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  H.B. No. 3041
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to the provision of certain services by the Department of
  Family and Protective Services as an alternative to removing a
  child and certain procedures with respect to children in the
  managing conservatorship of the department.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 262.1095, Family Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection (d-1) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  When the Department of Family and Protective Services or
  another agency takes possession of a child under this chapter, the
  department:
               (1)  shall provide information as prescribed by this
  section in writing to each adult the department is able to identify
  and locate who is:
                     (A)  related to the child within the third degree
  by consanguinity as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code;
                     (B)  an adult relative of the alleged father of
  the child if the department has a reasonable basis to believe the
  alleged father is the child's biological father; or
                     (C)  identified as a potential relative or
  designated caregiver, as defined by Section 264.751, on the
  proposed child placement resources form provided under Section
  261.307; and
               (2)  may provide information as prescribed by this
  section to each adult the department is able to identify and locate
  who has a long-standing and significant relationship with the
  child.
         (b)  The information provided under Subsection (a) must:
               (1)  state that the child has been removed from the
  child's home and is in the temporary managing conservatorship of
  the department;
               (2)  explain the options available to the individual to
  participate in the care and placement of the child and the support
  of the child's family, the methods by which the individual may
  exercise those options, and any requirements the individual must
  satisfy to exercise those options, including:
                     (A)  the requirement that the individual be
  evaluated by the Department of Family and Protective Services under
  Section 262.114 before the individual may serve as a substitute
  caregiver; and
                     (B)  the deadlines before which the individual
  must respond to exercise those options;
               (3)  identify the [state that some] options available
  to the individual that may be lost if the individual fails to
  respond in a timely manner; [and]
               (4)  include, if applicable, the date, time, and
  location of the hearing under Subchapter C, Chapter 263; and
               (5)  include information regarding the procedures and
  timeline for a suit affecting the parent-child relationship under
  this chapter.
         (d-1)  Immediately after the Department of Family and
  Protective Services identifies and locates an individual described
  by Subsection (a)(1), the department shall provide the information
  required by this section.
         SECTION 2.  Chapter 262, Family Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter F to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER F. FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES PILOT PROGRAM
         Sec. 262.401.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Child who is a candidate for foster care" means a
  child who is at imminent risk of being removed from the child's home
  and placed into the conservatorship of the department because of a
  continuing danger to the child's physical health or safety caused
  by an act or failure to act of a person entitled to possession of the
  child but for whom a court of competent jurisdiction has issued an
  order allowing the child to remain safely in the child's home or in
  a kinship placement with the provision of family preservation
  services.
               (2)  "Department" means the Department of Family and
  Protective Services.
               (3)  "Family preservation service" means a
  time-limited, family-focused service, including a service subject
  to the Family First Prevention Services Act (Title VII, Div. E, Pub.
  L. No. 115-123), provided to the family of a child who is:
                     (A)  a candidate for foster care to prevent or
  eliminate the need to remove the child and to allow the child to
  remain safely with the child's family; or
                     (B)  a pregnant or parenting foster youth.
               (4)  "Family preservation services plan" means a
  written plan, based on a professional assessment, listing the
  family preservation services, including services subject to the
  Family First Prevention Services Act (Title VII, Div. E, Pub. L.
  No. 115-123), to be provided to the family of a child who is:
                     (A)  a candidate for foster care; or
                     (B)  a pregnant or parenting foster youth.
               (5)  "Foster care" means substitute care as defined by
  Section 263.001.
         Sec. 262.402.  PILOT PROGRAM FOR FAMILY PRESERVATION
  SERVICES. (a) The department shall establish a pilot program that
  allows the department to dispose of an investigation by referring
  the family of a child who is a candidate for foster care for family
  preservation services and allowing the child to return home instead
  of entering foster care or by providing services to a pregnant or
  parenting foster youth.  The department shall implement the pilot
  program in two child protective services regions in this state, one
  urban and one rural.
         (b)  The pilot program must be implemented in at least one
  child protective services region in this state in which
  community-based care has been implemented under Subchapter B-1,
  Chapter 264.
         (c)  In authorizing family preservation services for a child
  who is a candidate for foster care, the child's safety is the
  primary concern. The services may be modified as necessary to
  accommodate the child's circumstances.
         (d)  In implementing the pilot program, the department shall
  use:
               (1)  Title IV-E funds to:
                     (A)  pay for legal representation for parents in
  the manner provided by Section 107.015; or
                     (B)  provide to counties a matching reimbursement
  for the cost of the legal representation; and
               (2)  funds received under the Temporary Assistance for
  Needy Families (TANF) program or other department funds to provide
  enhanced in-home support services to families qualifying for
  prevention services under this subchapter to achieve the objectives
  in the family preservation services plan.
