22nd Alaska State Legislature
Information from the House Representative John Coghill

Click image for large 5'' x 7'' picture, 136.2k Session:
State Capitol, Room 102
Juneau, AK 99801-1182
Toll Free: (877) 465-3719
Phone: (907) 465-3719
Fax: (907) 465-3258

Personal Web Site:

119 N Cushman Street, Suite 211
Fairbanks, AK 99701
Phone: (907) 456-5081
Fax: (907) 456-8245

Sponsor Statement for HB 252
Standard of Care for CINA Services

An Act relating to the construction of certain statutes relating to children; relating to the scope of duty and standard of care for persons who provide services to certain children and families; and providing for an effective date.
Released: January 11, 2002
Contact: Representative John Coghill's office at (907) 465-3719

We must continue our work of balancing child protection with family preservation during government intervention. Parents are held to a standard of care by our state with the threat of loosing parental rights if they fail in meeting these standards.

House Bill 252 is introduced with the purpose of recognizing parents in their God given role to raise their children as they see fit. This bill also recognizes that parents fail in varying degrees and the Division of Youth Services is called upon to protect the children while trying to preserve the family. Therefore we are adding the parent's participation in the event of a child coming under court jurisdiction.

Failing to properly care for children is not just a parental issue. Our State Division of Youth Services also is made up of humans that from time to time may fail in a standard of caring. Therefore HB 252 is requiring that a standard of care be instituted within our State so that each department employee is held to at least the same standard of care that we require of parents in Alaska.

Since we are invoking police and judicial powers to our agency personnel I believe that a higher standard of duty, conduct and care is needed. The requirements should be consistent with those stated in the Board of Social Workers in AS 08.95

Currently under AS 47.10.960 there is no duty or standard of care imposed department employees. The lack of a standard of care obscures the fiduciary duty of the State to the parents and children for which they are making these decisions.

HB 252 simply requires DFYS to implement through the regulatory process the scope of duty owed and the standard of care that must be met by department employees when dealing with CINA cases under Title 47. This legislation will provide for rules that can be understood by public employees and private citizens who may have this law applied to their lives.

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Related Links

Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Division of Family & Youth Services

HB 164 : Grandparents' Rights Regarding CINA

HB 180 : Youth Services - Regulation & Task Force

HB 245 : Marital & Family Therapists

HB 252 : Standard of Care for CINA Services

HB 261 : Termination of Parental Rights

HB 309 : Interstate Placement of Children

SB 126 : Right of Action for Legal Separation

SB 192 : Increase Child Care Grants