2020 Alaska Statutes
Title 47. Welfare, Social Services, and Institutions
Chapter 17. Child Protection
Sec. 47.17.030. Action on reports; termination of parental rights.

Universal Citation: AK Stat § 47.17.030 (2020)

(a) If a child, concerning whom a report of harm is made, is believed to reside within the boundaries of a local government exercising health functions for the area in which the child is believed to reside, the department may, upon receipt of the report, refer the matter to the appropriate health or social services agency of that local government. For cases not referred to an agency of a local government, the department shall, for each report received, investigate and take action, in accordance with law, that may be necessary to prevent further harm to the child or to ensure the proper care and protection of the child.

(b) A local government health or social services agency receiving a report of harm shall, for each report received, investigate and take action, in accordance with law, that may be necessary to prevent further harm to the child or to ensure the proper care and protection of the child. In addition, the agency receiving a report of harm shall forward a copy of its report of the investigation, including information the department requires by regulation, to the department.

(c) Action shall be taken regardless of whether the identity of the person making the report of harm is known.

(d) Before the department or a local government health or social services agency may seek the termination of parental rights under AS 47.10, it shall offer protective social services and pursue all other reasonable means of protecting the child.

(e) In all actions taken by the department or a health and social services agency of a local government under this chapter that result in a judicial proceeding, the child shall be represented by a guardian ad litem in that proceeding. Appointment of a guardian ad litem shall be made in accordance with AS 25.24.310.

(f) If an investigation under this section shows reasonable cause to believe that a certified nurse aide has committed abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property, the department shall report the matter to the Board of Nursing.

(g) When the department or a local government health or social services agency (1) completes an investigation of a report of harm concerning a child, (2) determines, based on the investigation findings, that department or local agency services to protect the child are not required, and (3) identifies an appropriate community organization that will actively reach out to families to provide needed support services, the department or local government health or social services agency shall seek the written consent of the child's parent or guardian to refer the family to the community organization. If the parent or guardian consents to the referral, the department or local government health or social services agency shall refer the parent or guardian to the community organization identified by the department. If the child has more than one parent or guardian and only one parent or guardian consents to the referral, the department or local government health or social services agency shall refer the parent or guardian who consents to the community organization but may not provide information to the community organization concerning the parent or guardian who does not consent to the referral. A community organization that receives information from the department or a local government health or social services agency under this subsection may not disclose the information to a person who is not authorized by law to receive it.

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