SUMMARY OF HOUSE-PASSED BILL
The bill would amend the Social Welfare Act to allow a direct care worker to work in a court-operated juvenile residential care facility in a county with a population of less than 50,000, if he or she had a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma (GED).
Section 14 of the Act lists various powers and duties of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), including the inspection of places of detention for juveniles, for the purpose of promoting the proper, efficient, and human administration of those places. A reasonable order of the DHHS setting minimum standards of sanitation, fire protection, food, and comfortable lodging may be enforced by the circuit court.
The bill would create Section 14d to specify that in a juvenile residential care facility operated by a court under Section 14 that was located in a county with a population of less than 50,000, a direct care worker would be qualified, and would have to be allowed, to work in the facility if he or she had completed high school or obtained a GED.
If an administrative rule conflicted with the proposed section, Section 14d would prevail.
The bill would take effect 90 days after its enactment.
According to the DHHS website, a juvenile court-operated facility is a 24-hour residential care facility operated by a juvenile court for children and youths. Under administrative rule R 400.10121, a direct care worker (an individual who has assigned child care responsibilities and provides direct care and supervision of a child in a facility) is qualified to work in a facility if he or she has completed 30 semester hours of college (or the equivalent in quarter hours). Alternatively, a direct care worker must have a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent, and two years' experience working in a facility or child caring institution.