"To Touch a Life Forever"
CALIFORNIA STATE FOSTER PARENT ASSOCIATION, INC.
Representing All California Resource Families
AB-11 (McCarty): Child Care: Early Childhood innovation partnerships and grants – The Child Care and Development Services Act has a purpose to provide a comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective system of child care and development services for children from infancy to 13 years of age and their parents, including a full range of supervision, health, and support services through full- and part-time programs. Existing law requires the Governor to appoint an advisory committee composed of representatives from various entities and requires the advisory committee to, among other things, assist the State Department of Education in developing a state plan for child development programs pursuant to the act. Existing law requires the advisory committee to continually evaluate the effectiveness of these programs and to provide reports to the Legislature. This bill would, commencing July 1, 2018, until January 1, 2024, and upon an appropriation by the Legislature, establish a grant program for purposes of providing grants to local partnerships, that the bill would authorize local entities to establish, that use a systems approach to deliver health, child welfare, early care and education, and social services that meet the needs of the most vulnerable infants and toddlers, and their families, as provided. The bill would require the partnership to be comprised of various entities, including a representative from a county office of education. The bill would require the partnership to, among other things, build, expand, and test innovative early childhood system approaches that effectively identify and serve children from birth to 3 years of age, inclusive, and their families, who are experiencing adverse childhood experience, and provide them with individualized services and support.
The bill would establish in the California Health and Human Services Agency the Early Childhood Innovation Partnership Advisory Council, to be comprised of various entities, including a representative from the State Department of Education. The bill would require the advisory council to be responsible for various functions, including reviewing and approving partnership grant applications, hearing and responding to partnership requests for technical assistance, and providing reports to the Legislature, as provided.
AB-507 (Rubio): Pre-approval Training and Annual Training: Existing law provides various placement options for a child who has been removed from his or her home, including placement in a resource family home. Existing law defines a resource family to mean an individual or family that has successfully met both the home environment assessment standards and specified permanency assessment criteria necessary for providing care for a related or unrelated child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, or otherwise in the care of a county child welfare agency or probation department. Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to implement a specified resource family approval process in all counties. Existing law makes the counties responsible for, among other things, implementing the requirements for resource family approval, requiring resource families to complete a minimum of 8 hours of caregiver training annually. annually, and updating resource family approval annually and as necessary to address any changes that have occurred in the resource family’s circumstances.
This bill would require each entity responsible for approving a resource family to work with that resource family to develop, as part of the annual resource family approval updates, a training plan that, among other things, is child or youth informed and supports the case plans, goals, and needs of each child or youth in the home. The bill would also require, among other things, the training plan to be developed with input from the social worker or probation office staff for each child who is presently in the home, and informed by discussions in the child and family team meetings. By imposing a higher level of service on the counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
AB-754 (Acosta): Establishes the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program – Existing law provides that it is the policy of the state that all minors and nonminors in foster care have specified rights, including, among others, the right to attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities, consistent with the child’s age and developmental level, with minimal disruptions to school attendance and educational stability.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, on or before March 1, 2018, to convene a workgroup and would require the workgroup to develop an implementation plan for the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2019, upon appropriation by the Legislature and in consideration of the implementation plan, to establish that program in order to provide grants of $500 or less to qualified foster youth to enable the foster youth to participate in activities that enhance the foster youth’s skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being. The bill would specify eligibility criteria for receipt of a grant and the authorized uses of a grant. The bill would require a recipient, within 6 months after receipt of a grant, to submit copies of receipts showing the purchase of the program, product, or service, and payment of any directly related costs, costs purchased with the grant. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2022, to submit a report to the Legislature that addresses, among other things, data on the number of applications received and the number of grants awarded. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2023.
AB-1006 (Maienschein): Foster Youth Permanency Training & Services – (1) Existing law requires, if a minor is not returned to the physical custody of his or her parents, the juvenile court to devise a permanency plan, including, among others things, an order that the child be placed for adoption, an order that a legal guardian be appointed, or an order that the child remain in another planned permanent living arrangement if the child is 16 years of age or older.
Existing law requires, at the time of application for adoption of a child who is potentially eligible for Adoption Assistance Program benefits is made, and at the time immediately prior to the finalization of the adoption decree, the State Department of Social Services, the county adoption agency, or the licensed adoption agency, to provide the prospective adoptive family with information on the availability of mental health services through the Medi-Cal program or other programs.
This bill would require, in any case in which the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer to provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians specified mental health treatment information. The bill would also require the department, the county adoption agency, or the licensed adoption agency, to provide that information to the prospective adoptive family at the time the application for adoption is made and at the time immediately prior to the finalization of the adoption decree. By requiring social workers, probation officers, and county adoption agencies to provide additional information to prospective adoptive families and guardians, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to select and award a grant to a private nonprofit or public entity for the purpose of establishing a statewide multipurpose child welfare training program. Existing law requires the training to provide practice-relevant training to county child protective services social workers who screen referrals for child abuse or neglect and for all workers assigned to provide emergency response, family maintenance, family reunification, and permanent placement services.
This bill would require the training program to promote practice-relevant adoption and permanency competency casework training for county child protective services social workers working in the areas of family reunification, permanent placement, and adoption.
(3) Existing law requires a county social worker to create a case plan for foster youth within a specified timeframe after the child is introduced into the foster care system. Existing law requires the case plan to include prescribed components, including, among other things, if the case plan has as its goal for the child a permanent plan of adoption, or legal guardianship, a statement of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes.
