FIRST REGULAR SESSION

[CORRECTED]

[TRULY AGREED TO AND FINALLY PASSED]

SENATE SUBSTITUTE FOR

SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR

HOUSE BILL NO. 604

96TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

1580S.04T                                                            2011


 

AN ACT

To repeal sections 210.112, 210.496, 210.498, 210.565, 211.031, 211.447, and 453.070, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof ten new sections relating to parental rights.




Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:


            Section A. Sections 210.112, 210.496, 210.498, 210.565, 211.031, 211.447, and 453.070, RSMo, are repealed and ten new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 143.1015, 210.112, 210.496, 210.498, 210.565, 210.617, 211.031, 211.447, 453.070, and 453.600, to read as follows:

            143.1015. 1. In each taxable year beginning on or after January 1, 2011, each individual or corporation entitled to a tax refund in an amount sufficient to make a designation under this section may designate that one dollar or any amount in excess of one dollar on a single return, and two dollars or any amount in excess of two dollars on a combined return, of the refund due be credited to the foster care and adoptive parents recruitment and retention fund as established under section 453.600, hereinafter referred to as the fund. If any individual or corporation that is not entitled to a tax refund in an amount sufficient to make a designation under this section wishes to make a contribution to the fund, such individual or corporation may, by separate check, draft, or other negotiable instrument, send in with the payment of taxes, or may send in separately, that amount, clearly designated for the foster care and adoptive parents recruitment and retention fund, the individual or corporation wishes to contribute. The department of revenue shall deposit such amount to the fund as provided in subsections 2 and 3 of this section. All moneys credited to the fund shall be considered nonstate funds under the provisions of article IV, section 15 of the Missouri Constitution.

            2. The director of revenue shall deposit at least monthly all contributions designated by individuals under this section to the state treasurer for deposit to the fund.

            3. The director of revenue shall deposit at least monthly all contributions designated by corporations under this section, less an amount sufficient to cover the costs of collection and handling by the department of revenue, to the state treasury for deposit to the fund.

            4. A contribution designated under this section shall only be deposited in the fund after all other claims against the refund from which such contribution is to be made have been satisfied.

            5. Moneys deposited in the fund shall be distributed by the department of social services in accordance with the provisions of this section and section 453.600.

            6. Under section 23.253 of the Missouri sunset act:

            (1) The provisions of the new program authorized under this section shall automatically sunset six years after August 28, 2011, unless reauthorized by an act of the general assembly; and

            (2) If such program is reauthorized, the program authorized under this section shall automatically sunset twelve years after the effective date of the reauthorization of this section; and

            (3) This section shall terminate on December thirty-first of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the program authorized under this section is sunset.

            210.112. 1. It is the policy of this state and its agencies to implement a foster care and child protection and welfare system focused on providing the highest quality of services and outcomes for children and their families. The department of social services shall implement such system subject to the following principles:

            (1) The safety and welfare of children is paramount;

            (2) Providers of direct services to children and their families will be evaluated in a uniform and consistent basis;

            (3) Services to children and their families shall be provided in a timely manner to maximize the opportunity for successful outcomes; and

            (4) Any provider of direct services to children and families shall have the appropriate and relevant training, education, and expertise to provide the highest quality of services possible which shall be consistent with the federal standards, but not less than the standards and policies used by the children's division as of January 1, 2004.

            2. On or before July 1, 2005, and subject to appropriations, the children's division and any other state agency deemed necessary by the division shall, in consultation with the community and providers of services, enter into and implement contracts with qualified children's services providers and agencies to provide a comprehensive and deliberate system of service delivery for children and their families. Contracts shall be awarded through a competitive process and provided by children's services providers and agencies currently contracting with the state to provide such services and by public and private not-for-profit or limited liability corporations owned exclusively by not-for-profit corporations children's services providers and agencies which have:

            (1) A proven record of providing child welfare services within the state of Missouri which shall be consistent with the federal standards, but not less than the standards and policies used by the children's division as of January 1, 2004; and

            (2) The ability to provide a range of child welfare services, which may include case management services, family- centered services, foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention, residential care, in-home services, foster care services, adoption services, relative care case management, planned permanent living services, and family reunification services.

 

No contracts shall be issued for services related to the child abuse and neglect hotline, investigations of alleged abuse and neglect, and initial family assessments. Any contracts entered into by the division shall be in accordance with all federal laws and regulations, and shall not result in the loss of federal funding. Such children's services providers and agencies under contract with the division shall be subject to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations relating to the provision of such services, and shall be subject to oversight and inspection by appropriate state agencies to assure compliance with standards which shall be consistent with the federal standards, but not less than the standards and policies used by the children's division as of January 1, 2004.

