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COMMENT DUE DATE:  

December 11, 2017

DATE: 

December 1, 2017

Shirley Russell, Policy Programs Administrator, Child Welfare Services 405-521-2881

Dena Thayer, Programs Administrator 405-521-4326

Nancy Kelly, Policy Specialist 405-522-6703

RE:  

APA WF 17-21

It is very important that you provide your comments regarding the DRAFT COPY of policy by the comment due date. Comments are directed to *STO.LegalServices.Policy@okdhs.org

The proposed policy is  Emergency .  This proposal is subject to Administrative Procedures Act

SUBJECT:CHAPTER 75. CHILD WELFARE

Subchapter 1. General Provisions of Child Welfare Services

Part 1. Scope and Applicability

OAC 340:75-1-9.1 [NEW]

OAC 340:75-1-18 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 3. Child Protective Services

Part 1. Purpose, Definitions, and Hotline Protocol

OAC 340:75-3-120 [AMENDED]

OAC 340:75-3-300 [AMENDED]

Part 4. Specialized Investigative Protocols, Child Death or Near-Death Reporting Protocols

OAC 340:75-3-400 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 6. Permanency Planning

Part 5. Permanency Planning Services

OAC 340:75-6-31.4 [AMENDED]

Part 11. Permanency Planning and Placement Services

OAC 340:75-6-85 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 7. Foster Home Care

Part 2. Development of ResourcesResource Families [AMENDED]

OAC 340:75-7-15 [AMENDED]

Part 6. FosterResource Home Care Support Services

OAC 340:75-7-65 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 15. Adoptions

Part 2. Adoption Services Program Legal BaseAuthority and Scope of the Adoption Program

OAC 340:75-15-9 [AMENDED]

Part 6. Adoption Process

OAC 340:75-15-41.1 [AMENDED]

Part 10. Integrated Family Assessment and Preparation Process

OAC 340:75-15-84.1 [NEW]

(Reference WF 17-21)

SUMMARY:The proposed revisions to Chapter 75:

Subchapter 1 create a policy on program planning and evaluation per Senate Bill (SB) 727 (2017) and amends the rule regarding dispositional hearing, options, and placement guidelines to reflect statutory changes per House Bill (HB) 2621 (2016).

Subchapter 3:(1) add and revise definitions to child welfare policy per SBs 718 (2017) and 727 (2017) as well as establish a collaborative safety decision-making process; and (2) amend the rule regarding reports of child abuse and neglect with specialized protocols to comply with HB 2491 (2016) and Senate Bill (SB) 1370 (2016).

Subchapter 6 amends child permanency planning rules to update guidance on separating siblings in placement per SB 727 (2017) and amendspermanent guardianship policy to comply with HBs 2431 (2016) and 2484 (2016).

Subchapter 7 amend foster care rules to update background check requirements for resource parents and alternate caregivers per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017).

The proposed revision to Chapter 75 Subchapter 15 amends adoptions policy to update:(1) background check requirements for adoptive parents per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017); and (2) adoption placement considerations to comply with HB 2621 (2016).

EMERGENCY APPROVAL:

The proposed revisions to Chapter 75 Subchapter 1 create a policy on program planning and evaluation per Senate Bill (SB) 727 (2017) and amends the rule regarding dispositional hearing, options, and placement guidelines to reflect statutory changes per House Bill (HB) 2621 (2016).

The proposed revisions to Chapter 75 Subchapter 3:(1) add and revise definitions to child welfare policy per SBs 718 (2017) and 727 (2017) as well as establish a collaborative safety decision-making process; and (2) amend the rule regarding reports of child abuse and neglect with specialized protocols to comply with HB 2491 (2016) and Senate Bill (SB) 1370 (2016).

The proposed revision to Chapter 75 Subchapter 6 amends child permanency planning rules to update guidance on separating siblings in placement per SB 727 (2017) and amendspermanent guardianship policy to comply with HBs 2431 (2016) and 2484 (2016).

The proposed revisions to Chapter 75 Subchapter 7 amend foster care rules to update background check requirements for resource parents and alternate caregivers per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017).

