Sec. 264.018: Required Notifications

(a) In this section:

(1) "Child-placing agency" has the meaning assigned by Section 42.002, Human Resources Code.

(2) "Psychotropic medication" has the meaning assigned by Section 266.001.

(3) "Residential child-care facility" has the meaning assigned by Section 42.002, Human Resources Code.

(4) "Significant change in medical condition" means the occurrence of an injury or the onset of an illness that is life-threatening or may have serious long-term health consequences. The term includes the occurrence or onset of an injury or illness that requires hospitalization for surgery or another procedure that is not minor emergency care.

(5) "Significant event" means:

(A) a placement change, including failure by the department to locate an appropriate placement for at least one night;

(B) a significant change in medical condition;

(C) an initial prescription of a psychotropic medication or a change in dosage of a psychotropic medication;

(D) a major change in school performance or a serious disciplinary event at school; or

(E) any event determined to be significant under department rule.

(b) The notification requirements of this section are in addition to other notice requirements provided by law, including Sections 263.0021, 264.107(g), and 264.123.

(c) The department must provide notice under this section in a manner that would provide actual notice to a person entitled to the notice, including the use of electronic notice whenever possible.

(d) Not later than 24 hours after an event described by this subsection, the department shall make a reasonable effort to notify a parent of a child in the managing conservatorship of the department of:

(1) a significant change in medical condition of the child;

(2) the enrollment or participation of the child in a drug research program under Section 266.0041; and

(3) an initial prescription of a psychotropic medication.

(d-1) Except as provided by Subsection (d-2), as soon as possible but not later than 24 hours after a change in placement of a child in the conservatorship of the department, the department shall give notice of the placement change to the managed care organization that contracts with the commission to provide health care services to the child under the STAR Health program. The managed care organization shall give notice of the placement change to the primary care physician listed in the child's health passport before the end of the second business day after the day the organization receives the notification from the department.

(d-2) In this subsection, "catchment area" has the meaning assigned by Section 264.152. In a catchment area in which community-based care has been implemented, the single source continuum contractor that has contracted with the commission to provide foster care services in that catchment area shall, as soon as possible but not later than 24 hours after a change in placement of a child in the conservatorship of the department, give notice of the placement change to the managed care organization that contracts with the commission to provide health care services to the child under the STAR Health program. The managed care organization shall give notice of the placement change to the child's primary care physician in accordance with Subsection (d-1).

(e) Not later than 48 hours before the department changes the residential child-care facility of a child in the managing conservatorship of the department, the department shall provide notice of the change to:

(1) the child's parent;

(2) an attorney ad litem appointed for the child under Chapter 107;

(3) a guardian ad litem appointed for the child under Chapter 107;

(4) a volunteer advocate appointed for the child under Chapter 107; and

(5) the licensed administrator of the child-placing agency responsible for placing the child or the licensed administrator's designee.

(f) Except as provided by Subsection (d-1), as soon as possible but not later than the 10th day after the date the department becomes aware of a significant event affecting a child in the conservatorship of the department, the department shall provide notice of the significant event to:

(1) the child's parent;

(2) an attorney ad litem appointed for the child under Chapter 107;

(3) a guardian ad litem appointed for the child under Chapter 107;

(4) a volunteer advocate appointed for the child under Chapter 107;

(5) the licensed administrator of the child-placing agency responsible for placing the child or the licensed administrator's designee;

(6) a foster parent, prospective adoptive parent, relative of the child providing care to the child, or director of the group home or general residential operation where the child is residing; and

(7) any other person determined by a court to have an interest in the child's welfare.

(g) For purposes of Subsection (f), if a hearing for the child is conducted during the 10-day notice period described by that subsection, the department shall provide notice of the significant event at the hearing.

(h) The department is not required to provide notice under this section to a parent of a child in the managing conservatorship of the department if:

(1) the department cannot locate the parent;

(2) a court has restricted the parent's access to the information;

(3) the child is in the permanent managing conservatorship of the department and the parent has not participated in the child's case for at least six months despite the department's efforts to involve the parent;

(4) the parent's rights have been terminated; or

(5) the department has documented in the child's case file that it is not in the best interest of the child to involve the parent in case planning.

(i) The department is not required to provide notice of a significant event under this section to the child-placing agency responsible for the placement of a child in the managing conservatorship of the department, a foster parent, a prospective adoptive parent, a relative of the child providing care to the child, or the director of the group home or general residential operation where the child resides if that agency or individual is required under a contract or other agreement to provide notice of the significant event to the department.

(j) A person entitled to notice from the department under this section shall provide the department with current contact information, including the person's e-mail address and the telephone number at which the person may most easily be reached. The person shall update the person's contact information as soon as possible after a change to the information. The department is not required to provide notice under this section to a person who fails to provide contact information to the department. The department may rely on the most recently provided contact information in providing notice under this section.

(k) To facilitate timely notification under this section, a residential child-care facility contracting with the department for 24-hour care shall notify the department, in the time provided by the facility's contract, of a significant event for a child who is in the conservatorship of the department and residing in the facility.

(l) The executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission shall adopt rules necessary to implement this section using a negotiated rulemaking process under Chapter 2008, Government Code.

Comments

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 722 (H.B. 1309), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2015.

Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 944 (S.B. 206), Sec. 48, eff. September 1, 2015.

Amended by:

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 317 (H.B. 7), Sec. 33, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 319 (S.B. 11), Sec. 14, eff. September 1, 2017.

Acts 2019, 86th Leg., R.S., Ch. 467 (H.B. 4170), Sec. 7.005, eff. September 1, 2019.