            3. In entering into and implementing contracts under subsection 2 of this section, the division shall consider and direct their efforts towards geographic areas of the state, including Greene County, where eligible direct children's services providers and agencies are currently available and capable of providing a broad range of services, including case management services, family-centered services, foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention, residential care, family preservation services, foster care services, adoption services, relative care case management, other planned living arrangements, and family reunification services consistent with federal guidelines. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the division from contracting on an as-needed basis for any individual child welfare service listed above.

            4. The contracts entered into under this section shall assure that:

            (1) Child welfare services shall be delivered to a child and the child's family by professionals who have substantial and relevant training, education, or competencies otherwise demonstrated in the area of children and family services;

            (2) Children's services providers and agencies shall be evaluated by the division based on objective, consistent, and performance-based criteria;

            (3) Any case management services provided shall be subject to a case management plan established under subsection 5 of this section which is consistent with all relevant federal guidelines. The case management plan shall focus on attaining permanency in children's living conditions to the greatest extent possible and shall include concurrent planning and independent living where appropriate in accordance with the best interests of each child served and considering relevant factors applicable to each individual case as provided by law, including:

            (a) The interaction and interrelationship of a child with the child's foster parents, biological or adoptive parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interests;

            (b) A child's adjustment to his or her foster home, school, and community;

            (c) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved, including any history of abuse of or by any individuals involved;

            (d) The needs of the child for a continuing relationship with the child's biological or adoptive parents and the ability and willingness of the child's biological or adoptive parents to actively perform their functions as parents with regard to the needs of the child; and

            (e) For any child under ten years old, treatment services may be available as defined in section 210.110. Assessments, as defined in section 210.110, may occur to determine which treatment services best meet the child's psychological and social needs. When the assessment indicates that a child's needs can be best resolved by intensive twenty-four-hour treatment services, the division will locate, contract, and place the child with the appropriate organizations. This placement will be viewed as the least restrictive for the child based on the assessment;

            (4) The delivery system shall have sufficient flexibility to take into account children and families on a case-by-case basis;

            (5) The delivery system shall provide a mechanism for the assessment of strategies to work with children and families immediately upon entry into the system to maximize permanency and successful outcome in the shortest time possible and shall include concurrent planning. Outcome measures for private and public agencies shall be equal for each program; and

            (6) Payment to the children's services providers and agencies shall be made based on the reasonable costs of services, including responsibilities necessary to execute the contract. Contracts shall provide incentives in addition to the costs of services provided in recognition of accomplishment of the case goals and the corresponding cost savings to the state. The division shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this subdivision.

            5. Contracts entered into under this section shall require that a case management plan consistent with all relevant federal guidelines shall be developed for each child at the earliest time after the initial investigation, but in no event longer than fourteen days after the initial investigation or referral to the contractor by the division. Such case management plan shall be presented to the court and be the foundation of service delivery to the child and family. The case management plan shall, at a minimum, include:

            (1) An outcome target based on the child and family situation achieving permanency or independent living, where appropriate;

            (2) Services authorized and necessary to facilitate the outcome target;

            (3) Time frames in which services will be delivered; and

            (4) Necessary evaluations and reporting.

 

In addition to any visits and assessments required under case management, services to be provided by a public or private children's services provider under the specific case management plan may include family-centered services, foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention, residential care, in-home services, foster care services, adoption services, relative care case services, planned permanent living services, and family reunification services. In all cases, an appropriate level of services shall be provided to the child and family after permanency is achieved to assure a continued successful outcome.

            6. The division shall convene a task force to review the recruitment, licensing and retention of foster and adoptive parents statewide. In addition to representatives of the division and department, the task force shall include representatives of the private sector and faith-based community which provide recruitment and licensure services. The purpose of the task force shall be to study the extent to which changes in the system of recruiting, licensing, and retaining foster and adoptive parents would enhance the effectiveness of the system statewide. The task force shall develop a report of its findings with recommendations by December 1, 2011, and provide copies of the report to the general assembly and to the governor.

            7. On or before July 15, 2006, and each July fifteenth thereafter that the project is in operation, the division shall submit a report to the general assembly which shall include:

            (1) Details about the specifics of the contracts, including the number of children and families served, the cost to the state for contracting such services, the current status of the children and families served, an assessment of the quality of services provided and outcomes achieved, and an overall evaluation of the project; and

            (2) Any recommendations regarding the continuation or possible statewide implementation of such project; and

            (3) Any information or recommendations directly related to the provision of direct services for children and their families that any of the contracting children's services providers and agencies request to have included in the report.

