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181Ratification Number: 215Act Number: 219Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19990112Primary Sponsor: WashingtonAll Sponsors: Washington, ElliottDrafted Document Number: l:\s-res\mw\001fost.jh.docDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 20000113Date of Last Amendment: 19990303Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 20000225Subject: Kinship Foster Care Program established within Social Services Department, Minors, Foster care parents, fingerprintingHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 20000331 Act No. A219 ------ 20000225 Signed by Governor ------ 20000223 Ratified R215 House 20000113 Read third time, enrolled for ratification House 20000112 Read second time House 19990630 Debate adjourned House 19990603 Debate adjourned until Tuesday, 19990608 House 19990603 Request for debate withdrawn by Representative Riser Hinson Hamilton Loftis Neilson Witherspoon House 19990602 Request for debate withdrawn by Representative McMahand F. Smith Davenport House 19990601 Request for debate by Representative Witherspoon Davenport Hamilton Loftis Neilson F. Smith Hinson Bales Littlejohn McMahand Riser House 19990526 Committee report: Favorable 25 HJ House 19990309 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Senate 19990304 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19990303 Read second time, ordered to third reading with notice of general amendments Senate 19990303 Committee amendment adopted Senate 19990224 Committee report: Favorable with 11 SJ amendment Senate 19990112 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee Senate 19981216 Prefiled, referred to Committee 11 SJ Versions of This Bill Revised on February 24, 1999 - Word format Revised on March 3, 1999 - Word format Revised on May 26, 1999 - Word format
(A219, R215, S181)
AN ACT TO AMEND SUBARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 7, TITLE 20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DOMESTIC RELATIONS, BY ADDING SECTION 20-7-2275 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A KINSHIP FOSTER CARE PROGRAM IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO ENCOURAGE THE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN REMOVED FROM THEIR HOMES INTO THE HOMES OF RELATIVES FOR KINSHIP FOSTER CARE INCLUDING REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT TO ATTEMPT TO IDENTIFY A FAMILY MEMBER WITH WHOM A FOSTER CHILD MAY BE PLACED, AND ESTABLISHING PROCEDURES AND ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE AS A KINSHIP FOSTER PARENT; AND TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-1640, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO FINGERPRINTING OF FOSTER PARENTS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT TO ISSUE A TEMPORARY LICENSE BEFORE THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION RESULTS ARE RECEIVED IF CERTAIN OTHER REPORTING REQUIREMENTS ARE MET.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Kinship Foster Care Program established
SECTION 1. Subarticle 1, Chapter 7, Title 20 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 20-7-2275. (A) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) 'Department' means the Department of Social Services; and
(2) 'Foster parent' means any person with whom a child in the care, custody, or guardianship of the department is placed for temporary or long-term care.
(B) There is established a 'Kinship Foster Care Program' in the State Department of Social Services.
(C) When a child has been removed from his home and is in the care, custody, or guardianship of the department, the department shall attempt to identify a relative who would be appropriate for placement of the child in accordance with the preliminary investigation requirements of Section 20-7-610 and in accordance with Section 20-7-764(B)(6). If the department determines that it is in the best interest of a child requiring out-of-home placement that the child be placed with a relative for foster care, or if a relative advises the department that the relative is interested in providing placement for a child requiring foster care, and the relative is not already licensed to provide foster care, the department shall inform the relative of the procedures for being licensed as a kinship foster parent, assist the foster parent with the licensing process, and inform the relative of availability of payments and other services to kinship foster parents. If the relative is licensed by the department to provide kinship foster care services, in accordance with rules and regulations adopted by the department regarding kinship foster care, and a placement with the relative is made, the relative may receive payment for the full foster care rate for the care of the child and any other benefits that might be available to foster parents, whether in money or in services.
(D) The department shall establish, in accordance with this section and the rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, eligibility standards for becoming a kinship foster parent.
(1) Relatives within the first, second, or third degree to the parent or stepparent of a child who may be related through blood, marriage, or adoption may be eligible for licensing as a kinship foster parent.
(2) The kinship foster parent must be twenty-one years of age or older, except that if the spouse or partner of the relative is twenty-one years of age or older and living in the home, and the relative is between eighteen and twenty-one years of age, the department may waive the age requirement.
(3)(a) A person may become a kinship foster parent only upon the completion of a full kinship foster care licensing study performed in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated pursuant to this section. Residents of the household who are age eighteen years of age or older must undergo the state and federal fingerprint review procedures as provided for in Section 20-7-1640. The department shall apply the screening criteria in Section 20-7-1642 to the results of the fingerprint reviews and the licensing study.
(b) The department shall maintain the confidentiality of the results of fingerprint reviews as provided for in state and federal regulations.
(4) The department shall determine, after a thorough review of information obtained in the kinship foster care licensing process, whether the person is able to care effectively for the foster child.
(E)(1) The department shall involve the kinship foster parents in development of the child's permanent plan pursuant to Section 20-7-766 and other plans for services to the child and the kinship foster home. The department shall give notice of proceedings and information to the kinship foster parent as provided for elsewhere in this article for other foster parents. If planning for the child includes the use of child daycare, the department shall pay for child care arrangements, according to established criteria for payment of these services for foster children. If the permanent plan for the child involves requesting the court to grant custody or guardianship of the child to the kinship foster parent, the department must ensure that it has informed the kinship foster parent about adoption, including services and financial benefits that might be available.
(2) The kinship foster parent shall cooperate with any activities specified in the case plan for the foster child, such as counseling, therapy or court sessions, or visits with the foster child's parents or other family members. Kinship foster parents and placements made in kinship foster care homes are subject to the requirements of Section 20-7-767."
Foster parent fingerprinting requirements; temporary licenses
SECTION 2. Section 20-7-1640(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 104 of 1999, is further amended to read:
"(A) A person applying for licensure as a foster parent and a person eighteen years of age or older, residing in a home in which a person has applied to be licensed as a foster parent, must undergo a state fingerprint review to be conducted by the State Law Enforcement Division to determine any state criminal history and a fingerprinting review to be conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine any other criminal history. The Department of Social Services may issue a temporary license to a person after the favorable completion of the State Law Enforcement Division fingerprint review if each person subject to the fingerprinting requirements affirms in writing on a form provided by the department that he or she has not been convicted of any crime provided for in Section 20-7-1642. The temporary license shall be valid until such time as the Federal Bureau of Investigation results are received by the department, and a permanent license is issued or denied, unless the department terminates the temporary license earlier."
SECTION 3. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to that end the provisions of this act are declared to be severable.
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 23rd day of February, 2000.
Approved the 25th day of February, 2000.
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