AN ACT TO PROHIBIT COUNTY DEPARTMENTS OF SOCIAL SERVICES FROM IMPLEMENTING CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES INTAKE SCREENING CRITERIA THAT IS MORE STRINGENT OR LENIENT THAN, OR IN ADDITION TO, STATE POLICY AND TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO MAKE VARIOUS POLICY CHANGES AS A MEANS TO IMPROVE THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES INTAKE SCREENING PROCESS, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE JOINT LEGISLATIVE PROGRAM EVALUATION OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE, AND TO ALLOW LEGISLATORS ACCESS TO0 CONFIDENTIAL ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES AND CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES RECORDS, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE PROGRAM EVALUATION DIVISION TO STUDY THE FEASIBILITY AND EFFECTIVENESS OF IMPLEMENTING A CHILD WELFARE SIMULATION TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION PROGRAM.
Senate committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.
Changes the act’s long title.
Revises new GS 7B-300.1 to provide that a county may not have a policy regarding child protective services intake screening criteria that is more stringent or lenient than State policy or adds to State policy (previously did not include policies that were more lenient).
Revises requirements in Section 3(a) related to assessment of child welfare worker comprehension and training needs. Deletes specific requirements related to increasing frequency of training and developing an intermediate intake screening course. Adds a requirement that all child welfare supervisors pass a competency test prior to screening.
Amends GS 108A-80 to add a new subsection (b2) to authorize a legislator to request and receive access to confidential information related to child and adult protective services cases, unless prohibited by federal law. Provides that a legislator may not retain copies of such records and any information shared with a legislator must be kept confidential.
Amends subsections (b) and (c) of GS 108A-80 to remove language making violations of the section a Class 1 misdemeanor. Adds a new subsection (c1) to consolidate the penalties and provide that a violation of (a), (b), (b1), new (b2), or (c) is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Amendments to GS 108A-80 become effective October 1, 2021.
Directs the Program Evaluation Division to study the feasibility of implementing statewide a simulation and certification child welfare training program comparable to one piloted in several western counties. Requires a report by April 1, 2021.
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