HB 2008 would include costs for child protective services and certain programs for foster children in the state budgeting process at maintenance level. The bill would require the state institute for public policy, in consultation with the department of social and health services, develop a single validated tool to assess the care needs of foster children. It would require the department of social and health services, once the validated tool is available for use on a statewide basis, to: (1) Use the tool for assessing the care needs of foster children, including whether the department should provide foster children with behavioral rehabilitation services; and (2) Notify the caseload forecast council, the office of financial management, and the appropriate fiscal committees of the legislature when it begins statewide use of the validated tool. Additionally the bill requires foster care, adoption support and related services, and child protective services to: (1) Be included in the forecast of the caseload forecast council; and (2) Be forecasted and budgeted as maintenance level costs. In addition to services currently forecasted, the forecast will also include: Behavioral rehabilitative services, social worker and related staff to receive, refer, and respond to screened-in reports of child abuse or neglect; and court-ordered parent-child and sibling visitations.
Amendment: Requires Children's Administration to review the availability and capacity of licensed foster homes in comparison to the foster care caseload as part of the 2018 Supplemental budget request process, and to report to the Legislature and OFM by October 1, 2017.