Section 6: License required for operation of child care programs; maintaining child in family foster care; placement; approval of foster homes; advertisement or notice for placement of child under 16 years of age
Section 6. (a) No person shall operate a school-aged child care program, a child care center, family child care home, large family child care home, placement agency, group care facility, or temporary shelter facility unless that person is licensed by the department. A department, agency or institution of the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof shall obtain an approval rather than a license in order to operate a child care center, family child care home, placement agency, group care facility, or temporary shelter facility.
(b) No person shall maintain a child in family foster care without placement, supervision and approval by a placement agency unless that person is licensed by the department.
(c) No person shall place or knowingly facilitate the placement of any child in the care or control of any other person not related to that child by blood or marriage, or in the care or control of any organization other than a licensed or approved placement agency, for purposes of adoption in the commonwealth. No person unrelated to a child by blood or marriage, and no organization other than a licensed or approved placement agency, shall receive a child for purposes of adoption, except from a licensed or approved placement agency. Nothing in this section shall prevent the placement of a child who is not a citizen of the United States when a home study of the prospective parent or parents, before the placement of the child, is performed by a licensed placement agency. For the purpose of this section, the spouse of the natural parent of a child shall be considered to be related by marriage to that child.
(d) Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation to the contrary, no child shall be placed in a foster home before the approval of the home by the department or by any individual or agency licensed by the department under this section, except in an emergency placement in a foster home limited to relatives or long-term friends of the child's family. This approval shall include criminal record information checks on all persons 18 years or older residing at the home. In the event of any emergency placement, a criminal offender record information check shall be completed on all persons 18 years of age or older residing at the home within 10 working days after the placement. If the result of any of these checks shows that any occupant of the home has a criminal record involving violence, abuse, or exploitation against any person, which bears adversely upon the person's ability to assume and carry out the responsibilities of a foster parent or poses a serious threat of harm to a child, the home shall not be approved by the department. No child shall be placed in that home, and any child placed therein as an emergency placement shall be removed immediately.
(e) No person shall cause to be published in a newspaper distributed in the commonwealth or to be broadcast on a radio or television station in the commonwealth an advertisement or notice for the placement or reception of a child under 16 years of age for family foster care, family child care, large family child care, child care center care, school-aged child care program, group residential care, or temporary shelter care or adoption unless the advertisement is placed by a licensed or approved placement agency, by a licensed family child care home, large family child care home, child care center, school-aged child care program, group care facility or temporary shelter facility, or with the written approval of the department. The advertisement or notice shall include the license or registration number issued to the provider or agency under this section.