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LB 265: Increasing and Improving Kinship Care in Nebraska

As introduced: Broadens the allowable placement of children involved in the child welfare system by permitting DHHS or another child placing agency by redefining the definition of foster homes.

Kinship home are defined as homes where the caretaker has lived with the child(ren) in care or has had a significant relationship with the child(ren).

Relative homes are defined as homes where the primary caretaker is related to the child or to at least one of the children (if a sibling group is to be placed).

DHHS is to develop rules and regulations for foster home licensure.  Kinship and relative homes are exempt from the licensure requirement, though licensure is encouraged.  For the kinship and relative homes that seek to become licensed, DHHS is to provide assistance to obtain the sought licensure.  For relative homes pursuing licensure, non-safety requirements may be waived.  A relative home that meets all other licensing requirements would be considered fully licensed for the purpose of receiving federal funding from the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act.

All foster family homes must be approved by DHHS via a background check and a home visit prior to the child(ren)’s placement in the home.

As Amended:
Residential child-caring agencies were defined as a person who provides care for four or more children, but is not a foster family home as defined by statute

The definition of “kinship” caretaker changed from someone who “has significant contact” with the child(ren) in foster care or to at least one sibling of the child(ren) in foster care to someone who “is a trusting adult that has a preexisting significant relationship” with the child(ren) or a sibling of the child(ren) in foster care.

Introducing Senator(s): Coash, Campbell

Committee: Health and Human Services

Committee Hearing Date: January 31, 2013

Current Status: Approved by Governor on May 28, 2013

Estimated Fiscal Impact: none listed

Voices for Children’s Position: Support (See our testimony)

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