Feb 042015
 
Senator John Hoeven

Senator Hoeven’s bill “To amend the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act to require background checks before foster care placements are ordered in tribal court proceedings” passed its 3rd reading and will be headed to the floor. It might take a little while to get there as so many other things are being discussed and worked on right now.

Please read the bill and comment. If you have questions, please contact your Senator and ask. It is important for your Senators to know this bill is important to you. If they don’t know anything about the bill, ask them to contact Elizabeth Frei in Senator Hoeven’s office to find the answers you need.

We are concerned about the two year wait to have child protection implemented…but look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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Direct Link:

https://www.congress.gov/114/bills/s184/BILLS-114s184is.pdf

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 184 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

114th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 184

To amend the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act
to require background checks before foster care placements are ordered
in tribal court proceedings, and for other purposes.

_______________________________________________________________________

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 16, 2015

Mr. Hoeven (for himself and Mr. Tester) introduced the following bill;
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs

_______________________________________________________________________

A BILL

To amend the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act
to require background checks before foster care placements are ordered
in tribal court proceedings, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Native American Children’s Safety
Act”.

SEC. 2. CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS.

Section 408 of the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence
Prevention Act (25 U.S.C. 3207) is amended by adding at the end the
following:
“(d) By Tribal Social Services Agency for Foster Care Placements
in Tribal Court Proceedings.–
“(1) Definitions.–In this subsection:
“(A) Covered individual.–The term `covered
individual’ includes–
“(i) any individual 18 years of age or
older; and
“(ii) any individual who the tribal social
services agency determines is subject to a
criminal records check under paragraph (2)(A).
“(B) Foster care placement.–The term `foster care
placement’ means any action removing an Indian child
from a parent or Indian custodian for temporary
placement in a foster home or institution or the home
of a guardian or conservator if–
“(i) the parent or Indian custodian cannot
have the child returned on demand; and
“(ii)(I) parental rights have not been
terminated; or
“(II) parental rights have been terminated
but the child has not been permanently placed.
“(C) Indian custodian.–The term `Indian
custodian’ means any Indian–
“(i) who has legal custody of an Indian
child under tribal law or custom or under State
law; or
“(ii) to whom temporary physical care,
custody, and control has been transferred by
the parent of the child.
“(D) Parent.–The term `parent’ means–
“(i) any biological parent of an Indian
child; or
“(ii) any Indian who has lawfully adopted
an Indian child, including adoptions under
tribal law or custom.
“(E) Tribal court.–The term `tribal court’ means
a court–
“(i) with jurisdiction over foster care
placements; and
“(ii) that is–
“(I) a Court of Indian Offenses;
“(II) a court established and
operated under the code or custom of an
Indian tribe; or
“(III) any other administrative
body of an Indian tribe that is vested
with authority over foster care
placements.
“(F) Tribal social services agency.–The term
`tribal social services agency’ means the agency of an
Indian tribe that has the primary responsibility for
carrying out foster care licensing or approval (as of
the date on which the proceeding described in paragraph
(2)(A) commences) for the Indian tribe.
“(2) Criminal records check before foster care
placement.–
“(A) In general.–Except as provided in paragraph
(3), no foster care placement shall be finally approved
and no foster care license shall be issued until the
tribal social services agency–
“(i) completes a criminal records check of
each covered individual who resides in the
household or is employed at the institution in
which the foster care placement will be made;
and
“(ii) concludes that each covered
individual described in clause (i) meets such
standards as the Indian tribe shall establish
in accordance with subparagraph (B).
“(B) Standards of placement.–The standards
described in subparagraph (A)(ii) shall include–
“(i) requirements that each tribal social
services agency described in subparagraph (A)–
“(I) perform criminal records
checks, including fingerprint-based
checks of national crime information
databases (as defined in section
534(f)(3) of title 28, United States
Code);
“(II) check any abuse registries
maintained by the Indian tribe; and
“(III) check any child abuse and
neglect registry maintained by the
State in which the covered individual
resides for information on the covered
individual, and request any other State
in which the covered individual resided
in the preceding 5 years, to enable the
tribal social services agency to check
any child abuse and neglect registry
maintained by that State for such
information; and
“(ii) any other additional requirement
that the Indian tribe determines is necessary
and permissible within the existing authority
of the Indian tribe, such as the creation of
voluntary agreements with State entities in
order to facilitate the sharing of information
related to the performance of criminal records
checks.
“(C) Results.–Except as provided in paragraph
(3), no foster care placement shall be ordered in any
proceeding described in subparagraph (A) if an
investigation described in clause (i) of that
subparagraph reveals that a covered individual
described in that clause has been found by a Federal,
State, or tribal court to have committed any crime
listed in clause (i) or (ii) of section 471(a)(20)(A)
of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 671(a)(20)(A)).
“(3) Emergency placement.–Paragraph (2) shall not apply
to an emergency foster care placement, as determined by a
tribal social services agency.
“(4) Recertification of foster homes or institutions.–
“(A) In general.–Not later than 2 years after the
date of enactment of this subsection, each Indian tribe
shall establish procedures to recertify homes or
institutions in which foster care placements are made.
“(B) Contents.–The procedures described in
subparagraph (A) shall include, at a minimum, periodic
intervals at which the home or institution shall be
subject to recertification to ensure–
“(i) the safety of the home or institution
for the Indian child; and
“(ii) that each covered individual who
resides in the home or is employed at the
institution is subject to a criminal records
check in accordance with this subsection,
including any covered individual who–
“(I) resides in the home or is
employed at the institution on the date
on which the procedures established
under subparagraph (A) commences; and
“(II) did not reside in the home
or was not employed at the institution
on the date on which the investigation
described in paragraph (2)(A)(i) was
completed.
“(C) Guidance issued by the secretary.–The
procedures established under subparagraph (A) shall be
subject to any regulation or guidance issued by the
Secretary that is in accordance with the purpose of
this subsection.
“(5) Guidance.–Not later than 2 years after the date of
enactment of this subsection and after consultation with Indian
tribes, the Secretary shall issue guidance regarding–
“(A) procedures for a criminal records check of
any covered individual who–
“(i) resides in the home or is employed at
the institution in which the foster care
placement is made after the date on which the
investigation described in paragraph (2)(A)(i)
is completed; and
“(ii) was not the subject of an
investigation described in paragraph (2)(A)(i)
before the foster care placement was made;
“(B) self-reporting requirements for foster care
homes or institutions in which any covered individual
described in subparagraph (A) resides if the head of
the household or the operator of the institution has
knowledge that the covered individual–
“(i) has been found by a Federal, State,
or tribal court to have committed any crime
listed in clause (i) or (ii) of section
471(a)(20)(A) of the Social Security Act (42
U.S.C. 671(a)(20)(A)); or
“(ii) is listed on a registry described in
clause (II) or (III) of paragraph (2)(B)(i);
“(C) promising practices used by Indian tribes to
address emergency foster care placement procedures
under paragraph (3); and
“(D) procedures for certifying compliance with
this Act.”.

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