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AB-1909 Foster children: placement: suspension and expulsion: notifications.(2011-2012)

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AB1909:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1909
CHAPTER 849

An act to amend Sections 48853.5, 48911, and 48915.5 of, and to add Section 48918.1 to, the Education Code, and to amend Sections 317 and 16010 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster children.

[ Approved by Governor  September 30, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  September 30, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1909, Ammiano. Foster children: placement: suspension and expulsion: notifications.
(1) Existing law requires each local educational agency to designate a staff person as the educational liaison for foster children, as defined. Existing law requires the educational liaison to ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and checkout from school of foster children, and to assist foster children when transferring from one school to another school or from one school district to another school district in ensuring the proper transfer of credits, records, and grades.
This bill would require the educational liaison, if designated by the superintendent of the local educational agency, to notify the foster child’s attorney and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency of pending expulsion proceedings if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, pending proceedings to extend a suspension until an expulsion decision is rendered if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, and, if the foster child is an individual with exceptional needs, pending manifestation determinations, as specified.
This bill would authorize the foster child’s caregiver or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the child to provide the contact information of the child’s attorney to the child’s school district when the child has been placed outside of the county of jurisdiction for the child.
(2) Existing law authorizes the district superintendent of schools or other person designated by the district superintendent of schools in writing to extend the suspension of a pupil until the governing board of the school district has rendered a decision in a case where expulsion from any school or suspension from the balance of the semester from continuation school is being processed by the governing board of the school district. Existing law requires that before such an extension is granted that the district superintendent of schools or the district superintendent’s designee determine, following a meeting in which the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian are invited to participate, that the presence of the pupil at the school or in an alternative school placement would cause a danger to persons or property or a threat of disrupting the instructional process.
This bill would require, if the pupil is a foster child, as defined, the district superintendent of schools or the district superintendent’s designee to invite the pupil’s attorney and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency to that meeting.
(3) Existing law authorizes the suspension or expulsion of an individual with exceptional needs in accordance with specified provisions.
This bill would require, if the individual with exceptional needs is a foster child, as defined, and the local educational agency has proposed a change of placement due to an act for which a decision to recommend expulsion is at the discretion of the principal or the district superintendent of schools, the attorney for the individual with exceptional needs and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency to be invited to participate in the individualized education program team meeting that makes a manifestation determination. The bill would authorize that invitation to be made using the most cost-effective method possible.
(4) Existing law requires the governing board of each school district to establish rules and regulations governing procedures for the expulsion of pupils and requires these procedures to include, but not necessarily be limited to, a hearing to determine whether the pupil should be expelled, and a written notice of the hearing forwarded to the pupil at least 10 calendar days prior to the date of the hearing.
This bill would require, if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act and the pupil is a foster child, as defined, the governing board of the school district also to provide notice of the hearing to the pupil’s attorney and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency at least 10 calendar days before the date of the hearing. The bill would authorize, if a recommendation of expulsion is required and the pupil is a foster child, the governing board of the school district also to provide the notice of the hearing to the pupil’s attorney and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency at least 10 calendar days before the date of the hearing. The bill would authorize these notices to be made using the most cost-effective method possible.
(5) Existing law requires a juvenile court to hold a detention hearing to determine whether a minor should be further detained when a minor has been taken into custody pursuant to specified provisions. Existing law also requires a court to appoint counsel for the child if the child is not represented by counsel, unless the court finds that the child would not benefit from the appointment of counsel. Existing law requires counsel appointed for the child to be charged in general with the representation of the child’s interests.
This bill would, at least once every year and if the list of educational liaisons is available on the Internet Web site of the State Department of Education, (A) require counsel appointed for the child to provide his or her contact information to the educational liaison of each local educational agency serving counsel’s foster child clients in the county of jurisdiction, and (B) if counsel is part of a firm or organization, authorize the firm or organization to provide its contact information in lieu of contact information for the individual counsel. The bill would authorize the child’s caregiver or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the child to provide the contact information of the child’s attorney to the child’s local educational agency.
(6) Existing law requires, when a child is placed in foster care, the case plan for each child to include a summary of the health and education information or records of the child. Existing law requires the health and education summary to include, but not be limited to, among other things, the names and addresses of the child’s health, dental, and education providers.
This bill would authorize the health and education summary also to include the name and contact information for the educational liaison of the child’s local educational agency.
(7) This bill would also make various nonsubstantive changes to the above provisions.
(8) This bill would incorporate additional changes in Section 48853.5 of the Education Code, proposed by SB 1568, to be operative only if SB 1568 and this bill are both chaptered and become effective January 1, 2013, and this bill is chaptered last.
(9) This bill would incorporate additional changes in Sections 317 and 16010 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, proposed by AB 1712, to be operative only if AB 1712 and this bill are both chaptered and become effective January 1, 2013, and this bill is chaptered last.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 It is the intent of the Legislature that, for purposes of implementing this act, the notification of, and invitation to, a parent or guardian for meetings and hearings related to the discipline of the pupil also be provided to a person who holds the right to make educational decisions for a foster child pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code if the right to make educational decisions by the parent or guardian has been limited or terminated.