The proposed revision to Chapter 75 Subchapter 15 amends adoptions policy to update:(1) background check requirements for adoptive parents per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017); and (2) adoption placement considerations to comply with HB 2621 (2016).

LEGAL AUTHORITY:Director of Human Services; Section 162 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (56 O.S. § 162);

Chapter 75 Subchapter 1:Indian Child Welfare Act 10 O.S. §§ 40 through 40.9; 10A O.S. §§ 1-2-105, 1-4-204, 1-4-705, 1-4-706, 1-4-707, 1-4-709, and 1-4-809;

Chapter 75 Subchapter 3:10A O.S. §§ 1-1-102, 1-1-105, 1-2-105, 1-3-102, 1-4-201, 1-4-204, 1-4-806, and 1-6-105; 21 O.S. §§ 748, 748.2 and 1040.13a; Section 671 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 671).

Chapter 75 Subchapter 6:Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act 10 O.S. §§ 40 through 40.9; 10A O.S. §§ 1-1-102, 1-2-105, 1-4-101, 1-4-204, 1-4-705, 1-4-709, 1-4-710, 1-4-711, 1-4-803, 1-4-804, 1-4-805, 1-4-807, 1-4-812, 1-7-103, 1-7-106, 1-7-107, 1-7-110, and 1-9-119; Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA), Interethnic Provisions of 1996 (IEP), Federal Indian Child Welfare Act 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 et seq., 42 U.S.C. § 673.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 7:10 O.S. §§ 404.1 and 405.3; 10A O.S. §§ 1-7-111, 1-7-115, and 1-9-119; 21 O.S. §§ 692; 57 O.S. § 582; 68 O.S. § 2358.5-1; 18 U.S.C. § 16.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 15:10 O.S. §§ 40.6, 404.1, 405.3, 601.6, 7504-1.2, 7505-1.1, 7505-3.2, 7505-5.3, 7505-6.3, 7505-6.6, 7508-1.2, and 7508-1.3; 10A O.S. §§ 1-4-705, and 1-7-111; 21 O.S. § 692; 57 O.S. § 582; Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA); 18 U.S.C. § 16; 25 U.S.C. 1915.

Rule Impact Statement

To: Programs administrator

Legal Services - Policy

From: Jami Ledoux, Director

Child Welfare Services (CWS)

Date: December 1, 2017

Re: CHAPTER 75. CHILD WELFARE SERVICES

Subchapter 1. General Provisions

Part 1. Scope and Applicability

340:75-1-9.1 [NEW]

340:75-1-18 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 3. Child Protective Services

Part 1. Purpose, Definitions, and Hotline Protocol

340:75-3-120 [AMENDED]

340:75-3-300 [AMENDED]

Part 4. Specialized Investigative Protocols, Child Death or Near-Death Reporting Protocols

340:75-3-400 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 6. Permanency Planning

Part 5. Permanency Planning Services

340:75-6-31.4 [AMENDED]

Part 11. Permanency Planning and Placement Services

340:75-6-85 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 7. Foster Home Care

Part 2. Development of Resources Resource Families [AMENDED]

340:75-7-15 [AMENDED]

Part 6. Foster Resource Home Care Support Services

340:75-7-65 [AMENDED]

Subchapter 15. Adoptions

Part 2. Adoption Services Program Legal Base Authority and Scope of the Adoption Program

340:75-15-9 [AMENDED]

Part 6. Adoption Process

340:75-15-41.1 [AMENDED]

Part 10. Integrated Family Assessment and Preparation Process

340:75-15-84.1 [NEW]

(Reference WF 17-21)

Contact:Shirley Russell, Policy Programs Administrator, 405-521-2881

A. Brief description of the purpose of the proposed rule:

The proposed revisions to Chapter 75 Subchapter 1 create a policy on program planning and evaluation per Senate Bill (SB) 727 (2017) and amends the rule regarding dispositional hearing, options, and placement guidelines to reflect statutory changes per House Bill (HB) 2621 (2016).

