Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 21 – Guardian ad litem coordinator
HOUSE BILL NO. 21
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H0021................................by JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION
CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT - Amends existing law relating to the Child Protective
Act to remove the definition for "child advocate coordinator"; to revise a
definition and to define "guardian ad litem coordinator"; to revise
provisions applicable to the standards and duties of guardian ad litem
coordinators; to require criminal history checks; to revise provisions
relating to the disbursement of moneys in the guardian ad litem account;
and to revise provisions applicable to guardian ad litem grants.
01/16 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
01/17 Rpt prt - to Jud
01/26 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
01/29 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
01/30 3rd rdg - PASSED - 66-0-4
AYES -- Anderson, Andrus, Bayer, Bedke, Bell, Bilbao, Black, Bock,
Boe, Bolz, Brackett, Bradford, Chadderdon, Chavez, Chew, Clark,
Collins, Crane, Durst, Edmunson, Hagedorn, Hart, Harwood, Henbest,
Henderson, Jaquet, Killen, King, Kren, Labrador, Lake, LeFavour,
Loertscher, Luker, Marriott, Mathews, McGeachin, Mortimer, Moyle,
Nielsen, Nonini, Pasley-Stuart, Patrick, Pence, Raybould, Ring,
Ringo, Roberts, Ruchti, Rusche, Sayler, Shepherd(2), Shepherd(8),
Shirley, Shively, Smith(30), Smith(24), Snodgrass, Stevenson, Thayn,
Trail, Vander Woude, Wills, Wood(27), Wood(35), Mr. Speaker
NAYS -- None
Absent and excused -- Barrett, Block, Eskridge, Schaefer
Floor Sponsor - Ruchti
Title apvd - to Senate
01/31 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Jud
02/08 Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
02/09 2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
02/15 3rd rdg - PASSED - 34-0-1
AYES -- Andreason, Bair, Bastian, Bilyeu, Broadsword, Burkett,
Cameron, Coiner, Corder, Darrington, Davis, Fulcher, Gannon, Geddes,
Goedde, Hammond, Heinrich, Hill, Jorgenson, Kelly, Keough, Langhorst,
Lodge, Malepeai, McGee, McKague, McKenzie, Pearce, Richardson,
Schroeder, Siddoway, Stegner, Stennett, Werk
NAYS -- None
Absent and excused -- Little
Floor Sponsor - Kelly
Title apvd - to House
02/16 To enrol
02/19 Rpt enrol - Sp signed
02/20 Pres signed
02/21 To Governor
02/22 Governor signed
Session Law Chapter 26
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature First Regular Session - 2007
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 21
BY JUDICIARY, RULES AND ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO THE CHILD PROTECTIVE ACT; AMENDING SECTION 16-1602, IDAHO CODE, TO
3 REMOVE THE DEFINITION FOR "CHILD ADVOCATE COORDINATOR," TO REVISE A DEFI-
4 NITION AND TO DEFINE "GUARDIAN AD LITEM COORDINATOR"; AMENDING SECTION
5 16-1632, IDAHO CODE, TO REVISE DESCRIPTIVE LANGUAGE, TO REVISE PROVISIONS
6 APPLICABLE TO THE STANDARDS AND DUTIES OF GUARDIAN AD LITEM COORDINATORS
7 AND TO REQUIRE CRIMINAL HISTORY CHECKS; AMENDING SECTION 16-1638, IDAHO
8 CODE, TO REVISE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE DISBURSEMENT OF MONEYS IN THE
9 GUARDIAN AD LITEM ACCOUNT; AND AMENDING SECTION 16-1639, IDAHO CODE, TO
10 REVISE PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO GUARDIAN AD LITEM GRANTS.
11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
12 SECTION 1. That Section 16-1602, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
13 amended to read as follows:
14 16-1602. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this chapter:
15 (1) "Abused" means any case in which a child has been the victim of:
16 (a) Conduct or omission resulting in skin bruising, bleeding, malnutri-
17 tion, burns, fracture of any bone, subdural hematoma, soft tissue swell-
18 ing, failure to thrive or death, and such condition or death is not justi-
19 fiably explained, or where the history given concerning such condition or
20 death is at variance with the degree or type of such condition or death,
21 or the circumstances indicate that such condition or death may not be the
22 product of an accidental occurrence; or
23 (b) Sexual conduct, including rape, molestation, incest, prostitution,
24 obscene or pornographic photographing, filming or depiction for commercial
25 purposes, or other similar forms of sexual exploitation harming or threat-
26 ening the child's health or welfare or mental injury to the child.
27 (2) "Abandoned" means the failure of the parent to maintain a normal
28 parental relationship with his child including, but not limited to, reasonable
29 support or regular personal contact. Failure to maintain this relationship
30 without just cause for a period of one (1) year shall constitute prima facie
31 evidence of abandonment.