SEC. 2.

 Section 48853.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48853.5.
 (a) This section applies to a child who has been removed from his or her home pursuant to Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or has been removed from his or her home and is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code (hereafter “foster child”).
(b) Each local educational agency shall designate a staff person as the educational liaison for foster children. In a school district that operates a foster children services program pursuant to Chapter 11.3 (commencing with Section 42920) of Part 24 of Division 3, the educational liaison shall be affiliated with the local foster children services program. The educational liaison shall do all of the following:
(1) Ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and checkout from school of foster children.
(2) Assist foster children when transferring from one school to another school or from one school district to another school district in ensuring proper transfer of credits, records, and grades.
(c) If so designated by the superintendent of the local educational agency, the educational liaison shall notify a foster child’s attorney and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency of pending expulsion proceedings if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, pending proceedings to extend a suspension until an expulsion decision is rendered if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, and, if the foster child is an individual with exceptional needs, pending manifestation determinations pursuant to Section 1415(k) of Title 20 of the United States Code if the local educational agency has proposed a change in placement due to an act for which the decision to recommend expulsion is at the discretion of the principal or the district superintendent of schools.
(d) This section does not grant authority to the educational liaison that supersedes the authority granted under state and federal law to a parent or guardian retaining educational rights, a responsible adult appointed by the court to represent the child pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a surrogate parent, or a foster parent exercising the authority granted under Section 56055. The role of the educational liaison is advisory with respect to placement decisions and determination of school of origin.
(e) (1) At the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in placement of a foster child, the local educational agency serving the foster child shall allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court.
(2) If the jurisdiction of the court is terminated before the end of an academic year, the foster child shall be allowed to continue his or her education in the school of origin through the duration of the academic school year.
(3) To ensure that the foster child has the benefit of matriculating with his or her peers in accordance with the established feeder patterns of school districts, if the foster child is transitioning between school grade levels, the local educational agency shall allow the foster child to continue in the school district of origin in the same attendance area, or, if the foster child is transitioning to a middle school or high school, and the school designated for matriculation is in another school district, to the school designated for matriculation in that school district.
(4) Paragraphs (2) and (3) shall not be construed to require a school district to provide transportation services to allow a foster child to attend a school or school district, unless otherwise required under federal law, nor shall this paragraph be construed to prohibit a school district from, at its discretion, providing transportation services to allow a foster child to attend a school or school district.
(5) The educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, may, in accordance with the foster child’s best interests, recommend that the foster child’s right to attend the school of origin be waived and the foster child be enrolled in a public school that pupils living in the attendance area in which the foster child resides are eligible to attend.
(6) Before making a recommendation to move a foster child from his or her school of origin, the educational liaison shall provide the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child with a written explanation stating the basis for the recommendation and how the recommendation serves the foster child’s best interest.
(7) (A) If the educational liaison, in consultation with the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, agrees that the best interests of the foster child would best be served by his or her transfer to a school other than the school of origin, the foster child shall immediately be enrolled in the new school.
(B) The new school shall immediately enroll the foster child even if the foster child has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys due to the school last attended or is unable to produce clothing or records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, including, but not limited to, records or other proof of immunization history pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325) of Part 2 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, proof of residency, other documentation, or school uniforms.
(C) The educational liaison for the new school shall, within two business days of the foster child’s request for enrollment, contact the school last attended by the foster child to obtain all academic and other records. All required records shall be provided to the new school regardless of any outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys owed to the school last attended. The educational liaison for the school last attended shall provide all records to the new school within two business days of receiving the request.
(8) If a dispute arises regarding the request of a foster child to remain in the school of origin, the foster child has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute. The dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the existing dispute resolution process available to a pupmargin:0 0 1em 0;">(g) This section does not supersede other law governing the educational placements in juvenile court schools, as described in Section 48645.1, by the juvenile court under Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 2.5.