The proposed revisions to Chapter 75 Subchapter 3: (1) add and revise definitions to child welfare policy per SBs 718 (2017) and 727 (2017) as well as establish a collaborative safety decision-making process; and (2) amend the rule regarding reports of child abuse and neglect with specialized protocols to comply with HB 2491 (2016) and Senate Bill (SB) 1370 (2016).

The proposed revision to Chapter 75 Subchapter 6 amends child permanency planning rules to update guidance on separating siblings in placement per SB 727 (2017) and amends permanent guardianship policy to comply with HBs 2431 (2016) and 2484 (2016).

The proposed revisions to Chapter 75 Subchapter 7 amend foster care rules to update background check requirements for resource parents and alternate caregivers per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017).

The proposed revision to Chapter 75 Subchapter 15 amends adoptions policy to update: (1) background check requirements for adoptive parents per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017); and (2) adoption placement considerations to comply with HB 2621 (2016).

Strategic plan impact.

The proposed rules for Chapter 75 Subchapter 1 achieve Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) goals by providing guidance on program development and evaluation benefiting the children and youth served as well as directing staff, parents, and providers to appropriate policy on sibling placement.

The proposed rules for Chapter 75 Subchapter 3 achieves DHS goals by refining child safety decision-making processes and clarifying the reporting process for child abuse and neglect with specialized protocols that benefit children, parents, and staff.

The proposed rules to Chapter 75 Subchapter 6 achieve DHS goals by providing clarity on guardianship process and sibling separation for staff, children, parents, and foster parents working towards reunification and permanency for siblings.

The proposed rules to Chapter 75 Subchapter 7 achieve DHS goals by expanding the types of background checks of individuals seeking to serve as resource parents caring for children in DHS custody.

The proposed rules to Chapter 75 Subchapter 15 achieve DHS goals by directing staff, parents, and providers to appropriate policy on sibling placement and expanding the types of background checks to better evaluate the individuals seeking to adopt children in DHS custody.

Substantive changes.

Subchapter 1. General Provisions of Child Welfare Services

Part 1. Scope and Applicability

Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:75-1-9.1 is created to address the SB 727 (2017) requirements that mandate program planning and evaluation and annual legislative placement reports on children and youth services.

OAC 340:75-1-18 is amended to direct staff to appropriate policy on placement preferences for a child in DHS custody and guidance on sibling separation, per HB 2621 (2016) and SB 727 (2017)

Subchapter 3. Child Protective Services

Part 1. Purpose, Definitions, and Hotline Protocol

OAC 340:75-3-120 is amended per SB 718 (2017) to include a definition for "children's emergency resource center" and per SB 727 (2017) to correct the definition for "trafficking in persons."

OAC 340:75-3-300 is amended to include protocol for child safety meetings per SB 727 (2017).

Part 4. Specialized Investigative Protocols, Child Death or Near-Death Reporting Protocols

OAC 340:75-3-400 is amended to include specialized protocol for requiring notification of military authorities about reports of child abuse and neglect involving children of active duty military parent(s) or legal guardian(s) per HB 2491 and SB 1370.

Subchapter 6. Permanency Planning Services

Part 5. Permanency Planning Services

OAC 340:75-6-31.4 is amended to: (1) not permit a permanent guardianship when the proposed guardian would be denied placement as a proposed foster or adoptive parent, per HB 2431; and (2) state that the permanent guardianship order divests DHS of further legal custody and supervision of a child and DHS has no further responsibility for the child, per HB 2484.

Part 11. Permanency Planning and Placement Services

OAC 340:75-6-85 is amended per SB 727 (2017) to update exceptions that permit sibling separation in placements.

Subchapter 7. Foster Home Care

Part. 2. Development of Resources Resource Families

OAC 340:75-7-15 is amended per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017) to mandate a search of the restricted registry, nontechnical services worker abuse registry, and community services worker registry for potential resource parent and adult household members.

Part 6. Foster Resource Home Care Support Services

OAC 340:75-7-65 is amended per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017) to mandate search of restricted registry, nontechnical services worker abuse registry, and community services worker registry for alternate caregivers in resource homes.

