43-4706. Department; duties; contract requirements; caregiver; duties; written notice posted; normalcy plan; contents; normalcy report; contents.

(1) The department shall ensure that each foster family home and child-care institution has policies consistent with this section and that such foster family home and child-care institution promote and protect the ability of children to participate in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities.

(2) A caregiver shall use a reasonable and prudent parent standard in determining whether to give permission for a child to participate in extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities. The caregiver shall take reasonable steps to determine the appropriateness of the activity in consideration of the child’s age, maturity, and developmental level.

(3) The department shall require, as a condition of each contract entered into by a child-care institution to provide foster care, the presence onsite of at least one official who, with respect to any child placed at the child-care institution, is designated to be the caregiver who is (a) authorized to apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard to decisions involving the participation of the child in age or developmentally appropriate activities, (b) provided with training in how to use and apply the reasonable and prudent parent standard in the same manner as foster parents are provided training in section 43-4707, and (c) required to consult whenever possible with the child and staff members identified by the child in applying the reasonable and prudent parent standard.

(4) The department shall also require, as a condition of each contract entered into by a child-care institution to provide foster care, that all children placed at the child-care institution be notified verbally and in writing, in an age or developmentally appropriate manner, of the process for making a request to participate in age or developmentally appropriate activities and that a written notice of this process be posted in an accessible, public place in the child-care institution.

(5)(a) The department shall also require, as a condition of each contract entered into by a child-care institution to provide foster care, a written normalcy plan describing how the child-care institution will ensure that all children have access to age or developmentally appropriate activities to be filed with the department and a normalcy report regarding the implementation of the normalcy plan to be filed with the department annually by June 30. Such plans and reports shall not be required to be provided by child-care institutions physically located outside the State of Nebraska or psychiatric residential treatment facilities.

(b) The normalcy plan shall specifically address:

(i) Efforts to address barriers to normalcy that are inherent in a child-care institution setting;

(ii) Normalcy efforts for all children placed at the child-care institution, including, but not limited to, relationships with family, age or developmentally appropriate access to technology and technological skills, education and school stability, access to health care and information, and access to a sustainable and durable routine;

(iii) Procedures for developing goals and action steps in the child-care institution’s case plan and case planning process related to participation in age or developmentally appropriate activities for each child placed at the child-care institution;

(iv) Policies on staffing, supervision, permission, and consent to age or developmentally appropriate activities consistent with the reasonable and prudent parent standard;

(v) A list of activities that the child-care institution provides onsite and a list of activities in the community regarding which the child-care institution will make children aware, promote, and support access;

(vi) Identified accommodations and support services so that children with disabilities and special needs can participate in age or developmentally appropriate activities to the same extent as their peers;

(vii) The individualized needs of all children involved in the system;

(viii) Efforts to reduce disproportionate impact of the system and services on families and children of color and other populations; and

(ix) Efforts to develop a youth board to assist in implementing the reasonable and prudent parent standard in the child-care institution and promoting and supporting normalcy.

(c) The normalcy report shall specifically address:

(i) Compliance with each of the plan requirements set forth in subdivisions (b)(i) through (ix) of this subsection; and

(ii) Compliance with subsections (3) and (4) of this section.

(6) The department shall make normalcy plans and reports received from contracting child-care institutions pursuant to subsection (5) of this section and plans and reports from all youth rehabilitation and treatment centers pursuant to subsection (7) of this section available upon request to the Nebraska Strengthening Families Act Committee, the Nebraska Children's Commission, probation, the Governor, and electronically to the Health and Human Services Committee of the Legislature, by September 1 of each year.

(7) All youth rehabilitation and treatment centers shall meet the requirements of subsection (5) of this section.

Source:Laws 2016, LB746, § 6; Laws 2017, LB225, § 12.
Operative Date: April 28, 2017