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AB-1110 Dependent children of the juvenile court: county responsibilities: Supplemental Security Income Eligibility.(2011-2012)

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AB1110:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 12, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 09, 2011
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 28, 2011

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1110


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Lara

February 18, 2011


An act to amend Sections 366.1, 366.3, 391, and 13754 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to juveniles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1110, as amended, Lara. Dependent children of the juvenile court: county responsibilities: Supplemental Security Income Eligibility.
Existing law provides for the placement of certain children in foster care under the custody of the State Department of Social Services and county welfare departments. Existing law establishes the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) program, under which counties provide payments to foster care providers on behalf of qualified children in foster care. The program is funded by a combination of federal, state, and county funds, with moneys from the General Fund being continuously appropriated to pay for the state’s share of AFDC-FC costs.
Existing law, the federal Social Security Act, provides for benefits for eligible beneficiaries, including survivorship and disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for, among others, blind and disabled children. The act authorizes a person or entity to be appointed as a representative payee for a beneficiary who cannot manage or direct the management of his or her money. Existing law also provides for the State Supplementary Program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled under which State Supplemental Payments (SSP) are made in supplementation of SSI benefits.
Existing law requires a county to apply to become a child’s representative payee for purposes of these federal benefits during the time the child is placed in foster care, and also requires the county to provide information to the foster youth regarding certain federal requirements when a foster youth who is receiving SSI payments is approaching his or her 18th birthday. Existing law requires a county to screen each foster youth in foster care who is at least 16 years and 6 months of age and not older than 17 years and 6 months of age in order to determine whether the youth is eligible for federal SSI benefits, as specified.
Existing law establishes the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which is permitted to adjudge certain children to be dependents of the court under certain circumstances, and prescribes various hearings and other procedures for these purposes. Existing law requires a supplemental report, with specified contents, to be filed in connection with the periodic review of the status of every dependent child in foster care, as specified. Under existing law, the juvenile court, or an appropriate local agency, under certain circumstances, is required to review the status of a child or, on and after January 1, 2012, a nonminor dependent who is in a placement other than the home of a legal guardian, when jurisdiction of the juvenile court has not been dismissed. Existing law requires the reviewing body to make specified determinations in connection with this review.
Existing law also prohibits the court from terminating dependency or delinquency jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent who has reached 18 years of age until a hearing is conducted and the department has submitted a report verifying that specified information, documents, and services have been provided to the child.
This bill would require a county to notify the child’s counsel of its intent to apply to be appointed the child’s representative payee, 30 days before making that application, as specified. The bill would authorize the child’s attorney to request an accounting of how the child’s benefits were expended during the year preceding that request. This bill would revise the requirements applicable to the juvenile court reporting, review, and hearing as described above, to additionally require information to be provided regarding whether a child or nonminor dependent has been screened for eligibility for federal SSI benefits at the appropriate age, whether an application for SSI has been made on behalf of the individual, and the status of any pending SSI application, as specified. By increasing county duties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
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, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 366.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.1.
 Each supplemental report required to be filed pursuant to Section 366 shall include, but not be limited to, a factual discussion of each of the following subjects:
(a) Whether the county welfare department social worker has considered child protective services, as defined in Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4 of Division 9, as a possible solution to the problems at hand, and has offered those services to qualified parents, if appropriate under the circumstances.
(b) What plan, if any, for the return and maintenance of the child in a safe home is recommended to the court by the county welfare department social worker.
(c) Whether the subject child appears to be a person who is eligible to be considered for further court action to free the child from parental custody and control.
(d) What actions, if any, have been taken by the parent to correct the problems that caused the child to be made a dependent child of the court.
(e) If the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to participate in making an educational decision for his or her child, or if other circumstances exist that compromise the ability of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the county welfare department or social worker shall consider whether the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child should be limited. If the supplemental report makes that recommendation, the report shall identify whether there is a responsible adult available to make educational decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.
(f) (1) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:
(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.
(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.
(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.
(D) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and nature of the visits between siblings.
(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.
(2) The factual discussion shall include a discussion of indicators of the nature of the child’s sibling relationships, including, but not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.
(g) (1) Whether a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home placement for six months or longer has relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings that are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and actions taken to maintain those relationships. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify any individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interest. The social worker may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate.

(h)

(2) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subdivision (g) paragraph (1) enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase, as provided in Section 366.35.