 Section 48853.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48853.5.
 (a) This section applies to a foster child. “Foster child” means a child who has been removed from his or her home pursuant to Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or has been removed from his or her home and is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) Each local educational agency shall designate a staff person as the educational liaison for foster children. In a school district that operates a foster children services program pursuant to Chapter 11.3 (commencing with Section 42920) of Part 24 of Division 3, the educational liaison shall be affiliated with the local foster children services program. The educational liaison shall do all of the following:
(1) Ensure and facilitate the proper educational placement, enrollment in school, and checkout from school of foster children.
(2) Assist foster children when transferring from one school to another school or from one school district to another school district in ensuring proper transfer of credits, records, and grades.
(c) If so designated by the superintendent of the local educational agency, the educational liaison shall notify a foster child’s attorney and the appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency of pending expulsion proceedings if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, pending proceedings to extend a suspension until an expulsion decision is rendered if the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act, and, if the foster child is an individual with exceptional needs, pending manifestation determinations pursuant to Section 1415(k) of Title 20 of the United States Code if the local educational agency has proposed a change in placement due to an act for which the decision to recommend expulsion is at the discretion of the principal or the district superintendent of schools.
(d) This section does not grant authority to the educational liaison that supersedes the authority granted under state and federal law to a parent or legal guardian retaining educational rights, a responsible adult appointed by the court to represent the child pursuant to Section 361 or 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a surrogate parent, or a foster parent exercising the authority granted under Section 56055. The role of the educational liaison is advisory with respect to placement decisions and determination of school of origin.
(e) (1) At the initial detention or placement, or any subsequent change in placement of a foster child, the local educational agency serving the foster child shall allow the foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin for the duration of the jurisdiction of the court.
(2) If the jurisdiction of the court is terminated before the end of an academic year, the local educational agency shall allow a former foster child who is in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 8, inclusive, to continue his or her education in the school of origin through the duration of the academic school year.
(3) (A) If the jurisdiction of the court is terminated while a foster child is in high school, the local educational agency shall allow the former foster child to continue his or her education in the school of origin through graduation.
(B) For purposes of this paragraph, a school district is not required to provide transportation to a former foster child who has an individualized education program that does not require transportation as a related service and who changes residence but remains in his or her school of origin pursuant to this paragraph, unless the individualized education program team determines that transportation is a necessary related service.
(4) To ensure that the foster child has the benefit of matriculating with his or her peers in accordance with the established feeder patterns of school districts, if the foster child is transitioning between school grade levels, the local educational agency shall allow the foster child to continue in the school district of origin in the same attendance area, or, if the foster child is transitioning to a middle school or high school, and the school designated for matriculation is in another school district, to the school designated for matriculation in that school district.
(5) Paragraphs (2), (3), and (4) do not require a school district to provide transportation services to allow a foster child to attend a school or school district, unless otherwise required under federal law. This paragraph does not prohibit a school district from, at its discretion, providing transportation services to allow a foster child to attend a school or school district.
(6) The educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, may recommend, in accordance with the foster child’s best interests, that the foster child’s right to attend the school of origin be waived and the foster child be enrolled in a public school that pupils living in the attendance area in which the foster child resides are eligible to attend.
(7) Before making a recommendation to move a foster child from his or her school of origin, the educational liaison shall provide the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child with a written explanation stating the basis for the recommendation and how the recommendation serves the foster child’s best interest.
(8) (A) If the educational liaison, in consultation with the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, agrees that the best interests of the foster child would best be served by his or her transfer to a school other than the school of origin, the foster child shall immediately be enrolled in the new school.
(B) The new school shall immediately enroll the foster child even if the foster child has outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys due to the school last attended or is unable to produce clothing or records normally required for enrollment, such as previous academic records, medical records, including, but not limited to, records or other proof of immunization history pursuant to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 120325) of Part 2 of Division 105 of the Health and Safety Code, proof of residency, other documentation, or school uniforms.
(C) Within two business days of the foster child’s request for enrollment, the educational liaison for the new school shall contact the school last attended by the foster child to obtain all academic and other records. The last school attended by the foster child shall provide all required records to the new school regardless of any outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys owed to the school last attended. The educational liaison for the school last attended shall provide all records to the new school within two business days of receiving the request.
(9) If a dispute arises regarding the request of a foster child to remain in the school of origin, the foster child has the right to remain in the school of origin pending resolution of the dispute. The dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the existing dispute resolution process available to a pupil served by the local educational agency.
