Today's Law As Amended

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SB-219 Foster youth: enrichment activities. (2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(a) California foster youth face many challenges. Approximately three-fourths of youth in foster care have spent two or more years in the system between birth and grade 12. While in foster care, about 70 percent of youth had three or more placements. Less than one-half of all foster youth complete high school.
(b) Participating in enrichment activities, including, but not limited to, sports leagues, camps, college preparation courses, arts, music, and formative social experiences, can greatly contribute to a foster youth’s sense of normalcy, provide connections to supportive, caring adults, and increase the likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood.

SEC. 2.

 Section 16007 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

16007.
 (a) The purpose of this section is to establish the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Pilot Program, which will provide grants to foster youth to participate in activities that enhance their skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being.
(b) On or before March 1, 2020, the State Department of Social Services shall convene a workgroup composed of individuals and groups that represent the interests of foster youth. The workgroup shall include at least two foster youth and two resource parents. The workgroup shall develop an implementation plan to maximize the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Pilot Program’s impact.
(c) On or before January 1, 2021, upon appropriation by the Legislature and in consideration of the plan developed pursuant to subdivision (b), the State Department of Social Services shall establish the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Pilot Program to provide grants 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.
(d) The department shall conduct the pilot program in two rural counties and two urban counties. The department shall select these counties based on the highest need, which shall be defined by the workgroup.
(e) A grant shall be awarded to a foster youth who is in foster care under the placement and care responsibility of a county welfare department or county probation department, or an Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.
(f) Grants awarded under this section shall be five hundred dollars ($500) or less. Grants shall be used to fund a program, service, or product, and any directly related costs, that provide any of the following to a foster youth:
(1) Skill development, including, but not limited to, lessons in music, dance, or drama, and the rental or purchase of equipment needed to further skill development.
(2) Academic or school-related assistance, including, but not limited to, school trips, college campus visits, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam fees, test preparation courses or materials, and books.
(3) Recreational or social participation, including, but not limited to, summer camp attendance, sports league participation, school-sponsored formal dance attendance, and participation in school graduation activities.
(g) Applications for grants under this section shall be on forms developed by the department, in consultation with the workgroup, and shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) A statement that the applicant meets the eligibility criterion specified in subdivision (e).
(2) A description of the proposed use of the grant and the anticipated cost of the program, product, or service.
(h) Within six months after a grant is awarded, the recipient shall submit copies of receipts showing the purchase of the program, product, or service, and payment of any directly related costs purchased with the grant. A foster youth shall not be eligible for a subsequent grant until all receipts are received.
(i) (1) On or before January 1, 2023, the department shall submit a report to the Legislature that addresses, at a minimum, all of the following:
(A) Data on the number of applications received, aggregated by year.
(B) Data on the number of grants awarded, aggregated by year.
(C) Data on the programs, products, or services, and directly related costs, the grants were used to fund, aggregated by year.
(D) Data on the number of recipients who provided the receipts required pursuant to subdivision (h) and who did not provide the receipts required by subdivision (h), aggregated by year.
(2) The report required pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature to utilize the report required pursuant to paragraph (1) to evaluate options for continuing the program after December 31, 2023.
(j) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.