(i)

(h) With respect to each supplemental report that is submitted after the child turns 16 years and six months of age, all of the following:
(1) Information regarding whether the child has been screened for eligibility for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 13757.
(2) Information regarding whether an application for federal SSI benefits has been made on behalf of the child, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 13757. In the first supplemental report indicating that an application for federal SSI benefits has been made on behalf of a child, the supplemental report shall also set forth who has been identified as the likely representative payee if the application for federal SSI benefits is granted.
(3) Information regarding the status of any pending application for federal SSI benefits, including information regarding reconsideration and appeal.

(j)

(i) Information regarding whether the county has applied to become the child’s representative payee for SSI benefits and whether the county, or any other individual known to the county, has been appointed by the federal Social Security Administration to serve as representative payee for a child who is receiving SSI benefits while in the county’s custody.

SEC. 2.

 Section 366.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 22 of Chapter 559 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:

366.3.
 (a) If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of adoption, tribal customary adoption, or legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, the court shall retain jurisdiction over the child until the child is adopted or the legal guardianship is established, except as provided for in Section 366.29 or, on and after January 1, 2012, Section 366.31. The status of the child shall be reviewed every six months to ensure that the adoption or legal guardianship is completed as expeditiously as possible. When the adoption of the child has been granted, or in the case of a tribal customary adoption, when the tribal customary adoption order has been afforded full faith and credit and the petition for adoption has been granted, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the child. Following establishment of a legal guardianship, the court may continue jurisdiction over the child as a dependent child of the juvenile court or may terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the legal guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. If, however, a relative of the child is appointed the legal guardian of the child and the child has been placed with the relative for at least six months, the court shall, except if the relative guardian objects, or upon a finding of exceptional circumstances, terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. Following a termination of parental rights, the parent or parents shall not be a party to, or receive notice of, any subsequent proceedings regarding the child.
(b) If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction following the establishment of a legal guardianship, or no dependency jurisdiction attached because of the granting of a legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360, and the legal guardianship is subsequently revoked or otherwise terminated, the county department of social services or welfare department shall notify the juvenile court of this fact. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child.
Notwithstanding Section 1601 of the Probate Code, the proceedings to terminate a legal guardianship that has been granted pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26 shall be held either in the juvenile court that retains jurisdiction over the guardianship as authorized by Section 366.4 or the juvenile court in the county where the guardian and child currently reside, based on the best interests of the child, unless the termination is due to the emancipation or adoption of the child. The juvenile court having jurisdiction over the guardianship shall receive notice from the court in which the petition is filed within five calendar days of the filing. Prior to the hearing on a petition to terminate legal guardianship pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall order the county department of social services or welfare department having jurisdiction or jointly with the county department where the guardian and child currently reside to prepare a report, for the court’s consideration, that shall include an evaluation of whether the child could safely remain in, or be returned to, the legal guardian’s home, without terminating the legal guardianship, if services were provided to the child or legal guardian. If applicable, the report shall also identify recommended family maintenance or reunification services to maintain the legal guardianship and set forth a plan for providing those services. If the petition to terminate legal guardianship is granted, either juvenile court may resume dependency jurisdiction over the child, and may order the county department of social services or welfare department to develop a new permanent plan, which shall be presented to the court within 60 days of the termination. If no dependency jurisdiction has attached, the social worker shall make any investigation he or she deems necessary to determine whether the child may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as provided in Section 328.
Unless the parental rights of the child’s parent or parents have been terminated, they shall be notified that the legal guardianship has been revoked or terminated and shall be entitled to participate in the new permanency planning hearing. The court shall try to place the child in another permanent placement. At the hearing, the parents may be considered as custodians but the child shall not be returned to the parent or parents unless they prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that reunification is the best alternative for the child. The court may, if it is in the best interests of the child, order that reunification services again be provided to the parent or parents.
(c) If, following the establishment of a legal guardianship, the county welfare department becomes aware of changed circumstances that indicate adoption or, for an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, may be an appropriate plan for the child, the department shall so notify the court. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child and order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 to determine whether adoption or continued legal guardianship is the most appropriate plan for the child. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the order. If the court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services if it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, to prepare an assessment under subdivision (b) of Section 366.22.
