302.178, and 302.181)

This act exempts homeless children, homeless youths, and unaccompanied youths, as defined by law, from certain fees collected by Department of Revenue fee offices. The act also adds these groups to the definition of "emancipated minor" for purposes of proving the supervised driving experience required to obtain an intermediate driver's license, and exempts emancipated minors from intermediate driver's license fees. The act provides that no fee shall be required or collected from a homeless child, homeless youth, or unaccompanied youth to obtain his or her first nondriver identification card.

A minor's status as a homeless child, homeless youth, or unaccompanied youth under the act shall be verified by a letter signed by a director or designee of a governmental or nonprofit agency providing services to homeless persons, by a local education agency liaison as described under federal law, by a school social worker or counselor, or by an attorney who is representing the minor in a legal matter.

These provisions are substantially similar to SCS/SB 1167 (2022).

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT (Section 160.261)

This act repeals provisions of law permitting each school district to establish a policy relating to the use of corporal punishment. Under this act, each school district's discipline policy shall prohibit the use of corporal punishment and spanking.

This act repeals provisions of law relating to the use of force and spanking as administered by school personnel and reporting and investigations by the Children's Division.

This provision is similar to HB 1937 (2022) and HB 2095 (2022).

EDUCATIONAL FUNDING FOR CHILDREN IN STATE CUSTODY (Section 163.063)

For purposes of determining state and local funding for a child's education, if a child resides in a residential treatment facility and is unable to attend public school due to safety or behavioral concerns and the school district uses the residential facility to provide any portion of the child's education, the facility is entitled to at least 80% of state and local money paid to the school district on a per-pupil basis along with any additional funding provided through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

This act requires school districts to provide annual accounting to the residential treatment facility and requires school districts to support or approve a facility plan for the foster child or provide for the child's education on the facility site.

It is the responsibility of the school district to provide for the education of the child and ensure the child receives education services substantially similar to the curriculum and standards of the district.

This provision is identical to a provision in the perfected HCS/HB 2376 (2022), SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022), and SCS/SB 1189 (2022).

EPINEPHRINE AUTO SYRINGES (Section 167.630)

This act authorizes school contracted agents trained by a nurse to administer an epinephrine auto syringe on any student who is having a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction. This act also provides that trained contracted agents shall be immune from civil liability in the administration of a prefilled auto syringe.

This provision is identical to SB 1170 (2022) and SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022).

TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY OF CERTAIN CHILD CARE FACILITY PROGRAMS TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION (Sections 208.044, 208.046, 208.053, 210.027, 210.102, 210.203, 210.211, 210.221, 210.223, 210.231, 210.241, 210.245, 210.251, 210.252, 210.254, 210.255, 210.256, 210.258, 210.275, 210.1007, and 210.1080 and the repeal of Section 210.199)

This act modifies current law relating to child care subsidies and child care facility licensing by transferring supervision and implementation authority from the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Senior Services to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order creating the Office of Childhood within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

These provisions are identical to provisions in HCS/SCS/SB 982 (2022), the perfected SS/SCS/SB 683 (2022), and SCS/HCS/HB 2151 and substantially similar to provisions in HCS/HB 2376 (2022).

MO HEALTHNET FOR PREGNANT AND POSTPARTUM WOMEN (Sections 208.151, 208.662, and B)

Currently, low-income pregnant and postpartum women receiving benefits through MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women or Show-Me Healthy Babies are eligible for pregnancy-related coverage throughout the pregnancy and for 60 days following the end of the pregnancy. Under this act, MO HealthNet coverage for these low-income women will include full Medicaid benefits for the duration of the pregnancy and for one year following the end of the pregnancy. This coverage shall begin April 1, 2022, or the effective date of the act, whichever is later, and shall continue during any period of time the federal authorization for such coverage is in effect. Currently, the federal American Rescue Plan of 2021 has authorized 5 years of this coverage.

This act has an emergency clause.

These provisions are identical to SCS/SBs 698 & 639 (2022).

DILIGENT SEARCHES (Sections 210.127, 210.305, and 210.565)

Under current law, the Children's Division shall conduct a diligent search for the biological parent or parents of a child in the custody of the Division if the location or identity of such parent or parents is unknown. This act requires such search to be active, thorough, and timely and if a child is removed from a home and placed in the custody of the Division, the search shall be conducted immediately following the removal of a child.