32 (3) "Adaptive equipment" means any piece of equipment or any item that is
33 used to increase, maintain or improve the parenting capabilities of a parent
34 with a disability.
35 (4) "Adjudicatory hearing" means a hearing to determine:
36 (a) Whether the child comes under the jurisdiction of the court pursuant
37 to the provisions of this chapter;
38 (b) Whether continuation of the child in the home would be contrary to
39 the child's welfare and whether the best interests of the child require
40 protective supervision or vesting legal custody of the child in an autho-
41 rized agency;
42 (c) Whether aggravated circumstances as defined in section 16-1619, Idaho
43 Code, exist.
1 (5) "Authorized agency" means the department, a local agency, a person,
2 an organization, corporation, benevolent society or association licensed or
3 approved by the department or the court to receive children for control, care,
4 maintenance or placement.
5 (6) "Case plan hearing" means a hearing to:
6 (a) Review, approve, modify or reject the case plan; and
7 (b) Review reasonable efforts being made to rehabilitate the family; and
8 (c) Review reasonable efforts being made to reunify the children with a
9 parent or guardian.
10 (7) "Child" means an individual who is under the age of eighteen (18)
12 (8) "Child advocate coordinator" means a person or entity receiving
13 moneys from the grant administrator for the purpose of carrying out any of the
14 duties as set forth in section 16-1632, Idaho Code.
15 (9) "Circumstances of the child" includes, but is not limited to, the
16 joint legal custody or joint physical custody of the child.
17 ( 109) "Commit" means to transfer legal and physical custody.
18 (1 10) "Concurrent planning" means a planning model that prepares for and
19 implements different outcomes at the same time.
20 (1 21) "Court" means district court or magistrate's division thereof, or if
21 the context requires, a magistrate or judge thereof.
22 (1 32) "Custodian" means a person, other than a parent or legal guardian,
23 to whom legal or joint legal custody of the child has been given by court
25 (1 43) "Department" means the department of health and welfare and its
26 authorized representatives.
27 (1 54) "Disability" means, with respect to an individual, any mental or
28 physical impairment which substantially limits one (1) or more major life
29 activity of the individual including, but not limited to, self-care, manual
30 tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning or working, or a record of
31 such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment. Disability
32 shall not include transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism,
33 voyeurism, other sexual behavior disorders, or substance use disorders, com-
34 pulsive gambling, kleptomania or pyromania. Sexual preference or orientation
35 is not considered an impairment or disability. Whether an impairment substan-
36 tially limits a major life activity shall be determined without consideration
37 of the effect of corrective or mitigating measures used to reduce the effects
38 of the impairment.
39 (1 65) "Family or household member" shall have the same meaning as in sec-
40 tion 39-6303(6), Idaho Code.
41 (1 76) "Foster care" means twenty-four (24) hour substitute care for chil-
42 dren placed away from their parents or guardians and for whom the state agency
43 has placement and care responsibility.
44 (1 87) "Grant administrator" means the supreme court or any such organiza-
45 tion or agency as may be designated by the supreme court from time to time to
46 in accordance with such procedures as may be adopted by the supreme court. The
47 grant administrator shall administer funds from the guardian ad litem account
48 in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
49 (1 98) "Guardian ad litem" means a person appointed by the court pursuant
50 to a guardian ad litem volunteer program to act as special advocate for a
51 child under this chapter.
52 (19) "Guardian ad litem coordinator" means a person or entity receiving
53 moneys from the grant administrator for the purpose of carrying out any of the
54 duties set forth in section 16-1632, Idaho Code.
55 (20) "Guardian ad litem program" means the program to recruit, train and
1 coordinate volunteer persons to serve as guardians ad litem for abused,
2 neglected or abandoned children.
3 (21) "Homeless," as used in this chapter, shall mean that the child is
4 without adequate shelter or other living facilities, and the lack of such
5 shelter or other living facilities poses a threat to the health, safety or
6 well-being of the child.
7 (22) "Law enforcement agency" means a city police department, the prose-
8 cuting attorney of any county, state law enforcement officers, or the office
9 of a sheriff of any county.
10 (23) "Legal custody" means a relationship created by court order, which
11 vests in a custodian the following rights and responsibilities:
12 (a) To have physical custody and control of the child, and to determine
13 where and with whom the child shall live.
14 (b) To supply the child with food, clothing, shelter and incidental
16 (c) To provide the child with care, education and discipline.
17 (d) To authorize ordinary medical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, or
18 other remedial care and treatment for the child, including care and treat-
19 ment in a facility with a program of services for children; and to author-
20 ize surgery if the surgery is deemed by two (2) physicians licensed to
21 practice in this state to be necessary for the child.