(d) If the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent is in a placement other than the home of a legal guardian and jurisdiction has not been dismissed, the status of the child shall be reviewed at least every six months. The review of the status of a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption shall be conducted by the court. The review of the status of a child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent for whom the court has not ordered parental rights terminated and who has not been ordered placed for adoption may be conducted by the court or an appropriate local agency. The court shall conduct the review under the following circumstances:
(1) Upon the request of the child’s parents or legal guardians.
(2) Upon the request of the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent.
(3) It has been 12 months since a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 or an order that the child remain in long-term foster care pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, or subdivision (h).
(4) It has been 12 months since a review was conducted by the court.
The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (g), at the review held every six months pursuant to subdivision (d), the reviewing body shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent home for the child, shall consider the safety of the child, and shall determine all of the following:
(1) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the placement.
(2) Identification of individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. The social worker shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.
(3) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the permanent plan for the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals who are important to the child and efforts to identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.
(4) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the child welfare services case plan in making reasonable efforts either to return the child to the safe home of the parent or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child. If the reviewing body determines that a second period of reunification services is in the child’s best interests, and that there is a significant likelihood of the child’s return to a safe home due to changed circumstances of the parent, pursuant to subdivision (f), the specific reunification services required to effect the child’s return to a safe home shall be described.
(5) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed what is necessary to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.
(6) The adequacy of services provided to the child. The court shall consider the progress in providing the information and documents to the child, as described in Section 391. The court shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the assistance and services described in Section 391.
(7) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.
(8) The likely date by which the child may be returned to, and safely maintained in, the home, placed for adoption, legal guardianship, in another planned permanent living arrangement, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption.
(9) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:
(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.
(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.
(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.
(D) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and nature of the visits between siblings.
(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.
The factors the court may consider as indicators of the nature of the child’s sibling relationships include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.
(10) For a child who is 16 years of age or older, and, effective January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the services needed to assist the child or nonminor dependent to make the transition from foster care to independent living.
The reviewing body shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each child in its care, custody, and control to the court concerning the continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the child’s permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the type and adequacy of services provided to the child.
(11) For a child who is 16 years and six months of age or older, both of the following:
(A) That the youth has been screened for eligibility for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 13757. The court shall make any appropriate orders in order to ensure that all youth between 16 years and six months and 17 years and six months of age are screened for SSI.
(B) The efforts the child welfare agency has made to submit an application and pursue eligibility for federal SSI benefits, including information about who has been designated as the likely representative payee if and when the application for SSI benefits is approved, and efforts to pursue reconsideration and appeals, when appropriate. The court shall make any appropriate order to ensure that SSI applications are submitted, and when appropriate, denials of eligibility are appealed.
(f) Unless their parental rights have been permanently terminated, the parent or parents of the child are entitled to receive notice of, and participate in, those hearings. It shall be presumed that continued care is in the best interests of the child, unless the parent or parents prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that further efforts at reunification are the best alternative for the child. In those cases, the court may order that further reunification services to return the child to a safe home environment be provided to the parent or parents up to a period of six months, and family maintenance services, as needed for an additional six months in order to return the child to a safe home environment. On and after January 1, 2012, this subdivision shall not apply to the parents of a nonminor dependent.
(g) At the review conducted by the court and held at least every six months, regarding a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption, or, for an Indian child for whom parental rights are not being terminated and a tribal customary adoption is being considered, the county welfare department shall prepare and present to the court a report describing the following:
(1) The child’s present placement.
(2) The child’s current physical, mental, emotional, and educational status.