            [7.] 8. The division shall accept as prima facie evidence of completion of the requirements for licensure under sections 210.481 to 210.511 proof that an agency is accredited by any of the following nationally recognized bodies: the Council on Accreditation of Services, Children and Families, Inc.; the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals; or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. The division shall not require any further evidence of qualification for licensure if such proof of voluntary accreditation is submitted.

            [8.] 9. By February 1, 2005, the children's division shall promulgate and have in effect rules to implement the provisions of this section and, pursuant to this section, shall define implementation plans and dates. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date, or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2004, shall be invalid and void.

            210.496. The division may refuse to issue either a license or a provisional license to an applicant, or may suspend or revoke the license or provisional license of a licensee, who:

            (1) Fails consistently to comply with the applicable provisions of sections 208.400 to 208.535 and the applicable rules promulgated thereunder;

            (2) Violates any of the provisions of its license;

            (3) Violates state laws or rules relating to the protection of children;

            (4) Furnishes or makes any misleading or false statements or reports to the division;

            (5) Refuses to submit to the division any reports or refuses to make available to the division any records required by the division in making an investigation;

            (6) Fails or refuses to admit authorized representatives of the division at any reasonable time for the purpose of investigation;

            (7) Fails or refuses to submit to an investigation by the division;

            (8) Fails to provide, maintain, equip, and keep in safe and sanitary condition the premises established or used for the care of children being served, as required by law, rule, or ordinance applicable to the location of the foster home or residential care facility; or

            (9) Fails to provide financial resources adequate for the satisfactory care of and services to children being served and the upkeep of the premises.

 

Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit discrimination on the basis of disability or disease of an applicant. The disability or disease of an applicant shall not constitute a basis for a determination that the applicant is unfit or not suitable to be a foster parent without a specific showing that there is a causal relationship between the disability or disease and a substantial and significant risk of harm to a child or an inability to perform the duties of a foster parent.

            210.498. Any parent or legal guardian may have access to investigation records kept by the division regarding a decision for the denial of or the suspension or revocation of a license to a specific person to operate or maintain a foster home if such specific person does or may provide services or care to a child of the person requesting the information. The request for the release of such information shall be made to the division director or the director's designee, in writing, by the parent or legal guardian of the child and shall be accompanied with a signed and notarized release form from the person who does or may provide care or services to the child. The notarized release form shall include the full name, date of birth and Social Security number of the person who does or may provide care or services to a child. The response shall include only information pertaining to the nature and disposition of any denial, suspension or revocation of a license to operate a foster home. This response shall not include any identifying information regarding any person other than the person to whom a foster home license was denied, suspended or revoked. The response shall be given within ten working days of the time it was received by the division.

            210.565. 1. Whenever a child is placed in a foster home and the court has determined pursuant to subsection 3 of this section that foster home placement with relatives is not contrary to the best interest of the child, the children's division shall give foster home placement to relatives of the child. Notwithstanding any rule of the division to the contrary, the children's division shall make diligent efforts to locate the grandparents of the child and determine whether they wish to be considered for placement of the child. Grandparents who request consideration shall be given preference and first consideration for foster home placement of the child. If more than one grandparent requests consideration, the family support team shall make recommendations to the juvenile or family court about which grandparent should be considered for placement.

            2. As used in this section, the term "relative" means a grandparent or any other person related to another by blood or affinity within the third degree. The status of a grandparent shall not be affected by the death or the dissolution of the marriage of a son or daughter.

            3. The following shall be the order or preference for placement of a child under this section:

            (1) Grandparents and relatives;

            (2) A trusted adult that has a preexisting relationship with the child, such as a godparent, teacher, neighbor, or fellow parishioner who voluntarily agrees to care for the child; and

            (3) Any foster parent who is currently licensed and capable of accepting placement of the child.

            4. The preference for placement and first consideration for grandparents or preference for placement with other relatives created by this section shall only apply where the court finds that placement with such grandparents or other relatives is not contrary to the best interest of the child considering all circumstances. If the court finds that it is contrary to the best interest of a child to be placed with grandparents or other relatives, the court shall make specific findings on the record detailing the reasons why the best interests of the child necessitate placement of the child with persons other than grandparents or other relatives.

            5. Recognizing the critical nature of sibling bonds for children, the children's division shall make reasonable efforts to place siblings in the same foster care, kinship, guardianship, or adoptive placement, unless doing so would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings. If siblings are not placed together, the children's division shall make reasonable efforts to provide frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings, unless this interaction would be contrary to a sibling's safety or well-being.

            [4.] 6. The age of the child's grandparent or other relative shall not be the only factor that the children's division takes into consideration when it makes placement decisions and recommendations to the court about placing the child with such grandparent or other relative.

            [5.] 7. For any Native American child placed in protective custody, the children's division shall comply with the placement requirements set forth in 25 U.S.C. Section 1915.

            [6.] 8. A grandparent or other relative may, on a case-by-case basis, have standards for licensure not related to safety waived for specific children in care that would otherwise impede licensing of the grandparent's or relative's home. In addition, any person receiving a preference may be licensed in an expedited manner if a child is placed under such person's care.

            [7.] 9. The guardian ad litem shall ascertain the child's wishes and feelings about his or her placement by conducting an interview or interviews with the child, if appropriate based on the child's age and maturity level, which shall be considered as a factor in placement decisions and recommendations, but shall not supersede the preference for relative placement created by this section or be contrary to the child's best interests.

            210.617. 1. There is hereby created within the department of social services the "Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board", which shall provide consultation and assistance to the department and shall draft and provide an independent review of the children's division policies and procedures related to the provision of foster care and adoption in Missouri. Additionally, the board shall determine the nature and content of in-service training which shall be provided to foster and adoptive parents in order to improve the provision of foster care and adoption services to children statewide consistent with section 210.566. The board shall be comprised of foster and adoptive parents as follows:

            (1) Two members from each of the seven children's division areas within the department of social services delineated as follows:

            (a) The northwest region;

            (b) The northeast region;

            (c) The southeast region;

            (d) The southwest region;

            (e) The Kansas City region;

            (f) The St. Louis area region;

            (g) The St. Louis City region;

            (2) Area members shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, based upon recommendations by regional foster care and adoption boards, or other similar entities.

            2. Statewide foster care and adoption association representatives shall be voting members of the board as approved by the board.

            3. All members of the board shall serve for a term of at least two years. Members may be re-appointed to the board by their entities for consecutive terms. All vacancies on the board shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term in the same manner in which the board membership which is vacant was originally filled.

            4. Each member of the board may be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses incurred by the member in performance of his or her official duties. All reimbursements made under this subsection shall be made from funds within the department of social services' children's division budget.

            5. All business transactions of the board shall be conducted in public meetings in accordance with sections 610.010 to 610.030.

            6. The board shall elect officers from the membership consisting of a chairperson, co-chairperson, and secretary. Officers shall serve for a term of two years. The board may elect such other officers and establish such committees as it deems appropriate.

            7. The board shall establish such procedures necessary to:

            (1) Review children's division proposed policy and provide written opinions and recommendations for change to the children's division within thirty days of receipt of the proposed policy;

            (2) Provide draft policy suggestions, at the request of the children's division or in response to issues by the board, to the children's division for improvements in foster care or adoption practice; and

            (3) Fulfill its statutory requirement in accordance with section 210.566 to determine the content of in-service training to be provided by the children's division to foster and adoptive parents.

            8. The board shall provide to the director of the department of social services, the governor, the office of the child advocate, and upon request, members of the general assembly, a written report of annual activities conducted and made.

            9. The board shall exercise its powers and duties independently of the children's division within the department of social services in order to ensure partnership and accountability in the provision of services to the state's children affected by abuse and neglect. Budgetary, procurement, and accounting functions shall continue to be performed by the children's division.

            211.031. 1. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the juvenile court or the family court in circuits that have a family court as provided in sections 487.010 to 487.190 shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings:

            (1) Involving any child or person seventeen years of age who may be a resident of or found within the county and who is alleged to be in need of care and treatment because:

            (a) The parents, or other persons legally responsible for the care and support of the child or person seventeen years of age, neglect or refuse to provide proper support, education which is required by law, medical, surgical or other care necessary for his or her well-being; except that reliance by a parent, guardian or custodian upon remedial treatment other than medical or surgical treatment for a child or person seventeen years of age shall not be construed as neglect when the treatment is recognized or permitted pursuant to the laws of this state;

            (b) The child or person seventeen years of age is otherwise without proper care, custody or support; or

            (c) The child or person seventeen years of age was living in a room, building or other structure at the time such dwelling was found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be a public nuisance pursuant to section 195.130;

            (d) The child or person seventeen years of age is a child in need of mental health services and the parent, guardian or custodian is unable to afford or access appropriate mental health treatment or care for the child;

            (2) Involving any child who may be a resident of or found within the county and who is alleged to be in need of care and treatment because:

            (a) The child while subject to compulsory school attendance is repeatedly and without justification absent from school; or

            (b) The child disobeys the reasonable and lawful directions of his or her parents or other custodian and is beyond their control; or

            (c) The child is habitually absent from his or her home without sufficient cause, permission, or justification; or

            (d) The behavior or associations of the child are otherwise injurious to his or her welfare or to the welfare of others; or

            (e) The child is charged with an offense not classified as criminal, or with an offense applicable only to children; except that, the juvenile court shall not have jurisdiction over any child fifteen and one-half years of age who is alleged to have violated a state or municipal traffic ordinance or regulation, the violation of which does not constitute a felony, or any child who is alleged to have violated a state or municipal ordinance or regulation prohibiting possession or use of any tobacco product;

            (3) Involving any child who is alleged to have violated a state law or municipal ordinance, or any person who is alleged to have violated a state law or municipal ordinance prior to attaining the age of seventeen years, in which cases jurisdiction may be taken by the court of the circuit in which the child or person resides or may be found or in which the violation is alleged to have occurred; except that, the juvenile court shall not have jurisdiction over any child fifteen and one-half years of age who is alleged to have violated a state or municipal traffic ordinance or regulation, the violation of which does not constitute a felony, and except that the juvenile court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the municipal court over any child who is alleged to have violated a municipal curfew ordinance, and except that the juvenile court shall have concurrent jurisdiction with the circuit court on any child who is alleged to have violated a state or municipal ordinance or regulation prohibiting possession or use of any tobacco product;

            (4) For the adoption of a person;

            (5) For the commitment of a child or person seventeen years of age to the guardianship of the department of social services as provided by law.

            2. Transfer of a matter, proceeding, jurisdiction or supervision for a child or person seventeen years of age who resides in a county of this state shall be made as follows:

            (1) Prior to the filing of a petition and upon request of any party or at the discretion of the juvenile officer, the matter in the interest of a child or person seventeen years of age may be transferred by the juvenile officer, with the prior consent of the juvenile officer of the receiving court, to the county of the child's residence or the residence of the person seventeen years of age for future action;

            (2) Upon the motion of any party or on its own motion prior to final disposition on the pending matter, the court in which a proceeding is commenced may transfer the proceeding of a child or person seventeen years of age to the court located in the county of the child's residence or the residence of the person seventeen years of age, or the county in which the offense pursuant to subdivision (3) of subsection 1 of this section is alleged to have occurred for further action;

            (3) Upon motion of any party or on its own motion, the court in which jurisdiction has been taken pursuant to subsection 1 of this section may at any time thereafter transfer jurisdiction of a child or person seventeen years of age to the court located in the county of the child's residence or the residence of the person seventeen years of age for further action with the prior consent of the receiving court;

            (4) Upon motion of any party or upon its own motion at any time following a judgment of disposition or treatment pursuant to section 211.181, the court having jurisdiction of the cause may place the child or person seventeen years of age under the supervision of another juvenile court within or without the state pursuant to section 210.570 with the consent of the receiving court;

            (5) Upon motion of any child or person seventeen years of age or his or her parent, the court having jurisdiction shall grant one change of judge pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rules;

            (6) Upon the transfer of any matter, proceeding, jurisdiction or supervision of a child or person seventeen years of age, certified copies of all legal and social documents and records pertaining to the case on file with the clerk of the transferring juvenile court shall accompany the transfer.

            3. In any proceeding involving any child or person seventeen years of age taken into custody in a county other than the county of the child's residence or the residence of a person seventeen years of age, the juvenile court of the county of the child's residence or the residence of a person seventeen years of age shall be notified of such taking into custody within seventy-two hours.

            4. When an investigation by a juvenile officer pursuant to this section reveals that the only basis for action involves an alleged violation of section 167.031 involving a child who alleges to be home schooled, the juvenile officer shall contact a parent or parents of such child to verify that the child is being home schooled and not in violation of section 167.031 before making a report of such a violation. Any report of a violation of section 167.031 made by a juvenile officer regarding a child who is being home schooled shall be made to the prosecuting attorney of the county where the child legally resides.

            5. The disability or disease of a parent shall not constitute a basis for a determination that a child is a child in need of care or for the removal of custody of a child from the parent without a specific showing that there is a causal relation between the disability or disease and harm to the child.

