The bill requires the state department of human services (state department) to develop and implement a quality assurance and accountability system (system) to set quality measures for certain residential child care facilities (residential treatment facilities). The system includes quality assurance standards and a collaborative model of quality improvement in which providers and oversight agencies work together to ensure that residential treatment facilities meet the quality assurance standards. The state department must enter into an agreement with an institution of higher education to collaborate and assist the state department with developing the system. The state department shall implement the system statewide on or before July 1, 2026. Prior to implementing the system statewide, the state department shall convene an advisory group to advise the state department on the development of the system and convene an implementation team to run a pilot program of the system. The state department is required to annually report to the general assembly about the system.
The bill 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 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; identify behaviors that should lead to a person or facility filing a missing person report about a child; 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, that each include the task force's findings and recommendations to reduce the number of children who run away from out-of-home placement.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)