Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016 Indiana House Bill HB1354 Delegating parental responsibilities

Representative Curt Nisly has introduced House Bill 1354 which relates to protecting parents who delegate their parental responsibilities to another person or institution. The bill would bar government agents from having such delegation used against the parents upon a claim of abandonment or neglect.

This bill would amend IC 29-3-9-1 which currently prohibits repercussions against parents for delegating to an institution furnishing care, custody, education, or training to a child for a period of up to 12 months. As amended it would grant to government personnel a time limitation of up to 30 days following return from deployment regardless of the duration of the deployment.

IC 29-3-9-1.2 would be added as a new section. This section provides definitions and exempts the temporary custodians from foster care requirements. It also includes the protection clause; Except as otherwise provided in statute, the delegation shall not, without other evidence, constitute abandonment, abuse, or neglect of the minor by the parent or guardian, unless the parent or guardian fails to make contact with the attorney-in-fact or execute a new power of attorney after the expiration or termination of the original power of attorney.

The final portion of the bill also adds a new section. IC 31-33-8-15 would provide that when Child Protective Services conducts an investigation that does not result in a child being taken from the home that it can provide referrals or information about community support services to the parents.

This bill is well considered legislation that seeks to protect parents from unjust intrusion by CPS. It is a fit companion to HB1338 which protects parenting time of the other parent when a child is taken from a parent. This bill should also be adopted by the State of Indiana.

The progress of this bill will be updated on the posting List of 2016 Indiana Child Custody, Child Support, Domestic Violence, and Child Well-Being bills.

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