Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 207
Family Support Division and Children's Division

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Divisions of department, authority to carry out duties.

207.010. The children's division, family support division, MO HealthNet division, division of youth services, division of legal services, division of finance and administrative services, and the state technical support team are an integral part of the department of social services and shall have and exercise all the powers and duties necessary to carry out fully and effectively the purposes assigned to them by the director of the department of social services and by law and the department of social services shall be the state agency to:

(1) Administer state plans and laws involving aid to dependent children;

(2) Aid or relief in case of public calamity;

(3) Aid for direct relief;

(4) Child welfare services;

(5) Social services to families and adults;

(6) Pensions and services for the blind; and

(7) Any other duties relating to public assistance and social services which may be imposed upon the department of social services.

(L. 1945 p. 945 § 32, A. 1949 S.B. 1062, A.L. 1953 p. 622, A.L. 1973 S.B. 325, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

Powers of children's division.

207.020. 1. In addition to the powers, duties and functions vested in the children's division by other provisions of this chapter or by other laws of this state, the division shall have the power:

(1) To sue and be sued;

(2) To make contracts and carry out the duties imposed upon it by this or any other law;

(3) To administer, disburse, dispose of and account for funds, commodities, equipment, supplies or services, and any kind of property given, granted, loaned, advanced to or appropriated by the state of Missouri for any of the purposes herein;

(4) To administer oaths, issue subpoenas for witnesses, examine such witnesses under oath, and make and keep a record of same;

(5) To adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations necessary or desirable to carry out the provisions of this chapter and which are not inconsistent with the constitution or laws of this state;

(6) To cooperate with the United States government in matters of mutual concern pertaining to any duties wherein the children's division is acting as a state agency, including the adoption of such methods of administration as are found by the United States government to be necessary for the efficient operation of state plans hereunder;

(7) To make such reports in such form and containing such information as the United States government may, from time to time, require, and comply with such provisions as the United States government may, from time to time, find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;

(8) To establish, extend and strengthen child welfare services for the protection and care of homeless, dependent and neglected children and children in danger of becoming delinquent;

(9) To expend child welfare service funds for payment of part of the cost of district, county or other local child welfare services;

(10) To administer state child welfare activities and develop state services for the encouragement and assistance of adequate methods of community child welfare organizations;

(11) To appoint, when and if it may deem necessary, advisory committees to provide professional or technical consultation in respect to welfare problems and welfare administration. The members of such advisory committees shall receive no compensation for their services other than expenses actually incurred in the performance of their official duties. The number of members of each such advisory committee shall be determined by the children's division, and such advisory committees shall consult with and advise the children's division in respect to problems and policies incident to the administration of the particular function germane to the respective field of competence;

(12) To initiate or cooperate with other agencies in developing measures for the prevention of dependency and the rehabilitation of children;

(13) To collect statistics, make special fact-finding studies and publish reports in reference to its duties;

(14) To establish or cooperate in research or demonstration projects relative to the welfare program, such as those relating to the prevention and reduction of dependency and economic distress, or which will aid in effecting coordination of planning between private and public welfare agencies, or which will help improve the administration and effectiveness of programs carried on or assisted under the federal Social Security Act and the programs related thereto;

(15) To provide appropriate public welfare services to promote, safeguard and protect the social well-being and general welfare of children and to help maintain and strengthen family life, and to provide such public welfare services to aid children and their families as may be authorized by law;

(16) Upon request, to cooperate with the juvenile court and furnish social studies and reports to the court with respect to children as to whom adoption, abuse, or neglect petitions have been filed;

(17) To accept for social services and care, homeless, dependent or neglected children in all counties where legal custody is vested in the children's division by the juvenile court where the juvenile court has acquired jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of section 211.031; provided that prior to legal custody being vested in the children's division, the children's division shall conduct an evaluation of the child, examine the child and investigate all pertinent circumstances of his or her background for the purpose of determining appropriate services and a treatment plan for the child. This evaluation shall involve local division staff and consultation with the juvenile officer or such officer's designee, appropriate state agencies, including but not limited to the department of mental health and the department of elementary and secondary education, or private practitioners who are knowledgeable of the child or programs or services appropriate to the needs of the child and shall be completed within thirty days. Temporary custody may be placed with the children's division while the evaluation is being conducted. A report of such proceedings and findings shall be submitted in writing to the appropriate court:

(a) The children's division may, at any time, if it finds the child placed in its custody is in need of care or treatment other than that which it can provide, apply to the court which placed such child for an order relieving it of custody of such child. The court must make a determination within ten days and the court shall be vested with full power to make such disposition of the child as is authorized by law, including continued custody;

