The act creates the Timothy Montoya task force to prevent children from running away from out-of-home placement (task force) in the office of the child protection ombudsman. The task force must analyze data related to children who have run away from out-of-home placement; analyze the root causes of why children run away from out-of-home placement; identify and analyze behaviors that constitute running away from out-of-home placement; analyze the likelihood that children who have run away will become a victim of crime; analyze best practices, state laws and regulations, and placement facility protocols and practices related to children running away; develop a consistent, prompt, and effective response to recover missing children; and address the safety and well-being of a child who has run away upon the child's return to out-of-home placement.
The office of the child protection ombudsman must enter into an agreement with an institution of higher education to perform research that supports the task force's work and conduct focus groups with children in out-of-home placement, young adults who have aged out of the child protection system, and out-of-home placement providers.
The task force is required to issue a preliminary report by October 1, 2023, and a final report by October 1, 2024. Each report must include the task force's findings and recommendations to reduce the number of children who run away from out-of-home placement.
The act appropriates $99,500 from the general fund to the judicial department for use by the office of the child protection ombudsman for program costs.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)