Sponsored by Representative Hope, HB 1261 seeks to create a receiving care center license. “Receiving care center” is defined as an agency that provides short-term emergency and crisis care for a period up to seven days to children who have been removed from their parents or guardians care by child protective services or law enforcement. The secretary will be authorized to license such centers and rules adopted by the department will allow a sufficient number of trained volunteers to meet staffing requirements, flexibility in hours of operation, and the ability to operate in a residential area. Receiving care centers will provide care for children ages birth through 12, or for children ages 13-17 who have a sibling or siblings under 13 years of age who are being admitted to the center.
Substitute bill: The substitute bill changes the name “receiving care center” to “resource and assessment center”. It shortens the allowable placement time in such a center to 72 hours, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. It states that such centers may only be licensed if there is a need for them in the local community, that they will be staffed primarily by trained volunteers, and that they are not financially dependent on reimbursement for the state to operate. They need not remain open if no children are placed there. The substitute also specifies that resource and assessment centers may not be used to address placement disruptions for children who have been removed from a foster home because of behavior or safety concerns.