(3) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or guardian, identification of individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The agency shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals who are important to him or her, consistent with the child’s best interest, and may ask any child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that information as appropriate. The agency shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child.
(4) Whether the child has been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents.
(5) Whether an adoptive placement agreement has been signed and filed.
(6) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents, the efforts made to identify an appropriate prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.
(7) Whether the final adoption order should include provisions for postadoptive sibling contact pursuant to Section 366.29.
(8) The progress of the search for an adoptive placement if one has not been identified.
(9) Any impediments to the adoption or the adoptive placement.
(10) The anticipated date by which the child will be adopted or placed in an adoptive home.
(11) The anticipated date by which an adoptive placement agreement will be signed.
(12) Recommendations for court orders that will assist in the placement of the child for adoption or in the finalization of the adoption.
The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
The court shall make appropriate orders to protect the stability of the child and to facilitate and expedite the permanent placement and adoption of the child.
(h) At the review held pursuant to subdivision (d) for a child in long-term foster care, the court shall consider all permanency planning options for the child including whether the child should be returned to the home of the parent, placed for adoption, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption, or appointed a legal guardian, or, if compelling reasons exist for finding that none of the foregoing options are in the best interest of the child, whether the child should be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement. The court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26, unless it determines by clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interest of the child because the child is being returned to the home of the parent, the child is not a proper subject for adoption, or no one is willing to accept legal guardianship. If the licensed county adoption agency, or the department when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, has determined it is unlikely that the child will be adopted or one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, that fact shall constitute a compelling reason for purposes of this subdivision. Only upon that determination may the court order that the child remain in long-term foster care, without holding a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26.
(i) If, as authorized by subdivision (h), the court orders a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, to prepare an assessment as provided for in subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b) of Section 366.22. A hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the 12-month review at which it is ordered, and at that hearing the court shall determine whether adoption, tribal customary adoption, legal guardianship, or long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.
(j) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subdivision (e) enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase, as provided in Section 366.35.
(k) The reviews conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) or (d) may be conducted earlier than every six months if the court determines that an earlier review is in the best interests of the child or as court rules prescribe.
(l) On and after January 1, 2012, at the review hearing that occurs in the six-month period prior to the minor’s attaining 18 years of age, and at every subsequent review hearing for the nonminor dependent, the report shall describe all of the following:
(1) The minor’s or nonminor dependent’s plans to remain in foster care and plans to meet one or more of the criteria as described in subdivision (b) of Section 11403 to continue to receive AFDC-FC benefits.
(2) The efforts made and assistance provided to the minor or nonminor dependent by the social worker or the probation officer so that the minor or nonminor dependent will be able to meet the criteria.
(3) Efforts toward completing the items described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 391.
(m) On and after January 1, 2012, the reviews conducted pursuant to subdivisions (e) and (h) for any nonminor dependent shall be conducted in a manner that respects the nonminor’s status as a legal adult, be focused on the goals and services described in the youth’s transitional independent living case plan, including efforts made to achieve permanence, including maintaining or obtaining permanent connections with caring and committed adults, and attended as appropriate by additional participants invited by the nonminor dependent. The review shall include all the issues in subdivision (e), except paragraph (5) of subdivision (e). The county child welfare or probation department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 shall prepare and present to the reviewing body a report that addresses the youth’s progress in meeting the goals in the transitional independent living case plan and propose modifications as necessary to further those goals. The report shall document that the nonminor has received all the information and documentation described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 391. If the court is considering terminating dependency jurisdiction for a nonminor dependent it shall first hold a hearing pursuant to Section 391.
(n) On and after January 1, 2012, if a review hearing pursuant to this section is the last review hearing to be held before the child attains 18 years of age, the court shall ensure all of the following:
(1) That the child’s transitional independent living case plan includes a plan for the child to satisfy one or more of the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 11403, so that the child is eligible to remain a nonminor dependent.
(2) That the child has been informed of his or her right to seek termination of dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391, and understands the potential benefits of continued dependency.
(3) That the child is informed of his or her right to have dependency reinstated pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388, and understands the potential benefits of continued dependency.
(o) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2014, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2014, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 3.

