A legislative committee will begin taking an in-depth look at the child protective services system and at senior and long-term care services when it meets Sept. 13 in Helena.
The Children, Families, Health, and Human Services Interim Committee will be studying those topics over the next year, based on study resolutions passed by the Legislature earlier this year.
At the meeting next week, members will:
- learn how the Department of Public Health and Human Services responds to and evaluates reports of potential child abuse or neglect, including how the agency decides whether a child should be removed from the home and when the child and parents should be reunified;
- hear about the impact the cases have on Montana's court system, including information from Montana Supreme Court Justice Ingrid Gustafson about efforts being undertaken to reduce the amount of time it takes to reunify families or find other permanent placements for children; and
- hear about procedures and challenges specific to Montana's Indian tribes.
For the study of senior and long-term care services, the committee will learn about the three major programs that allow elderly and physically disabled people to obtain services in their homes and communities rather than in a nursing home.
The Legislature also asked the committee to review a uniform guardianship and conservatorship law drafted by a national group that proposes standardized legislation on topics of interest across state lines. The uniform law was introduced as Senate Bill 202 during the 2019 session but was not passed. Committee members will review the testimony that was presented on that bill and decide whether the committee should pursue a new version of the legislation.
DPHHS Director Sheila Hogan will provide an update on agency activities, and members will also receive budget information related to the department.
The meeting will begin at 8 a.m. in Room 137 of the Capitol and will be streamed live at http://leg.mt.gov and broadcast on the Montana Public Affairs Network. For more information about the meeting, including a full agenda and related materials, visit the committee's website or contact Sue O'Connell, committee researcher.
People interested in signing up for electronic notification of the activities of the Children and Families Committee and other interim committees may do so at: https://leg.mt.gov/lyris-list.
Committee Website: www.leg.mt.gov/cfhhs
Committee Staff: firstname.lastname@example.org or 406-444-3597