AN ACT TO ALIGN STATE LAW WITH FEDERAL LAW BY PROVIDING FOR THE SUPPORT OF HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION OF A REASONABLE AND PRUDENT PARENT STANDARD FOR DECISIONS MADE BY A FOSTER PARENT OR A DESIGNATED OFFICIAL FOR A CHILD CARE INSTITUTION AND REVISING THE LAWS PERTAINING TO ABUSE, NEGLECT, AND DEPENDENCY REGARDING JUVENILE PLACEMENT UNDER THE JUVENILE CODE; TO PROVIDE LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR FOSTER PARENTS' TO REDUCE BARRIERS TO OBTAINING A DRIVERS LICENSE FOR FOSTER CHILDREN AND BY CLARIFYING THAT FOSTER PARENTS DO NOT VIOLATE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS BY ALLOWING FOSTER CHILDREN WITH THEIR OWN INSURANCE COVERAGE TO OPERATE A VEHICLE OWNED BY THE FOSTER PARENT; AND TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO STUDY A MEDICAID WAIVER FOR CHILDREN WITH SERIOUS EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCE.
House amendment makes the following changes to the 4th edition.
Amends subsection (a) of GS 131D-10.2A, as enacted in this act, to clarify that the reasonable and prudent parent standard (Standard) in foster care is characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions reasonably intended to maintain the health, safety, and best interests of the child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child. Adds that a caregiver must apply the Standard when determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.
Also amends subsection (d) to provide that a caregiver, including a foster parent, may be held liable for an act or omission of the child if the caregiver fails to act in accordance with the Standard. Previously declared that a caregiver was not to be held liable for an act or omission of the child if the caregiver or county department of social services is acting in accordance with the Standard. Requires that the liability of a county department of social services, or the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), must be strictly adjudicated according to and in compliance with the terms of GS 153A-435, et seq., or GS 143-291, et seq., to the extent applicable.
Amends subsection (f) to clarify that the caregiver, foster parent, or designated official at a child care institution is not liable for injuries to the child that occur as a result of acting in accordance with the Standard.
Amends subsection (g) to declare that the immunity conferred in (f) also does not apply if it is determined that the child's injuries arose out of operation of a motor vehicle. Requires that the liability of a county department of social services or the DHHS must be strictly adjudicated according to and in compliance with the terms of GS 153A-435, et seq. or GS 143-291, et seq., to the extent applicable. Declares that nothing in subsection (g) of GS 131D-10.2A is intended to repeal or diminish the qualified immunity of public officials who are acting in the course and scope of their employment.
Amends GS 7B-903.1(a), as enacted in this act, to clarify that except as prohibited by federal law, the director of a county department of social services has the authority to make decisions about a juvenile in the custody of that department (was, conferred authority on the director of the county department to the extent authorized by federal law).
Makes a technical correction to Part V of this act to identify the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance, as the entity to design and draft a 1915(c) Medicaid waiver to serve children with Serious Emotional Disturbance in home and community-based settings.