         Sec. 262.403.  COURT ORDER REQUIRED. (a) Subject to
  Subsection (b), the department must obtain a court order from a
  court of competent jurisdiction to compel the family of a child who
  is a candidate for foster care to obtain family preservation
  services and complete the family preservation services plan.
         (b)  The department is not required to obtain a court order
  to provide family preservation services to a pregnant or parenting
  foster youth.
         Sec. 262.404.  FILING SUIT; PETITION REQUIREMENTS. (a) The
  department may file a suit requesting the court to render an order
  requiring the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other
  member of the child's household to:
               (1)  participate in the family preservation services
  for which the department makes a referral or services the
  department provides or purchases to:
                     (A)  alleviate the effects of the abuse or neglect
  that has occurred;
                     (B)  reduce a continuing danger to the physical
  health or safety of the child caused by an act or failure to act of
  the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of the
  child's household; or
                     (C)  reduce a substantial risk of abuse or neglect
  caused by an act or failure to act of the parent, managing
  conservator, guardian, or other member of the child's household;
               (2)  permit the child and any siblings of the child to
  receive the services; and
               (3)  complete all actions and services required under
  the family preservation services plan.
         (b)  A suit requesting an order under this section may be
  filed in a court with jurisdiction to hear the suit in the county in
  which the child is located.
         (c)  Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, the
  suit is governed by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applicable to
  the filing of an original lawsuit.
         (d)  The petition for suit must be supported by:
               (1)  a sworn affidavit based on personal knowledge and
  stating facts sufficient to support a finding that:
                     (A)  the child has been a victim of abuse or
  neglect or is at substantial risk of abuse or neglect; and
                     (B)  there is a continuing danger to the child's
  physical health or safety caused by an act or failure to act of the
  parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of the
  child's household unless that person participates in family
  preservation services requested by the department; and
               (2)  a safety risk assessment for the child that
  documents:
                     (A)  the process for the child to remain at home
  with appropriate family preservation services instead of foster
  care;
                     (B)  the specific reasons the department should
  provide family preservation services to the family; and
                     (C)  the manner in which family preservation
  services will mitigate the risk of the child entering foster care.
         (e)  In a suit filed under this section, the court may render
  a temporary restraining order as provided by Section 105.001.
         (f)  The court shall hold a hearing on the petition not later
  than the 14th day after the date the petition is filed unless the
  court finds good cause for extending that date for not more than 14
  days.
         Sec. 262.405.  AD LITEM APPOINTMENTS. (a) The court shall
  appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the interests of the child
  immediately after a suit is filed under Section 262.404 but before
  the hearing to ensure adequate representation of the child. The
  attorney ad litem for the child has the powers and duties of an
  attorney ad litem for a child under Chapter 107.
         (b)  The court shall appoint an attorney ad litem to
  represent the interests of a parent for whom participation in
  family preservation services is being requested immediately after
  the suit is filed but before the hearing to ensure adequate
  representation of the parent. The attorney ad litem for the parent
  has the powers and duties of an attorney ad litem for a parent under
  Section 107.0131.
         (c)  Before the hearing commences, the court shall inform
  each parent of:
               (1)  the parent's right to be represented by an
  attorney; and
               (2)  for a parent who is indigent and appears in
  opposition to the motion, the parent's right to a court-appointed
  attorney.
         (d)  If a parent claims indigence, the court shall require
  the parent to complete and file with the court an affidavit of
  indigence. The court may consider additional evidence to determine
  whether the parent is indigent, including evidence relating to the
  parent's income, source of income, assets, property ownership,
  benefits paid in accordance with a federal, state, or local public
  assistance program, outstanding obligations, and necessary
  expenses and the number and ages of the parent's dependents. If the
  court finds the parent is indigent, the attorney ad litem appointed
  to represent the interests of the parent may continue the
  representation. If the court finds the parent is not indigent, the
  court shall discharge the attorney ad litem from the appointment
  after the hearing and order the parent to pay the cost of the
  attorney ad litem's representation.
         (e)  The court may, for good cause shown, postpone any
  subsequent proceedings for not more than seven days after the date
  of the attorney ad litem's discharge to allow the parent to hire an
  attorney or to provide the parent's attorney time to prepare for the
  subsequent proceeding.