This bill would additionally require, if the case plan has as its goal for the child another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan to include a statement of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes. The bill would also require, if a child has been in care for 3 years or more, certain documentation relating to steps the agency to is taking to find an adoptive family or other permanent living arrangement for the child to include a description of the specialized permanency services the agency is using or, if specialized permanency services have not been used, a statement explaining why the agency chose not to provide these services. The bill would require, for youth 14 years of age or older and nonminor dependents, if the case plan has as its goal for the youth a permanent plan of adoption, guardianship, or another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan to include certain information relating to permanency services and activities. The bill would authorize specific elements of specialized permanency services to be included in the case plan as needed to meet the permanency needs of the individual child or nonminor dependent. By imposing additional duties on county social workers and probation officers, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
AB-1164 (Thurmond): Foster Care Placement: Child Care Bridge Program – Existing law, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) program, requires foster care providers to be paid a per-child per-month rate, established by the State Department of Social Services, for the care and supervision of the child placed with the provider. Existing law defines “care and supervision” to include, among others, food, clothing, shelter, and daily supervision.
This bill would establish the Emergency Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children (bridge program). The bill would authorize, contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for these purposes, county welfare departments to administer the bridge program and distribute vouchers, or payment, for child care for an eligible child who is placed with an approved resource family, a licensed or certified foster family, or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member, or who is the child of a young parent involved in the child welfare system. The bill would require, for counties that choose to participate, that county welfare departments determine eligibility for the bridge program and provide monthly payment either directly to the family or to the child care provider or provide a monthly voucher for child care, in an amount that is commensurate with the regional market rate, for up to 6 months following the child’s placement or for up to 6 months for a child whose parent is in foster care, unless the child and family are able to access long-term, subsidized child care prior to the end of the 6-month period. The bill would allow eligibility for a child care payment or voucher to be extended for 6 months, at the discretion of the county welfare department, if the child and family have been unable to access long-term, subsidized child care during the initial 6-month period. The bill would require that each child receiving a monthly child care payment or voucher be provided with a child care navigator, as specified, and would authorize the county to establish local priorities in the implementation of the bridge program.
Existing law establishes the California Child Care Initiative Project for certain purposes, including increasing the availability of qualified child care programs in the state and establishing child care resource and referral programs to serve a defined geographic area.
This bill would require, contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act for these purposes, each child care resource and referral program to provide a child care navigator to support children in foster care, children previously in foster care upon return to their home of origin, and children of parents involved in the child welfare system. The bill would also require, contingent upon an appropriation in the annual Budget Act, the child care resource and referral program to provide trauma-informed training and coaching to child care providers working with children and the children of parenting youth in the foster care system.
SB-233 (Beall): Foster Children Records – Existing law authorizes the governing board of any school district to adopt or rescind a reasonable dress code policy that requires pupils to wear a schoolwide uniform or prohibits pupils from wearing gang-related apparel. Existing law authorizes these actions if the governing board of the school district approves a plan, which may be initiated by an individual school’s principal, staff, or parents, and determines that the policy is necessary for the health and safety of the school environment. Existing law also authorizes individual schools to include the reasonable dress code policy as part of their school safety plans. Existing law prohibits a dress code policy adopted pursuant to this provision from precluding pupils who participate in a nationally recognized youth organization from wearing organization uniforms on days that the organization has a scheduled meeting.
This bill would declare that, notwithstanding any other law, a pupil has the right to wear religious, ceremonial, or cultural adornments, as defined, at school graduation ceremonies. The bill would also declare that nothing in its provisions shall be construed to limit a school district’s authority to prohibit an item that is likely to cause a substantial disruption of, or interference with, the ceremony or to expand or diminish any pupil rights established under specified provisions related to school dress codes and pupil freedom of speech.
SB-213 (Mitchell): Placement of Children: Criminal Records Check – Existing law prohibits the State Department of Social Services, a county adoption agency, or a licensed adoption agency from giving final approval for an adoptive placement in a home in which the prospective adoptive parent or an adult living in the home has been convicted of certain felonies for which an exemption cannot be granted.
Existing law requires the county welfare department, before placing a child in the home of a relative, nonrelative extended family member, prospective guardian, or another person who is not a licensed or certified foster parent or an approved resource family, to consider the results of a criminal records check, as specified. Existing law prohibits the child’s placement in the home if the person has been convicted of certain felonies and prohibits, if the person has been convicted of any other crime, the child from being placed in the home until the county has granted an exemption.
Existing law subjects foster care provider applicants and resource family applicants to a criminal records check and prohibits licensure or approval of an applicant who has been convicted of certain felonies, but authorizes the department or county, as applicable, to grant an exemption from disqualification for the conviction of any other crime.
This bill would also (1) prohibit the final approval for an adoption placement, (2) prohibit the placement of a child in the home of a relative, nonrelative extended family member, prospective guardian, or another person who is not a licensed or certified foster parent or an approved resource family, and (3) prohibit licensure of a foster care provider applicant and approval of a resource family applicant, if an adult living in the home has been convicted of a violent felony, as defined. The bill would specify that a child may be placed in the home of the above-described persons, that a foster care provider applicant may be licensed, and that a resource family applicant may be approved, if a person who resides in the home has been convicted of certain specified crimes for which an exemption may be granted. The bill would provide that if a person is convicted of any other crime, an exemption shall be presumptively granted unless there is substantial and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that the person convicted of the crime does not have the good character necessary to justify the issuance of an exemption.
By imposing a higher level of service on county employees, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The bill would require the department to convene a stakeholder group to develop and implement, to the extent permissible under existing law, recommendations for streamlining the criminal exemption process for certain prospective employees in children’s residential settings.