(b) However, no payments for care shall be made:

a. To facilities with which the children's division has no contract to provide such care, or to facilities in the state of Missouri which are not licensed by the state of Missouri unless exempt from such licensure;

b. To any facility outside the state of Missouri unless the children's division determines that there is no facility in the state of Missouri which can provide substantially equivalent care, except that this limitation shall not apply to any facility outside the state of Missouri if that facility is the closest available facility to the child's home or the children's division determines that such placement is in the child's best interest; nor

c. To any facility outside the state of Missouri which is not licensed or exempted from licensure by the state in which it is located, or which cannot document that it meets requirements which would be necessary for licensure in the state of Missouri. The term "care" shall include room, board, clothing, medical care, dental care, social services and incidentals;

(18) To accept gifts and grants of any property, real or personal, and to sell said property and expend such gifts or grants not inconsistent with the administration of this chapter and within the limitations imposed by the donor thereof;

(19) To make periodic surveys of cost-of-living factors in relation to the duties and responsibilities of the division, and establish standards or budgetary guides for determining minimum costs of meeting such requirements, and amend such standards from time to time as circumstances may require.

2. All powers and duties of the children's division shall, so far as applicable, apply to the administration of any other law or state law wherein duties are imposed upon the children's division acting as a state agency.

(L. 1945 p. 945 § 33, A.L. 1961 p. 531, A.L. 1965 p. 351, A.L. 1977 H.B. 578, A.L. 1981 S.B. 200, A.L. 1982 S.B. 497, A.L. 1986 H.B. 1502, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

Rules and regulations, procedure.

207.021. No rule or portion of a rule promulgated under the authority of this chapter shall become effective unless it has been promulgated pursuant to the provisions of section 536.024.

(L. 1981 H.B. 901 § B, A.L. 1993 S.B. 52, A.L. 1995 S.B. 3)

Powers of family support division.

207.022. 1. In addition to the powers, duties and functions vested in the family support division by other provisions of this chapter or by other laws of this state, the family support division shall have the power:

(1) To sue and be sued;

(2) To make contracts and carry out the duties imposed upon it by this or any other law;

(3) To administer, disburse, dispose of and account for funds, commodities, equipment, supplies or services, and any kind of property given, granted, loaned, advanced to or appropriated by the state of Missouri for any of the purposes herein;

(4) To administer oaths, issue subpoenas for witnesses, examine such witnesses under oath, and make and keep a record of same;

(5) To adopt, amend and repeal rules and regulations necessary or desirable to carry out the provisions of this chapter and which are not inconsistent with the constitution or laws of this state;

(6) To cooperate with the United States government in matters of mutual concern pertaining to any duties wherein the family support division is acting as a state agency, including the adoption of such methods of administration as are found by the United States government to be necessary for the efficient operation of state plans hereunder;

(7) To make such reports in such form and containing such information as the United States government may, from time to time, require, and comply with such provisions as the United States government may, from time to time, find necessary to assure the correctness and verification of such reports;

(8) To appoint, when and if it may deem necessary, advisory committees to provide professional or technical consultation in respect to welfare problems and welfare administration. The members of such advisory committees shall receive no compensation for their services other than expenses actually incurred in the performance of their official duties. The number of members of each such advisory committee shall be determined by the family support division and such advisory committees shall consult with and advise the family support division in respect to problems and policies incident to the administration of the particular function germane to the respective field of competence;

(9) To initiate or cooperate with other agencies in developing measures for the prevention of dependency and the rehabilitation of needy persons;

(10) To collect statistics, make special fact-finding studies and publish reports in reference to public welfare;

(11) To establish or cooperate in research or demonstration projects relative to the welfare program, such as those relating to the prevention and reduction of dependency and economic distress, or which will aid in effecting coordination of planning between private and public welfare agencies, or which will help improve the administration and effectiveness of programs carried on or assisted under the federal Social Security Act and the programs related thereto;

(12) To provide appropriate public welfare services to promote, safeguard and protect the social well-being and general welfare of children and to help maintain and strengthen family life, and to provide such public welfare services to aid needy persons who can be so helped to become self-supporting or capable of self-care;

(13) To accept gifts and grants of any property, real or personal, and to sell said property and expend such gifts or grants not inconsistent with the administration of this chapter and within the limitations imposed by the donor thereof;

(14) To make periodic surveys of cost-of-living factors in relation to the needs of recipients of public assistance, and establish standards or budgetary guides for determining minimum costs of meeting such requirements, and amend such standards from time to time as circumstances may require;

(15) To accept gifts and grants of any property, real or personal, and to sell said property and expend such gifts or grants not inconsistent with the administration of this chapter and within the limitations imposed by the donor thereof.

2. All powers and duties of the family support division shall, so far as applicable, apply to the administration of any other law or state law wherein duties are imposed upon the family support division acting as a state agency.

(L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

Director of divisions--oath--bond--removal from office.

207.030. The directors of the family support division and children's division shall be persons qualified by education and experience to supervise the work of such divisions and shall be citizens and taxpayers of Missouri. Before entering upon his or her duties, each director shall subscribe an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri and to faithfully demean himself or herself in office. Each director shall enter into good and sufficient bond, payable to the state of Missouri, conditioned upon the faithful discharge and performance of official duties, and upon accountability for all property and funds coming under such director's administration and control, said bond to be approved by the attorney general as to form, and by the governor as to its sufficiency, the premium on said bond to be paid by the state. The governor may remove the director of the children's division and the director of the family support division for incompetence, misconduct, or neglect of duty.

