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Legislative Year: 2021 Change
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Bill Detail: HB21-1313

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Title Child Protection Ombudsman and Immigrant Children
Status Governor Signed (07/02/2021)
Bill Subjects
  • Children & Domestic Matters
  • Human Services
  • Immigration
House Sponsors A. Benavidez (D)
S. Gonzales-Gutierrez (D)
Senate Sponsors J. Gonzales (D)
House Committee Judiciary
Senate Committee State, Veterans and Military Affairs
Date Introduced 05/12/2021
Summary

Under current law, the office of the child protection ombudsman
(ombudsman) has a duty to receive complaints made by or on behalf of
a child relating to the child protection system. Once the ombudsman

receives a complaint, the ombudsman may investigate and seek resolution
of the complaint. The bill extends the scope of the ombudsman's duties
to self-initiate impartial and independent investigations and ongoing
reviews of the safety and well-being of unaccompanied immigrant
children who live in a state-licensed residential child care facility
(facility) and who are in the custody of the office of refugee resettlement
of the federal department of health and human services. The ombudsman
may seek resolution of such investigations and ongoing reviews by
referring an investigation and ongoing review to the state department of
human services (department) or the appropriate agency or entity and
making a recommendation for action relating to the investigation and
ongoing review of the facility. The ombudsman may request, review, and
receive copies of information, records, or documents that the ombudsman
deems necessary to conduct a thorough and independent investigation and
ongoing review of the facility. The ombudsman shall report the results of
the investigation and ongoing review in the ombudsman's annual report.
The bill requires the facility to notify the ombudsman and the
department within 3 days after the arrival of an unaccompanied
immigrant child.
The bill permits the department and the ombudsman to coordinate
site visits to investigate and review a facility. The department and the
ombudsman may share final reports based on their site visits.

Committee Reports
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Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (09/14/2021) (most recent)  
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