Bill Text: TX HB3370 | 2019-2020 | 86th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to the investigation of a complaint made by a foster child or youth and the results of the investigation.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-30 - Left pending in committee [HB3370 Detail]

Download: Texas-2019-HB3370-Introduced.html
  86R13161 MCK-D
 
  By: Deshotel H.B. No. 3370
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the investigation of a complaint made by a foster child
  or youth and the results of the investigation.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter D, Chapter 261, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 261.317 to read as follows:
         Sec. 261.317.  NOTICE OF RESULTS OF INQUIRY BY FOSTER CARE
  OMBUDSMAN. (a) The department shall notify a child in the
  conservatorship of the department of the outcome of an inquiry of
  the ombudsman for children and youth in foster care relating to a
  report made by the child if it is in the best interests of the child.
         (b)  The department shall ensure that the child is provided
  access to counseling and any other assistance the child may need
  relating to the circumstances that gave rise to the report.
         SECTION 2.  Section 263.008(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  It is the policy of this state that each child in foster
  care be informed of the child's rights provided by state or federal
  law or policy that relate to:
               (1)  abuse, neglect, exploitation, discrimination, and
  harassment;
               (2)  food, clothing, shelter, and education;
               (3)  medical, dental, vision, and mental health
  services, including the right of the child to consent to treatment;
               (4)  emergency behavioral intervention, including what
  methods are permitted, the conditions under which it may be used,
  and the precautions that must be taken when administering it;
               (5)  placement with the child's siblings and contact
  with members of the child's family;
               (6)  privacy and searches, including the use of storage
  space, mail, and the telephone;
               (7)  participation in school-related extracurricular
  or community activities;
               (8)  interaction with persons outside the foster care
  system, including teachers, church members, mentors, and friends;
               (9)  contact and communication with caseworkers,
  attorneys ad litem, guardians ad litem, and court-appointed special
  advocates;
               (10)  religious services and activities;
               (11)  confidentiality of the child's records;
               (12)  job skills, personal finances, and preparation
  for adulthood;
               (13)  participation in a court hearing that involves
  the child;
               (14)  participation in the development of service and
  treatment plans;
               (15)  if the child has a disability, the advocacy and
  protection of the rights of a person with that disability; [and]
               (16)  information relating to a report made by the
  child to the ombudsman for children and youth in foster care,
  including:
                     (A)  the right to be notified that the report has
  been received and is being investigated;
                     (B)  the steps the ombudsman has taken in the
  investigation; and
                     (C)  if it is in the child's best interest, the
  results of the ombudsman's investigation; and
               (17)  any other matter affecting the child's ability to
  receive care and treatment in the least restrictive environment
  that is most like a family setting, consistent with the best
  interests and needs of the child.
         SECTION 3.  Section 531.993, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subsections (b-1) and (c-1) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  Not later than the fifth day of each month, the
  ombudsman shall compile a report regarding the investigations the
  ombudsman completed during the preceding month. The report must
  include:
               (1)  a summary of each complaint that was investigated;
               (2)  the ombudsman's final determination; and
               (3)  any corrective action recommended by the
  ombudsman.
         (c-1)  The department and the commission's child care
  licensing division shall provide written notice to the ombudsman on
  whether the department or child care licensing division adopted or
  rejected the ombudsman's recommended corrective action. If the
  department or child care licensing division rejects a recommended
  corrective action, the department or division shall include in the
  notice the reason for the rejection.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2019.
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