 Section 366.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 23 of Chapter 559 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:

366.3.
 (a) If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of adoption or legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, the court shall retain jurisdiction over the child until the child is adopted or the legal guardianship is established, except as provided for in Section 366.29 or, on and after January 1, 2012, Section 366.31. The status of the child shall be reviewed every six months to ensure that the adoption or legal guardianship is completed as expeditiously as possible. When the adoption of the child has been granted, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the child. Following establishment of a legal guardianship, the court may continue jurisdiction over the child as a dependent child of the juvenile court or may terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the legal guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. If, however, a relative of the child is appointed the legal guardian of the child and the child has been placed with the relative for at least six months, the court shall, except if the relative guardian objects, or upon a finding of exceptional circumstances, terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. Following a termination of parental rights, the parent or parents shall not be a party to, or receive notice of, any subsequent proceedings regarding the child.
(b) If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction following the establishment of a legal guardianship, or no dependency jurisdiction attached because of the granting of a legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360, and the legal guardianship is subsequently revoked or otherwise terminated, the county department of social services or welfare department shall notify the juvenile court of this fact. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child.
Notwithstanding Section 1601 of the Probate Code, the proceedings to terminate a legal guardianship that has been granted pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26 shall be held either in the juvenile court that retains jurisdiction over the guardianship as authorized by Section 366.4 or the juvenile court in the county where the guardian and child currently reside, based on the best interests of the child, unless the termination is due to the emancipation or adoption of the child. The juvenile court having jurisdiction over the guardianship shall receive notice from the court in which the petition is filed within five calendar days of the filing. Prior to the hearing on a petition to terminate legal guardianship pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall order the county department of social services or welfare department having jurisdiction or jointly with the county department where the guardian and child currently reside to prepare a report, for the court’s consideration, that shall include an evaluation of whether the child could safely remain in, or be returned to, the legal guardian’s home, without terminating the legal guardianship, if services were provided to the child or legal guardian. If applicable, the report shall also identify recommended family maintenance or reunification services to maintain the legal guardianship and set forth a plan for providing those services. If the petition to terminate legal guardianship is granted, either juvenile court may resume dependency jurisdiction over the child, and may order the county department of social services or welfare department to develop a new permanent plan, which shall be presented to the court within 60 days of the termination. If no dependency jurisdiction has attached, the social worker shall make any investigation he or she deems necessary to determine whether the child may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as provided in Section 328.
Unless the parental rights of the child’s parent or parents have been terminated, they shall be notified that the legal guardianship has been revoked or terminated and shall be entitled to participate in the new permanency planning hearing. The court shall try to place the child in another permanent placement. At the hearing, the parents may be considered as custodians but the child shall not be returned to the parent or parents unless they prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that reunification is the best alternative for the child. The court may, if it is in the best interests of the child, order that reunification services again be provided to the parent or parents.
(c) If, following the establishment of a legal guardianship, the county welfare department becomes aware of changed circumstances that indicate adoption may be an appropriate plan for the child, the department shall so notify the court. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child and order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 to determine whether adoption or continued legal guardianship is the most appropriate plan for the child. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the order. If the court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services if it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, to prepare an assessment under subdivision (b) of Section 366.22.
(d) If the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent is in a placement other than the home of a legal guardian and jurisdiction has not been dismissed, the status of the child shall be reviewed at least every six months. The review of the status of a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption shall be conducted by the court. The review of the status of a child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent for whom the court has not ordered parental rights terminated and who has not been ordered placed for adoption may be conducted by the court or an appropriate local agency. The court shall conduct the review under the following circumstances:
(1) Upon the request of the child’s parents or legal guardians.
(2) Upon the request of the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent.
(3) It has been 12 months since a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 or an order that the child remain in long-term foster care pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, or subdivision (h).
(4) It has been 12 months since a review was conducted by the court.
The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (g), at the review held every six months pursuant to subdivision (d), the reviewing body shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent home for the child, shall consider the safety of the child, and shall determine all of the following:
(1) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the placement.
(2) Identification of individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. The social worker shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.
(3) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the permanent plan for the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals who are important to the child and efforts to identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.
(4) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the child welfare services case plan in making reasonable efforts either to return the child to the safe home of the parent or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child. If the reviewing body determines that a second period of reunification services is in the child’s best interests, and that there is a significant likelihood of the child’s return to a safe home due to changed circumstances of the parent, pursuant to subdivision (f), the specific reunification services required to effect the child’s return to a safe home shall be described.
(5) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed what is necessary to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.
(6) The adequacy of services provided to the child. The court shall consider the progress in providing the information and documents to the child, as described in Section 391. The court shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the assistance and services described in Section 391.
(7) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.
(8) The likely date by which the child may be returned to, and safely maintained in, the home, placed for adoption, legal guardianship, or in another planned permanent living arrangement.
(9) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:
(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.
(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.
(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.
(D) If the siblings are not placed together, the frequency and nature of the visits between siblings.
(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.
The factors the court may consider as indicators of the nature of the child’s sibling relationships include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.