Subchapter 15. Adoptions

Part 2. Adoption Services Program Legal Base Authority and Scope of the Adoption Program

OAC 340:75-15-9 is amended per HB 1887 (2017) reducing the time frame from 24 to 12 months for redaction of medical records and social history for sharing with potential adoptive parents.

Part 6. Adoption Process

OAC 340:75-15-41.1 is amended to direct staff to appropriate policy on placement preferences for a child in DHS custody and guidance on sibling separation, per HB 2621 and SB 727.

Part 10. Integrated Family Assessment and Preparation Process

OAC 340:75-15-84.1 is created to simplify finding background information search in adoptions policy and per SBs 717 (2017) and 723 (2017) to mandate a search of the restricted registry, nontechnical services worker abuse registry, and community services worker registry for potential adoptive parent and adult household members.

Reasons.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 1: The proposed new section memorializes for staff guidance on program design and evaluation for children and youth services and placement preferences; and the revises dispositional hearing, options, and placement guidelines.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 3: The proposed revisions clarify the decision-making process used to evaluate a child's safety at home, identify services to address family needs, and notification process on reports of child abuse and neglect.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 6: The proposed revisions provide clear and concise rules for CWS staff working to follow guardianship processes and to improve permanency outcomes for siblings in DHS custody.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 7: The proposed revisions update rules for Child Welfare Services (CWS) staff conducting background searches of resource families to improve outcomes for DHS custody children and streamline policy.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 15: The proposed revisions clarify the process for CWS staff conducting background searches of adoptive families to improve outcomes for DHS custody children.

Repercussions.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 1: The proposed amendments are designed to provide guidance on DHS program and services design as well as ensuring consistency in making placement decisions thus improving outcomes for children and families.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 3: The proposed amendments are designed to provide consistency in conducting collaborative decision-making when evaluating child safety and sending notifications to military authorities on reports of child abuse or neglect thus improving outcomes for children and families.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 6: The proposed amendments are designed to create uniformity in policy application and ensure improved permanency outcomes for children in DHS custody.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 7: The proposed amendments are designed to create uniformity in policy application and ensure improved outcomes for children in DHS custody.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 15: The proposed amendments create uniformity in policy application and ensure improved outcomes for children in DHS custody.

Legal authority. Director of Human Services; Section 162 of Title 56 of the Oklahoma Statutes (56 O.S. § 162);

Chapter 75 Subchapter 1: Indian Child Welfare Act 10 O.S. §§ 40 through 40.9; 10A O.S. §§ 1-2-105, 1-4-204, 1-4-705, 1-4-706, 1-4-707, 1-4-709, and 1-4-809;

Chapter 75 Subchapter 3: 10A O.S. §§ 1-1-102, 1-1-105, 1-2-105, 1-3-102, 1-4-201, 1-4-204, 1-4-806, and 1-6-105; 21 O.S. §§ 748, 748.2 and 1040.13a; Section 671 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 671).

Chapter 75 Subchapter 6: Oklahoma Indian Child Welfare Act 10 O.S. §§ 40 through 40.9; 10A O.S. §§ 1-1-102, 1-2-105, 1-4-101, 1-4-204, 1-4-705, 1-4-709, 1-4-710, 1-4-711, 1-4-803, 1-4-804, 1-4-805, 1-4-807, 1-4-812, 1-7-103, 1-7-106, 1-7-107, 1-7-110, and 1-9-119; Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA), Interethnic Provisions of 1996 (IEP), Federal Indian Child Welfare Act 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901 et seq., 42 U.S.C. § 673.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 7: 10 O.S. §§ 404.1 and 405.3; 10A O.S. §§ 1-7-111, 1-7-115, and 1-9-119; 21 O.S. §§ 692; 57 O.S. § 582; 68 O.S. § 2358.5-1; 18 U.S.C. § 16.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 15: 10 O.S. §§ 40.6, 404.1, 405.3, 601.6, 7504-1.2, 7505-1.1, 7505-3.2, 7505-5.3, 7505-6.3, 7505-6.6, 7508-1.2, and 7508-1.3; 10A O.S. §§ 1-4-705, and 1-7-111; 21 O.S. § 692; 57 O.S. § 582; Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994 (MEPA); 18 U.S.C. § 16; 25 U.S.C. 1915.

