The department shall establish standards of care and adopt regulations desirable for the welfare of every child under its care.
The department may accept grants-in-aid from the federal government or private foundations and may accept other gifts consistent with the purposes of this chapter.
Repealed or Renumbered
If the department has placed a child in a foster home, the department shall, no less often than once quarterly, make available training that will assist the foster parent or parents in providing care that will meet the needs of the child placed in the home and the requirements established by the department in regulation.
The department shall pay the proper and necessary costs of the court and witnesses and other expenses necessarily incurred in the enforcement of AS 47.14.100 - 47.14.130.
Article 03. CITIZENS' FOSTER CARE REVIEW BOARD
(a) A city may maintain and operate a juvenile detention facility, and a city or a nonprofit corporation may maintain and operate a juvenile detention home or a juvenile work camp.
(b) The city or nonprofit corporation may receive grants-in-aid from the state for costs of operation of the homes, work camps, or facilities maintained and operated under (a) of this section.
(a) A representative of the department shall visit, as often as is considered necessary, every foster home or institution in which a child is placed, and, if not satisfied as to the care given, may remove the child from the foster home or institution and place the child elsewhere.
(b) The person or institution receiving a child shall submit the reports the department requires as to the education, health, and welfare of the child and the conditions under which the child is living.
For the purpose of collecting statistics, the department shall establish and require state and local agencies that operate a jail or other detention facility to use a standardized form to keep a record and report the admission of a minor. The record shall be limited to the name of the minor admitted, the minor's date of birth, the specific offense for which the minor was admitted, the date and time admitted, the date and time released, the sex of the minor, the ethnic origin of the minor, and other information required by federal law. Except for the notation of the date and time of the minor's release, the record shall be prepared at the time of the minor's admission. Unless otherwise provided by law, information and records obtained under this section are confidential and are not public records. They may be disclosed only for the purpose of compiling statistics and in a manner that does not reveal the identity of the minor.
(a) The department shall adopt standards and regulations for the operation of
(1) juvenile detention homes and juvenile detention facilities in the state; and
(2) juvenile work camps in the state; the regulations adopted under this paragraph must provide a means by which to ensure that a minor who is placed in a work camp
(A) is in good physical and mental condition and able to perform the work and engage in the activities that may be required of the minor;
(B) does not present a danger to the physical safety of other minors who are placed in the work camp.
(b) The department may enter into contracts with cities and other governmental agencies for the detention of juveniles before and after commitment by juvenile authorities. A contract may not be made for longer than one year.
Article 02. CARE OF CHILDREN
The department shall
(1) accept all minors committed to the custody of the department and all minors who are involved in a written agreement under AS 47.14.100(c), and provide for the welfare, control, care, custody, and placement of these minors in accordance with this chapter;
(2) require and collect statistics on juvenile offenses and offenders in the state;
(3) conduct studies and prepare findings and recommendations on the need, number, type, construction, maintenance, and operating costs of juvenile homes, work camps, facilities, and the other institutions, and adopt and submit a plan for construction of the homes, work camps, facilities, and institutions when needed, together with a plan for financing the construction programs;
(4) examine, where possible, all facilities, institutions, work camps, and places of juvenile detention in the state and inquire into their methods and the management of juveniles in them.
In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires,
(1) 'care' or 'caring' under AS 47.14.100 (c) means to provide for the physical, emotional, mental, and social needs of the child;
(2) 'child in need of aid' means a child found to be within the jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.010 and 47.10.011;
(3) 'court' means the superior court of the state;
(4) 'criminal justice information' has the meaning given in AS 12.62.900;
(5) 'delinquent minor' means a minor found to be within the jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.12.020 ;
(6) 'department' means the Department of Health and Social Services;
(7) 'juvenile detention facility' means separate quarters within a city jail used for the detention of delinquent minors;
(8) 'juvenile detention home' or 'detention home' is a separate establishment, exclusively devoted to the detention of minors on a short-term basis and not a part of an adult jail;
(9) 'juvenile work camp' means a separate residential establishment, exclusively devoted to the detention of minors, in which the minors who are 16 years of age or older and committed to the custody of the department and placed in the facility may be required to labor on the buildings and grounds or perform any other work or engage in any activities that do not conflict with regulations adopted by the department under this chapter for the care, rehabilitation, education, and discipline of minors in detention;
(10) 'minor' means a person under 18 years of age;
(11) 'serious offense' has the meaning given in AS 12.62.900 .
(12) 'treatment facility' or 'treatment institution' means a hospital, clinic, institution, center, or other health care facility that has been designated by the department for the treatment of juveniles.
