SB385 (2018) Detail

Establishing a foster care children's bill of rights.




01/18/2018   0109s

5Apr2018... 1244h







AN ACT establishing a foster care children's bill of rights.


SPONSORS: Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5; Rep. M. MacKay, Hills. 30; Rep. Morrison, Rock. 9; Rep. Wallner, Merr. 10


COMMITTEE: Health and Human Services






This bill establishes a bill of rights for children in foster care.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

01/18/2018   0109s

5Apr2018... 1244h 18-2939





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT establishing a foster care children's bill of rights.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


220:1  Statement of Purpose.

I.  The rights and privileges enumerated in this act are intended to guide department of health and human services staff, foster parents, and providers in the delivery of care and services to youth in out-of-home placement with a commitment to permanency, safety, and well-being.  These rights and privileges provide youth with a “voice” to be taken into consideration when decisions are made by the courts, department staff, and providers.  They are designed to ensure opportunities for age appropriate involvement in “normal” life experiences.

II.  The following assumptions, beliefs, and goals guide this foster children's bill of rights:

(a)  Everyone deserves to be safe.

(b)  All children and youth need and deserve permanency and a life of wellbeing.

(c)  Everyone, regardless of age, deserves to be treated with courtesy and respect.

(d)  All children, youth, and families have strengths.

(e)  All children and youth belong with a family or other sources of caring and support. 220:

220:2  New Subdivision; Foster Care Children's Bill of Rights.  Amend RSA 170-G by inserting after section 19 the following new subdivision:

Foster Care Children's Bill of Rights

170-G:20  Reasonable and Prudent Parent Standard.  The rights of children in foster care exist within the context of the reasonable and prudent parent standard defined in 42 U.S.C. section 675(10).  This means that foster parents, caretakers, and department staff must make careful and sensible decisions that maintain the health, safety, and best interests of a child while at the same time encouraging the emotional and developmental growth of the child.  The rights and privileges established in this section are to be applied in accordance with the reasonable and prudent parent standard, in a context appropriate to the age and developmental level of the child, and in recognition of the fact that some of these privileges may need to be earned.  

170-G:21  Foster Care Children's Bill of Rights.  A child who is placed in a foster home or other out-of-home placement pursuant to a juvenile court proceeding under RSA 169-B, RSA 169-C, or RSA 169-D shall have the right or privilege:

I.  To be supported in a healthy growth and developmental process from early childhood to adulthood and to be protected from all forms of abuse.

II.  To receive appropriate and team recommended treatments, including counseling, medical care, and dental treatment, within a reasonable period.

III.  To receive support from department staff, and his or her foster family or residential provider in maintaining positive contact with significant people, such as relatives, friends, teachers, and community supports, including assistance with obtaining contact information, transportation, and reasonable visitation opportunities.

IV.  To develop a group of supportive adults, which may, when appropriate, include department staff, foster parents, residential staff, therapists, and other individuals with responsibility for case planning.

V.  To be treated with courtesy and respect by department staff, foster parents, residential staff, and providers without regard to race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, or disability and to participate in activities associated with his or her religious beliefs.

VI.  To participate in "normal" activities consistent with his or her age and developmental level, such as opening a bank account, celebrating birthdays, participating in graduations, and obtaining an identity card, unless restricted by the child's treatment plan, case plan, or the availability of financial resources.

VII.  To receive notice of any meetings regarding the child's case and to have opportunities to resolve potential barriers to participation, such as a lack of transportation or conflict with the child's academic schedule.

VIII.  To receive timely information about decisions that affect the child's life and to be notified of changes that affect his or her case plan, treatment plan, permanency, safety, stability, or wellbeing, and to have his or her voice considered in these decisions.

IX.  To be informed of all assistance that the department offers foster children related to permanency planning, education, employment, housing, and wellbeing.

X.  To receive assistance in acquiring life skills, education, training, and career guidance to accomplish personal goals, prepare for the future, and to become a self-sufficient adult after the child's transition from care.

XI.  To have an achievable transition plan when the child leaves care that is created by the foster child with the help of  his or her support group.

XII.  To attend and participate in court hearings to the extent permitted by the court and appropriate given the age and experience of the child.

XIII.  To utilize technology, such as social networking sites and cell phones, based on the child's level of maturity and responsibility and taking into account the environment in which the child is living, the support of his or her treatment team, the financial costs involved, and the child's ability to maintain privileges.

XIV.  To be informed of the process for contacting the child protective services worker's supervisor, or other department staff, the guardian ad litem, and the office of the child advocate.

XV.  To be informed by the department of the rights set forth in this section and to receive assistance in obtaining and enforcing them.

220:3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.


Approved: June 08, 2018

Effective Date: June 08, 2018


SB385 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 11, 2018 Senate Hearing
Jan. 18, 2018 Senate Floor Vote
March 27, 2018 House Hearing
March 27, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
April 5, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB385 Revision: 4150 Date: June 13, 2018, 4:27 p.m.
SB385 Revision: 3785 Date: May 7, 2018, 10:24 a.m.
SB385 Revision: 3381 Date: April 5, 2018, 11:35 a.m.
SB385 Revision: 2970 Date: Jan. 19, 2018, 10:43 a.m.
SB385 Revision: 2693 Date: Dec. 12, 2017, 12:27 p.m.


June 8, 2018: Signed by the Governor on 06/08/2018; Chapter 0220; Effective 06/08/2018

May 10, 2018: Enrolled (In recess 05/10/2018); SJ 18

May 10, 2018: Enrolled 05/10/2018

May 2, 2018: Sen. Bradley Moved to Concur with the House Amendment, MA, VV; 05/02/2018; SJ 15

April 5, 2018: Ought to Pass with Amendment 1244h: MA VV 04/05/2018 HJ 11 P. 3

April 5, 2018: Amendment # 2018-1244h: AA VV 04/05/2018 HJ 11 P. 3

: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2018-1244h (Vote 9-1; CC)

April 5, 2018: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2018-1244h for 04/05/2018 (Vote 9-1; CC) HC 13 P. 3

March 27, 2018: Executive Session: 03/27/2018 LOB 206

March 27, 2018: Public Hearing: 03/27/2018 10:00 AM LOB 206

March 7, 2018: Introduced 03/07/2018 and referred to Children and Family Law HJ 7 P. 51

Jan. 18, 2018: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2018-0109s, MA, VV; OT3rdg; 01/18/2018; SJ 2

Jan. 18, 2018: Committee Amendment # 2018-0109s, AA, VV; 01/18/2018; SJ 2

Jan. 18, 2018: Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2018-0109s, 01/18/2018; SC 3

Jan. 11, 2018: Hearing: 01/11/2018, Room 102, LOB, 01:00 pm; SC 2

Jan. 3, 2018: To Be Introduced 01/03/2018 and Referred to Health and Human Services; SJ 1