(10) For a child who is 16 years of age or older, and, effective January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the services needed to assist the child or nonminor dependent to make the transition from foster care to independent living.
The reviewing body shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each child in its care, custody, and control to the court concerning the continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the child’s permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the type and adequacy of services provided to the child.
(11) For a child who is 16 years and six months of age or older, both of the following:
(A) That the youth has been screened for eligibility for federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 13757. The court shall make any appropriate orders in order to ensure that all youth between 16 years and six months and 17 years and six months of age are screened for SSI.
(B) The efforts the child welfare agency has made to submit an application and pursue eligibility for federal SSI benefits, including information about who has been designated as the likely representative payee if and when the application for SSI benefits is approved, and efforts to pursue reconsideration and appeals, when appropriate. The court shall make any appropriate order to ensure that SSI applications are submitted, and when appropriate, denials of eligibility are appealed.
(f) Unless their parental rights have been permanently terminated, the parent or parents of the child are entitled to receive notice of, and participate in, those hearings. It shall be presumed that continued care is in the best interests of the child, unless the parent or parents prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that further efforts at reunification are the best alternative for the child. In those cases, the court may order that further reunification services to return the child to a safe home environment be provided to the parent or parents up to a period of six months, and family maintenance services, as needed for an additional six months in order to return the child to a safe home environment.
(g) At the review conducted by the court and held at least every six months, regarding a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption, the county welfare department shall prepare and present to the court a report describing the following:
(1) The child’s present placement.
(2) The child’s current physical, mental, emotional, and educational status.
(3) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or guardian, identification of individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The agency shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals who are important to him or her, consistent with the child’s best interest, and may ask any child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that information as appropriate. The agency shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child.
(4) Whether the child has been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents.
(5) Whether an adoptive placement agreement has been signed and filed.
(6) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents, the efforts made to identify an appropriate prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.
(7) Whether the final adoption order should include provisions for postadoptive sibling contact pursuant to Section 366.29.
(8) The progress of the search for an adoptive placement if one has not been identified.
(9) Any impediments to the adoption or the adoptive placement.
(10) The anticipated date by which the child will be adopted or placed in an adoptive home.
(11) The anticipated date by which an adoptive placement agreement will be signed.
(12) Recommendations for court orders that will assist in the placement of the child for adoption or in the finalization of the adoption.
The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
The court shall make appropriate orders to protect the stability of the child and to facilitate and expedite the permanent placement and adoption of the child.
(h) At the review held pursuant to subdivision (d) for a child in long-term foster care, the court shall consider all permanency planning options for the child including whether the child should be returned to the home of the parent, placed for adoption, or appointed a legal guardian, or, if compelling reasons exist for finding that none of the foregoing options are in the best interest of the child, whether the child should be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement. The court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26, unless it determines by clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interest of the child because the child is being returned to the home of the parent, the child is not a proper subject for adoption, or no one is willing to accept legal guardianship. If the licensed county adoption agency, or the department when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, has determined it is unlikely that the child will be adopted or one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, that fact shall constitute a compelling reason for purposes of this subdivision. Only upon that determination may the court order that the child remain in foster care, without holding a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26.
(i) If, as authorized by subdivision (h), the court orders a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the licensed county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency in counties that are not served by a county adoption agency, to prepare an assessment as provided for in subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b) of Section 366.22. A hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the 12-month review at which it is ordered, and at that hearing the court shall determine whether adoption, legal guardianship, or long-term foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.
(j) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subdivision (e) enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase, as provided in Section 366.35.
(k) The reviews conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) or (d) may be conducted earlier than every six months if the court determines that an earlier review is in the best interests of the child or as court rules prescribe.
(l) On and after October 1, 2012, at the review hearing that occurs in the six-month period prior to the minor’s attaining 18 years of age, and at every subsequent review hearing, the report shall describe all of the following:
(1) The minor’s plans to remain in foster care and plans to meet one or more of the criteria as described in subdivision (b) of Section 11403 to continue to receive AFDC-FC benefits.
(2) The efforts made and assistance provided to the minor by the social worker or the probation officer so that the minor will be able to meet the criteria.
(3) Efforts toward completing the items described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 391.
(m) On and after January 1, 2012, the reviews conducted pursuant to subdivisions (e) and (h) for any nonminor dependent shall be conducted in a manner that respects the nonminor’s status as a legal adult, be focused on the goals and services described in the youth’s transitional independent living case plan, including efforts made to maintain connections with caring and permanently committed adults, and attended as appropriate by additional participants invited by the nonminor dependent. The review shall include all the issues in subdivision (e), except paragraph (5) of subdivision (e). The county child welfare or probation department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 shall prepare and present to the reviewing body a report that addresses the youth’s progress in meeting the goals in the transitional independent living case plan and propose modifications as necessary to further those goals. The report shall document that the nonminor has received all the information and documentation described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 391. If the court is considering terminating dependency jurisdiction for a nonminor dependent it shall first hold a hearing pursuant to Section 391.
(n) On and after January 1, 2012, if a review hearing pursuant to this section is the last review hearing to be held before the child attains 18 years of age, the court shall ensure all of the following:
(1) That the child’s transitional independent living case plan includes a plan for the child to satisfy one or more of the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 11403, so that the child is eligible to remain a nonminor dependent.
(2) That the child has been informed of his or her right to seek termination of dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391, and understands the potential benefits of continued dependency.
(3) That the child is informed of his or her right to have dependency reinstated pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388, and understands the potential benefits of continued dependency.
(o) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2014.