Additionally, current law requires the Division to immediately begin diligent efforts to locate and place a child with a suitable grandparent when an initial emergency placement of a child is deemed necessary. This act changes "diligent efforts" to "diligent search" and expands the search to include relatives other than grandparents. A diligent search for relatives shall occur within thirty days from the time the emergency placement is deemed necessary for the child. The Division shall continue to search for suitable relatives for the child's placement until a suitable relative is identified and located or the court excuses further search.

Finally, whenever a court determines that a foster home placement with a child's relative is appropriate, the Division shall complete a diligent search to locate and notify the child's grandparents, adult siblings, parents of siblings, and all other relatives of the child's possible placement.

These provisions are identical to provisions in the perfected SS/SCS/SB 683 (2022), SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022), and HB 1563 (2022).

CHILDREN'S DIVISION EMPLOYEES, PROGRAMS, AND RESIDENTIAL CONGREGATE SETTINGS (Sections 210.135, 210.140, 210.147, 210.715, 210.762, and 211.081)

This act modifies existing statutory immunity from liability for certain persons involved with reporting, investigating, or responding to allegations of child abuse or neglect to include employees of the Department of Social Services, as well as to include additional provisions of law under which such individuals' actions may receive immunity from liability.

This act modifies existing statutory exceptions against recognizing privileged communications in situations of child abuse or neglect to include cooperation with the Children's Division in its activities under additional provisions of law, including child abuse or neglect investigations, termination of parental rights, and adoption and foster care.

Under current law, all information provided at a family support team meeting relating to the removal of a child from the child's home is confidential. This act modifies this provision so that all information provided at the meeting is confidential.

Under this act, the Department of Social Services shall establish programs to implement the provisions of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act by providing support to children and their families to prevent foster care placements when doing so is safe for the children and by limiting the use of residential setting placements.

If a child is placed in a residential congregate setting, the Children's Division shall arrange for a qualified individual to complete an assessment of the child within 30 days to determine the child's placement options and short-term and long-term goals, as specified in the act. The Children's Division shall assemble a family support team for the child. A qualified individual working with the child to develop the child's assessment shall have unlimited access to the child's records, including medical, educational, mental health, and placement records. The assessment shall be provided to all parties in a juvenile proceeding and admitted into evidence, with redactions as needed.

Within 60 days of the start of a placement in a residential setting, the court shall assess the appropriateness of the child's placement and make specific findings of fact, as described in the act. The court shall reassess the appropriateness for the child to remain in a residential setting placement at every subsequent hearing, but not less than every 6 months, until the child is discharged to a less restrictive, non-residential setting.

This act modifies current law regarding family support team meetings to permit biological family members and relatives, as appropriate, as well as professionals who are a resource to the child's family, to participate in the family support team meetings. In the case of a child who is age 14 or older, the team shall include members selected by the child. The Children's Division may exclude an individual from a meeting or make alternative arrangements for an individual to express his or her views if the individual becomes disruptive.

These provisions are identical to provisions in the perfected SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022) and HCS/SCS/SB 982 (2022).

DEFINITION OF "CHILD" IN CHILD CARE LICENSING (Section 210.201)

This act modifies the definition of "child" in child care licensing statues from an individual under the age of 17 to an individual under the age of 18.

DAY AND SUMMER CAMPS (Sections 210.201 and 210.211)

This act modifies child care facility licensure statutes by adding "day camps", as defined in the act, to the list of facilities exempt from licensure. Under this act, every child care facility shall disclose the licensure status of the facility and parents or guardians utilizing an unlicensed child care facility shall sign a written notice acknowledging the unlicensed status of the facility.

These provisions are identical to provisions in the perfected SS/SCS/SB 683 (2022), SCS/SB 916 (2022), and SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022), substantially similar to HCS/HB 1550 (2022), and similar to HB 1191 (2021).

PARENTAL COMPLAINTS AGAINST CHILD CARE FACILITIES (Section 210.203)

Currently, the Department of Health and Senior Services shall maintain a record of substantiated, signed parental complaints against child care facilities and shall make those complaints and findings available to the public upon request. Under this act, the identifying information of individual making the complaint shall not be made publicly available.

This provision is identical to a provision in HCS/HB 2376 (2022).

