Learning About the Law
NH Foster parents are expected to be familiar with state rules, statutes and protocols as they pertain to foster care and child abuse/neglect cases that involve foster children.
Please note that: Each year new laws are passed which amend current sections in the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs), insert new sections, reenact sections or repeal sections. The printed and online versions of the RSAs do not immediately reflect these changes. The Lists of Sections Affected (LSA) identifies all changes made to the statutes during specific legislative sessions. Be sure to read the related disclaimer on the State of NH Revised Statutes Online. Go HERE to see updates from the latest legislation.
What is state LAW?
Rules of conduct or a system of such rules enforced by a controlling authority that is recognized by the state of NH as regulating the way people may or may not behave. Any rule that is broken subjects a person to punishment or liability.
What are state STATUTES?
Written laws passed by a legislature on a state level. Courts apply these systematic statements to specific situations. NH Revised Statutes Annotated (RSA) forms the official law of the state hierarchy to the fundamental laws of the NH State Constitution. The Constitution of the State of NH (1784) is the fundamental law of NH, with which all statute laws must comply.
The NH state statutes most pertinent to abuse and neglect cases and foster parents are: RSA 169-C Child Protection Act , 170-C Termination of Parental Rights. and 170-E:51 & 52 an ACT relative to collaboration between the department of health and human services and foster parents.
What are NH Administrative RULES?
He-C 6400 contains the majority of Administrative Rules regarding DCYF and foster care. "He" indicates "health" for the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the "C" stands for the "Commissioner" who currently oversees DHHS, including DCYF. CHAPTER He-C 6400 PROGRAM AND SERVICE INFORMATION covers rules about a child's Medicaid and other funding for care/services, residential placement of educationally disabled children and working with the schools and DCYF operations and case management/record keeping. Foster parents: rates, home study requirements, care and supervision of foster children, case planning, healthcare, education, discipline guidelines, confidentiality, visitation, status changes, orders to comply, foster care/birth parents/adoption services, removal of children, appeals, and adoption and licensure information/requirements.
Rules numbered He-C are rules in areas subject to the rulemaking authority of the Commissioner, and not Division or Office directors, prior to 11-1-95. Pursuant to 1995, 310, effective 11-1-95, all rules of the Department of Health and Human Services are adopted by the Commissioner, but Department rules filed after 11-1-95 are still numbered and listed by the offices and divisions if their directors had rulemaking authority prior to 11-1-95 in the subject area of the filing.
What are state PROTOCOLS?
State governed rules that describes proper and generally accepted behavior and how an activity should be performed. The Protocols Relative to Abuse and Neglect Cases and Permanency Planning and the Protocols Relative to Termination of Parental Rights, Surrender of Parental Rights, Voluntary Mediation and Adoptions Involving RSA-169-C Cases and Protocols Relative to Children and Youth in Court- RSA 169-C Child Protection Cases are examples of such rules. They cover general court provisions, court activities, counsel for parents and child, protective custody, ex-parte order, hearings, relinquishment and termination of parental rights and adoption. Keep in mind that the interpretation of the law, as it applies to any given case, is within the sole jurisdiction of the judge.
For more information about NH statutes go to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, current Through March 2015.
For more information about statute updates go to the State of NH Revised Statutes Online. Although this website aims to provide updated information it is only current through August 2016 and recommends that to obtain the official version of any statute you should consult the bound volumes and supplements of the NH revised statutes annotated found at the NH John W. King Law Library or the NH State Library.
The best source of NH legislative information can be found at the NH Public Libraries Toolkit. This is a very comprehensive and easy to read explanations of state statutes and lists of NH state legal titles and other resources, including state laws, bills, administrative rules and codes.
This curriculum was developed by the National Foster Parent Association, is based on the Legal Resource Manual for Foster Parents, authored by Cecilia Fiermonte, J.D., American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and Regina Deihl, J.D., Legal Advocates for Permanent Parenting. The information in the manual and this curriculum is based on laws in effect in September, 2004. Participants should be advised that federal and state laws can change at any time. This information is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel. For questions related to specific cases, participants should contact an attorney in their state with experience in child abuse and neglect cases.
GET TO KNOW THE LAWS IN NH!
Know your rights as a foster parent and learn how the system is governed!
Click HERE to go to the Official NH State Government Website:
The Portal to the New Hampshire State Legislature