Bill Text: TX HB4 | 2017-2018 | 85th Legislature | Enrolled


Bill Title: Relating to the relative or other designated caregiver placement program and to monetary assistance provided by the Department of Family and Protective Services to certain relative or designated caregivers; creating a criminal offense; creating a civil penalty.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 57-25)

Status: (Passed) 2017-05-31 - See remarks for effective date [HB4 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-HB4-Enrolled.html
 
 
  H.B. No. 4
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the relative or other designated caregiver placement
  program and to monetary assistance provided by the Department of
  Family and Protective Services to certain relative or designated
  caregivers; creating a criminal offense; creating a civil penalty.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 264.755, Family Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a), (b), and (c) and adding Subsections
  (b-1), (b-2), and (f) to read as follows:
         (a)  The department shall, subject to the availability of
  funds, enter into a caregiver assistance agreement with each
  relative or other designated caregiver to provide monetary
  assistance and additional support services to the caregiver. The
  monetary assistance and support services shall be based on a
  family's need, as determined by Subsection (b) and rules adopted by
  the executive commissioner.
         (b)  The department shall provide monetary [Monetary]
  assistance [provided] under this section to a caregiver who has a
  family income that is less than or equal to 300 percent of the
  federal poverty level. Monetary assistance provided to a caregiver
  under this section may not exceed 50 percent of the department's
  daily basic foster care rate for the child. A caregiver who has a
  family income greater than 300 percent of the federal poverty level
  is not eligible for monetary assistance under this section [must
  include a one-time cash payment to the caregiver on the initial
  placement of a child or a sibling group. The amount of the cash
  payment, as determined by the department, may not exceed $1,000 for
  each child. The payment for placement of a sibling group must be at
  least $1,000 for the group, but may not exceed $1,000 for each child
  in the group. The cash payment must be provided on the initial
  placement of each child with the caregiver and is provided to assist
  the caregiver in purchasing essential child-care items such as
  furniture and clothing].
         (b-1)  The department shall disburse monetary assistance
  provided to a caregiver under Subsection (b) in the same manner as
  the department disburses payments to a foster parent.  The
  department may not provide monetary assistance to an eligible
  caregiver under Subsection (b) after the first anniversary of the
  date the caregiver receives the first monetary assistance payment
  from the department under this section.  The department, at its
  discretion and for good cause, may extend the monetary assistance
  payments for an additional six months.
         (b-2)  The department shall implement a process to verify the
  family income of a relative or other designated caregiver for the
  purpose of determining eligibility to receive monetary assistance
  under Subsection (b).
         (c)  Monetary assistance and additional support services
  provided under this section may include:
               (1)  case management services and training and
  information about the child's needs until the caregiver is
  appointed permanent managing conservator;
               (2)  referrals to appropriate state agencies
  administering public benefits or assistance programs for which the
  child, the caregiver, or the caregiver's family may qualify;
               (3)  family counseling not provided under the Medicaid
  program for the caregiver's family for a period not to exceed two
  years from the date of initial placement;
               (4)  if the caregiver meets the eligibility criteria
  determined by rules adopted by the executive commissioner,
  reimbursement of all child-care expenses incurred while the child
  is under 13 years of age, or under 18 years of age if the child has a
  developmental disability, and while the department is the child's
  managing conservator; and
               (5)  if the caregiver meets the eligibility criteria
  determined by rules adopted by the executive commissioner,
  reimbursement of 50 percent of child-care expenses incurred after
  the caregiver is appointed permanent managing conservator of the
  child while the child is under 13 years of age, or under 18 years of
  age if the child has a developmental disability[; and
               [(6)     reimbursement of other expenses, as determined by
  rules adopted by the executive commissioner, not to exceed $500 per
  year for each child].
         (f)  If a person who has a family income that is less than or
  equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level enters into a
  caregiver assistance agreement with the department, obtains
  permanent managing conservatorship of a child, and meets all other
  eligibility requirements, the person may receive an annual
  reimbursement of other expenses for the child, as determined by
  rules adopted by the executive commissioner, not to exceed $500 per
