- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 47. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
- Chapter 5. Administration of Welfare, Social Services and Institutions
- Section 65. Legislative Findings Related to Children.
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AS 47.05.065. Legislative Findings Related to Children.
The legislature finds that
- (1) parents have the following rights and responsibilities relating to the care and control of their child while the child
is a minor:
- (A) the responsibility to provide the child with food, clothing, shelter, education, and medical care;
- (B) the right and responsibility to protect, nurture, train, and discipline the child, including the right to direct the
child's medical care and the right to exercise reasonable corporal discipline;
- (C) the right to determine where and with whom the child shall live;
- (D) the right and responsibility to make decisions of legal or financial significance concerning the child;
- (E) the right to obtain representation for the child in legal actions; and
- (F) the responsibility to provide special safeguards and care, including appropriate prenatal and postnatal protection for
- (2) it is the policy of the state to strengthen families and to protect children from child abuse and neglect; the state
recognizes that, in some cases, protection of a child may require removal of the child from the child's home; however,
- (A) except in those cases involving serious risk to a child's health or safety, the Department of Health and Social
Services should provide time-limited family support services to the child and the child's family in order to offer
parents the opportunity to remedy parental conduct or conditions in the home that placed the child at risk of harm so
that a child may return home safely and permanently; and
- (B) the state also recognizes that when a child is removed from the home, visitation between the child and the child's
parents or guardian and family members reduces the trauma for the child and enhances the likelihood that the child will
be able to return home; therefore, whenever a child is removed from the parental home, the Department of Health and
Social Services should encourage frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation of the child with the child's parent or
guardian and family members;
- (3) it is the policy of the state to recognize that, when a child is a ward of the state, the child is entitled to
reasonable safety, adequate care, and adequate treatment and that the Department of Health and Social Services as legal
custodian and the child's guardian ad litem as guardian of the child's best interests and their agents and assignees,
each should make reasonable efforts to ensure that the child is provided with reasonable safety, adequate care, and
adequate treatment for the duration of time that the child is a ward of the state;
- (4) it is in the best interests of a child who has been removed from the child's own home for the state to apply the
following principles in resolving the situation:
- (A) the child should be placed in a safe, secure, and stable environment;
- (B) the child should not be moved unnecessarily;
- (C) a planning process should be followed to lead to permanent placement of the child;
- (D) every effort should be made to encourage psychological attachment between the adult caregiver and the child;
- (E) frequent, regular, and reasonable visitation with the parent or guardian and family members should be encouraged; and
- (F) parents and guardians must actively participate in family support services so as to facilitate the child's being able
to remain in the home; when children are removed from the home, the parents and guardians must actively participate in
family support services to make return of their children to the home possible;
- (5) numerous studies establish that
- (A) children undergo a critical attachment process before the time they reach six years of age;
- (B) a child who has not attached with an adult caregiver during this critical stage will suffer significant emotional
damage that frequently leads to chronic psychological problems and antisocial behavior when the child reaches
adolescence and adulthood; and
- (C) it is important to provide for an expedited placement procedure to ensure that all children, especially those under
the age of six years, who have been removed from their homes are placed in permanent homes expeditiously.
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