         Sec. 262.406.  COURT ORDER. (a) Except as provided by
  Subsection (d), at the conclusion of the hearing in a suit filed
  under Section 262.404, the court shall order the department to
  provide family preservation services and to execute a family
  preservation services plan developed in collaboration with the
  family of the child who is a candidate for foster care if the court
  finds sufficient evidence to satisfy a person of ordinary prudence
  and caution that:
               (1)  abuse or neglect occurred or there is a
  substantial risk of abuse or neglect or continuing danger to the
  child's physical health or safety caused by an act or failure to act
  of the parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of
  the child's household;
               (2)  family preservation services are necessary to
  ensure the child's physical health or safety; and
               (3)  family preservation services are appropriate
  based on the child's safety risk assessment and the child's family
  assessment.
         (b)  The court's order for family preservation services
  must:
               (1)  identify and require specific services narrowly
  tailored to address the factors that make the child a candidate for
  foster care; and
               (2)  include a statement on whether the services to be
  provided to the family are appropriate to address the factors that
  place the child at risk of removal.
         (c)  The court may, in its discretion, order family
  preservation services for a parent whose parental rights to another
  child were previously terminated.
         (d)  If the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence,
  that the parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances
  described by Section 262.2015, the court may order that family
  preservation services not be provided.
         Sec. 262.407.  FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES PLAN; CONTENTS.
  (a) On order of the court under Section 262.406, the department in
  consultation with the child's family shall develop a family
  preservation services plan. The department and the family shall
  discuss each term and condition of the plan.
         (b)  The family preservation services plan must be written in
  a manner that is clear and understandable to the parent, managing
  conservator, guardian, or other member of the child's household and
  in a language the person understands.
         (c)  The family preservation services plan must:
               (1)  include a safety risk assessment of the child who
  is the subject of the investigation and an assessment of the child's
  family;
               (2)  state the reasons the department is involved with
  the family;
               (3)  be narrowly tailored to address the specific
  reasons the department is involved with the family and the factors
  that make the child a candidate for foster care;
               (4)  list the specific family preservation services the
  family will receive under the plan and identify the manner in which
  those services will mitigate the child's specific risk factors and
  allow the child to remain safely at home;
               (5)  specify the tasks the family must complete during
  the effective period of the plan and include a schedule with
  appropriate completion dates for those tasks; and
               (6)  include the name of the department or single
  source continuum contractor representative who will serve as a
  contact for the family in obtaining information related to the
  plan.
         (d)  The family preservation services plan must include the
  following statement:
         "TO THE PARENT OF THE CHILD SERVED BY THIS PLAN: THIS
  DOCUMENT IS VERY IMPORTANT. ITS PURPOSE IS TO HELP YOU PROVIDE YOUR
  CHILD WITH A SAFE ENVIRONMENT WITHIN THE REASONABLE PERIOD
  SPECIFIED IN THIS PLAN. IF YOU ARE UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO PROVIDE
  YOUR CHILD WITH A SAFE ENVIRONMENT, YOUR CHILD MAY BE REMOVED FROM
  YOU, AND YOUR PARENTAL AND CUSTODIAL DUTIES AND RIGHTS MAY BE
  RESTRICTED OR TERMINATED. A COURT HEARING WILL BE HELD AT WHICH A
  JUDGE WILL REVIEW THIS FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES PLAN."
         Sec. 262.408.  FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES PLAN: SIGNING
  AND EFFECT. (a) The family of a child who is a candidate for foster
  care and the department shall sign the family preservation services
  plan, and the department shall submit a copy of the signed plan to
  the court for review.
         (b)  If the family is unwilling to participate in the
  development of the family preservation services plan, the
  department may submit the plan to the court without the parents'
  signatures.
         (c)  The family preservation services plan takes effect on
  the date the court certifies that the plan complies with the court's
  order for family preservation services and is narrowly tailored to
  address the factors that make the child a candidate for foster care.
  The court may hold a hearing to review the plan for compliance.
         (d)  The family preservation services plan remains in effect
  until:
               (1)  the 180th day after the date the court's order for
  family preservation services is signed, unless renewed by an order
  of the court; or
               (2)  the date the plan is amended or revoked by the
  court.
         (e)  A person subject to the family preservation services
  plan may file a motion with the court at any time to request a
  modification or revocation of the original or any amended plan.
         Sec. 262.409.  AMENDED FAMILY PRESERVATION SERVICES PLAN.
  (a) A family preservation services plan may be amended at any time.
  The department or single source continuum contractor and the
  parents of a child who is a candidate for foster care shall jointly
  develop any amendment to the plan. The department or contractor
  must inform the parents of their rights related to the amended
  family preservation services plan process.
         (b)  The parents and the person preparing the amended family
  preservation services plan shall sign the amended plan, and the
  department or single source continuum contractor shall submit the
  amended plan to the court for review.
