Senate Substitute

SS#2/SB 862 - This act modifies several provisions relating to the care of a child, including: (1) child care providers, including temporary child care provider licenses; (2) money held by the Children's Division for the benefit of a child; (3) child custody in paternity actions; (4) medication-assisted treatment and child placement; (5) child placement; and (6) child custody arrangements.

CHILD CARE PROVIDERS, INCLUDING TEMPORARY CHILD CARE PROVIDER LICENSES (Sections 210.201, 210.211, 210.221, 210.252, and 210.275)

Under current law, any program licensed as a child care provider that provides child care to school-age children located and operated on elementary or secondary school property shall be deemed in compliance with child care licensure requirements relating to safety, health, and fire. This act expands this provision to apply to all licensed programs providing child care to only school-age children, regardless of where such program is located and operated. "School-age children" is defined as any child five years of age or older who is in kindergarten or above. The act further exempts any program serving only children enrolled in sixth grade or above from certain child-care facility licensing requirements.

These provisions are identical to SCS/SB 899 (2024).

Under this act, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall have the authority to grant temporary child care licenses to child care providers to expand an existing site or add a new location if the provider also submits an approved fire safety and sanitation inspection for the new site. Additionally, each child care facility license shall specify its effective dates and whether it is a temporary license.

This provision is identical to a provision in SS/SCS/SB 811 (2024).


Under this act, the Children's Division shall determine whether a child coming into the custody of the Division is eligible for or receiving U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, Social Security, or Veterans Administration benefits within 60 days of entering the Division's legal custody. The Division shall apply for such benefits on the child's behalf if he or she is eligible, and shall only serve as a representative payee if no other candidate is suitable.

Currently, money in the child's accounts may be used by the Children's Division to pay for care or services for the child. Under this act, such money shall not be used to pay for care or services for the child. However, U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, Social Security, or Veterans Administration benefits may be used by the Division for the child's unmet needs beyond what the Division is otherwise obligated to pay.

Finally, the accounts in which the child's benefits shall be placed shall be established in a manner consistent with federal and state asset and resource limits.


Under this act, a court shall not award custody, guardianship, or unsupervised visitation in a paternity action to a parent who has been found guilty of, or pled guilty to, specified offenses when a child is a victim.

This provision is identical to SB 878 (2024) and SB 213 (2023).


Under this act, a juvenile court shall not refuse to reunify or otherwise place a child with a parent who, or in a home in which the parent or any person residing, is utilizing medication-assisted treatment for opioid or other substance misuse or dependence because of the use of such treatment or otherwise require the parent or person to cease utilizing or complete the treatment prior to reunification or placement.

Additionally, a family court shall not require a family court participant utilizing medication-assisted treatment to cease or otherwise complete treatment prior to reunification with his or her child.

These provisions are identical to SB 863 (2024).

CHILD PLACEMENT (Section 211.221)

Under this act, the Children's Division and child placing agencies shall, whenever practicable, select either a person or agency or institution governed by persons of the same religious faith as that of the child's parents or that of the child, as described in the act, when placing a child.

This provision is identical to SB 1133 (2024), SB 621 (2023), provisions in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 129 (2023), HB 1034 (2021), and HCS/SS/SB 198 (2023).


This act modifies the factors a court shall consider when awarding custody to parents, including the willingness and ability of parents to cooperate in the rearing of their child; the child's physical, emotional, educational, and other needs; the mental health or substance use history experienced by either parent; the history of domestic and child abuse of any individuals involved; the distance between the residences of the parents; and the reasonable input of the child as to the child's custodian.

This provision is identical to SCS/SBs 744 & 1026 (2024) and substantially similar to provisions of the perfected SS/SCS/SB 129 (2023).


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