(L. 1945 p. 945 § 34, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

County offices--director--agreements with subdivisions--otheremployees.

207.060. 1. The directors of the family support division and children's division shall jointly operate and maintain a county office in every county, which may be in the charge of a county welfare director who shall have been a resident of the state of Missouri for a period of at least two years immediately prior to taking office and whose salary shall be paid from funds appropriated for the family support division and children's division.

2. For the purpose of establishing and maintaining county offices, or carrying out any of the duties of the divisions, the division directors may enter into agreements with any political subdivision of this state, and as a part of such agreement, may accept moneys, services, or quarters as a contribution toward the support and maintenance of such county offices. Any funds so received shall be payable to the director of revenue and deposited in the proper special account in the state treasury, and become and be a part of state funds appropriated for the use of the family support division and children's division.

3. Other employees in the county offices shall be employed with due regard to the population of the county, existing conditions and purpose to be accomplished. Such employees shall be paid as are other employees of the family support division and children's division.

(RSMo 1939 § 9405, A.L. 1941 p. 643, A. 1949 S.B. 1062, A.L. 1973 S.B. 325, A.L. 1992 H.B. 887, A.L. 2004 H.B. 1453)

Department may elect to bring employees under workers'compensation--who deemed employee--rules.

207.070. 1. The department of social services is hereby authorized to elect, under the provisions of section 287.030, to come under the provisions of chapter 287, governing workers' compensation, and such law is hereby extended to include all employees of the department under any contract of hire, express or implied, oral or written, or under any appointment or election. The state of Missouri shall be a self-insurer and assume all liability imposed by chapter 287, in respect to the department employees without insurance. The attorney general shall appear on behalf of and defend the state in all actions, when the state is a self-insurer, brought by employees of the department referred to herein under the provisions of the workers' compensation law.

2. Any persons assigned to perform work on welfare work projects initiated or sponsored by any state agency in carrying out a cooperative agreement with the United States government under the Federal Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, or any amendment thereto, shall be deemed to be employees of the department of social services only for the purpose of affording such employees workers' compensation coverage under chapter 287. The workers' compensation coverage may be provided by the purchase of insurance or by the deposit in the commissioner of administration's office of a fund from which workers' compensation benefits to such employees shall be paid. Purchase of the insurance or the deposit of a fund shall be made only from funds granted by the federal government.

3. The department of social services shall adopt rules classifying the employees mentioned herein who may be eligible for compensation under this section, and its classification shall be decisive as to whether or not an employee falls within the definition of an employee eligible for workers' compensation coverage under this section.

4. The director of the department of social services is authorized to perform such duties as may be necessary to carry out effectively the purposes of this section.

(L. 1965 p. 353 § 1, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

Law not to create liability or obligation.

207.080. The extension of chapter 287 to include employees of the department of social services shall not be construed as acknowledging or creating any liability in tort, or as incurring other obligations or duties except only the duty and obligation of complying with the provisions of chapter 287 so long as the department may elect to remain under the provisions of chapter 287.

(L. 1965 p. 353 § 2, A.L. 2014 H.B. 1299 Revision)

Division employee dismissal, when--mitigating factors.

207.085. 1. Any employee of the children's division, including supervisory personnel and private contractors with the division, who is involved with child protective services and purposely, knowingly, and willfully violates a stated or written policy of the division, any rule promulgated by the division, or any state law directly related to the child abuse and neglect activities of the division shall be dismissed if the violation directly results in serious physical injury or death, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section. The provisions of this section shall apply to merit system employees of the division, as well as all other employees of the division and private contractors with the division, and upon a showing of a violation, such employees shall be dismissed for cause, subject to the provisions of subsection 2 of this section, and shall have the right of appeal pursuant to sections 36.380 and 36.390. For purposes of this section, a "private contractor with the division" means any private entity or community action agency with the appropriate and relevant training and expertise in delivering services to children and their families as determined by the children's division, and capable of providing direct services and other family services for children in the custody of the children's division or any such entities or agencies that are receiving state moneys for such services.

2. The provisions of sections 660.019 to 660.021 shall apply to this section. If an employee of the division or a private contractor with the division is responsible for caseload assignments in excess of those required to attain accreditation by the Council for Accreditation for Families and Children's Services, and the employee purposely, knowingly, and willfully violates a stated or written policy of the division, any rule promulgated by the division, or any state law directly related to the child abuse and neglect activities of the division and the violation directly results in serious physical injury or death, the employee's good faith efforts to follow the stated or written policies of the division, the rules promulgated by the division, or the state laws directly related to the child abuse and neglect activities of the division shall be a mitigating factor in determining whether an employee of the division or a private contractor with the division is dismissed pursuant to subsection 1 of this section.

(L. 2004 H.B. 1453)


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