         (c)  If the parents are unwilling to participate in the
  development of the amended family preservation services plan, the
  department or single source continuum contractor may submit the
  amended plan to the court without the parents' signatures.
         (d)  The amended family preservation services plan takes
  effect on the date the court certifies that the amended plan
  complies with the court's order for family preservation services
  and is narrowly tailored to address the factors that make the child
  a candidate for foster care. The court may hold a hearing to review
  the amended plan for compliance.
         (e)  The amended family preservation services plan is in
  effect until:
               (1)  the 180th day after the date the court's order for
  family preservation services is signed, unless renewed by an order
  of the court; or
               (2)  the date the amended plan is modified or revoked by
  the court.
         Sec. 262.410.  COURT IMPLEMENTATION OF FAMILY PRESERVATION
  SERVICES PLAN. (a) After reviewing and certifying an original or
  any amended family preservation services plan, the court shall
  incorporate the original and any amended plan into the court's
  order and may render additional appropriate orders to implement or
  require compliance with an original or amended plan.
         (b)  In rendering an order, a court may omit any service
  prescribed under the family preservation services plan that the
  court finds is not appropriate or is not narrowly tailored to
  address the factors that make the child a candidate for foster care
  and place the child at risk of removal.
         Sec. 262.411.  SELECTION OF SERVICE PROVIDER. (a) A parent,
  managing conservator, guardian, or other member of a household
  ordered to participate in family preservation services under this
  subchapter may obtain those services from a qualified or licensed
  provider selected by the person.
         (b)  Services provided by a provider selected under
  Subsection (a) must be similar in scope and duration to services
  described by the family preservation services plan adopted under
  Section 262.407 and achieve the stated goals of the service plan.
  The service provider must certify in writing that the parent,
  managing conservator, guardian, or other member of a household
  completed the services.
         (c)  A parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other
  member of a household who obtains family preservation services from
  a provider selected by the person is responsible for the cost of
  those services.
         (d)  A parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other
  member of a household who successfully completes the required
  family preservation services must obtain verification from the
  service provider of that completion. The department shall accept
  the service provider's verification provided under this subsection
  as proof that the person successfully completed the court-ordered
  family preservation services.
         Sec. 262.412.  STATUS HEARING. Not later than the 90th day
  after the date the court renders an order for family preservation
  services under this subchapter, the court shall hold a hearing to
  review the status of each person required to participate in the
  services and of the child and to review the services provided,
  purchased, or referred. The court shall set subsequent review
  hearings every 90 days to review the continued need for the order.
         Sec. 262.413.  EXTENSION OF ORDER. (a) The court may extend
  an order for family preservation services rendered under this
  subchapter on a showing by the department of a continuing need for
  the order, after notice and hearing. Except as provided by
  Subsection (b), the court may extend the order only one time for not
  more than 180 days.
         (b)  The court may extend an order rendered under this
  subchapter for not more than an additional 180 days only if:
               (1)  the court finds that:
                     (A)  the extension is necessary to allow the
  person required to participate in family preservation services
  under the family preservation services plan time to complete those
  services;
                     (B)  the department made a good faith effort to
  timely provide the services to the person;
                     (C)  the person made a good faith effort to
  complete the services; and
                     (D)  the completion of the services is necessary
  to ensure the physical health and safety of the child; and
               (2)  the extension is requested by the person required
  to participate in family preservation services under the family
  preservation services plan or the person's attorney.
         Sec. 262.414.  EXPIRATION OF ORDER.  On expiration of a court
  order for family preservation services under this subchapter, the
  court shall dismiss the case.
         Sec. 262.415.  CONTRACT FOR SERVICES. (a) The department
  may contract with one or more persons to provide family
  preservation services under the pilot program.  In a child
  protective services region in this state in which community-based
  care under Subchapter B-1, Chapter 264, has been implemented and in
  which the pilot program is implemented, the department may contract
  with the single source continuum contractor to provide family
  preservation services under the pilot program.
         (b)  The contract with the person selected to provide family
  preservation services must include performance-based measures that
  require the person to show that as a result of the services:
               (1)  fewer children enter foster care in the pilot
  program region in comparison to other regions of this state;
               (2)  fewer children are removed from their families
  after receiving the services in the pilot program region in
  comparison to other regions of this state; and
               (3)  fewer children enter foster care in the five years
  following completion of the services in the pilot program region in
  comparison to other regions of this state.
         (c)  The department shall collaborate with a person selected
  to provide family preservation services to identify children who
  are candidates for foster care or who are pregnant or parenting
  foster youth and to ensure that the services are appropriate for
  children referred by the department.
