- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
- Chapter 14. Juvenile Programs and Institutions
- Section 100. Powers and Duties of Department Over Care of Child.
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. Operation of Homes and Facilities.
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. Department Inspections; Reports By Foster Homes and Institutions.
AS 47.14.100. Powers and Duties of Department Over Care of Child.
- (a) Subject to (e), (f), and (i) - (m) of this section, the department shall arrange for the care of every child committed
to its custody by placing the child in a foster home or in the care of an agency or institution providing care for
children inside or outside the state. The department may place a child in a suitable family home, with or without
compensation, and may place a child released to it, in writing verified by the parent, or guardian or other person
having legal custody, for adoptive purposes, in a home for adoption in accordance with existing law.
- (b) The department may pay the costs of maintenance that are necessary to assure adequate care of the child, and may
accept funds from the federal government that are granted to assist in carrying out the purposes of this chapter, or
that are paid under contract entered into with a federal department or agency. A child under the care of the department
may not be placed in a family home or institution that does not maintain adequate standards of care.
- (c) The department may receive, care for, and make appropriate placement of minors accepted for care for a period of up to
six months on the basis of an individual voluntary written agreement between the minor's parent, legal guardian, or
other person having legal custody and the department. The agreement must include provisions for payment of fees under
to the department for the minor's care and treatment. The agreement entered into may not prohibit a minor's parent,
legal guardian, or other person who had legal custody from regaining care of the minor at any time.
- (d) In addition to money paid for the maintenance of foster children under (b) of this section, the department
- (1) shall pay the costs of caring for foster children with physical or mental disabilities, including the additional costs
of medical care, habilitative and rehabilitative treatment, services and equipment, and special clothing, and the indirect
costs of medical care, including child care and transportation expenses;
- (2) may pay for respite care; in this paragraph, "respite care" means child care for the purpose of providing temporary
relief from the stresses of caring for a foster child; and
- (3) may pay a subsidized guardianship payment under AS 25.23.210
when a foster child's foster parents or other persons approved by the department become court-appointed legal
guardians of the child.
- (e) When a child is removed from a parent's home, the department shall place the child, in the
absence of clear and convincing evidence of good cause to the contrary,
- (1) in the least restrictive setting that most closely approximates a family and that meets the
child's special needs, if any;
- (2) within reasonable proximity to the child's home, taking into account any special needs of the
child and the preferences of the child or parent;
- (3) with, in the following order of preference,
- (A) an adult family member;
- (B) a family friend who meets the foster care licensing requirements established by the department;
- (C) a licensed foster home that is not an adult family member or family friend;
- (D) an institution for children that has a program suitable to meet the child's needs.
- (f) If an adult family member of the child specified under (e) of this section exists and agrees that the child should be placed
elsewhere, before placement elsewhere, the department shall fully communicate the nature of the placement proceedings
to the adult family member. Communication under this subsection shall be made in the adult family member's native language,
- (g) The department may enter into agreements with Alaska Native villages or Native organizations under 25 U.S.C. 1919
(Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978) respecting the care and custody of Native children and jurisdiction of Native child
- (h) The department may not pay for respite care, as defined in (d) of this section, unless the department or the entity
that has contracted with the department to provide the respite care requests criminal history record information as
permitted by P.L. 105-277 and AS 12.62 for the individual who
provides the respite care within 10 business days after the individual is hired to provide respite care and reviews the
information within five business days after receiving it.
- (i) A child may not be placed with an out-of-home care provider if the department determines that the child can remain
safely at home with one parent or guardian. In this subsection, "out-of-home care provider" means an agency or person,
other than the child's legal parents, with whom a child who is in the custody of the state under AS 47.10.080(c)(1) or (3), 47.10.142, or AS 47.14.100
(c) is currently placed; "agency or person" includes a foster parent, a relative other than a parent, a person who has
petitioned for adoption of the child, and a residential child care facility.
- (j) For the purpose of determining whether the home of a relative meets the requirements for placement of a child
under (e) of this section or under AS 47.10.088 (i), the
department shall conduct a criminal background check from state and national criminal justice information available
under AS 12.62. The department may conduct a fingerprint
background check on any member of the relative's household who is 16 years of age or older when the relative requests
placement of the child. For the purposes of obtaining criminal justice information under this subsection, the
department is a criminal justice agency conducting a criminal justice activity under AS 12.62.
- (k) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the department may not pay for inpatient psychiatric services
provided to a person under 21 years of age and who is in the custody of the department if the services are provided in
an out-of-state psychiatric hospital facility or an out-of-state residential psychiatric treatment center unless the
department determines that the assistance is for
- (1) psychiatric hospital services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and appropriately address the
person's needs and that these services are unavailable in the state; or
- (2) residential psychiatric treatment center services that are consistent with the person's clinical diagnosis and
appropriately address the person's needs and that these services are unavailable in the state.
- (l) The department shall, on a monthly basis, evaluate what types of services are available in the state for inpatient
psychiatric care for persons under 21 years of age. If inpatient psychiatric services that are consistent with the
person's clinical diagnosis and that appropriately address the person's needs become available at a location in the
state for a person under 21 years of age who is receiving the services under this section at a location outside the
state, the department shall, as a condition of continued payment by the state for the services, require the person to
be transferred to the in-state facility unless the department determines that the transfer would be detrimental to the
person's health, established therapeutic relationship, or clinical need.
- (m) Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a child with an adult family member or family
friend under AS 47.10.088 (i) or under (e) of this section includes grounds
for denial of a foster care license under AS 47.35.019 or 47.35.021. Prima facie evidence of good cause not to place a
child with an adult family member or adult family friend does not include poverty or inadequate or crowded housing. If the
department denies a request for placement with an adult family member or a family friend, the department shall inform the
adult family member or family friend of the basis for the denial and the right to request a hearing to review the decision.
A non-party adult family member or family friend requesting a review hearing under AS 47.10.088(i) or under (e) of this section is not eligible for
publicly appointed legal counsel.
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