SEC. 4.

 Section 391 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as added by Section 28 of Chapter 559 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:

391.
 (a) The court shall not terminate jurisdiction over a dependent youth who has reached 18 years of age unless a hearing is conducted pursuant to this section.
(b) At any hearing for a dependent youth who has attained 18 years of age at which the court is considering termination of the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and the accompanying foster care services as described in Section 11403, the county welfare department shall do all of the following:
(1) Ensure that the dependent is present in court, unless the dependent does not wish to appear in court, or document efforts by the county welfare department to locate the child when the child is not available.
(2) Submit a report describing whether it is in the youth’s best interests to remain under the court’s dependency jurisdiction, which includes a recommended transitional independent living case plan for any youth who is continuing dependency as a nonminor.
(3) If the dependent has indicated that he or she does not want dependency jurisdiction to continue, the report shall address the advisability of a court-ordered trial discharge from foster care.
(c) The court shall continue dependency jurisdiction for a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 unless the court finds that after reasonable and documented efforts the nonminor cannot be located or does not wish to remain subject to dependency jurisdiction. In making this finding, the court shall ensure that the nonminor has been informed of his or her options including the right to file a petition pursuant to Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction, and had an opportunity to confer with his or her counsel if counsel has been appointed pursuant to Section 317. The court shall terminate dependency jurisdiction for a nonminor dependent if it finds that the nonminor dependent is not eligible pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 11403.
(d) If the court terminates dependency jurisdiction, the nonminor shall remain within the jurisdiction of the court until the nonminor attains 21 years of age, although no review proceedings shall be required. As authorized in paragraph (e) of Section 1356.21 of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the court shall authorize a trial period of departure from foster care as defined in subdivision (y) of Section 11400. In order to ensure eligibility for federal financial participation, the court shall set the end date of the trial period of departure from foster care to be the day prior to the day the nonminor attains 21 years of age, unless to do so is not in the nonminor’s best interests. A nonminor may petition the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction at any time before attaining 21 years of age.
(e) Unless the nonminor does not wish to remain under the dependency or delinquency jurisdiction of the court, or, after reasonable efforts by the county welfare department the nonminor cannot be located, the court shall not terminate dependency or delinquency jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent who has reached 18 years of age until a hearing is conducted pursuant to this section and the department has submitted a report verifying that the following information, documents, and services have been provided to the child:
(1) Written information concerning the child’s dependency case, including any known information regarding the child’s Indian heritage or tribal connections, if applicable, his or her family history and placement history, any photographs of the child or his or her family in the possession of the county welfare department, other than forensic photographs, the whereabouts of any siblings under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, unless the court determines that sibling contact would jeopardize the safety or welfare of the sibling, directions on how to access the documents the child is entitled to inspect under Section 827, and the date on which the jurisdiction of the juvenile court would be terminated.
(2) The following documents:
(A) Social security card.
(B) Certified copy of his or her birth certificate.
(C) Health and education summary, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 16010.
(D) Driver’s license, as described in Section 12500 of the Vehicle Code, or identification card, as described in Section 13000 of the Vehicle Code.
(E) A letter prepared by the county welfare department that includes the following information:
(i) The child’s name and date of birth.
(ii) The dates during which the child was within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
(iii) A statement that the child was a foster youth in compliance with state and federal financial aid documentation requirements.
(F) If applicable, the death certificate of the parent or parents.
(G) If applicable, proof of the child’s citizenship or legal residence.
(3) Assistance in completing an application for Medi-Cal or assistance in obtaining other health insurance.
(4) Referrals to transitional housing, if available, or assistance in securing other housing.
(5) Assistance in obtaining employment or other financial support.
(6) Assistance in applying for admission to college or to a vocational training program or other educational institution and in obtaining financial aid, where appropriate.
(7) Assistance in maintaining relationships with individuals who are important to a child who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer from the date the child entered foster care, based on the child’s best interests.
(8) For nonminors between 18 and 21 years of age, assistance in accessing the Independent Living Aftercare Program in the nonminor’s county of residence.
(9) Both of the following:
(A) Verification that the youth was screened for potential eligibility for the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 13757.
(B) Written information regarding the status of the application for federal SSI benefits, including information about who has been designated as the likely representative payee if and when the application for SSI benefits is approved, and information regarding reconsideration and appeal, when appropriate, for any youth on whose behalf an application for SSI benefits has been made.
(f) At the hearing closest to and before a dependent child’s 18th birthday and every review hearing thereafter, the department shall submit a report describing efforts toward completing the items described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(g) The Judicial Council shall develop and implement standards, and develop and adopt appropriate forms necessary to implement this provision.
(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2012.