            211.447. 1. Any information that could justify the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights may be referred to the juvenile officer by any person. The juvenile officer shall make a preliminary inquiry and if it does not appear to the juvenile officer that a petition should be filed, such officer shall so notify the informant in writing within thirty days of the referral. Such notification shall include the reasons that the petition will not be filed. Thereupon, the informant may bring the matter directly to the attention of the judge of the juvenile court by presenting the information in writing, and if it appears to the judge that the information could justify the filing of a petition, the judge may order the juvenile officer to take further action, including making a further preliminary inquiry or filing a petition.

            2. Except as provided for in subsection 4 of this section, a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child's parent or parents shall be filed by the juvenile officer or the division, or if such a petition has been filed by another party, the juvenile officer or the division shall seek to be joined as a party to the petition, when:

            (1) Information available to the juvenile officer or the division establishes that the child has been in foster care for at least fifteen of the most recent twenty-two months; or

            (2) A court of competent jurisdiction has determined the child to be an abandoned infant. For purposes of this subdivision, an "infant" means any child one year of age or under at the time of filing of the petition. The court may find that an infant has been abandoned if:

            (a) The parent has left the child under circumstances that the identity of the child was unknown and could not be ascertained, despite diligent searching, and the parent has not come forward to claim the child; or

            (b) The parent has, without good cause, left the child without any provision for parental support and without making arrangements to visit or communicate with the child, although able to do so; or

            (3) A court of competent jurisdiction has determined that the parent has:

            (a) Committed murder of another child of the parent; or

            (b) Committed voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent; or

            (c) Aided or abetted, attempted, conspired or solicited to commit such a murder or voluntary manslaughter; or

            (d) Committed a felony assault that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent.

            3. A termination of parental rights petition shall be filed by the juvenile officer or the division, or if such a petition has been filed by another party, the juvenile officer or the division shall seek to be joined as a party to the petition, within sixty days of the judicial determinations required in subsection 2 of this section, except as provided in subsection 4 of this section. Failure to comply with this requirement shall not deprive the court of jurisdiction to adjudicate a petition for termination of parental rights which is filed outside of sixty days.

            4. If grounds exist for termination of parental rights pursuant to subsection 2 of this section, the juvenile officer or the division may, but is not required to, file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child's parent or parents if:

            (1) The child is being cared for by a relative; or

            (2) There exists a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition would not be in the best interest of the child, as documented in the permanency plan which shall be made available for court review; or

            (3) The family of the child has not been provided such services as provided for in section 211.183.

            5. The juvenile officer or the division may file a petition to terminate the parental rights of the child's parent when it appears that one or more of the following grounds for termination exist:

            (1) The child has been abandoned. For purposes of this subdivision a "child" means any child over one year of age at the time of filing of the petition. The court shall find that the child has been abandoned if, for a period of six months or longer:

            (a) The parent has left the child under such circumstances that the identity of the child was unknown and could not be ascertained, despite diligent searching, and the parent has not come forward to claim the child; or

            (b) The parent has, without good cause, left the child without any provision for parental support and without making arrangements to visit or communicate with the child, although able to do so;

            (2) The child has been abused or neglected. In determining whether to terminate parental rights pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall consider and make findings on the following conditions or acts of the parent:

            (a) A mental condition which is shown by competent evidence either to be permanent or such that there is no reasonable likelihood that the condition can be reversed and which renders the parent unable to knowingly provide the child the necessary care, custody and control;

            (b) Chemical dependency which prevents the parent from consistently providing the necessary care, custody and control of the child and which cannot be treated so as to enable the parent to consistently provide such care, custody and control;

            (c) A severe act or recurrent acts of physical, emotional or sexual abuse toward the child or any child in the family by the parent, including an act of incest, or by another under circumstances that indicate that the parent knew or should have known that such acts were being committed toward the child or any child in the family; or

            (d) Repeated or continuous failure by the parent, although physically or financially able, to provide the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, or education as defined by law, or other care and control necessary for the child's physical, mental, or emotional health and development.

 

Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit discrimination on the basis of disability or disease;

            (3) The child has been under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court for a period of one year, and the court finds that the conditions which led to the assumption of jurisdiction still persist, or conditions of a potentially harmful nature continue to exist, that there is little likelihood that those conditions will be remedied at an early date so that the child can be returned to the parent in the near future, or the continuation of the parent-child relationship greatly diminishes the child's prospects for early integration into a stable and permanent home. In determining whether to terminate parental rights under this subdivision, the court shall consider and make findings on the following:

            (a) The terms of a social service plan entered into by the parent and the division and the extent to which the parties have made progress in complying with those terms;

            (b) The success or failure of the efforts of the juvenile officer, the division or other agency to aid the parent on a continuing basis in adjusting his circumstances or conduct to provide a proper home for the child;

