Partners for Our Children

HB1227, known as the Keeping Families Together act, recognizes that children and families are best served when children are cared for by their loved ones and in their communities.

In general, HB1227 does the following:

HB1227 also changes the standard by which a court may enter an order directing a child be taken into custody to now read:

Further, HB1227 identifies that the existence of community or family poverty, isolation, single parenthood, age of the parent, crowded or inadequate housing, substance abuse, prenatal drug or alcohol exposure, mental illness, disability or special needs of the parent or child, or nonconforming social behavior does not by itself constitute imminent physical harm. 

Another aspect of the bill states that if the court places with a relative and that person indicates an interest in becoming a licensed foster parent, the court shall order the DCYF to commence an investigation of the home within 24 hours and expedite licensure. If licensed, the foster care subsidy shall be paid to the relative retroactive to the date of placement. If the home is unqualified, the DCYF must report that fact to the court within one week of the determination. 


And, the department is directed to make every effort to provide all other discoverable material to the child’s parent, guardian, legal custodian, or their legal counsel prior to any shelter care hearing.

Note: This is not a complete summary of the bill. There are other provisions.

Substitute Bill:

2nd Substitute:

Floor amendment:

 Restores the current law evidentiary standard of “reasonable grounds” and “reasonable cause” (replacing the standard of “preponderance of the evidence” proposed by the underlying bill) when a court is: (1) determining whether there is sufficient evidence to support an order directing a law enforcement officer, probation officer, or child protective services official to take a child into custody; and (2) conducting a shelter care hearing 72 hours after the child’s removal to determine, among other things, whether the child can safely return to a parent.