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     Idaho Statutes

16-1629.  Powers and duties of the department. The department, working in conjunction with the court and other public and private agencies and persons, shall have the primary responsibility to implement the purpose of this chapter. To this end, the department is empowered and shall have the duty to do all things reasonably necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1)  The department shall administer treatment programs for the protection and care of neglected, abused and abandoned children, and in so doing may place in foster care, shelter care, or other diagnostic, treatment, or care centers or facilities, children of whom it has been given custody. The department is to be governed by the standards found in chapter 12, title 39, Idaho Code.
(2)  On December 1, the department shall make an annual statistical report to the governor covering the preceding fiscal year showing the number and status of persons in its custody and including such other data as will provide sufficient facts for sound planning in the conservation of children and youth. All officials and employees of the state and of every county and city shall furnish the department, upon request, such information within their knowledge and control as the department deems necessary. Local agencies shall report in such uniform format as may be required by the department.
(3)  The department shall be required to maintain a central registry for the reporting of child neglect, abuse and abandonment information. Provided however, that the department shall not retain any information for this purpose relating to a child, or parent of a child, abandoned pursuant to chapter 82, title 39, Idaho Code.
(4)  The department shall make periodic evaluation of all persons in its custody or under its protective supervision for the purpose of determining whether existing orders and dispositions in individual cases shall be modified or continued in force. Evaluations may be made as frequently as the department considers desirable and shall be made with respect to every person at intervals not exceeding six (6) months. Reports of evaluation made pursuant to this section shall be filed with the court that has jurisdiction. Reports of evaluation shall be provided to persons having full or partial legal or physical custody of a child. Failure of the department to evaluate a person or to reevaluate him within six (6) months of a previous examination shall not of itself entitle the person to a change in disposition but shall entitle him, his parent, guardian or custodian or his counsel to petition the court pursuant to section 16-1622, Idaho Code.
(5)  In a consultive capacity, the department shall assist communities in the development of constructive programs for the protection, prevention and care of children and youth.
(6)  The department shall keep written records of investigations, evaluations, prognoses and all orders concerning disposition or treatment of every person over whom it has legal custody or under its protective supervision. Department records shall be subject to disclosure according to chapter 1, title 74, Idaho Code, unless otherwise ordered by the court, the person consents to the disclosure, or disclosure is necessary for the delivery of services to the person. Notwithstanding the provisions restricting disclosure or the exemptions from disclosure provided in chapter 1, title 74, Idaho Code, all records pertaining to investigations, the rehabilitation of youth, the protection of children, evaluation, treatment and/or disposition records pertaining to the statutory responsibilities of the department shall be disclosed to any duly elected state official carrying out his official functions.
(7)  The department shall establish appropriate administrative procedures for the processing of complaints of child neglect, abuse and abandonment received and for the implementation of the protection, treatment and care of children formally or informally placed in the custody of the department or under its protective supervision under this chapter including, but not limited to:
(a)  Department employees whose job duties are related to the child protective services system under this chapter shall first be trained as to their obligations under this chapter regarding the protection of children whose health and safety may be endangered. The curriculum shall include information regarding their legal duties, how to conduct their work in conformity with the requirements of this chapter, information regarding applicable federal and state laws with regard to the rights of the child, parent and others who may be under investigation under the child protective services system, and the applicable legal and constitutional parameters within which they are to conduct their work.
(b)  Department employees whose job duties are related to the child protective services system shall advise the individual of the complaints or allegations made against the individual at the time of the initial contact, consistent with protecting the identity of the referent.
(8)  The department having been granted legal custody of a child shall have the right to determine where and with whom the child shall live, provided that the child shall not be placed outside the state without the court's consent. The court shall retain jurisdiction over the child, which jurisdiction shall be entered on any order or petition granting legal custody to the department, and the court shall have jurisdiction over all matters relating to the child. The department shall not place the child in the home from which the court ordered the child removed without first obtaining the approval of the court. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, all other determinations relating to where and with whom the child shall live shall be subject to judicial review by the court and, when contested by any party, judicial approval.
(9)  The department shall give to the court any information concerning the child that the court may at any time require, but in any event shall report the progress of the child under its custody or under its protective supervision at intervals of not to exceed six (6) months. The department shall file with the court at least five (5) days prior to the permanency hearing either under section 16-1622, Idaho Code, or, in the case of a finding of aggravated circumstances, section 16-1620, Idaho Code, the permanency plan and recommendations of the department.
(10) The department shall establish appropriate administrative procedures for the conduct of administrative reviews and hearings as required by federal statute for all children committed to the department and placed in out of the home care.
(11) At any time the department is considering a placement pursuant to this chapter, the department shall make a reasonable effort to place the child in the least restrictive environment to the child and in so doing shall consider, consistent with the best interest and special needs of the child, placement priority of the child in the following order:
(a)  A fit and willing relative.
(b)  A fit and willing nonrelative with a significant relationship with the child.
(c)  Foster parents and other persons licensed in accordance with chapter 12, title 39, Idaho Code, with a significant relationship with the child.
(d)  Foster parents and other persons licensed in accordance with chapter 12, title 39, Idaho Code.
(12)  If the caseworker assigned to a foster care case recommends removing the child from a foster home in which the child has been placed for sixty (60) or more days, for placement in another foster home, then the case worker's supervisor shall conduct a review of the foster care case and must approve such recommendation before a change in foster home placement occurs. The supervisor shall consider the best interests and special needs of the child, including:
(a)  The clearly stated reasons for the recommended change in placement;
(b)  The number of times the child's placement has been changed since removal from their home and the reasons for each change;
(c)  Whether the child will change schools as a result of the change in placement; and
(d)  Whether the change in placement will separate or reunite siblings or affect sibling visitation.
(13)  If the supervisor determines that the recommended change in foster care placement is in the best interests of the child, then the department may change the placement of the child; provided that, the department shall give the foster parents written notice of the planned change at least seven (7) days before the change in placement.
(14)  If the caseworker determines that there is abuse or neglect or a substantial risk of abuse or neglect in the foster home, then the department may change the placement of the child without a supervisor's review; provided that, the department shall give the foster parents written notice of the unplanned change within seven (7) days after the change in placement.
(15)  In its written notice of a planned or unplanned change required under this section, the department shall clearly state the reasons for the change in placement of the child.

[(16-1629) 16-1623, added 1976, ch. 204, sec. 2, p. 744; am. 1982, ch. 186, sec. 22, p. 502; am. 1989, ch. 218, sec. 4, p. 529; am. 1990, ch. 213, sec. 10, p. 495; am. 1991, ch. 212, sec. 6, p. 505; am. 1996, ch. 272, sec. 14, p. 895; am. 1996, ch. 361, sec. 1, p. 1217; am. 1998, ch. 257, sec. 5, p. 855; am. 1999, ch. 30, sec. 8, p. 50; am. 2000, ch. 233, sec. 2, p. 654; am. 2001, ch. 93, sec. 1, p. 233; am. 2001, ch. 107, sec. 19, p. 368; am. 2001, ch. 358, sec. 1, p. 1261; am. 2005, ch. 25, sec. 78, p. 114; am. 2005, ch. 332, sec. 1, p. 1041; am. and redesig. 2005, ch. 391, sec. 31, p. 1288; am. 2006, ch. 16, sec. 2, p. 45; am. 2007, ch. 223, sec. 5, p. 673; am. 2010, ch. 147, sec. 3, p. 317; am. 2013, ch. 287, sec. 10, p. 754; am. 2015, ch. 141, sec. 13, p. 387; am. 2016, ch. 347, sec. 6, p. 1007.]

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