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SENATE BILL NO. 197
INTRODUCED BY C. CHRISTIAENS, J. MANGAN, D. WYATT, B. MCCARTHY,
B. RYAN, J. BOHLINGER
AN ACT PROVIDING REIMBURSEMENT FOR MENTAL HEALTH OUTPATIENT COUNSELING SERVICES FOR FOSTER PARENTS WHO EXPERIENCE THE DEATH OF A FOSTER CHILD WHO HAS BEEN PLACED IN THEIR HOME THAT IS LICENSED AS A YOUTH CARE FACILITY; AMENDING SECTION 41-3-1103, MCA; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Purpose. The intent of [section 2] is to provide reimbursement for mental health outpatient counseling services to foster parents who experience the death of a foster child placed with them by the department or a licensed child placing agency. Many of the children have disabilities, terminal illnesses, or other special needs, and often these children spend their childhood in the homes of foster parents. The death of a child is a traumatic experience, and the legislature finds that providing reimbursement for counseling is a necessary support to those persons who are willing to open their homes to foster children who need a stable and safe environment.
Section 2. Foster parent counseling services. (1) A person who provides substitute care to a foster child who dies while residing in a youth care facility must be offered reimbursement for mental health outpatient counseling services at the expense of the department.
(2) Upon the death of a foster child in substitute care, the department shall provide information about available reimbursement for mental health outpatient counseling services for the person or persons who were providing care to the foster child.
(3) The reimbursement for mental health outpatient counseling services must be available for up to 1 year in duration by a provider of the person's choice at an amount equivalent to that offered as a benefit to state employees under 2-18-702, subject to the same maximum benefit levels and copayments.
Section 3. Section 41-3-1103, MCA, is amended to read:
"41-3-1103. Powers and duties of department. (1) The department shall:
(a) administer all state and federal funds allocated to the department for youth foster homes, youth group homes, child-care agencies, and youth assessment centers for youth in need of care, as defined in 41-3-102;
(b) exercise licensing authority over all youth foster homes, youth group homes, child-care agencies, and youth assessment centers;
(c) collect and disseminate information relating to youth in need of care;
(d) provide for training of program personnel delivering services;
(e) in cooperation with youth care facility providers, develop and implement standards for youth care facilities;
(f) maintain adequate data on placements it funds in order to keep the legislature properly informed of the following:
(i) the number of youth in need of care in out-of-home care facilities;
(ii) the cost per facility for services rendered;
(iii) the type and level of care of services provided by each facility;
(iv) a profile of out-of-home care placements by level of care; and
(v) a profile of public institutional placements;
(g) administer all funds allocated to the department for residential alcohol and drug abuse treatment for indigent youths in need of care, indigent youths in need of intervention, and indigent delinquent youths who require treatment; and
(h) provide reimbursement for mental health outpatient counseling services for persons who experience the death of a foster child while providing substitute care to the foster child in a youth care facility.
(2) The department may:
(a) enter into contracts with nonprofit corporations or associations or private organizations to provide substitute care for youth in need of care in youth care facilities;
(b) accept gifts, grants, and donations of money and property from public and private sources to initiate and maintain community-based services to youth;
(c) adopt rules to carry out the administration and purposes of this part.
(3) The department shall pay for room, board, clothing, personal needs, transportation, and treatment in youth foster care homes and youth group homes for youths committed to the department who need to be placed in the facilities. Payments for the clothing of a child placed in a youth foster home must be provided to the extent the child needs a basic wardrobe or has a special clothing need. Payments under this subsection may not exceed appropriations for the purposes of this subsection."
Section 4. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 and 2] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 41, chapter 3, part 11, and the provisions of Title 41, chapter 3, part 11, apply to [sections 1 and 2].
Section 5. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1999.
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Latest Version of SB 197 (SB0197.ENR)
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