Legislation

What is new in the amendment to the Social and Legal Protection Act No. 359/1999 Coll. from 1 January 2013.

The amendment sets a new, better system of the social and legal protection of children.

In addition to the child’s interest and well-being, the protection of parenthood, the family, the right to parental upbringing and care concerning the wider social environment now become a leading aspect of the social and legal protection of children.

The amendment establishes binding procedures for the activities of the social and legal protection of children authorities (OSPOD) and other participants in the system:

  • it obliges OSPOD to be responsible for case management and to coordinate the activities of entities related to the protection of the child’s rights;
  • it entrusts OSPOD with regular evaluation of work with the family;
  • it obliges OSPOD to create individual child protection plans, to contract and secure services, to organize case conferences;
  • it specifies standards of care for children requiring special attention (the procedures must correspond with the child’s best interest; should the child be placed in the institutional care facility, then it must be close as possible to his or her parents’ place of residence);
  • it emphasizes the child’s need to grow up in a family environment and aims to gradually reduce the extent of institutional care (should the child be placed in institutional care, then only for the time necessary; the court decision will identify the specific facility in which the child should be placed every and the child’s situation will be reassessed every 3 months);
  • it regulates conditions in facilities for children requiring immediate assistance – sets new rules and obligations;
  • it improves the standards of the work with biological family (prevention of “social orphans” phenomenon).

It also establishes work quality standards and sets the minimal required framework of activity for all parts of the system.

Standards are a set of criteria that determine the quality of social and legal protection services provided by the authorities concerning children, parents and other persons responsible for the upbringing.

The amendment improves conditions for substitute family care and generally increases support for foster care:

it secures the higher quality material security for the temporary foster parents,

it increased foster parent rewards;

it changes the conditions in the area of material security for the grandparents providing the relatives’ foster care;

it takes foster benefits out of the state welfare system;

it revises the way foster parents prepare for the service;

it helps and encourages the establishment of support and relief services helping new and existing foster families;

it abolishes foster care facilities;

it brings changes the procedures of placing children in the substitute family care ( a child’s relative or a close person is now preferable);

it revises functions of the advisory councils;

it abolishes centralized records of children and applicants at the ministry while at the same time strengthening the control activities of the ministry;

it revises deadlines for submitting documentation of applicants and children to the regional registry of regions and ÚPMOD;

it revises obligations for authorities and delegated organizations involved in the foster care management;

it regulates the control and inspection of the field of the social and legal protection of children (Ministry of Labour and the Social Agenda, Employment Bureau);

it introduces new terms and conditions: care providers and registered persons;

the Employment Bureau becomes the authority entrusted with the social and legal protection of children.

Other important documents in the field of foster care:

Amendments to the terms of the temporary foster care for (max. 1 year, except when accepting other siblings of the first child).

Modification of rights and obligations for care providers (foster parents and guardians) and registered persons (foster parents waiting for a child).

Right to:

• permanent or temporary assistance when ensuring the personal care of the appointed child (in the processing of necessary personal matters, in taking care of a close person, temporary incapacity for work, the birth of a child, death of a close person);
• assistance when providing full daycare for the custodial child (or children) as appropriate to the age of the child, the assistance amounting to at least 14 calendar days per the calendar year if the child is at least 2 years old;
• psychological, therapeutic or other professional assistance at least once every 6 months;
• to be provided with a free opportunity to expanding knowledge and improving skills;
• right to assistance when fulfilling the obligations of maintaining and supporting the child’s contact with his/her own family, including assistance in securing the place for the meeting of the authorized persons with the child and assistance in such meeting.

Responsibilities:

• to increase knowledge and improve skills in the field of child upbringing and childcare to the extent of 24 hours for 12 consecutive calendar months;
• to allow monitoring their compliance with the foster care agreement and to cooperate with an employee responsible for monitoring the development of children;
• to maintain, under the individual child protection plan, develop and deepen the child’s relationship to close relatives, in particular to parents, and to allow parents to contact the foster child unless the court decided otherwise.

