D.C. Law 21-123. Supporting Normalcy and Empowering Children in Foster Care Temporary Amendment Act of 2016.

D.C. Law 21-123. Supporting Normalcy and Empowering Children in Foster Care Temporary Amendment Act of 2016.

AN ACT

To amend, on a temporary basis, the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977 to include in the definition of case plan an additional requirement for children 14 years of age and older, to define the reasonable and prudent parent standard, to require that foster children receive a credit report on an annual basis beginning at 14 years of age, and to require the use of the reasonable and prudent parent standard by foster parents and group homes; and to amend section 16-2323 of the District of Columbia Official Code to require additional reporting requirements for children who have been placed in another planned permanent living arrangement.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Supporting Normalcy and Empowering Children in Foster Care Temporary Amendment Act of 2016".

Sec. 2. The Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977, effective September 23, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-22; D.C. Official Code § 4-1301.01 et seq.), is amended as follows:

Note § 4-1301.02

(a) Section 102 (D.C. Official Code § 4–1301.02) is amended as follows:

(1) Paragraph (3) is amended as follows:

(A) Subparagraph (B) is amended by striking the phrase "under the plan;" and inserting the phrase "under the plan. With respect to a child who has attained 14 years of age, the plan, and any revision or addition to the plan, shall be developed in consultation with the child and, at the option of the child, with up to 2 members of the case planning team who are chosen by the child and who are not a foster parent of, or caseworker for, the child. The agency may reject an individual selected by a child to be a member of the case planning team at any time if the agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the best interests of the child. One individual selected by a child to be a member of the child's case planning team may be designated to be the child's advisor and, as necessary, advocate, with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the child." in its place. (B) Subparagraph (D) is amended by striking the phrase "16 years of age" and inserting the phrase "14 years of age" in its place.

(2) A new paragraph (16A) is added to read as follows:

"(16A) "Reasonable and prudent parent standard" means the standard characterized by careful and sensible parental decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child, that should be used when determining whether to allow a child to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.".

Note § 4-1303.03

(b) Section 303(a)(16)(A) (D.C. Official Code § 4–1303.03(a)(16)(A)) is amended as follows:

(1) Sub-subparagraph (ii) is amended by striking the phrase "District of Columbia; or" and inserting the phrase "District of Columbia;" in its place.

(2) Sub-subparagraph (iii) is amended by striking the phrase "terminated." And inserting the phrase "terminated; or" in its place.

(3) A new sub-subparagraph (iv) is added to read as follows:

"(iv) The ward reaches 14 years of age and on an annual basis thereafter.".

Note § 4-1303.03e

(c) A new section 303f is added to read as follows

"Sec. 303f. Reasonable and prudent parent standard.

"(a) Foster parents and group homes for children who have been abused or neglected shall use the reasonable and prudent parent standard when determining whether to allow a ward to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

"(b) The Agency, foster parents, and group homes shall not be held liable for any civil damages resulting from the application of, or the failure to apply, the reasonable and prudent parent standard, except in cases constituting gross negligence.".

Note § 16-2323

Sec. 3. Section 16-2323(d)(4) of the District of Columbia Official Code is amended as follows:

(a) Subparagraph (B) is amended by striking the word "and".

(b) A new subparagraph (D) is added to read as follows:

"(D) For a child placed in another planned permanent living arrangement, the steps taken by the agency to ensure that the reasonable and prudent parent standard, as defined in section 102(16A) of the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect Act of 1977, effective September 23, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-22; D.C. Official Code § 4-1301.02(16A)), has been followed and that the child has opportunities to engage in age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate activities; and".

Sec. 4. Fiscal impact statement.

The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement of the Chief Financial Officer as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).

Sec. 5. Effective date.

(a) This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.

(b) This act shall expire after 225 days of its having taken effect.