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S.F. No. 2902 - Modifying Child Foster Care Training Requirements (First Engrossment)
Author: Senator Jerry Relph
Prepared By: Joan White, Senate Counsel (651/296-3814)
Date: May 9, 2018


Section 1 (245A.175) amends the Department of Human Services Licensing Act, specifically the child foster care training requirements related to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD).  The bill requires that the annual training include at least one hour of training on FASD, which must be counted towards the 12 hours training required per year.

Section 2 (256M.41, subd. 3) modifies the subdivision that distributes funds to counties for child protection services. This section eliminates the 20 percent withhold, so the counties receive 100 percent of the allocation when funds are distributed. Under current law, 20 percent of the funds are withheld, and distributed to counties after the commissioner determines the county’s compliance with performance standards.

Section 3 (256M.41, subd. 4) requires the commissioner to set child protection measures and standards.  An underperforming county must demonstrate that the county has designated sufficient funds and implemented a reasonable strategy to improve child protection performance. The commissioner may redirect up to 20 percent of a county’s funds toward the performance improvement plan for a county not demonstrating significant improvement, or impose sanctions.

Section 4 (256N.24, subd. 2a) requires the Commissioner of Human Services, in consultation with representatives from communities of color and others, to review and revise the Minnesota assessment of parenting for children and youth (MAPCY) tool that is used to assess children to determine eligibility for benefits under Northstar Care for Children, and incorporate changes that take into consideration different cultures and the diverse needs of communities of color.

Section 5 (260C.008, subd. 1) lists the rights of siblings who are placed in foster care.

Subdivision 2 provides the interpretation of the rights, which are established for the benefit of siblings in foster care, and the rights do not replace or diminish other rights, liberties, and responsibilities that may exist relative to children in foster care.

Subdivision 3 requires that a copy of the rights be provided to a child who has a sibling at the time the child enters foster care, and the foster care provider.  The copy must contain the contact information for the Office of Ombudsman for Families and a statement explaining how to file a complaint with the office.

This section is effective for children entering foster care on or after August 1, 2018. Subdivision 3 is effective August 1, 2018, for all children in foster care.

Section 6 requires the commissioner to form an African American child welfare work group within the implementation work group for the Governor’s Child Protection Task Force to help formulate policies and procedures relating to African American child welfare services. The work group shall report its findings and recommendations by February 1, 2019.

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