         Sec. 262.416.  LIMIT ON FINANCE OF SERVICES.  If a court
  order for services under this subchapter includes services that are
  not subject to the Family First Prevention Services Act (Title VII,
  Div. E., Pub. L. No. 115-123), the order must identify a method of
  financing for the services and the local jurisdiction that will pay
  for the services.
         Sec. 262.417.  REPORT TO LEGISLATURE. (a) Not later than the
  first anniversary of the date the department commences a pilot
  program under this subchapter and every two years after that date,
  the department shall contract with an entity based in this state
  that is independent of the department and has demonstrated
  expertise in statistical, financial, logistical, and operational
  analysis to evaluate the implementation of the pilot program under
  this subchapter, assess its progress, and report its findings to
  the appropriate standing committees of the legislature having
  jurisdiction over child protective services and foster care
  matters. The report must include:
               (1)  a detailed description of the actions taken by the
  department to ensure the successful implementation of the pilot
  program;
               (2)  a detailed analysis of the role each of the
  following entities has in the pilot program:
                     (A)  the courts;
                     (B)  legal representatives;
                     (C)  the investigations division of the
  department; and
                     (D)  the department or other entity implementing
  the pilot program;
               (3)  an analysis of any barrier to the successful
  implementation of the pilot program and recommendations for
  overcoming those barriers;
               (4)  data on the performance-based outcomes described
  by Subsection (b) and achieved in the child protective services
  region in which the pilot program is implemented;
               (5)  a detailed comparison of outcomes achieved in the
  child protective services region in which the pilot program is
  implemented with outcomes achieved in other child protective
  services regions;
               (6)  a detailed description of the costs of the pilot
  program and services provided; and
               (7)  recommendations on whether to expand services
  described in this subchapter to other child protective services
  regions in this state based on the outcomes and performance of the
  pilot program.
         (b)  Performance-based outcomes for evaluating the pilot
  program must include:
               (1)  the number of children served;
               (2)  the number of families served;
               (3)  the percentage of children who do not have a
  reported finding of abuse, neglect, or exploitation;
               (4)  the percentage of children served who did not
  enter foster care at case closure;
               (5)  the percentage of children served who did not
  enter foster care within six months and one year of the date the
  case was closed;
               (6)  the number of families who received family
  preservation services under the pilot program for whom the
  department opens an investigation of abuse or neglect involving the
  family before the second anniversary of the date the case was
  closed; and
               (7)  the average length of time services are provided
  from the entry of an order for family preservation services to case
  dismissal.
         SECTION 3.  Section 263.202(b), Family Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, a
  status hearing shall be limited to matters related to the contents
  and execution of the service plan filed with the court. The court
  shall review the service plan that the department filed under this
  chapter for reasonableness, accuracy, and compliance with
  requirements of court orders and make findings as to whether:
               (1)  a plan that has the goal of returning the child to
  the child's parents adequately ensures that reasonable efforts are
  made to enable the child's parents to provide a safe environment for
  the child;
               (2)  the child's parents have reviewed and understand
  the plan and have been advised that unless the parents are willing
  and able to provide the child with a safe environment, even with the
  assistance of a service plan, within the reasonable period of time
  specified in the plan, the parents' parental and custodial duties
  and rights may be subject to restriction or to termination under
  this code or the child may not be returned to the parents;
               (3)  the plan is narrowly [reasonably] tailored to
  address any specific issues identified by the department; and
               (4)  the child's parents and the representative of the
  department have signed the plan.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter C, Chapter 264, Family Code, is
  amended by adding Section 264.2031 to read as follows:
         Sec. 264.2031.  SELECTION OF SERVICE PROVIDER. (a) A
  parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other member of a
  household ordered to participate in services under Section
  264.203(a) may obtain those services from a qualified provider
  selected by the person.
         (b)  A parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other
  member of a household who obtains services from a provider selected
  by the person is responsible for the cost of those services.
         (c)  A parent, managing conservator, guardian, or other
  member of a household who successfully completes the services
  ordered under Section 264.203(a) must obtain verification from the
  service provider of that completion. The department shall accept
  the service provider's verification provided under this subsection
  as proof that the person successfully completed the court-ordered
  services.
         SECTION 5.  The changes in law made by this Act to Section
  262.1095, Family Code, apply only to a suit affecting the
  parent-child relationship filed on or after the effective date of
  this Act. A suit affecting the parent-child relationship filed
  before the effective date of this Act is governed by the law in
  effect immediately before the effective date of this Act, and the
  former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
         SECTION 6.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3041 was passed by the House on April
  28, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 142, Nays 0, 1 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 3041 was passed by the Senate on May
  19, 2021, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor