Summary of the Introduced Bill

HB 1453 -- Foster Care

Sponsor:  Hanaway

This bill makes changes to the laws regarding protective services
for children and foster care.


The bill:

(1)  Changes the standard for including an individual on the
child abuse and neglect central registry from probable cause to
believe the individual committed child abuse or neglect to a
finding by the Children's Division within the Department of
Social Services that there is a preponderance of evidence that
the individual committed child abuse or neglect;

(2)  Prohibits mandated reporters from making reports of child
abuse and neglect anonymously, except for school personnel, who
are only required to disclose their classification as a mandatory
reporter.  All other reporters may remain anonymous;

(3)  Requires the division to use a structured decision-making
model to classify all reports made to the child abuse and neglect
hotline, giving priority to ensuring the well-being and safety of
the child;

(4)  Requires the names of individuals placed on the central
registry before August 28, 2003, to remain on the registry for
the duration of the time required in Section 210.152, RSMo;

(5)  Prohibits the division from meeting with a child at any
school or child care facility building where abuse of the child
is alleged to have occurred;

(6)  Reduces from 10 to five years the amount of time the
division must keep an unsubstantiated report of child abuse made
by a mandated reporter;

(7)  Requires biological parents, foster parents, guardians ad
litem, and court-appointed special advocates to be notified of
all family assessment team meetings;

(8)  Specifies that disclosure of information about reports of
abuse and neglect is to be made after the alleged perpetrator has
received sufficient due process; and

(9)  Requires reviews of the division's determination about an
allegation of child abuse or neglect to be conducted by the
Administrative Hearing Commission.  Currently, the Child Abuse
and Neglect Review Board conducts the reviews.  Any review
conducted by the board will be in addition to a review conducted
by the commission.


The bill:

(1)  Requires the guardian ad litem and court-appointed special
advocate volunteer to be informed of and have the right to attend
all meetings involving the child upon appointment by the court.
The guardian ad litem is required to advocate for timely court
hearings to achieve permanency for the child as soon as possible;

(2)  Requires that the questioning of a child who is in custody
because of a delinquency or a criminal violation cease if the
child wishes to have a parent, guardian, or attorney present
during the questioning.  All video or audio recordings of
meetings, interviews, or interrogations conducted in relation to
a child in the state's custody are presumed admissible as
evidence in proceedings involving the child.  The recordings are
inadmissible only upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence
that the recording lacks sufficient indicia of reliability;

(3)  Requires the court to grant a change of judge, a change of
venue, or both upon the motion of a child or the child's parent;

(4)  Requires a status conference to be held within three days of
a child being taken into custody.  If requested at the status
hearing, a protective custody hearing must be held within 14 days
of the request.  An adjudication must be held no later than 60
days after the child has been taken into custody; and if at that
time the court determines there is sufficient cause for the child
to remain in the state's custody, the court will conduct a
dispositional review no later than 90 days after the child has
been taken into custody.  The court must then conduct review
hearings every 90 to 120 days during the first year and at least
every six months after the first year; and

(5)  Requires the Supreme Court to establish a pilot project in
five judicial circuits before July 1, 2005.  Juvenile court
proceedings for children who are in need of care and treatment
and termination of parental rights cases, except for adoption
cases, will be open to the public in the pilot project circuits.
The proceedings will be allowed to be closed in certain
situations.  The general public is excluded during the testimony
of a child or a victim.


The bill:

(1)  Allows the Division of Family Services or juvenile office to
request a name-based criminal history check when an emergency
placement of a child must be made and requires the division or
juvenile office to determine whether any person age 17 or over
living in the household is listed on the child abuse and neglect
central registry;

(2)  Requires the division to conduct a search for full orders of
protection for anyone seeking a foster parent license.  The
applicant and any adult in the applicant's household must also
submit two sets of fingerprints for a criminal background check;

(3)  Requires persons employed by a school after January 1, 2005,
and those employed for less than two years with negative history
in their personnel file to have a criminal background check
before having any unsupervised contact with a child.  All
individuals who must submit to the criminal background check must
submit to a Federal Bureau of Investigation background check and
register with the Family Care Safety Registry;

(4)  Requires the Department of Social Services to determine
whether an applicant for a license to operate a school bus is
listed on the child abuse and neglect central registry.  The
applicant is required to submit fingerprints to search state and
federal criminal history repositories and to pay the fees for the
criminal history checks;

(5)  Requires the court that certifies a juvenile offender as an
adult to order the law enforcement agency to fingerprint the
individual immediately; and

(6)  Requires qualified entities to obtain two sets of
fingerprints from the individual if a national criminal record
review is requested.


The bill:

(1)  Requires the Division of Family Services to provide
standards and training for prospective foster parents, as well as
performance-based criteria for licensed foster parents;

(2)  Requires the division to notify parents when their child is
placed in foster care, except when harm or danger to the child is

(3)  Prohibits the removal of children from school for placement
in foster care without a court order;

(4)  Requires the division to hold a team meeting immediately
after the 72-hour status conference and additional meetings prior
to taking any action relating to the placement of a child in its

(5)  Requires the division to place a child with relatives if the
court has determined that the placement is not contrary to the
best interests of the child.  The court must make specific
findings on the record detailing why placement with a relative is
not in the best interests of the child;

(6)  Specifies that the age of a relative may not be the only
consideration in determining whether to place the child with that
relative.  The bill also requires the division to comply with the
Federal Indian Child Welfare Act in placing Native American

(7)  Allows parents to temporarily place a child with another
person, while retaining the right to supervise the care of the
child and resume custody, and allows a parent to use a power of
attorney to delegate his or her powers regarding care or custody
of a minor child to another person for a period of up to one

(8)  Requires that all information provided at a meeting or
hearing relating to the removal of a child from the child's home
be confidential, except that a party or parent may waive
confidentiality for himself or herself, and that no one may be
required to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to testifying
or providing information at the meeting; and

(9)  Requires the Department of Social Services to seek Title
IV-E waivers from the Department of Health and Senior Services
and requires the department to take the necessary steps to
qualify the state for any federal block grant money available for
foster care and adoption assistance.


