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2021-2022 Regular Session

Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson will be created

Resources, advocacy and visibility are some plusses of a new law aimed at protecting children, some who’ve already experienced hard times.

An Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson and Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson will be created thanks to a new law that takes effect July 1, 2022.

Per the law, “The foster youth ombudsperson is accountable to the governor and may investigate decisions, acts, and other matters related to the health, safety, and welfare of youth in foster care to promote the highest attainable standards of competence, efficiency, and justice for youth who are in the care of the state.”

Among the ombudsperson duties will be:

• establishing a complaint process, including submission and review;

• determining the scope and manner of investigations;

• making recommendations to the governor and Legislature;

• investigating administrative agency actions, including examining where a youth in foster care is physically placed;

• the power to subpoena someone to appear, give testimony or produce documents or other evidence relevant to an inquiry; and

• upon a youth’s request, being present at court proceedings, conferences, deliberations and related meetings.

The Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson will make recommendations to the foster youth ombudsperson and staff while continuously overseeing the ombudsperson's work.

A $775,000 fiscal year 2023 appropriation will create and operate the Office of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson and Board of the Foster Youth Ombudsperson. Its base appropriation will be $726,000 in both fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

Rep. Jessica Hanson (DFL-Burnsville) and Sen. Karin Housley (R-Stillwater) sponsor the law.


New Laws 2024

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HF3845* / SF4209 / CH63
House Chief Author: Hanson, J.
Senate Chief Author: Housley
Effective Dates: See chapter summary in the file link above.
* The legislative bill marked with an asterisk denotes the file submitted to the governor.