Today's Law As Amended

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AB-5 Foster youth: transition from high school to postsecondary education.(2015-2016)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) Only 50 percent of foster youth graduate from high school.
(b) Only 3 percent of former foster youth graduate from a four-year college, even though more than 70 percent express a desire to earn a college degree.
(c) In the County of Los Angeles, 24 percent of former foster youth will experience homelessness within two years of leaving the foster care system.
(d) Approximately 60 percent of young women in foster care will become pregnant by 20 years of age.
(e) Within two years of leaving the foster care system, 64 percent of young men and 30 percent of young women are incarcerated.
(f) With approximately 5,200 youth aging out of the foster care system every year in California, the cost to state and local governments of homelessness, incarceration, and indigence of former foster youth is $165 million per year.
(g) Organizations are prepared to offer innovative programs to foster youth in each of the four years of their high school education to provide the necessary social, emotional, and academic preparation necessary to gain acceptance and flourish in college and successfully transition into adulthood.
SEC. 2.
 It is the intent of the Legislature to facilitate the transition of foster youth from high school to postsecondary education by creating residential programs that are educationally based and also strive to achieve home-based family care and permanency.

SEC. 3.

 Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 1567.9) is added to Chapter 3 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

Article  8.5. Educationally Based Residential Programs
1567.9.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services shall establish a process to authorize educationally based residential programs.
(b) The educationally based residential programs shall support and strive to achieve home-based family care and permanency.
(c) The educationally based residential programs shall serve children in foster care who meet all of the following requirements:
(1) Currently attending high school.
(2) Have attained 14 years of age, but not older than 18 years of age.
(3) Have been determined by the county to have a very low possibility of reunifying with their parents or guardians or achieving a permanent placement.
(d) On or before January 1, 2017, the department shall adopt regulations to implement this section.
(e) (1) By January 1, 2020, the department shall collect and report to the Legislature information about the benefits of these programs, including the rates of high school graduation, college admission, and college graduation, and any increased rates of family reunification or adoption.
(2) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under this subdivision is inoperative on January 1, 2024, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(3) A report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
SEC. 4.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.