22 (e) Where the parents share legal custody, the custodian may be vested
23 with the custody previously held by either or both parents.
24 (24) "Mental injury" means a substantial impairment in the intellectual or
25 psychological ability of a child to function within a normal range of perfor-
26 mance and/or behavior, for short or long terms.
27 (25) "Neglected" means a child:
28 (a) Who is without proper parental care and control, or subsistence, edu-
29 cation, medical or other care or control necessary for his well-being
30 because of the conduct or omission of his parents, guardian or other cus-
31 todian or their neglect or refusal to provide them; provided, however, no
32 child whose parent or guardian chooses for such child treatment by prayers
33 through spiritual means alone in lieu of medical treatment, shall be
34 deemed for that reason alone to be neglected or lack parental care neces-
35 sary for his health and well-being, but further provided this subsection
36 shall not prevent the court from acting pursuant to section 16-1627, Idaho
37 Code; or
38 (b) Whose parents, guardian or other custodian are unable to discharge
39 their responsibilities to and for the child and, as a result of such
40 inability, the child lacks the parental care necessary for his health,
41 safety or well-being; or
42 (c) Who has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law.
43 (26) "Permanency hearing" means a hearing to review, approve, reject or
44 modify the permanency plan of the department, and review reasonable efforts in
45 accomplishing the permanency plan.
46 (27) "Permanency plan" means a plan for a continuous residence and mainte-
47 nance of nurturing relationships during the child's minority.
48 (28) "Protective order" means an order created by the court granting
49 relief as delineated in section 39-6306, Idaho Code, and shall be for a period
50 not to exceed three (3) months unless otherwise stated herein. Failure to com-
51 ply with the order shall be a misdemeanor.
52 (29) "Protective supervision" means a legal status created by court order
53 in neglect and abuse cases whereby the child is permitted to remain in his
54 home under supervision by the department.
55 (30) "Residual parental rights and responsibilities" means those rights
1 and responsibilities remaining with the parents after the transfer of legal
2 custody including, but not necessarily limited to, the right of visitation,
3 the right to consent to adoption, the right to determine religious affilia-
4 tion, the right to family counseling when beneficial, and the responsibility
5 for support.
6 (31) "Shelter care" means places designated by the department for tempo-
7 rary care of children pending court disposition or placement.
8 (32) "Supportive services," as used in this chapter, shall mean services
9 which assist parents with a disability to compensate for those aspects of
10 their disability which affect their ability to care for their child and which
11 will enable them to discharge their parental responsibilities. The term
12 includes specialized or adapted training, evaluations or assistance with
13 effectively using adaptive equipment and accommodations which allow parents
14 with a disability to benefit from other services including, but not limited
15 to, Braille texts or sign language interpreters.
16 SECTION 2. That Section 16-1632, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
17 amended to read as follows:
18 16-1632. CHILD ADVOCATE GUARDIAN AD LITEM COORDINATOR -- DUTIES -- ANNUAL
19 REPORT. (1) Under rules, policies and procedures adopted by the Idaho supreme
20 court which may include, but are not limited to, provisions establishing fis-
21 cal controls and requiring compliance with all or part of the standards
22 adopted by the national court appointed special advocate association, t The
23 persons or entities receiving moneys from the grant administrator to coordi-
24 nate a guardian ad litem program in a judicial district may be required by the
25 terms of the grant to perform any or all of the following duties:
26 (a) To establish, maintain and coordinate a districtwide guardian ad
27 litem program consistent with the provisions of this chapter;
28 (b) To furnish the necessary administrative and staffing services as may
29 from time to time be required;
30 (c) To act as a central clearinghouse and coordinator for the purpose of
31 providing guardians ad litem for children brought within the purview of
32 this chapter;
33 (d) To seek to have each child brought within the purview of this chapter
34 available to him a guardian ad litem throughout each stage of any child
35 protective proceeding;
36 (e) To establish a program for attorneys to represent guardians ad litem,
37 whether or not appointed by the court in conjunction with the local,
38 districtwide, and state bar associations;
39 (f) To the extent possible to establish a districtwide program to recruit
40 volunteer guardians ad litem sufficient to provide services in each county
41 of the judicial district;
42 (g) In conjunction with the department, prosecuting attorneys and city
43 and county law enforcement officials, mental health professionals, social
44 workers, school counselors and the medical community, the coordinators may
45 assist in the development and implementation of a statewide uniform proto-
46 col for the investigation of allegations of abuse, neglect or abandonment
47 pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;
48 (h) To develop uniform criteria to screen, select, train and remove
49 guardians ad litem;
50 (i) To establish a priority list of those proceedings under this chapter
51 in which a guardian ad litem shall be appointed in districts where there
52 are insufficient numbers of guardians ad litem.
