Under current law, a parent or guardian of a minor or incapacitated person may delegate to another person power regarding care, custody, or property of the minor or ward for up to 12 months by executing a power of attorney.
The bill permits a parent or guardian to use the assistance of a temporary care assistance program operated by a child placement agency to identify an appropriate and safe approved temporary caregiver to whom the parent or guardian can choose to delegate temporary care responsibility of a minor through a power of attorney. Prior to July 1, 2021, only a child placement agency that is a nonprofit organization, and that operates a program similar to a temporary care assistance program in thirty or more states, may operate a temporary care assistance program. A temporary care assistance program must make diligent efforts to notify any parent or guardian identified having parental rights or legal decision-making authority regarding the minor's care, and cannot assist a parent who is named as a respondent in an open dependency and neglect case.
The bill limits the duration of a power of attorney that delegates temporary care responsibility of a minor to an approved temporary caregiver to 6 months. The 6-month restriction does not apply to deployed or active duty military members. The bill clarifies that such a power of attorney can be revoked at any time and does not change legal rights or obligations existing pursuant to a court order. The minor must be returned to the custody of the parent or guardian within 48 hours after termination of the power of attorney.
A temporary care assistance program is permitted to approve as a temporary caregiver any person who:
- Meets the standards prescribed by the temporary care assistance program;
- Satisfactorily completes required criminal and child abuse and neglect background checks and sex offender registration checks; and
- Receives training conducted by the temporary care assistance program.
A temporary care assistance program and a temporary care provider are subject to department rules applicable to noncertified kinship care that are consistent with statutory provisions concerning temporary care assistance programs.
A power of attorney that delegates temporary care responsibility of a minor to an approved temporary caregiver does not constitute child abuse or neglect, constitute placing the minor into foster care, or relieve parents, guardians, or minors of rights and obligations pursuant to court orders.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)