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S.F. No. 3228 - Child Protection Pilot Projects
Author: Senator Michelle L. Fischbach
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: March 15, 2018


Section 1 (245A.71) subdivision 1 allows different background study standards for relatives applying for a child foster care license. The disqualification provisions in Minnesota Statutes, section 256N.22, subdivision 4, must be used in lieu of the provisions in section 245C.15. This subdivision is effective the day after subdivision 2 expires.

Subdivision 2 establishes a pilot project to align background study provisions across child foster care, adoption assistance, and kinship care assistance. For relatives applying for a child foster care license in counties participating in the pilot, the commissioner is required to use the disqualification provisions in chapter 256N instead of 245C. The commissioner shall choose a small cohort of counties to participate in the pilot, and must include Hennepin County. The commissioner, in consultation with the cohort of counties, shall submit a report by June 1, 2020, as to whether the pilot was deemed successful.  If the pilot is successful, this subdivision expires. If not, the report must include a recommendation for the future of the pilot project.

Section 2 (626.556, subd. 17) paragraph (a) establishes the child protection safety and risk-based framework response system pilot project.

Paragraph (b) provides that the new child protection framework response system must improve appropriate, timely, and adequate responses to a child’s reported safety needs, and must include consideration of the factors listed in this section.

Under paragraph (c), the commissioner is required to choose a small cohort of counties to participate in the pilot project, including Hennepin County, and a mix of suburban and rural counties, and at least one county serving a significant population of Indian children.

Paragraph (d) provides that when the commissioner and cohort of counties agree that the framework has been adequately researched and developed and is ready for implementation, the counties may use the framework response system in lieu of the response requirements in the Maltreatment of Minor’s Act, which requires the county to either conduct a family assessment or an investigation.

Paragraph (e) requires the commissioner to submit a report by June 1, 2019, on the progress of the framework development, and by June 1, 2020, on the implementation of the child protection safety and risk-based framework response system.

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