53 (2) Each child advocate guardian ad litem coordinator shall submit an
1 annual report for the preceding fiscal year to the grant administrator for
2 delivery to the legislature no later than ten (10) days following the start of
3 each regular session. Such report shall contain the number and type of pro-
4 ceedings filed in the district under this chapter, the number of children sub-
5 ject to proceedings in the district under this chapter and the number of
6 appointed guardians ad litem, the nature of services the guardians ad litem
7 provided, the number of guardians ad litem trained in each district, the num-
8 ber of hours of service provided by guardians ad litem and attorneys and a
9 complete financial statement for the past year and financial support require-
10 ments for the next fiscal year.
11 (3) The coordinators and staff members of any guardian ad litem program
12 receiving moneys from the grant administrator, and any persons volunteering to
13 serve as guardians ad litem in such programs, shall submit to a fingerprint-
14 based criminal history check through any law enforcement office in the state
15 providing such service. The criminal history check shall include a statewide
16 criminal identification bureau check, federal bureau of investigation criminal
17 history check, and statewide sex offender registry check. A record of all
18 background checks shall be maintained in the office of the supreme court of
19 the state of Idaho with a copy going to the applicant.
20 SECTION 3. That Section 16-1638, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
21 amended to read as follows:
22 16-1638. GUARDIAN AD LITEM ACCOUNT -- CREATION. (1) There is hereby cre-
23 ated an account in the agency asset fund in the state treasury to be desig-
24 nated the guardian ad litem account.
25 (2) The account shall consist of:
26 (a) Moneys appropriated to the account;
27 (b) Donations, gifts and grants to the account from any source; and
28 (c) Any other moneys which may hereafter be provided by law.
29 (3) Moneys in the account may be expended for the purposes provided in
30 sections 16-1632 through 16-1638, Idaho Code. Interest earned on the invest-
31 ment of idle money in the guardian ad litem account shall be returned to the
32 guardian ad litem account.
33 (4) Disbursements of moneys from the account shall be by appropriation
34 from the legislature to the supreme court, which moneys shall in turn make
35 payment of available moneys, upon request, to the grant administrator be used
36 for the payment of grants to qualified recipients and for expenses incurred
37 for carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
38 SECTION 4. That Section 16-1639, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
39 amended to read as follows:
40 16-1639. GUARDIAN AD LITEM GRANTS. The grant administrator is hereby
41 authorized and directed to award and administer grants from the money which
42 shall be from time to time available to him the grant administrator from the
43 guardian ad litem account. The foregoing power and authorization shall be sub-
44 ject to requirements imposed by the supreme court and the following provi-
46 (1) Grants may be made available to any person, organization, corpora-
47 tion, or agency for any of the following purposes:
48 (a) To enable such entity to act as the child advocate guardian ad litem
49 coordinator in any judicial district.
50 (b) To enable such entity to recruit, organize and administer a panel of
51 guardians ad litem and volunteer lawyers to represent guardians ad litem.
1 (c) To enable such entity to recruit, organize, train and support persons
2 or entities to act as guardian ad litem coordinators in judicial districts
3 which do not yet have guardian ad litem coordinators.
4 (d) To enable such entity to pay the administrative and other miscella-
5 neous expenses incurred in carrying out the provisions of the guardian ad
6 litem program.
7 (2) The grant administrator shall endeavor in his allocation of allocat-
8 ing available funds available to him to foster the development and operation
9 of a guardian ad litem program in each judicial district in the state; pro-
10 vided, however, the grant administrator shall have no obligation to seek out
11 or organize child advocate guardian ad litem coordinators or persons willing
12 to act as such in judicial districts lacking a child advocate guardian ad
13 litem coordinator.
14 (3) Funds available to the grant administrator from the guardian ad litem
15 account may be also used to pay the grant administrator's cost of performing
16 its duties and obligations pursuant to this chapter.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This bill would amend the provisions of the Child
Protective Act relating to guardian ad litem programs to
provide that the Supreme Court will adopt rules, policies
and procedures, including fiscal controls and compliance
with established standards, for guardian ad litem programs
receiving moneys from the grant administrator. It would
also require the guardian ad litem volunteers, coordinators
and staff of such programs to submit to a thorough criminal
history check and sex offender registry check. These
amendments have been recommended by the Supreme Court's
Child Protection Committee, which recently undertook an
assessment of Idaho's guardian ad litem programs. The
amendments will insure fiscal and programmatic oversight of
the local guardian ad litem programs, as well as more
thorough background checks of program personnel for the
protection of children.
The record checks for volunteers and other program
personnel will have a statewide cost of approximately $6,000
annually. This would be paid out of program funds
consisting of grants, fund raising, and some general fund
appropriations. The bill will have no further impact on the
Administrative Director of the Courts
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 21