AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT VARIOUS PROVISIONS RELATED TO SOCIAL SERVICES REFORM AND TO REPEAL CERTAIN CHANGES TO THE ADOPTION LAWS.
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Eliminates the proposed changes to GS 122C-80, which required licensed child care institutions to condition employment on consent to a State and national criminal history check of the applicant, and to condition offers of employment for positions which do not require an occupational license on a check of the NC Sex Offender Registry (Registry), the NC Responsible Individuals List (List), and if applicable, check of the abuse and neglect registry of any other state where the applicant has resided in the preceding five years. Eliminates related proposed changes to GS 131D-10.3A, GS 131D-10.6, and GS 143B-932.
Instead, enacts GS 108A-133 to require criminal history record checks for certain applicants for employment at a child care institution. Requires child care institutions and child care contract agencies, as those terms are defined by the federal Social Security Act, to condition offers of employment for positions which do not require an occupational license to be conditioned on consent to a criminal history check of the applicant. Sets forth criminal history check procedures, allowing the child care institution or contract agency to request either the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or a private entity, as defined, to conduct the check. Prohibits the results from being shared with the child care institution or contract agency beyond notification that the information received may affect the employability of the applicant. Requires child care institutions and contract agencies to make verification of the check available upon request. Deems all criminal history information received by the child care institution and contract agency confidential, and restricts disclosure to the applicant only. Enumerates seven factors that must be considered in determining whether to hire the applicant in the event the criminal history record check reveals one or more convictions of a relevant offense, defined to include any conviction or pending indictment that bears upon an individual's fitness to have responsibility for the safety and well-being of aged or disabled persons. Prohibits a conviction of a relevant offense alone from barring employment. Allows child care institutions and contract agencies to share disqualifying information, but prohibits providing a copy of the criminal history check to the applicant. Provides limited immunity for a child care institution or its officer or employee from failure to employ an individual on the basis of information provided in the criminal history check if the institution or its officer or employee complied with the statute in good faith. Makes its a Class A1 misdemeanor for any applicant to willfully give false information on an employment application that is the basis for a criminal history check under the statute. Allows for conditional employment pending the results of the criminal history check so long as the applicant has consented to the check or completed fingerprint cards and the child care institution submits the record request within five days after the individual begins conditional employment. Establishes civil immunity for an entity and its officers and employees for failure to check an employee's history of criminal offenses if the record check is requested and received in compliance with the statute.
Makes conforming changes to GS 143B-939, concerning DPS authority to providing certain entities with criminal history checks.
Enacts GS 108A-134 to require child care institutions to condition offers of employment for positions that do not require the applicant to have an occupational license on the consent to a check of the NC Sex Offender Registry and the NC Responsible Individuals List, or similar registries of another state, if applicable.
Makes conforming changes to GS 131D-10.6, regarding powers and duties of the Department of Health and Human Services, to require the Department to make licensing actions in accordance with new GS 108A-133.
Defines the applicability of the proposed changes to GS 108A-9, which requires county boards of social services members to attend education training sessions for new members at least twice during the first year of service, making the requirement applicable to any current county board member that has not met the training requirements, as enacted.
Modifies the directive requiring the Division of Social Services (Division) to collaborate with key stakeholders to create formal education and training programs for new and experienced county board members, to now limit the programs' focus to new county board members only. Now requires the education training sessions to include education regarding potential liabilities of the county boards, and encourages experienced members to attend these sessions.
Adds the following new provisions.
Amends Section 1.1 of SL 2017-41, to require the Department of Health and Human Services's plan for establishing regional offices charged with supervision of administration of social services at the local level (required to be submitted to the specified NCGA committee by November 15, 2018, after consideration of recommendations of the Social Services Regional Supervision and Collaboration Working Group [SSWG]) to provide for the system of regional supervision to be operational no later than March 1, 2022 (was, March 1, 2020).
Amends Section 1.2 of SL 2017-41, continuing the work of the Social Services Regional Supervision and Collaboration Working Group (SSWG) convened by UNC School of Government in October of 2017 at the direction of Section 1.2. Deems the SSWG membership to consist of the currently constituted members as of December 1, 2018, and removes the requirement that six members appointed by the House Speaker and Senate President Pro Tempore (among whom co-chairs must be designated) must be members of the respective chamber. Directs the SSWG to continue to address regional supervision and interagency collaboration and regionalization. Requires the SSWG to convene no later than October 4, 2019, and continue developing the recommendations previously specified for Stage One. Adds a Stage Three to the duties of the SSWG, upon completion of Stages One and Two: (1) to revise its Stage One recommendations after reviewing the recommendations from the Center for the Support of Families and DHHS regarding regional supervision; (2) to provide more detailed recommendations regarding seven specified issues, including the role of local elected officials and social services governing boards in social services oversight, determining residency for social services programs and services, and confidentiality of social services records; and (3) to study the appointment and funding of publicly funded guardians, including a description and evaluation of the various types of appointments and recommendation for their management. Directs the SSWG to submit a Stage Three preliminary report to the specified committee no later than October 15, 2020, and a Stage Three final report of its recommendations no later than February 1, 2021. Authorizes the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services to terminate the SSWG after receipt of the preliminary report if it concludes the SSWG is not making sufficient progress. Otherwise, terminates the SSWG upon submission of the final report.