FAMILY CHILD CARE HOMES (Sections 210.211 and B)

This act excludes from the number of children counted toward the maximum number of children for which a family child care home is licensed up to two children who are five years or older and who are related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to, adopted by, or under court appointed guardianship or legal custody of a child care provider who is responsible for the daily operation of a licensed family child care home organized as a legal entity in Missouri. If more than one member of the legal entity is responsible for the daily operation of the family child care home, then the related children of only one such member shall be excluded. A family child care home caring for such children shall provide notice to parents or guardians as specified in the act. Additionally, nothing in the act shall prohibit the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from enforcing existing licensing regulations, including supervision requirements and capacity limitations based on the amount of child care space available.

This provision has an emergency clause.

This provision is identical to a provision in HCS/HB 2376 (2022), substantially similar to provisions in the perfected SS/SCS/SB 683 (2022), SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022), SCS/SB 132 (2021), and provisions in SCS/HS/HB 432 (2021) and similar to SB 1026 (2020) and HB 1257 (2020).

NEIGHBORHOOD YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (Section 210.278)

Under current law, neighborhood youth development programs that provide activities to children ages 6 to 17 are exempt from child care licensure. This act changes the age range to 5 to 17.

This provision is identical to a provision in HCS/HB 2376 (2022) and substantially similar to SB 826 (2022), provisions in the perfected SS/SCS/SB 683 (2022), and SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022).

BACKGROUND CHECKS (Section 210.482, 210.487, and 210.493)

This act changes the definition of a child in relation to conducting background checks on individuals in an emergency home placement and foster parent licensing from individuals under 17 to the individuals under 18.

These provisions are identical to provisions in HCS/HB 1599 (2022).

Additionally, this act modifies provisions of current law relating to background checks of individuals in connection with licensed residential care facilities and licensed child placing agencies. Current law requires support staff to undergo background checks and this act removes that provision. This act requires the background check to include a state background check and removes the requirement to check the National Crime Information Center's National Sex Offender Registry.

This provision is identical to a provision in the perfected HB 2623 (2022) and HCS/HB 2376 (2022).

LICENSED RESIDENTIAL CARE FACILITIES (Section 210.1450)

This act requires, before January 1, 2024, certain licensed residential care facilities contracted with the Department of Social Services, to obtain national accreditation, as specified in the act, and to apply to the Department for designation as a qualified residential treatment program. Subject to appropriations, the Department shall provide grants to licensed residential care facilities seeking accreditation.

Additionally, the Department of Social Services shall seek a waiver of the IMD exclusion for qualified residential treatment programs with the federal government within 90 days of the effective date of this provision, as specified in the act.

This provision has an emergency clause.

This provision is identical to HCS/HB 2013 (2022) and a provision in HCS/HB 2376 (2022).

CHILD CUSTODY (Section 452.415)

This act modifies the effective date of certain provisions of law relating to child custody. Those provisions, as they existed on August 27, 2021, shall apply to all pending actions and proceedings brought as of that date, except that actions on appeal shall be governed by the law in effect at the time of the judgment or decree becoming final. Any amendments to such sections thereafter shall apply to all pending actions and proceedings brought on or after August 28, 2021, except as otherwise provided.

This provision is identical to a provision in SCS/SB 839 (2022).

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF MINORS IN COURT DOCUMENTS (Section 509.520)

This act prohibits pleadings, attachments, and exhibits filed with the court from including any personal identifying information of a minor and any next friend, except as provided in a confidential information filing sheet.

This provision is identical to a provision in SCS/HCS/HB 2151 (2022).

OFFENSE OF ENDANGERING THE WELFARE OF A CHILD (Section 568.045)

This act modifies the offense of endangering the welfare of a child by changing the description of a child from less than 17 years of age to less than 18 years of age.

This provision is identical to a provision in HCS/HB 1559 (2022).

BLAIR'S LAW (Section 571.031)

This act establishes "Blair's Law" which specifies that a person commits the offense of unlawful discharge of a firearm if, with criminal negligence, he or she discharges a firearm within or into the limits of an municipality. Any such person shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a Class E felony for the second offense, and a Class D felony for any third or subsequent offenses. These provisions will not apply if the firearm is discharged under circumstances as provided in the act.

These provisions are identical to provisions in SCS/HCS/HB 1462 (2022), HB 1637 (2022), HB 1865 (2022), and HB 1893 (2020).

SARAH HASKINS