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37.51.901    YOUTH FOSTER HOMES: ENVIRONMENTAL AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

(1) The home and its premises shall be comparable to other residences of the community and neighborhood in which it is located.

(2) The home must be built or manufactured for the purpose of full-time residency.

(3) Every interior door shall be designed to permit the opening of the locked door from the outside in an emergency.

(4) Protective plugs shall be installed on electrical outlets in all homes occupied by foster children under five years of age.

(5) The foster parents shall keep the home clean and in good repair and the premises shall be kept free from objects, materials, and conditions which constitute a danger to the occupants.

(6) The foster parents must protect any foster child from any environmental danger or other hazard on the foster care property that the foster parent is aware of and that could affect the health, welfare, or safety of children in care. The foster parent must notify the licensing worker of the concern.

(7) All foster homes shall be equipped with a telephone. Telephone numbers of the placing agency, hospital, police department, fire department, ambulance, and poison control center must be posted by each telephone.

(8) The foster home must have an adequate and safe sewage disposal system.

(9) If the home's water supply is not from a municipal system, the foster home must arrange to, at a minimum, have a basic screen water test conducted at least annually through the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Public Health and Safety Division, Laboratory Services Bureau, Environmental Laboratory Section, Cogswell Building, 1400 Broadway, Room B-204, Helena, MT 59620 to ensure that the water supply remains safe for human consumption. Documentation of the test results must be provided to the licensing worker. If a home's water supply is obtained from an approved source, but the water is stored in a cistern, it is recommended that a basic screen water test be conducted each time the water is replaced and the results provided to the licensing worker.

(10) Children shall not be exposed to unsafe levels of lead as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency.

(11) Cleaning materials, flammable liquids, detergents, aerosol products, and other poisonous and toxic materials shall be kept in their original containers or shall be clearly labeled with both symbols and words indicating that the contents are hazardous. Such substances shall be kept in a place inaccessible to children and shall be childproofed, if possible. They shall be used in such a way that will not contaminate play surfaces, food, food preparation areas, or constitute a hazard to the children.

(12) Any pet or animal present at the home with the foster parents' permission shall not pose a threat to the safety or well being of any child placed in the home.

(a) The pet or animal shall show no evidence of carrying disease.

(b) Documentation provided by a veterinarian verifying that any pet or animal belonging to the foster parents and present at the home is in good health must be provided to the department upon request.

(c) Foster parents are responsible for their negligent actions and any resulting injuries that may be caused by any animal allowed in or around the foster home.

(13) Guns and ammunition shall be kept in locked storage with guns stored separately from ammunition. Guns kept in vehicles shall be locked in the glove compartment or gun rack, shall be unloaded, and ammunition must be kept locked in a separate location in the vehicle.

(14) Any outdoor play area shall be maintained hazard free. If any part of the play area is adjacent to a well, machinery, road, drainage ditch, holes, or other hazardous areas, the play area shall be enclosed with fencing or natural barriers when preschool children are in placement to restrict the children from these areas.

(15) Outdoor equipment, such as climbing apparatus, slides, swings, and trampolines, shall be anchored firmly and placed in a safe location. A responsible adult must be present and directly observing any activity of a foster child on a trampoline at all times.

(16) The foster parents shall make swimming and wading pools and swimming areas, and hot tubs inaccessible to children except when directly supervised by a responsible adult.

(17) Foster children in the care or custody of the department may not participate in high risk activities including, but not limited to hunting, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, or rock climbing without written consent of the department community social worker supervisor for the child who will determine if consent from the birth parents is needed. Foster parents caring for a child who is not in the care or custody of the department must work with the agency responsible for the child to ensure that permission to participate in high risk activities is obtained.

History: 52-1-103, 52-2-111, 52-2-601, 52-2-621, 52-2-622, MCA; IMP, 52-1-103, 52-2-111, 52-2-601, 52-2-621, 52-2-622, MCA; NEW, 2006 MAR p. 1395, Eff. 6/2/06.

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