senate Bill S6875

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

  • 24 / Mar / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1403
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A8474

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:
A8474
Versions:
S6875
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง376 & 377, Soc Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2013-2014: A2178A, A2178A
2011-2012: A10143, A10143
2009-2010: S1078, S1078

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6875

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: To protect foster children from being placed in a home which
has previously been found to be unsuitable for providing care.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section I and II 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 inquire with OCFS
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so, whether the certificate or license was revoked, not renewed, or a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.

This bill would address these gaps by requiring the local commissioner
of social services to review the history of removals, revocations, and
non-renewals of certificates and licenses, including the reason for
such actions.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill in the Senate.


FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred
eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

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

                                  6875

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 24, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families

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
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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00569-04-3

S. 6875                             2

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.    SUCH
COMMISSIONER  OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL ALSO DETERMINE WHETHER THE APPLI-
CANT 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, SUCH COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES  SHALL  EVALUATE
THE CIRCUMSTANCES, PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS 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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