senate Bill S1345A

Provides for notification to the state when a foster home is decertified, not renewed or a child is removed; requires evaluation to determine if home be re-opened

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 06 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 30 / Apr / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.617
  • 01 / May / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 02 / May / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 08 / May / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 08 / May / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 08 / May / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 12 / Jun / 2012
    • RECALLED FROM ASSEMBLY
  • 12 / Jun / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 12 / Jun / 2012
    • VOTE RECONSIDERED - RESTORED TO THIRD READING
  • 12 / Jun / 2012
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 1345A
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Provides for notification to the state when a foster home is decertified, not renewed or a child is removed; requires evaluation to determine if certificate should be issued and the home be re-opened.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10143A
Versions:
S1345
S1345A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§376 & 377, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S1078, S1078

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1345A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services law, in relation to
foster home decertification, application for
recertification, authorization for non-renewal,
notice of removal of a child, and other
required notices

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To protect foster children from being placed in a
home which has previously been found to be unsuitable for
providing care.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 and 2 amend sections 376 and 377 of the Social Services Law,
by requiring that when an agency or local social services
commissioner is screening a prospective foster parent to be certified
or licensed, the agency or local commissioner must determine whether
the applicant has ever been a foster parent before, and, if so,
whether the certificate or license was revoked, not renewed, or a
child was removed from the home. If any of these instances have
occurred, the agency or commissioner must evaluate the circumstances
and the reason(s) for such action, to determine whether a certificate
should be issued and the home reopened.

JUSTIFICATION:
When a child enters foster care, the state assumes the
responsibility of providing a safe and secure environment for the
child.
However, this is not always the case. According to agency reports and
hearing testimony, there continues to be instances where children are
further abused or even killed by their foster parents.

State statute and regulations currently set screening requirements for
prospective foster parents, including a check against the Statewide
Central Registry of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (The Child Abuse
Hotline), which houses data on reports of abuse and maltreatment
against individuals, including foster parents. However, such a check
will only provide information for reported and investigated cases.

In some cases, when a foster parent is suspected of not providing a
safe and secure environment, the caseworker will remove the child or
children from the home, but will not revoke the certificate or
license, or report the foster parent to the Child Abuse Hotline.
Rather, the home remains open with no children placed there by the
agency. Then, when the home is up for annual renewal, the agency
simply does not renew their certification.

In such cases, the foster parent may simply apply to another agency to
take foster children. Without a formal mechanism in place to check on
the prior history of the applicant and to follow up with any previous
agencies, the new agency could certify the applicant without ever


knowing about prior problems, and as a result, place more children in
jeopardy.

OCFS does currently have a mechanism for checking information on
prospective foster parents. OCFS computerized foster parent registry
is intended to house information on all current and former foster
parents. Internal policies direct caseworkers to check the registry
before a new foster parent can be certified and added to the system.
However, there is no formal guidance as to how to evaluate any
problems. Further, the system contains limited information on the
reason(s) a home was closed or a child removed.

This bill would address these gaps by requiring that the local social
services district or authorized agency review any history of
removals, revocations, and non-renewals of certificates and licenses,
including the reason for such actions. It further directs OCFS to
establish regulations to help agencies and local social service
commissioners evaluate the circumstances around such actions, and
decide whether to reopen the home. Similar regulations and procedures
already exist for evaluating indicated reports from the Child Abuse
Hotline and instances where applicants have a criminal history.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011/12: S.1345 - Passed Senate
2009/10: S.1078 - Died in Codes
2007/08: S.1500 - Referred to Children & Families
2005/06: S.2331/A.4373 - Passed Assembly
2003/04: S,4803/A.4530 - Passed Assembly
2001-02: A.6761-A - Passed Assembly
1999-00: A.5591 - Passed Assembly

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
180 days following enactment.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1345--A
    Cal. No. 617

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             January 6, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. DILAN, AVELLA, DIAZ, HASSELL-THOMPSON, PARKER, SQUA-
  DRON,  STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to
  be committed to the Committee on Children and Families --  recommitted
  to  the  Committee  on Children and Families in accordance with Senate
  Rule 6, sec. 8 -- reported favorably from said committee,  ordered  to
  first  and second report, ordered to a third reading, passed by Senate
  and delivered to the Assembly, recalled, vote  reconsidered,  restored
  to  third  reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place
  in the order of third reading

AN ACT to amend the social services law,  in  relation  to  foster  home
  decertification,  application  for  recertification, authorization for
  non-renewal, notice of removal of a child, and other required notices

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 376 of the social services law, as
amended  by  chapter  677  of  the  laws  of 1985, is amended to read as
follows:
  1. An authorized agency which shall board  out  any  [child/or]  CHILD
AND/OR  minor  under the age of eighteen years shall issue to the person
receiving such child and/or minor for board a  certificate  to  receive,
board or keep a [child/or]  CHILD AND/OR minor under the age of eighteen
years.  Prior to issuing such certificate, the agency shall require that
an applicant set forth: his or her employment history, provide  personal
and  employment references and sign a sworn statement indicating whether
the applicant, to the best of  his  or  her  knowledge,  has  ever  been
convicted of a crime in this state or any other jurisdiction.  THE AGEN-
CY  SHALL  DETERMINE  WHETHER THE APPLICANT HAS EVER HELD SUCH A CERTIF-
ICATE, OR A LICENSE OR APPROVAL AND, IF  SO,  WHETHER  THE  CERTIFICATE,
LICENSE  OR  APPROVAL  WAS  REVOKED, NOT RENEWED, OR A CHILD WAS REMOVED
FROM THE HOME, AND THE REASON THEREFOR. IN SUCH  INSTANCES,  THE  AGENCY
SHALL EVALUATE THE CIRCUMSTANCES, PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS ESTABLISHED BY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02668-03-2

S. 1345--A                          2

THE  OFFICE, TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CERTIFICATE SHOULD BE ISSUED AND THE
HOME RE-OPENED. Not until all  inquiries  are  completed  and  evaluated
shall the agency cause such certificate to be issued.
  S  2.  Subdivision  1  of  section  377 of the social services law, as
amended by chapter 677 of the laws  of  1985,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  1. Application for a license to receive, board or keep any child shall
be made in writing to the commissioner of social services in and for the
social  services  district  wherein  the  premises  to  be  licensed are
located, in the form and manner prescribed by the [department] OFFICE OF
CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES.   The [department]  OFFICE  shall  require
that  an  applicant  set forth:   his or her employment history, provide
personal and employment references and sign a sworn statement indicating
whether, to the best of his or her knowledge, he or she  has  ever  been
convicted  of  a  crime  in  this state or any other jurisdiction.   THE
COMMISSIONER SHALL ALSO DETERMINE WHETHER THE APPLICANT  HAS  EVER  HELD
SUCH  A  LICENSE,  OR A CERTIFICATE OR APPROVAL, AND, IF SO, WHETHER THE
LICENSE, CERTIFICATE OR APPROVAL WAS REVOKED, NOT RENEWED,  OR  A  CHILD
WAS  REMOVED  FROM THE HOME, AND THE REASON THEREFOR. IN SUCH INSTANCES,
THE COMMISSIONER SHALL EVALUATE THE  CIRCUMSTANCES,  PURSUANT  TO  REGU-
LATIONS ESTABLISHED BY THE OFFICE, TO DETERMINE WHETHER A LICENSE SHOULD
BE  ISSUED AND THE HOME RE-OPENED. Not until all inquiries are completed
and evaluated shall the  commissioner  of  social  services  cause  such
license to be issued.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law, provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly,  the  addition,  amendment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations
necessary for the implementation of the foregoing sections of  this  act
on  its  effective  date  is  authorized  and  directed  to  be made and
completed on or before such effective date.

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