  year until the earlier of:
               (1)  the third anniversary of the date the person was
  awarded permanent managing conservatorship of the child; or
               (2)  the child's 18th birthday.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter I, Chapter 264, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 264.7551 to read as follows:
         Sec. 264.7551.  FRAUDULENT AGREEMENT; CRIMINAL OFFENSE;
  CIVIL PENALTY.  (a) A person commits an offense if, with intent to
  defraud or deceive the department, the person knowingly makes or
  causes to be made a false statement or misrepresentation of a
  material fact that allows a person to enter into a caregiver
  assistance agreement.
         (b)  An offense under this section is: 
               (1)  a Class C misdemeanor if the person entered into a
  fraudulent caregiver assistance agreement and received no monetary
  assistance under the agreement or received monetary assistance
  under the agreement for less than 7 days;
               (2)  a Class B misdemeanor if the person entered into a
  fraudulent caregiver assistance agreement and received monetary
  assistance under the agreement for 7 days or more but less than 31
  days;
               (3)  a Class A misdemeanor if the person entered into a
  fraudulent caregiver assistance agreement and received monetary
  assistance under the agreement for 31 days or more but less than 91
  days; or
               (4)  a state jail felony if the person entered into a
  fraudulent caregiver assistance agreement and received monetary
  assistance under the agreement for 91 days or more.
         (c)  If conduct that constitutes an offense under this
  section also constitutes an offense under any other law, the actor
  may be prosecuted under this section, the other law, or both.
         (d)  The appropriate county prosecuting attorney shall be
  responsible for the prosecution of an offense under this section.
         (e)  A person who engaged in conduct described by Subsection
  (a) is liable to the state for a civil penalty of $1,000. The
  attorney general shall bring an action to recover a civil penalty as
  authorized by this subsection.
         (f)  The commissioner of the department may adopt rules
  necessary to determine whether fraudulent activity that violates
  Subsection (a) has occurred.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter I, Chapter 264, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 264.762 to read as follows:
         Sec. 264.762.  ANNUAL REPORT. Not later than September 1 of
  each year, the department shall publish a report on the relative and
  other designated caregiver placement program created under this
  subchapter. The report must include data on permanency outcomes for
  children placed with relative or other designated caregivers,
  including:
               (1)  the number of disruptions in a relative or other
  designated caregiver placement;
               (2)  the reasons for any disruption in a relative or
  other designated caregiver placement; and
               (3)  the length of time before a relative or other
  designated caregiver who receives monetary assistance from the
  department under this subchapter obtains permanent managing
  conservatorship of a child. 
         SECTION 4.  Not later than September 1, 2018, the Department
  of Family and Protective Services shall publish the first report
  required under Section 264.762, Family Code, as added by this Act.
         SECTION 5.  (a) Except as provided by Subsection (b) of this
  section, Section 264.755, Family Code, as amended by this Act,
  applies to a caregiver assistance agreement entered into before,
  on, or after the effective date of this Act.
         (b)  If a person who has a family income that is less than or
  equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level entered into a
  caregiver assistance agreement with the Department of Family and
  Protective Services on or after June 1, 2017, but before the
  effective date of this Act, and received monetary assistance under
  the agreement from the department, the department shall consider
  the money paid to the person to be a credit against the disbursement
  of caregiver assistance funds, and may not begin disbursing money
  to the person as authorized by Section 264.755, Family Code, as
  amended by this Act, until the credit has been offset.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect only if a specific
  appropriation for the implementation of the Act is provided in a
  general appropriations act of the 85th Legislature.  If the
  legislature does not appropriate money specifically for the purpose
  of implementing this Act, this Act has no effect.
         SECTION 7.  Except as otherwise provided by this Act, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 4 was passed by the House on March 2,
  2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
  No. 4 on May 25, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 144, Nays 0, 2
  present, not voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 4 was passed by the Senate, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 30, Nays
  0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate   
  APPROVED: __________________
                  Date       
   
           __________________
                Governor       
feedback