Approved by House and Senate; awaiting Governor’s signature
On March 30, the House and Senate adopted the conference report for HB 510. It is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Explanation of the Bill
As introduced, House Bill 510 would create a Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. This would include all of the rights and responsibilities that foster parents currently hold and several additional ones. Some of the new provisions would give foster parents the right to:
- Communicate with professionals who work with the foster child, including the child’s teachers.
- Communicate with a Department of Child Protection Services representative, such as the family protection worker, when further educational services are needed to ensure the child’s educational needs are met.
- Attend all IEP meetings, along with the department worker, at the child’s school.
- Be involved in crucial decisions regarding the child including, but not limited to, individual service planning meetings, foster care review, individual educational planning meetings, and medical appointments.
- Receive a copy of the “Foster Child Information Form” and all other pertinent information about the child and the birth family including educational status.
In addition to creating the Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities, HB 510 would require the Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities to be given to all potential foster parents during their training.
On February 23, the Senate Judiciary B Committee passed a “strike-all” amendment to HB 510. As amended, the bill would create the same additional rights for foster parents as the original bill. However, it does not contain mention of the Foster Parents’ Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.
In addition to codifying additional rights for foster parents, the amended version of HB 510 would establish a grievance procedure for foster parents to raise concerns about any of their rights or responsibilities. It would also create the Mississippi Task Force on Foster Care and Adoption, which would be composed of various government officials and other professionals. The task force would be responsible for reviewing the state’s foster care system and developing recommendations for improvement. It would be required to report its findings to the Legislature each year by December 1 of each year, until its dissolution in 2027.
|1/13/23||On January 13, HB 510 was referred to the House Judiciary A Committee.|
|1/31/23||On January 31, the House Judiciary A Committee passed a committee substitute for HB 510.|
|2/7/23||On February 7, the House amended and passed HB 510.|
|2/13/23||On February 13, HB 510 was referred to the Senate Judiciary A Committee.|
|2/23/23||On February 23, the Senate Judiciary A Committee passed a “strike-all” amendment to HB 510. As amended, the bill would establish a Foster Care and Adoption Task Force, in addition to codifying new rights for foster parents.|
|3/8/23||On March 8, the Senate passed HB 510 as amended. It will now go to the House for concurrence.|
|3/14/23||On March 14, the House invited conference on HB 510. House conferees include Angela Cockerham, Lee Yancey, and Kevin Felsher. Senate conferees include Brice Wiggins, Nicole Boyd, and Jason Barrett.|
|3/27/23||On March 27, House and Senate conferees filed a conference report for HB 510. The conference report is substantively similar to the version of the bill that passed the House.|
|3/28/23||On March 28, HB 510 was recommitted for further conference.|
|3/29/23||On March 29, a second conference report was filed for HB 510. This most recent conference report differs from the first in that it gives foster parents the additional right to attend youth court hearings that involve the foster child placed in their care.|
|3/30/23||On March 30, the House and Senate adopted the conference report for HB 510.|