(10) The local educational agency and the county placing agency are encouraged to collaborate to ensure maximum use of available federal moneys, explore public-private partnerships, and access any other funding sources to promote the well-being of foster children through educational stability.
(11) It is the intent of the Legislature that this subdivision shall not supersede or exceed other laws governing special education services for eligible foster children.
(f) For purposes of this section, “school of origin” means the school that the foster child attended when permanently housed or the school in which the foster child was last enrolled. If the school the foster child attended when permanently housed is different from the school in which the foster child was last enrolled, or if there is some other school that the foster child attended with which the foster child is connected and that the foster child attended within the immediately preceding 15 months, the educational liaison, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, the foster child and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the foster child, shall determine, in the best interests of the foster child, the school that shall be deemed the school of origin.
(g) This section does not supersede other law governing the educational placements in juvenile court schools, as described in Section 48645.1, by the juvenile court under Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 48911 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48911.
 (a) The principal of the school, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools may suspend a pupil from the school for any of the reasons enumerated in Section 48900, and pursuant to Section 48900.5, for no more than five consecutive schooldays.
(b) Suspension by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools shall be preceded by an informal conference conducted by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools between the pupil and, whenever practicable, the teacher, supervisor, or school employee who referred the pupil to the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools. At the conference, the pupil shall be informed of the reason for the disciplinary action and the evidence against him or her and shall be given the opportunity to present his or her version and evidence in his or her defense.
(c) A principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools may suspend a pupil without affording the pupil an opportunity for a conference only if the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools determines that an emergency situation exists. “Emergency situation,” as used in this article, means a situation determined by the principal, the principal’s designee, or the district superintendent of schools to constitute a clear and present danger to the life, safety, or health of pupils or school personnel. If a pupil is suspended without a conference before suspension, both the parent and the pupil shall be notified of the pupil’s right to a conference and the pupil’s right to return to school for the purpose of a conference. The conference shall be held within two schooldays, unless the pupil waives this right or is physically unable to attend for any reason, including, but not limited to, incarceration or hospitalization. The conference shall then be held as soon as the pupil is physically able to return to school for the conference.
(d) At the time of suspension, a school employee shall make a reasonable effort to contact the pupil’s parent or guardian in person or by telephone. If a pupil is suspended from school, the parent or guardian shall be notified in writing of the suspension.
(e) A school employee shall report the suspension of the pupil, including the cause for the suspension, to the governing board of the school district or to the district superintendent of schools in accordance with the regulations of the governing board of the school district.
(f) The parent or guardian of a pupil shall respond without delay to a request from school officials to attend a conference regarding his or her child’s behavior.
No penalties shall be imposed on a pupil for failure of the pupil’s parent or guardian to attend a conference with school officials. Reinstatement of the suspended pupil shall not be contingent upon attendance by the pupil’s parent or guardian at the conference.
(g) In a case where expulsion from a school or suspension for the balance of the semester from continuation school is being processed by the governing board of the school district, the district superintendent of schools, or other person designated by the district superintendent of schools in writing, may extend the suspension until the governing board of the school district has rendered a decision in the action. However, an extension may be granted only if the district superintendent of schools or the district superintendent’s designee has determined, following a meeting in which the pupil and the pupil’s parent or guardian are invited to participate, that the presence of the pupil at the school or in an alternative school placement would cause a danger to persons or property or a threat of disrupting the instructional process. If the pupil is a foster child, as defined in Section 48853.5, the district superintendent of schools or the district superintendent’s designee, including, but not limited to, the educational liaison for the school district, shall also invite the pupil’s attorney and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency to participate in the meeting. If the pupil or the pupil’s parent or guardian has requested a meeting to challenge the original suspension pursuant to Section 48914, the purpose of the meeting shall be to decide upon the extension of the suspension order under this section and may be held in conjunction with the initial meeting on the merits of the suspension.
(h) For purposes of this section, a “principal’s designee” is one or more administrators at the schoolsite specifically designated by the principal, in writing, to assist with disciplinary procedures.
In the event that there is not an administrator in addition to the principal at the schoolsite, a certificated person at the schoolsite may be specifically designated by the principal, in writing, as a “principal’s designee,” to assist with disciplinary procedures. The principal may designate only one person at a time as the principal’s primary designee for the school year.
An additional person meeting the requirements of this subdivision may be designated by the principal, in writing, to act for purposes of this article when both the principal and the principal’s primary designee are absent from the schoolsite. The name of the person, and the names of any person or persons designated as “principal’s designee,” shall be on file in the principal’s office.
This section is not an exception to, nor does it place any limitation on, Section 48903.