            (c) A mental condition which is shown by competent evidence either to be permanent or such that there is no reasonable likelihood that the condition can be reversed and which renders the parent unable to knowingly provide the child the necessary care, custody and control;

            (d) Chemical dependency which prevents the parent from consistently providing the necessary care, custody and control over the child and which cannot be treated so as to enable the parent to consistently provide such care, custody and control; or

            (4) The parent has been found guilty or pled guilty to a felony violation of chapter 566 when the child or any child in the family was a victim, or a violation of section 568.020 when the child or any child in the family was a victim. As used in this subdivision, a "child" means any person who was under eighteen years of age at the time of the crime and who resided with such parent or was related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to such parent; or

            (5) The child was conceived and born as a result of an act of forcible rape. When the biological father has pled guilty to, or is convicted of, the forcible rape of the birth mother, such a plea or conviction shall be conclusive evidence supporting the termination of the biological father's parental rights; or

            (6) The parent is unfit to be a party to the parent and child relationship because of a consistent pattern of committing a specific abuse, including but not limited to, abuses as defined in section 455.010, child abuse or drug abuse before the child or of specific conditions directly relating to the parent and child relationship either of which are determined by the court to be of a duration or nature that renders the parent unable, for the reasonably foreseeable future, to care appropriately for the ongoing physical, mental or emotional needs of the child. It is presumed that a parent is unfit to be a party to the parent-child relationship upon a showing that within a three-year period immediately prior to the termination adjudication, the parent's parental rights to one or more other children were involuntarily terminated pursuant to subsection 2 or 4 of this section or subdivisions (1), (2), (3) or (4) of subsection 5 of this section or similar laws of other states.

            6. The juvenile court may terminate the rights of a parent to a child upon a petition filed by the juvenile officer or the division, or in adoption cases, by a prospective parent, if the court finds that the termination is in the best interest of the child and when it appears by clear, cogent and convincing evidence that grounds exist for termination pursuant to subsection 2, 4 or 5 of this section.

            7. When considering whether to terminate the parent-child relationship pursuant to subsection 2 or 4 of this section or subdivision (1), (2), (3) or (4) of subsection 5 of this section, the court shall evaluate and make findings on the following factors, when appropriate and applicable to the case:

            (1) The emotional ties to the birth parent;

            (2) The extent to which the parent has maintained regular visitation or other contact with the child;

            (3) The extent of payment by the parent for the cost of care and maintenance of the child when financially able to do so including the time that the child is in the custody of the division or other child-placing agency;

            (4) Whether additional services would be likely to bring about lasting parental adjustment enabling a return of the child to the parent within an ascertainable period of time;

            (5) The parent's disinterest in or lack of commitment to the child;

            (6) The conviction of the parent of a felony offense that the court finds is of such a nature that the child will be deprived of a stable home for a period of years; provided, however, that incarceration in and of itself shall not be grounds for termination of parental rights;

            (7) Deliberate acts of the parent or acts of another of which the parent knew or should have known that subjects the child to a substantial risk of physical or mental harm.

            8. The court may attach little or no weight to infrequent visitations, communications, or contributions. It is irrelevant in a termination proceeding that the maintenance of the parent-child relationship may serve as an inducement for the parent's rehabilitation.

            9. In actions for adoption pursuant to chapter 453, the court may hear and determine the issues raised in a petition for adoption containing a prayer for termination of parental rights filed with the same effect as a petition permitted pursuant to subsection 2, 4, or 5 of this section.

            10. The disability or disease of a parent shall not constitute a basis for a termination of parental rights without a specific showing that there is a causal relation between the disability or disease and harm to the child.

            453.070. 1. Except as provided in subsection 5 of this section, no decree for the adoption of a child under eighteen years of age shall be entered for the petitioner or petitioners in such adoption as ordered by the juvenile court having jurisdiction, until a full investigation, which includes an assessment of the adoptive parents, an appropriate postplacement assessment and a summary of written reports as provided for in section 453.026, and any other pertinent information relevant to whether the child is suitable for adoption by the petitioner and whether the petitioner is suitable as a parent for the child, has been made. The report shall also include a statement to the effect that the child has been considered as a potential subsidy recipient.

            2. Such investigation shall be made, as directed by the court having jurisdiction, either by the division of family services of the state department of social services, a juvenile court officer, a licensed child-placement agency, a social worker licensed pursuant to chapter 337, or other suitable person appointed by the court. The results of such investigation shall be embodied in a written report that shall be submitted to the court within ninety days of the request for the investigation.

