HCS/HB 1559 - This act modifies provisions relating to child protection, including: (1) missing children; (2) raising the age of a child; and (3) parental complaints against child care facilities.
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).
RAISING THE AGE OF A CHILD (Sections 43.400, 45.503, 210.004, 210.201, 210.210.278, 210.482, 210.487, 217.690, 311.320, 328.075, 328.080, 329.050, 431.068, 455.010, 455.035, 455.513, 491.678, 544.671, 547.170, 565.002, 565.140, 566.034, 566.034, 566.064, 566.068, 566.071, 566.155, 568.045, 568.050, 568.065, 568.070, 572.020, 573.010, 573.090, 577.010, 577.013, 579.020, and 650.055)
This act raises the age of a child from 17 to 18 in various provisions of current law, including fingerprint records, records of children in custody, child care facility licensing, neighborhood youth development programs, child placement, foster parent licensing, parole, liquor, barber licensing, cosmetology licensing, blood donation, protective orders, child victim witness protection, bail, criminal proceedings, and various crimes.
These provisions are identical to provisions in HCS/SS#2/SB 823 (2022).
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).