Chapter 023

2007 -- S 0820

Enacted 06/11/07






     Introduced By: Senator June N. Gibbs

     Date Introduced: March 01, 2007


It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:


     SECTION 1. Section 14-1-34 of the General Laws in Chapter 14-1 entitled "Proceedings

in Family Court" is hereby amended to read as follows:


     14-1-34. Placement of dependent and neglected children -- Criminal records of

foster parents made available. -- (a) If, after a hearing on any petition, a child shall be found to

be dependent or neglected within the meaning of this chapter, the court shall by decree assign the

custody of the child to the director of children, youth and families, for any period that shall seem

fit to the court; and the director of children, youth, and families shall become entitled to the

custody of the child to the exclusion of any other person. The court may at any time, for good

cause shown, modify or revoke the decree.

      (b) For any individual eighteen (18) years of age or older, the family court may order

that the case management services be provided by the licensed agency, society, or institution in

which the individual is placed; provided, that the department monitors the individual's case on a

quarterly basis.

      (c) The department for children, youth and families shall apply to the bureau of criminal

identification of the state police or the local police department for a nationwide criminal records

check of prospective foster parents. The check will conform to the applicable federal standards

including the taking of fingerprints to identify the applicant. The department of children, youth,

and families shall request the attorney general, through the division of criminal identification, to

make available any criminal record of present and prospective foster parents. The attorney

general shall immediately comply with that request, and the department of children, youth, and

families, shall examine these records in determining the suitability of these persons to be foster

parents. The criminal record check shall be conducted without charge to the foster parents. At the

conclusion of the background check required in this section, the state police, attorney general or

the local police department shall promptly destroy the fingerprint record of the applicant obtained

pursuant to this chapter.

     (d) No license shall be issued by the department of children, youth and families to any

individual seeking to be licensed as a foster parent until such time as the results of both the

nationwide and statewide criminal record background check, including the nature of any prior

criminal record, are forwarded to the department of children, youth and families. The department

may authorize the placement of a child in a prospective foster home pending licensure for a

period not to exceed six (6) months only after the department has conducted a DCYF background

check pursuant to section 40-13.2-3.1 and a statewide criminal record background check. In the

event the department is unable to complete the licensing process within six (6) months of the

child's placement in the foster home and if the department determines that continued placement of

the child in said foster home is in the child's best interest, the department shall file a petition with

the family court to seek authorization to allow the child(ren) to remain in the foster home pending

completion of the licensing process. The department shall provide notice of all such petitions to

the office of the child advocate, children(s) parent/guardian and CASA attorney.


     SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.