HOUSE BILL 383
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Kelly K. Fajardo
RELATING TO FAMILIES; ENACTING A NEW SECTION OF THE CHILDREN'S CODE TO ESTABLISH FOSTER PARENT RIGHTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. A new section of the Children's Code is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] FOSTER PARENT RIGHTS.--
A. A foster parent has the right to:
(1) be treated with dignity, respect and consideration as integral members of a child welfare team whose work concerns a child in the foster parent's care;
(2) in a timely manner, be notified of scheduled meetings concerning a child in the foster parent's care in order to actively participate in the case planning and treatment process;
(3) provide input concerning the plan of services for a child in the foster parent's care and to have that input given full consideration, in the same manner as information presented by any other member of the team;
(4) communicate with professionals who work with a child in the foster parent's care, including therapists, physicians and school personnel;
(5) receive a written copy of the child's treatment plan and any subsequent revisions on a timely basis;
(6) receive a completed substitute care placement agreement within twenty-four hours of the time a child is placed in the foster parent's home;
(7) be given standardized pre-service training and appropriate ongoing training;
(8) be informed of, and have access to, all agency policies and procedures related to the foster parent's role as a foster parent, including notification within twenty-four hours of any change to these policies or procedures and, with the notification, detailed information related to the change;
(9) a fair, timely and impartial investigation concerning referrals filed against the foster parent and access to the appeal process, pursuant to department policy and change;
(10) be free from acts of harassment and retaliation by department staff;
(11) have emergency access to department staff on a twenty-four-hour, seven-day-a-week basis;
(12) report misconduct by department employees, service providers or contractors and to have such reports investigated appropriately;
(13) expect and rely upon the fact that the department's decisions regarding the foster parent and the children placed in the foster parent's care will be in compliance with state and federal law;
(14) be notified of scheduled substitute care advisory council meetings concerning a child in the foster parent's care;
(15) receive adequate prior written notice of and an opportunity to be heard at a court hearing regarding a child in the foster parent's care, as provided by law;
(16) submit factually based written statements to the court, as provided by law;
(17) be informed of and receive available support services for a child in the foster parent's care, as provided by department rules;
(18) be considered as a first placement option when a child formerly in the foster parent's home reenters the foster care system;
(19) be given prior written notice of a plan to terminate the placement of the child with the foster family, as provided by law;
(20) receive full financial reimbursement, in a timely manner, that is commensurate with the care needs of the child, as provided by department rules;
(21) receive assistance from the department in dealing with loss and separation when a foster child leaves the foster parent's home, including referrals to services and assistance in obtaining those services;
(22) intervene in abuse and neglect and termination of parental rights proceedings, as provided by law;
(23) maintain confidentiality regarding personal issues, as provided by law;
(24) receive exit interviews upon relinquishing the foster parent's license;
(25) have full disclosure of all medical, psychological and behavioral issues of children in the foster parent's care, as provided by department rules; and
(26) receive a traveling file for a child placed in the foster parent's care.
B. A foster parent in whose care a child for whom a plan of adoption has been drafted has the right to priority consideration as an adoptive parent of that child, along with a relative of that child.
C. In matters concerning licensing, a foster parent has the right to be free from discrimination based on religion, race, color, creed, gender orientation, sexual orientation, national origin, age, marital status or physical disability.
D. As used in this section, "traveling file" means a set of documents relating to a child, which set of documents includes the child's placement agreement and medical, educational and mental health records and information."
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