AN ACT TO EXTEND THE PROVISION OF FOSTER CARE TO THE AGE OF TWENTY-ONE YEARS AND MAKE VARIOUS CONFORMING STATUTORY CHANGES; AUTHORIZE THE SOCIAL SERVICES COMMISSION TO ADOPT RULES IMPLEMENTING THE EXPANSION OF FOSTER CARE UNTIL AGE TWENTY-ONE; PROVIDE FOR THE EXTENSION OF GUARDIANSHIP SERVICES UNTIL AGE TWENTY-ONE; REQUIRE THE SUBMISSION OF A STATE PLAN AMENDMENT TO DRAW-DOWN FEDERAL IV-E FUNDS FOR THE EXPANSION OF FOSTER CARE UNTIL AGE TWENTY-ONE; AND APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO IMPLEMENT THE PURPOSES OF THIS ACT.
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.
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