SEC. 5.

 Section 13754 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

13754.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature that nothing in this section shall be interpreted to preclude a nonminor dependent from accessing the same benefits, services, and supports, and exercise the same choices available to all nonminor dependents. It is further the intent of the Legislature that nonminor dependents who receive federal Supplemental Security Income benefits can serve as their own payee, if it is determined that the nonminor dependent satisfies the criteria established by the Social Security Administration, and should be assisted in receiving direct payment by the county child welfare department. It is further the intent of the Legislature that individuals who have had their eligibility for federal Supplemental Security Income benefits established pursuant to Section 13757 be able to maintain that eligibility even when they remain in the state’s care as a nonminor dependent. In order to facilitate this, it is the intent of the Legislature that the county child welfare agency ensure that the youth receives an SSI payment during at least one month of each 12-month period while the youth is a nonminor dependent. It is further the intent of the Legislature that the county child welfare agency may supplement the SSI payment that a youth receives during this one-month period with state-only AFDC-FC or state-only Kin-GAP benefits.
(b) (1) The county shall apply to be appointed representative payee on behalf of a child beneficiary in its custody when no other appropriate party is available to serve.
If, at the time a child is taken into custody pursuant to Section 309, the child is a current beneficiary of federal Supplemental Security Income and the child’s current representative payee is not the parent or guardian alleged in the petition to have caused the child to come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as described in Section 300, the county shall provide written notice to the child’s counsel of its intent to file to be appointed as the child’s representative payee at least 30 days before making the application.
(2) When a child beneficiary reaches 18 years of age and elects to remain in the custody of the county as a nonminor dependent, the county shall provide information to the youth regarding the process for becoming his or her own payee and shall assist the youth in becoming his or her own payee pursuant to Section 13753, unless becoming his or her own payee is contrary to the best interests of the youth. In the event that a youth is unable to serve as his or her payee after attaining 18 years of age, the county shall assist the youth in finding and designating an appropriate representative payee.
(c) In its capacity as representative payee, the county shall do all of the following:
(1) Establish a no-cost, interest-bearing maintenance account for each child in the department’s custody for whom the department serves as representative payee. Interest earned shall be credited to the account. The county shall keep an itemized current account, in the manner required by federal law, of all income and expense items for each child’s maintenance account.
(2) Establish procedures for disbursing money from the accounts, including disbursing the net balance to the beneficiary upon release from care. The county shall use social security and SSI/SSP benefits only for the following purposes:
(A) For the use and benefit of the child.
(B) For purposes determined by the county to be in the child’s best interest.
(3) Establish and maintain a dedicated account in a financial institution for past-due monthly benefits that exceed six times the maximum monthly benefit payable, in accordance with federal law. The representative payee may deposit into the account established under this section any other funds representing past due benefits to the eligible individual, provided that the amount of the past due benefits is equal to or exceeds the maximum monthly benefit payable. Funds from the dedicated account shall not be used for basic maintenance costs. The use of funds from the dedicated account must be for the benefit of the child and are limited to expenditures for the following purposes:
(A) Medical treatment.
(B) Education or job skills training.
(C) Personal needs assistance.
(D) Special equipment.
(E) Housing modification.
(F) Therapy or rehabilitation.
(G) Other items or services, deemed appropriate by the Social Security Administration.
(d) If the county is the child’s representative payee, the beneficiary’s attorney may request an accounting of how the child’s social security benefits were expended during the year preceding the request, and the county shall provide the accounting within 30 days of the request. The accounting may be provided in the same manner that the county provides an accounting of the same information to the federal Social Security Administration.

SEC. 6.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.