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Notice of Proposed Changes- Foster Care Regulations

NOTICE OF PROPOSED CHANGES ON FOSTER CARE LICENSING, TRIBAL FOSTER HOMES, FOSTER CARE PAYMENTS, BACKGROUND CHECKS, AND ASSESSMENTS, IN THE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES

BRIEF DESCRIPTION

The Department of Health & Social Services proposes to change regulations on foster care by relocating existing regulations that are in several chapters and creating a new chapter 67 that will update the licensing standards and comply with several statute changes made in the past few years.


The Department of Health & Social Services proposes to adopt regulation changes in Title 7 of the Alaska Administrative Code dealing with foster care licensing, including the following:

  • 7 AAC 10. Licensing, certification, and approvals – is proposed to be amended by repealing sections and language related to foster care licensing and relocating the applicable text to a new Chapter 67. Chapter 10 currently outlines the barrier crimes and conditions, background checks, variance procedures, environmental health and safety, and inspections and investigations related to all licensed entities described in AS 47.32.010.
  • 7 AAC 50. Community care licensing – is proposed to be amended by repealing sections and language related to foster care licensing and relocating the applicable text to a new Chapter 67. Chapter 50 covers the standards for care of children residing in a foster home inclusive of supervision of foster children, qualification of foster parents, administration of a foster home, and foster care specializations.
  • 7 AAC 53. Social services – is proposed to be amended by repealing sections and language related to foster care licensing and relocating the applicable text to a new Chapter 67. These proposed changes also modify the payments for foster care, including payments made by the department for tribally licensed foster homes.
  • 7 AAC 67. Foster home licensing standards – is a proposed new chapter that covers the foster home licensing standards that have been located in several chapters and need to be revised because of revised or new statutes. Other proposed regulations in Chapter 67 include:
  • Add to the exemptions under 7 AAC 67.020, individuals who are licensed to operate a foster home by a Tribe or a Tribal entity in which the Tribe has either a current Tribal IV-E pass-through Agreement or a Memorandum of Agreement approved by the department.
  • Clarify the OCS general variance processes, specific to foster homes under 7 AAC 67.080.
  • Outline the foster home administration operation and management, including the qualifications and responsibilities of a foster parent and others in the home who have regular contact with a children in the home; standards for alternative caregivers including persons employed by the foster parent in the home as babysitters, orientation and training requirements for foster parents, placement responsibilities of a foster parents; and recordkeeping, reporting and storage of a child’s foster care reports.
  • Incorporate and modify the requirements for care and services for a child in a foster home, including supervision of a child, maximum capacity of a foster home; supervision requirements for children eligible for the department’s home and community-based waiver services; program and management in the foster home and behavioral guidance.
  • Incorporate the environmental health and safety standards previously outlined in 7 AAC 10.1000-1095 specific to foster homes.
  • Incorporate the existing Chapter 50 standards for specializations for foster group homes and emergency shelter homes.

You may comment on the proposed regulation changes, including the potential costs to private persons of complying with the proposed changes, by submitting written comments to Tracy Spartz-Campbell at tracy.spartz-campbell@alaska.gov  or P.O. Box 110630, Attn. Tracy Spartz-Campbell, Juneau, AK 99811-0630. The comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. on April 6, 2018.

You may submit written questions relevant to the proposed action to Tracy Spartz-Campbell at tracy.spartz-campbell@alaska.gov  or at the Office of Children’s Services; 130 Seward Street, Suite 406, Juneau, AK 99801. Questions must be received at least 10 days before the end of the public comment period. The Department of Health and Social Services will aggregate its response to substantially similar questions and make the questions and response available on the department website. The Department of Health and Social Services may, but is not required to, answer written questions received after the 10-day cut-off date and before the end of the comment period.

Oral or written comments also may be submitted at a hearing to be held on March 9, 2018, at the Frontier Building, Room 880, 3601 C Street, Anchorage, Alaska.  The hearing will be held from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. and might be extended to accommodate those present before 2 p.m. who did not have an opportunity to comment. If you are unable to attend in person, but would like to comment during the oral public hearing, you can call the teleconference number at 800-897-3316 (toll free).

If you are a person with a disability who needs a special accommodation in order to participate in this process, please contact Tracy Spartz-Campbell at (907) 465-4894 no later than March 2, 2018, to ensure that any necessary accommodations can be provided.

A copy of the proposed regulation changes is available on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and/or through the electronic link to the complete text on the Alaska Online Public Notice System and by contacting Tracy Spartz-Campbell at tracy.spartz-campbell@alaska.gov or PO Box 110630, Attn. Tracy Spartz-Campbell, Juneau, AK 99811-0630.

After the public comment period ends, the Department of Health and Social Services will either adopt the proposed regulation changes or other provisions dealing with the same subject, without further notice, or decide to take no action. The language of the final regulations may be different from that of the proposed regulations. You should comment during the time allowed if your interests could be affected.

Statutory Authority: AS 13.26.062; AS 18.05.010; AS 18.05.040; AS 25.23.100; AS 25.23.180; AS 25.23.190; AS 25.23.200; AS 25.23.210; AS 25.23.220; AS 47.05.230; AS 44.29.020; AS 47.05.010; AS 47.05.012; AS 47.05.060; AS 47.05.065; AS 47.05.300; AS 47.05.310; AS 47.05.320; AS 47.05.330; AS 47.05.340; AS 47.10.080; AS 47.10.087; AS 47.10.142; AS 47.10.300; AS 47.10.310; AS 47.10.320; AS 47.10.392; AS 47.10.970; AS 47.12.120; AS 47.14.010; AS 47.14.100; AS 47.14.120; AS 47.14.130; AS 47.32.010; AS 47.32.020; AS 47.32.030; AS 47.32.040; AS 47.32.050; AS 47.32.060; AS 47.32.080; AS 47.32.090; AS 47.32.100; AS 47.32.101; AS 47.32.110; AS 47.32.120; AS 47.32.130; AS 47.32.140; AS 47.32.180; AS 47.32.190; AS 47.33.005; AS 47.33.010; AS 47.33.020; AS 47.37.140.

Statutes Being Implemented, Interpreted, or Made Specific: AS 13.26.062; AS 18.05.010; AS 18.05.040; AS 25.23.100; AS 25.23.180; AS 25.23.190; AS 25.23.200; AS 25.23.210; AS 25.23.220; AS 47.05.230; AS 44.29.020; AS 47.05.010; AS 47.05.012; AS 47.05.060; AS 47.05.065; AS 47.05.300; AS 47.05.310; AS 47.05.320; AS 47.05.330; AS 47.05.340; AS 47.10.080; AS 47.10.087; AS 47.10.142; AS 47.10.300; AS 47.10.310; AS 47.10.320; AS 47.10.392; AS 47.10.970; AS 47.12.120; AS 47.14.010; AS 47.14.100; AS 47.14.120; AS 47.14.130; AS 47.32.010; AS 47.32.020; AS 47.32.030; AS 47.32.040; AS 47.32.050; AS 47.32.060; AS 47.32.080; AS 47.32.090; AS 47.32.100; AS 47.32.101; AS 47.32.110; AS 47.32.120; AS 47.32.130; AS 47.32.140; AS 47.32.180; AS 47.32.190; AS 47.33.005; AS 47.33.010; AS 47.33.020; AS 47.37.140.

Fiscal Information: The proposed regulation changes are not expected to require an increased appropriation.

DATE: February 13, 2018
/s/Jon Sherwood
Deputy Commissioner
Department of Health & Social Services

 

 

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