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  • HB 2583: Emotional and mental abuse is added to the criminal code for violations by a child care provider. It is also now a Class E felony for operating a child care facility after your license has been suspended/denied or operating a facility without a license within 10 years of a previous finding by the department that the person or entity operated a child care agency without being licensed by the department.
  • HB 1301: Provides “newborn safety devices” in health care facilities as an alternative way for a mother to anonymously place a newborn infant aged 14 days or younger in the device with the intent to leave the newborn infant for an emergency medical services provider to remove the newborn infant from the device and take custody of the newborn infant.
    • An alarm is fitted to the device for notification to the appropriate authority of a newborn in the safety device and monitored 24/7.
    • These monitors are visible to a police station, fire station, or hospital staff.
    • Mothers have the right to remain anonymous to promote the life of the child.
  • HB 1834 (Ethan’s, Hailey’s, & Bentley’s Law): Requires a sentencing court to order a defendant who has been convicted of vehicular homicide or aggravated vehicular homicide due to intoxication and in which the victim of the offense was the parent of a minor child to pay restitution in the form of child maintenance to each of the victim’s children until each child reaches 18 years of age and has graduated from high school.
  • HB 2711: Requires the Department of Children’s Services to inspect, at least twice per year, without previous notice, all nontraditional child care agencies or suspected nontraditional child care agencies.
    • These nontraditional child care agencies provide residential child care for one or more children that must be transported across state lines to enter.
    • These facilities have been used to house unaccompanied, refugee children.
  • HB 2354 (Noah’s Law): Allows a custodial parent, under certain circumstances, to seek an emergency court order declaring a child to be in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death and ordering the noncustodial parent to return the child to the custodial parent immediately.
  • HB 2145: Under present law, the Department of Children’s Services develops a program to provide services to youth between the ages of 18 and 21 years who are transitioning to adulthood from state custody.
    • This bill requires the department of children’s services to pay a reimbursement to eligible relative caregivers to support the cost of raising the child. This bill defines “relative caregiver” to mean a person with a first, second, or third degree of relationship to the parent or stepparent of a child who may be related to the child through blood, marriage, or adoption.
  • Appropriation:
    • $33.8M – TN Foster’s Hope Program including child care vouchers for foster/adopted children
    • $9.7M – Department of Children Services case managers’ salary increases to decrease caseloads
    • $5M – Children Advocacy Centers

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