22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from Representative Fred Dyson



Click image for large 5'' x 7'' picture, 93.5k Session:
State Capitol, Room 104
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Phone: (907) 465-2199
Fax: (907) 465-4587


Interim:
10928 Eagle River Rd., Suite 140
Eagle River, AK 99577
Phone: (907) 694-6683
Fax: (907) 694-1015

Sponsor Statement for HB 164
Grandparents' Rights Regarding CINA

An Act prescribing the rights of grandparents related to child-in-need-of-aid hearings; and amending Rules 3, 7, 10, 15, and 19, Alaska Child in Need of Aid Rules.

For Immediate Release:


March 30, 2001

Contact:


Representative Fred Design's office at (907) 465-2199

Grandparents are often the most stable and healthy influence in the life of a child from a troubled family. HB 164 assures that grandparents will have an opportunity to be heard at; Child in Need of Aid (CINA) hearings and custody hearings when the hearings involve their grandchildren.

Over the past couple of sessions the legislature has focused considerable effort on making our child protection and custody procedures more open, responsive and responsible. We have given foster parents more input and the right to be heard in treatment and in placement decisions and have encouraged more efficient placement procedures.

HB 164 will result in more informed decisions about the treatment and placement of Alaska's abused and neglected children. We also believe this measure will increase the likelihood of children being placed with relatives who may not have otherwise been located, heard, or considered.

The bill specifies that, unless the court specifically finds otherwise, the testimony of parents will be given more weight than a grandparents. This approach protects the primary parental interest while specifically allowing a court to defer to a grandparent for good cause.

Because we recognize that there will be cases where a grandparent is not a suitable option for child placement, HB 164 does not mandate that end. Instead, it requires notification of grandparents who care enough to make themselves known, so they can be part of the process if they will. The intended result is to encourage the department and parents to consider grandparents more frequently as a preferred placement option for children in need.

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Attachments:

| Rep. Dyson's Page |


Related Links

Alaska's "Child in Need of Aid" Rules


 

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