The bill:

(1)  Requires the Children's Division to implement a two-year
pilot project beginning on or before July 1, 2005, subject to
appropriations.  This pilot project will be located in Greene
County, St. Louis County, and a rural county in the state
selected by the division.  In the pilot project locations, all
direct services for children that are currently provided by the
division will be provided by public and private children's
service providers that have contracted with the division through
a competitive bid process, except for hotline, initial
investigation, and family assessment services;

(2)  Requires providers to have a proven record of providing
child welfare services in the state or the ability to provide a
range of services.  Providers and agencies that currently
contract with the state may also participate in the competitive
bid process.  All contracts entered into by the division must be
in accordance with federal law and must not result in a loss of
federal funding;

(3)  Requires the cities and counties participating in the pilot
project to submit a plan for implementation by February 1, 2005,
and specifies what must be included in the plan; and

(4)  Requires the division to submit a report to the General
Assembly beginning July 15, 2006, and continuing each year that
the pilot project is in operation.  The bill specifies the
information that must be included in the report.  The pilot
project provisions expire June 30, 2007.


The bill:

(1)  Requires the Department of Mental Health to develop,
implement, and administer a comprehensive children's mental
health service system;

(2)  Adds child-serving agencies with the comprehensive
children's mental health service system to the definition of
"mental health services" as it applies to services for the
Medicaid Program.  The bill requires the department, in
collaboration with the Department of Social Services, to
establish the definition and criteria for the designation of a
community-based service;

(3)  Requires the Department of Social Services to look at
children in its custody and determine which are there solely
because of a mental health issue.  These children may be returned
to their families, and the Department of Mental Health must
provide necessary services.  The Department of Social Services is
to be billed for the cost of care by the Department of Mental

(4)  Requires the departments of Mental Health and Social
Services to prepare a plan to address the need for mental health
services for children who are in the custody of the state because
of their need for mental health services and for children and
persons age 17 who are determined by the court to need mental
health services;

(5)  Allows the means test of the Department of Mental Health to
be waived for a child in need of mental health services in order
to avoid transfer of custody to the Division of Family Services;

(6)  Requires the Department of Social Services, in conjunction
with the Department of Mental Health, to apply to the United
States Department of Health and Human Services for waivers to
provide services for children, including community-based
services; and

(7)  Makes revisions to the employee disqualification list of the
Department of Mental Health.


The bill:

(1)  Requires the Task Force on Children's Justice established by
the Children's Service Commission in accordance with federal law
to conduct an independent review of the policies and procedures
of state and local child protective services agencies and to
conduct reviews of specific cases, when appropriate, to evaluate
how effectively agencies are discharging their responsibilities;

(2)  Requires the Department of Social Services to submit an
annual statistical report regarding the number of children
receiving child protective services to the Governor and the
General Assembly, beginning February 1, 2006; and

(3)  Requires the Division of Family Services to identify all
children in its custody who are receiving foster care services by
January 1, 2005, and report to the General Assembly the type of
foster care being provided and the status of all children.


The bill:

(1)  Establishes the Office of Child Advocate for Children's
Protection and Services within the Office of Administration;

(2)  Designates specified provisions as the "Dominic James
Memorial Foster Care Act of 2004";

(3)  Requires the Family Support Division and the Children's
Division to jointly operate and maintain a full-time office in
each county;

(4)  Requires employees of the Children's Division who are
involved with child protective services and who purposely,
knowingly, and willingly violate a policy, rule, or state law
that is related to the child abuse and neglect activities of the
division to be dismissed if the violation results in serious
physical injury or death;

(5)  Allows children with special health care needs that if not
treated would result in death or serious physical injury to
participate in the MC+ for Kids Program without meeting the
six-month uninsured requirement;

(6)  Prohibits employees of the Division of Family Services and
employees of public and charter schools from performing a strip
search on students without the written permission of a parent or

(7)  Requires the Division of Family Services to conduct a
diligent search for the natural parents of a child who is in the
custody of the division when the parents' identity or location is

(8)  Requires an action to recover damages for injury or illness
that resulted from child sexual abuse to be commenced within 12
years of the date the plaintiff reached the age of 18 or within
three years of the date the plaintiff discovered or reasonably
should have discovered that the illness or injury resulted from
child sexual abuse, whichever date is later;

(9)  Revises the Special Needs Child Adoption Tax Credit.  For
individuals, the amount of the credit that is in excess of the
individual's tax liability is refundable for the year in which
the credit is claimed.  The credit is not refundable for
businesses claiming the credit on behalf of an employee, and
there is a $2 million annual cumulative cap on credits claimed by

(10)  Requires all hospitals and health care facilities providing
obstetrical services to require new mothers to watch a video on
shaken baby syndrome before being discharged from the facility;

(11)  Requires the Department of Health and Senior Services and
the Department of Social Services to collaborate with non-profit
organizations, health maintenance organizations, and the Missouri
Consolidated Health Care Plan to formulate an educational
strategy to increase the number of children who are tested for
lead poisoning under the Medicaid Program, with a goal of having
75% of the children who receive Medicaid being tested; and

(12)  Revises provisions regarding to the Missouri Family Trust.

The bill contains an emergency clause.

Copyright (c) Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri House of Representatives
92nd General Assembly, 2nd Regular Session
Last Updated September 23, 2004 at 11:15 am