The department may
(1) purchase, lease, or construct buildings or other facilities for the care, detention, rehabilitation, and education of children in need of aid or delinquent minors;
(2) adopt plans for construction of juvenile homes, juvenile work camps, juvenile detention facilities, and other juvenile institutions;
(3) adopt standards and regulations for the design, construction, repair, maintenance, and operation of all juvenile detention homes, work camps, facilities, and institutions;
(4) inspect periodically each juvenile detention home, work camp, facility, or other institution to ensure that the standards and regulations adopted are being maintained;
(5) reimburse cities maintaining and operating juvenile detention homes, work camps, and facilities;
(6) enter into contracts and arrangements with cities and state and federal agencies to carry out the purposes of AS 47.10, AS 47.12, and this chapter;
(7) do all acts necessary to carry out the purposes of AS 47.10, AS 47.12, and this chapter;
(8) adopt the regulations necessary to carry out AS 47.10, AS 47.12, and this chapter;
(9) accept donations, gifts, or bequests of money or other property for use in construction of juvenile homes, work camps, institutions, or detention facilities;
(10) operate juvenile homes when municipalities are unable to do so;
(11) receive, care for, and place in a juvenile detention home, the minor's own home, a foster home, or a correctional school, work camp, or treatment institution all minors committed to its custody under AS 47.10, AS 47.12, and this chapter.
(a) The department shall create multidisciplinary child protection teams to assist in the evaluation and investigation of reports made under AS 47.17 and to provide consultation and coordination for agencies involved in child protection cases under AS 47.10.
(b) A team created under (a) of this section may invite other persons to serve on the team who have knowledge of and experience in child abuse and neglect matters. These persons may include
(1) mental and physical health practitioners licensed under AS 08;
(2) child development specialists;
(4) peace officers as defined in AS 11.81.900 ;
(5) victim counselors as defined in AS 18.66.250 ;
(6) experts in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse;
(7) representatives of the district attorney's office and the attorney general's office;
(8) persons familiar with 25 U.S.C. 1901 - 1963 (Indian Child Welfare Act);
(9) guardians ad litem; and
(10) staff members of a child advocacy center if a center is located in the relevant area.
(c) A team created under (a) and (b) of this section shall review records on a case referred to the team by the department. The department shall make available to the team its records on the case and other records compiled for planning on the case by other agencies at the request of the department. The team may make recommendations to the department on appropriate planning for the case.
(d) Except for a public report issued by a team that does not contain confidential information, records or other information collected by the team or a member of the team related to duties under this section are confidential and not subject to public disclosure under AS 40.25.100 and 40.25.110.
(e) Meetings of a team are closed to the public and are not subject to the provisions of AS 44.62.310 and 44.62.312.
(f) The determinations, conclusions, and recommendations of a team or its members are not admissible in a civil or criminal proceeding. A member may not be compelled to disclose a determination, conclusion, recommendation, discussion, or thought process through discovery or testimony in a civil or criminal proceeding. Records and information collected by the team are not subject to discovery or subpoena in connection with a civil or criminal proceeding.
(g) Notwithstanding (f) of this section, an employee of the department may testify in a civil or criminal proceeding concerning cases reviewed by a team even though the department's records were reviewed by a team and formed the basis of that employee's testimony and the team's report.
(h) A person who serves on a multidisciplinary child protection team is not liable for damage or other relief in an action brought by the reason of the performance of a duty, a function, or an activity of the team.
(i) In this section, 'team' means a multidisciplinary child protection team created under (a) and (b) of this section.
Article 05. GENERAL PROVISIONS
(a) Subject to (e), (f), and (i) - (l) of this section, the department shall arrange for the care of every child committed to its custody by placing the child in a foster home or in the care of an agency or institution providing care for children inside or outside the state. The department may place a child in a suitable family home, with or without compensation, and may place a child released to it, in writing verified by the parent, or guardian or other person having legal custody, for adoptive purposes, in a home for adoption in accordance with existing law.
(b) The department may pay the costs of maintenance that are necessary to assure adequate care of the child, and may accept funds from the federal government that are granted to assist in carrying out the purposes of this chapter, or that are paid under contract entered into with a federal department or agency. A child under the care of the department may not be placed in a family home or institution that does not maintain adequate standards of care.
(c) The department may receive, care for, and make appropriate placement of minors accepted for care for a period of up to six months on the basis of an individual voluntary written agreement between the minor's parent, legal guardian, or other person having legal custody and the department. The agreement must include provisions for payment of fees under AS 44.29.022 to the department for the minor's care and treatment. The agreement entered into may not prohibit a minor's parent, legal guardian, or other person who had legal custody from regaining care of the minor at any time.