Emergency rulemaking approval is requested.

B. A description of the classes of persons who most likely will be affected by the proposed rule, including classes that will bear the costs of the proposed rule, and any information on cost impacts received by the Agency from any private or public entities:

Chapter 75 Subchapter 1: The classes of persons most likely to be affected by the proposed amendments are CWS staff, children, and families. The affected classes bear no costs associated with the implementation of the rules.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 3: The classes of persons most likely to be affected by the proposed amendments are CWS staff, children, and families. The affected classes bear no costs associated with the implementation of the rules.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 6: The classes of persons most likely to be affected by the proposed amendments are CWS staff, foster parents, parents, and children involved in permanency cases. The affected classes bear no costs associated with the implementation of the rules.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 7: The classes of persons most likely to be affected by the proposed amendments are CWS staff, resource parents, parents, and children in DHS custody. The affected classes bear no costs associated with the implementation of the rules.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 15: The classes of persons most likely to be affected by the proposed amendments are CWS staff, adoptive parents, parents, and children in DHS custody. The affected classes bear no costs associated with the implementation of the rules.

C. A description of the classes of persons who will benefit from the proposed rule:

Chapter 75 Subchapter 1: The classes of persons who will benefit are CWS staff, children, and families.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 3: The classes of persons who will benefit are CWS staff, children, and families.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 6: The classes of persons who will benefit are CWS staff, foster parents, parents, group homes, and children involved in permanency cases.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 7: The classes of persons who will benefit are CWS staff, resource parents, parents, and children in DHS custody.

Chapter 75 Subchapter 15: The classes of persons who will benefit are CWS staff, adoptive parents, parents, and children in DHS custody.

D. A description of the probable economic impact of the proposed rule upon the affected classes of persons or political subdivisions, including a listing of all fee changes and, whenever possible, a separate justification for each fee change: The proposed amendments do not have an economic impact on the affected entities. There are no fee changes associated with the revised rules.

E. The probable costs and benefits to the Agency and to any other agency of the implementation and enforcement of the proposed rule, the source of revenue to be used for implementation and enforcement of the proposed rule and any anticipated effect on state revenues, including a projected net loss or gain in such revenues if it can be projected by the Agency: Travel reimbursement costs associated with OAC 340:75-7-65 could increase and DHS has sufficient appropriation and federal funding to pay for any increased costs. DHS includes the cost of printing and distributing the rules, which is estimated to be less than $20. The revised rules will result in enhanced delivery of services to positively impact clients, families, and DHS staff.

F. A determination whether implementation of the proposed rule will have an impact on any political subdivisions or require their cooperation in implementing or enforcing the rule: The proposed amendments do not have an economic impact on any political subdivision, nor will the cooperation of any political subdivisions be required in implementation or enforcement of the rules.

G. A determination whether implementation of the proposed rule will have an adverse economic effect on small business as provided by the Oklahoma Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act: There are no anticipated adverse effects on small business as provided by the Oklahoma Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act.

H. An explanation of the measures the Agency has taken to minimize compliance costs and a determination whether there are less costly or nonregulatory methods or less intrusive methods for achieving the purpose of the proposed rule: There are no less costly, non-regulatory, or less intrusive methods for achieving the purpose of the proposed amendments.

I. A determination of the effect of the proposed rule on the public health, safety, and environment and, if the proposed rule is designed to reduce significant risks to the public health, safety, and environment, an explanation of the nature of the risk and to what extent the proposed rule will reduce the risk: Implementation of the proposed amendments clarify and update rules that facilitate quicker, more efficient service delivery to children and families and may reduce risks to children's health, safety, and environment.

J. A determination of any detrimental effect on the public health, safety, and environment if the proposed rule is not implemented: If the proposed amendments are not implemented, processes may not be followed as intended thus delaying services to persons who are in need and placing children at risk.

K. The date the rule impact statement was prepared and, if modified, the date modified: Prepared September 29, 2017; Modified November 28, 2017.