Terms of financial security for families with children in foster, guardian and temporary care

  1. Foster care benefits
    The procedure of claiming the benefits was modified (Ministry of Labour and the Social Agenda, applications are processed by a new body of the social and legal protection of children under the Employment Bureau).
  2. Child’s needs related allowance
    A minor, dependent child in foster care is entitled to this allowance up to the age of 26 if he or she is still dependent on the person who was a caregiver until his or her age.

a) CZK 4,500 for a child under 6 years of age

b) CZK 5,500 for a child aged 6 to 12 years

c) 6 350 CZK for a child aged 12 to 18 years

d) CZK 6,600 for a child aged 18 to 26 years

Considering a child who is dependent on the assistance of another person, the allowance is specified as follows:

Child’s Age Child’s level of dependence I (mild dependence) – contribution in CZK Child’s level of dependence II (moderate dependence) – contribution in CZK Child’s level of dependence III (severe dependence) – contribution in CZK Child’s level of dependence IV (total dependence) – contribution in CZK
0  – 6 4 650 5 550 5 900 6 400
6 – 12 5 650 6 800 7 250 7 850
12 – 18 6 450 7 800 8 300 8 700
18 – 26 6 750 8 100 8 600 9 000

3. Compensation at the end of foster care

The foster child is entitled to this compensation on the day when he or she reaches adulthood; at the same time, the entitlement to the allowance to cover the child’s needs expires. The foster care expiry compensation is a one-off payment and amounts to 25 000 CZK.

4. Foster parent reward

The caregiver is entitled to this remuneration and – according to the amendment to Act No. 359/1999 Coll. On the Social and Legal Protection of Children – also a person who is registered in the registry of foster parents. For the purposes of the laws governing income tax, social security insurance, accident insurance and general health insurance the foster parent’s remuneration is considered to be income from employment under Section 47k. The foster parent’s remuneration per calendar month, unless specified otherwise, amounts to:

a) CZK 8,000 when caring for 1 child

b) CZK 12,000 when caring for 2 children

c) CZK 20,000 when caring for 3 children or one child whose level of dependance qualifies as Level II (moderate dependence), Level III (severe dependence), IV (total dependence), or if they are listed in the registry (as a temporary foster parent), even if they are not caring for any child at the moment

d) CZK 24,000 when caring for one child for a temporary period – a child whose level of dependance qualifies as Level II (moderate dependence), Level III (severe dependence), IV (total dependence)

For every additional child accepted in the foster care, the foster parent’s remuneration is increased by CZK 4,000.

If the carer or the person listed in the registry is either the parent or grandparent of the biological father or mother of the child entrusted they qualify for the foster parent’s remuneration only in cases worthy of special consideration, in particular concerning the social and property circumstances of the carer or registered person and their family, and child. For the purposes of the decision on granting a foster parent’s remuneration, the regional branch of the Employment Bureau is obliged to request the opinion from the competent municipal authority of the municipality with extended competence.

1.1.1 Allowance on the occasion of accepting the child to the foster care

Only to the person who accepted the child into foster care is entitled to this one-off compensation.

Amount of contribution:

a) child under 6 years of age CZK 8,000

b) child aged between 6 – 12 years of age CZK 9,000

c) child aged between 12 – 18 years of age CZK 10,000

1.1.2. Contribution to the purchase of a private vehicle

A person who has at least 3 children in foster care is entitled to this contribution to the purchase of a private vehicle. This contribution can be also used for the necessary repair of a motor vehicle which he or she already owns (unless he or she uses it for commercial purposes). The contribution can cover up to 70% of the purchase price of the vehicle (or repair) with a maximum amount of CZK 100,000. The sum of similar contributions received before the date of the application must not exceed CZK 200,000 during the last 10 years.

  • Modification of the foster care agreements and rules
  • Utilization of the state contribution to the performance of the foster care (CZK 48.000 per year/family) and setting of the framework

Note: Implementation of the bill also changes other legislation related to this Act, for example, the Family Act introduces the new condition of the so-called 3-month lack of interest and the obligation to inform the biological parent about the legal consequences of this lack of interest.

It is also worth noting that both carers and persons listed in the registry will be able to work without restriction if this does not jeopardize the child’s interest.

Transitional provisions of the amendment to The Social and Legal protection Act: proceedings initiated before the amendment will be completed in the spirit of the previous wording of the Acts.

We will be updating this section with new information.

Regards,

Substitute Family Care Centre

12.12.2012 Source: https://www.nahradnirodina.cz |  Author: Substitute Family Care Centre.