Department of Child Services matters

For amend and vote only, the Senate Family and Children Committee heard HB 1198, sponsored by Sen. Grooms, on Department of Child Services (DCS) matters, which generally provides for implementation of requirements from the federal Families First Prevention and Services Act (FFPSA) by DCS.  The legislation:

  • defines “child” for purposes when termination of parental rights must be filed, to be under 18 years of age and either a delinquent or CHINS;
  • requires background checks on all individuals (employees, volunteers and contractors) who work at an institution, not just direct care staff;
  • permits denial or revocation of licenses for all individuals (employees, volunteers and contractors) who work at an institution, not just direct care staff;
  • requires a foster care verification form be given to a child leaving foster care or was in foster care for 6 months or more;
  • deletes the $500 threshold amount of child support in which a Title IV-D agency may begin to collect a fee and requires use of the threshold amount in federal law under 42 U.S.C. § 654(6);
  • amends the list of nonwaivable offenses of offenses and provides certain convictions have five-year limitations for waiver, when conducting background checks for placements for children in accordance with reimbursement requirements under federal law, including placements for adoptions, temporary out-of-home placements for alleged CHINS taken into custody, placements of a child in another home as a disposition in a CHINS case, placements as part of a permanency plan, and placements as a disposition in a delinquency case;
  • adds DCS employees to the list of persons who may request a court, municipality or township to restrict access to the individual’s home address

Representative Frizzell, author, explained the amendment to the list of nonwaivable offenses was required by new FFPSA requirements, as were other aspects of the legislation. Sen. Houchin proposed an amendment to the legislation which passed, to require the completion of sentencing as part of the five-year limitation on waiver of certain offenses.

The amended bill passed 6-0.

Read the bill at: http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2019/bills/house/1198