Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Amends the long title.
Amends the bill to extend the provision of foster care to the age of 21 (was, 19), making technical and conforming changes as required.
Amends GS 108A-48, concerning the State Foster Care Benefits Program (Program), adding new subsection (d) that provides that an individual receiving foster care benefits as specified can reside outside a foster care facility in a college or university dormitory or other semi-supervised housing arrangement approved by the director of the county social services department and continue to receive foster care benefits, if monthly supervision and oversight is maintained.
Enacts GS 108A-49(e) concerning foster care and adoption assistance payments, providing that, if eligibility criteria are met, adoption assistance payments can continue until the beneficiary reaches the age of 21, if the beneficiary was adopted after reaching the age of 16 but before reaching the age of 18.
Amends GS 108A-49.1, concerning foster care and adoption assistance payment rates, adding new subsection (e) that provides that counties are held harmless from contributing 50% of the nonfederal share of the cost of individuals receiving benefits as specified in GS 108A-48(c). Makes additional conforming changes.
Enacts new GS 7B-910.1, Review of voluntary foster care placements with young adults, requiring the court to review any placement of a young adult in foster care pursuant to GS 108A-48(c) when a voluntary placement agreement is entered into by the director of a county social services and a young adult in foster care. Provides that the review hearing cannot take place more than 90 days after the date the agreement was executed. Sets out findings the court is required to make, including if the placement is in the best interest of the young adult in foster care. Provides for the scheduling of additional hearings by written request. Provides that no guardian ad litem will be appointed to represent the young adult. Requires clerks of court to give written notice of hearings as specified.
Enacts GS 7B-401.1(i) to provide that in proceedings pursuant to GS 7B-910.1, the young adult in foster care and the director of the department of social services are parties.
Provides that agreements entered into pursuant to GS 108A-48(b) prior to the effective date of Section 1 of the act (August 1, 2016) remain in full force and effect and no provision of this act will be construed to affect or alter any such agreement. Effective when the bill becomes law.
Amends the effective date clause, providing that Section 1 of the act, concerning changes to GS 108A-48, are effective August 1, 2016. Section 8, which requires the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop specified plans, is effective when the bill becomes law. Provides that Section 10 of the bill, concerning an appropriation from the General Fund to DHHS for fiscal year 2015-16, is effective October 1, 2015. Provides that Section 11 of the bill, concerning an appropriation from the General Fund to DHHS for fiscal year 2016-17, is effective July 1, 2016. Provides that the remainder of the act, unless otherwise specified, is effective August 1, 2016.
Bill S 424 (2015-2016)Summary date: Jun 2 2015 - View summary
Bill S 424 (2015-2016)Summary date: Mar 25 2015 - View summary
Includes various whereas clauses concerning the value of educational attainment.
Amends GS 108A-48, concerning the State Foster Care Benefits Program (Program), deleting all the provisions in subsection (b) concerning limiting benefits to individuals younger than 18 years old except in the specified circumstances. Provides new language which allows the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to continue to provide benefits under the Program to an individual who has attained the age of 18 and has chosen to continue to receive foster care services to 19 years of age if they are (1) completing secondary education or equivalent, (2) enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education, (3) are participating in a program or activity designed to promote or remove barriers to employment, (4) employed for at least 80 hours per month, or (5) are incapable of completing the educational or employment requirements of this subsection due to a medical condition or disability.
Amends GS 108A-49.1 and 131D-10.2, concerning foster care, making conforming changes reflecting the above changes.
Enacts new GS 131D-10.2A, Foster care through 19 years of age, providing that children can receive foster care services until the age of 19 whether or not they have continued in foster care after the age of 18 or left prior to reaching age 19 as provided by law or after meeting specified requirements.
Amends GS 131D-10.5, concerning the powers and duties of the Social Services Commission, adding the duty to adopt rules necessary for the expansion of foster care for individuals that are 18 years old and have chosen to continue receiving foster care services until 19 years old, pursuant to GS 131D-10.2A.
Directs the DHHS Division of Social Services (Division) to develop a plan for the expansion of foster care services for individuals 18 years old that opt to continue receiving such services until the age of 19. Requires the Division to report on the plan to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services and the Fiscal Research Division no later than October 1, 2015. A report regarding the implementation of the plan is to be made to the same parties no later than November 1, 2016.
Requires DHHS, no later than 60 days after the implementation of the plan, to submit a state plan amendment to the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families to make federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance under Title IV-E.
Directs the Division of Social Services to design the Guardianship Assistance Program (GAP) as specified. Provides that the GAP will reimburse legal guardians for room and board and will be set at the same rate for foster care room and board reimbursement rates. Directs the Social Services Board to adopt rules to establish the GAP.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DHHS $56,042 for fiscal year 2015-16 in order to develop the plan for expansion of foster care services. Effective October 1, 2015.
Appropriates from the General Fund to DHHS $1,328,499 for the 2016-17 fiscal year to implement the plan for the expansion of foster care services. Effective July 1, 2016.
Unless otherwise noted above, act becomes effective August 1, 2016.