AK ST § 47.14.100

 

AS § 47.14.100
West's Alaska Statutes Annotated Currentness
Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
 Chapter 14. Juvenile Programs and Institutions
 Article 2. Care of Children

§ 47.14.100. Powers and duties of department over care of child

(a) Subject to (e), (f), and (i)--(m) of this section, the department shall arrange for the care of every child committed to its custody by placing the child in a foster home or in the care of an agency or institution providing care for children inside or outside the state.  The department may place a child in a suitable family home, with or without compensation, and may place a child released to it, in writing verified by the parent, or guardian or other person having legal custody, for adoptive purposes, in a home for adoption in accordance with existing law.

(b) The department may pay the costs of maintenance that are necessary to assure adequate care of the child, and may accept funds from the federal government that are granted to assist in carrying out the purposes of this chapter, or that are paid under contract entered into with a federal department or agency.  A child under the care of the department may not be placed in a family home or institution that does not maintain adequate standards of care.

(c) The department may receive, care for, and make appropriate placement of minors accepted for care for a period of up to six months on the basis of an individual voluntary written agreement between the minor's parent, legal guardian, or other person having legal custody and the department.  The agreement must include provisions for payment of fees under AS 44.29.022 to the department for the minor's care and treatment.  The agreement entered into may not prohibit a minor's parent, legal guardian, or other person who had legal custody from regaining care of the minor at any time.

(d) In addition to money paid for the maintenance of foster children under (b) of this section, the department

(1) shall pay the costs of caring for foster children with physical or mental disabilities, including the additional costs of medical care, habilitative and rehabilitative treatment, services and equipment, and special clothing, and the indirect costs of medical care, including child care and transportation expenses;

(2) may pay for respite care;  in this paragraph, "respite care" means child care for the purpose of providing temporary relief from the stresses of caring for a foster child;  and

(3) may pay a subsidized guardianship payment under AS 25.23.210 when a foster child's foster parents or other persons approved by the department become court-appointed legal guardians of the child.

(e) When a child is removed from a parent's home, the department shall place the child, in the absence of clear and convincing evidence of good cause to the contrary,

(1) in the least restrictive setting that most closely approximates a family and that meets the child's special needs, if any;

(2) within reasonable proximity to the child's home, taking into account any special needs of the child and the preferences of the child or parent;

(3) with, in the following order of preference,

(A) an adult family member;

(B) a family friend who meets the foster care licensing requirements established by the department;

(C) a licensed foster home that is not an adult family member or family friend;

(D) an institution for children that has a program suitable to meet the child's needs.

(f) If an adult family member of the child specified under (e) of this section exists and agrees that the child should be placed elsewhere, before placement elsewhere, the department shall fully communicate the nature of the placement proceedings to the adult family member.  Communication under this subsection shall be made in the adult family member's native language, if necessary.

(g) The department may enter into agreements with Alaska Native villages or Native organizations under 25 U.S.C. 1919 (Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978) respecting the care and custody of Native children and jurisdiction of Native child custody proceedings.

(h) The department may not pay for respite care, as defined in (d) of this section, unless the department or the entity that has contracted with the department to provide the respite care requests criminal history record information as permitted by P.L. 105-277 and AS 12.62 for the individual who provides the respite care within 10 business days after the individual is hired to provide respite care and reviews the information within five business days after receiving it.

(i) A child may not be placed with an out-of-home care provider if the department determines that the child can remain safely at home with one parent or guardian.  In this subsection, "out-of-home care provider" means an agency or person, other than the child's legal parents, with whom a child who is in the custody of the state under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or AS 47.14.100(c) is currently placed;  "agency or person" includes a foster parent, a relative other than a parent, a person who has petitioned for adoption of the child, and a residential child care facility.

(j) For the purpose of determining whether the home of a relative meets the requirements for placement of a child under (e) of this section or under AS 47.10.088(i), the department shall conduct a criminal background check from state and national criminal justice information available under AS 12.62.  The department may conduct a fingerprint background check on any member of the relative's household who is 16 years of age or older when the relative requests placement of the child.  For the purposes of obtaining criminal justice information under this subsection, the department is a criminal justice agency conducting a criminal justice activity under AS 12.62.

(k) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the department may not pay for inpatient psychiatric services provided to a person under 21 years of age and who is in the custody of the department if the services are provided in an out-of-state psychiatric hospital facility or an out-of-state residential psychiatric treatment center unless the department determines that the assistance is for

(1) psychiatric hospital services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and appropriately address the person's needs and that these services are unavailable in the state;  or

(2) residential psychiatric treatment center services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and appropriately address the person's needs and that these services are unavailable in the state.

(l) The department shall, on a monthly basis, evaluate what types of services are available in the state for inpatient psychiatric care for persons under 21 years of age.  If inpatient psychiatric services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and that appropriately address the person's needs become available at a location in the state for a person under 21 years of age who is receiving the services under this section at a location outside the state, the department shall, as a condition of continued payment by the state for the services, require the person to be transferred to the in-state facility unless the department determines that the transfer would be detrimental to the person's health, established therapeutic relationship, or clinical need.

(m) Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult family member or family friend under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section includes the failure to meet the requirements for a foster care license under AS 47.32 and regulations adopted under AS 47.32.  Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult family member or adult family friend does not include poverty or inadequate or crowded housing.  If the department denies a request for placement with an adult family member or a family friend, the department shall inform the adult family member or family friend of the basis for the denial and the right to request a hearing to review the decision.  A non-party adult family member or family friend requesting a review hearing under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section is not eligible for publicly appointed legal counsel.

(n) In this section, "adult family member" has the meaning given in AS 47.10.990.

CREDIT(S)

SLA 1996, ch. 59, § 47; SLA 1998, ch. 99, §§ 47--50; SLA 2003, ch. 35, § 71; SLA 2003, ch. 137, §§ 2, 3; SLA 2004, ch. 23, § 2; SLA 2005, ch. 64, §§ 33--37; SLA 2006, ch. 20, § 8, eff. May 4, 2006;  SLA 2006, ch. 25, § 22, eff. May 10, 2006.  Amended by SLA 2008, ch. 40, § 53, eff. May 23, 2008; SLA 2009, ch. 41, § 72, eff. June 21, 2009.

AS § 47.14.100, AK ST § 47.14.100

 Current through legislation effective June 3, 2010 passed during the            
Second Regular Session the 26th Legislature.(2010)                              

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