(d) In addition to money paid for the maintenance of foster children under (b) of this section, the department
(1) shall pay the costs of caring for physically or mentally handicapped foster children, including the additional costs of medical care, habilitative and rehabilitative treatment, services and equipment, special clothing, and the indirect costs of medical care, including child care and transportation expenses;
(2) may pay for respite care; in this paragraph, 'respite care' means child care for the purpose of providing temporary relief from the stresses of caring for a foster child; and
(3) may pay a subsidized guardianship payment under AS 25.23.210 when a foster child's foster parents or other persons approved by the department become court-appointed legal guardians of the child.
(e) A child may not be placed in a foster home or in the care of an agency or institution providing care for children if a relative by blood or marriage requests placement of the child in the relative's home. However, the department may retain custody of the child and provide for its placement in the same manner as for other children if the department
(1) makes a determination, supported by clear and convincing evidence, that placement of the child with the relative will result in physical or mental injury; in making that determination, poverty, including inadequate or crowded housing, on the part of the blood relative, is not considered prima facie evidence that physical or emotional damage to the child will occur; this determination may be appealed to the superior court to hear the matter de novo;
(2) determines that a member of the relative's household who is 12 years of age or older was the perpetrator in a substantiated report of abuse under AS 47.17; or
(3) determines that a member of the relative's household who is 12 years of age or older is under arrest for, charged with, has been convicted of, or has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of, a serious offense; notwithstanding this paragraph, the department may place or continue the placement of a child at the relative's home if the relative demonstrates to the satisfaction of the department that conduct described in this paragraph occurred at least five years before the intended placement and the conduct
(A) did not involve a victim who was under 18 years of age at the time of the conduct;
(B) was not a crime of domestic violence as defined in AS 18.66.990 ; and
(C) was not a violent crime under AS 11.41.100 - 11.41.455 or a law or ordinance of another jurisdiction having similar elements.
(f) If a blood relative of the child specified under (e) of this section exists and agrees that the child should be placed elsewhere, before placement elsewhere, the department shall fully communicate the nature of the placement proceedings to the relative. Communication under this subsection shall be made in the relative's native language, if necessary. Nothing in this subsection or in (e) of this section applies to child placement for adoptive purposes.
(g) The department may enter into agreements with Alaska Native villages or Native organizations under 25 U.S.C. 1919 (Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978) respecting the care and custody of Native children and jurisdiction of Native child custody proceedings.
(h) The department may not pay for respite care, as defined in (d) of this section, unless the department or the entity that has contracted with the department to provide the respite care requests criminal history record information as permitted by P.L. 105-277 and AS 12.62 for the individual who provides the respite care within 10 business days after the individual is hired to provide respite care and reviews the information within five business days after receiving it.
(i) A child may not be placed with an out-of-home care provider if the department determines that the child can remain safely at home with one parent or guardian. In this subsection, 'out-of-home care provider' means an agency or person, other than the child's legal parents, with whom a child who is in the custody of the state under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or AS 47.14.100 (c) is currently placed; 'agency or person' includes a foster parent, a relative other than a parent, a person who has petitioned for adoption of the child, and a residential child care facility.
(j) For the purpose of determining whether the home of a relative meets the requirements for placement of a child, the department shall conduct a criminal background check from state and national criminal justice information available under AS 12.62. The department may conduct a fingerprint background check on any member of the relative's household who is 12 years of age or older when the relative requests placement of the child. For the purposes of obtaining criminal justice information under this subsection, the department is a criminal justice agency conducting a criminal justice activity under AS 12.62.
(k) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the department may not pay for inpatient psychiatric services provided to a person under 21 years of age and who is in the custody of the department if the services are provided in an out-of-state psychiatric hospital facility or an out-of-state residential psychiatric treatment center unless the department determines that the assistance is for
(1) psychiatric hospital services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and appropriately address the person's needs and that these services are unavailable in the state; or
(2) residential psychiatric treatment center services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and appropriately address the person's needs and that these services are unavailable in the state.
(l) The department shall, on a monthly basis, evaluate what types of services are available in the state for inpatient psychiatric care for persons under 21 years of age. If inpatient psychiatric services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and that appropriately address the person's needs become available at a location in the state for a person under 21 years of age who is receiving the services under this section at a location outside the state, the department shall, as a condition of continued payment by the state for the services, require the person to be transferred to the in-state facility unless the department determines that the transfer would be detrimental to the person's health, established therapeutic relationship, or clinical need.