Working to transform the child welfare system.

HB 1366 states that it is the intent of the legislature to emphasize and support efforts to reunify families involved in the child welfare process and recognizes the importance of parent-child visitation in achieving reunification.  The bill further states that parent child visitation must be provided to families except if it is limited by the court due to previously established statutory factors. Additionally, HB 1366 incorporates into state statute the federal requirement that visitation be included as a remedial service. HB 1366 would also require the department of social and health services to create a parent-child visitation work group to identify how to better support family reunification. The work group would (1) engage relevant stakeholders to include biological parents involved in or with experience in the child welfare process; (2) develop and implement changes in policy or practice to increase the amount and quality of parent-child visitation; (3) submit an annual report to the appropriate committees of the legislature by November 1st.

Comparison of substitute bill to original bill:  Substitute bill excludes visitation that is not in the child’s best interest from the definition of remedial services.