            3. The department of social services, division of family services, shall develop rules and regulations regarding the content of the assessment of the petitioner or petitioners. The content of the assessment shall include but not be limited to, a report on the condition of the petitioner's home and information on the petitioner's education, financial, marital, medical and psychological status and criminal background check. If an assessment is conducted after August 28, 1997, but prior to the promulgation of rules and regulations by the department concerning the contents of such assessment, any discrepancy between the contents of the actual assessment and the contents of the assessment required by department rule shall not be used as the sole basis for invalidating an adoption. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated pursuant to the authority of this section shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 536.

            4. The assessment of petitioner or petitioners shall be submitted to the petitioner and to the court prior to the scheduled hearing of the adoptive petition.

            5. In cases where the adoption or custody involves a child under eighteen years of age that is the natural child of one of the petitioners and where all of the parents required by this chapter to give consent to the adoption or transfer of custody have given such consent, the juvenile court may waive the investigation and report, except the criminal background check, and enter the decree for the adoption or order the transfer of custody without such investigation and report.

            6. In the case of an investigation and report made by the division of family services by order of the court, the court may order the payment of a reasonable fee by the petitioner to cover the costs of the investigation and report.

            7. Any adult person or persons over the age of eighteen, who, as foster parent or parents, have cared for a foster child continuously for a period of nine months or more and bonding has occurred as evidenced by the positive emotional and physical interaction between the foster parent and child, may apply to such authorized agency for the placement of such child with them for the purpose of adoption if the child is eligible for adoption. The agency and court shall give preference and first consideration for adoptive placements to foster parents. However, the final determination of the propriety of the adoption of such foster child shall be within the sole discretion of the court.

            8. (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit discrimination on the basis of disability or disease of a prospective adoptive parent.

            (2) The disability or disease of a prospective adoptive parent shall not constitute a basis for a determination that the petitioner is unfit or not suitable to be an adoptive parent without a specific showing that there is a causal relationship between the disability or disease and a substantial and significant risk of harm to a child.

            453.600. 1. There is hereby created in the state treasury the "Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund" which shall consist of all gifts, donations, transfers, and moneys appropriated by the general assembly, and bequests to the fund. The fund shall maintain no more than the total of the last two years of funding or a minimum of three hundred thousand dollars, whichever is greater. The fund shall be administered by the foster care and adoptive parents recruitment and retention fund board created in subsection 3 of this section.

            2. The state treasurer shall be custodian of the fund and may approve disbursements from the fund in accordance with sections 30.170 and 30.180. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 33.080 to the contrary, any moneys remaining in the fund at the end of the biennium shall not revert to the credit of the general revenue fund. The state treasurer shall invest moneys in the fund in the same manner as other funds are invested. Any interest and moneys earned on such investments shall be credited to the fund.

            3. There is hereby created the "Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund Board" within the department of social services. The board shall consist of the following members or their designees:

            (1) The director of the department of social services;

            (2) The director of the department of mental health;

            (3) The director of the department of health and senior services;

            (4) The following six members to be appointed by the director of the department of social services:

            (a) Two representatives of a recognized foster parent association;

            (b) Two representatives of a licensed child-placing agency; and

            (c) Two representatives of a licensed residential treatment center.

 

Members appointed under subdivision (4) of this subsection shall serve three-year terms, subject to reappointment. Of the members initially appointed, three shall be appointed for a two-year term and three shall be appointed three-year terms. All members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall, subject to appropriation, be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred in the performance of their official duties as members of the board. The department of social services shall, with existing resources, provide administrative support and current staff as necessary for the effective operation of the board.

            4. Upon appropriation, moneys in the fund shall be used to grant awards to licensed community-based foster care and adoption recruitment programs. The board shall establish guidelines for disbursement of the fund to certain programs. Such programs shall include, but not be limited to, recruitment and retention of foster and adoptive families for children who:

            (1) Have been in out-of-home placement for fifteen months or more;

            (2) Are more than twelve years of age; or

            (3) Are in sibling groups.

 

Moneys in the fund shall not be subject to appropriation for purposes other than those of evidence-based foster care and adoption programs as designated by the board established under this section.

            5. Under section 23.253 of the Missouri sunset act:

            (1) The provisions of the new fund authorized under this section shall automatically sunset six years after August 28, 2011, unless reauthorized by an act of the general assembly; and

            (2) If such fund is reauthorized, the fund authorized under this section shall automatically sunset twelve years after the effective date of the reauthorization of this section; and

            (3) This section shall terminate on December thirty-first of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the fund authorized under this section is sunset.