SEC. 4.

 Section 48915.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

48915.5.
 (a) An individual with exceptional needs, as defined in Section 56026, may be suspended or expelled from school in accordance with Section 1415(k) of Title 20 of the United States Code, the discipline provisions contained in Sections 300.530 to 300.537, inclusive, of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and other provisions of this part that do not conflict with federal law and regulations.
(b) A free appropriate public education for individuals with exceptional needs suspended or expelled from school shall be in accordance with Section 1412(a)(1) of Title 20 of the United States Code and Section 300.530(d) of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(c) If an individual with exceptional needs is excluded from schoolbus transportation, the pupil is entitled to be provided with an alternative form of transportation at no cost to the pupil or parent or guardian provided that transportation is specified in the pupil’s individualized education program.
(d) If the individual with exceptional needs is a foster child, as defined in Section 48853.5, and the local educational agency has proposed a change of placement due to an act for which a decision to recommend expulsion is at the discretion of the principal or the district superintendent of schools, the attorney for the individual with exceptional needs and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency shall be invited to participate in the individualized education program team meeting that makes a manifestation determination pursuant to Section 1415(k) of Title 20 of the United States Code. The invitation may be made using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include, but is not limited to, electronic mail or a telephone call.

SEC. 5.

 Section 48918.1 is added to the Education Code, to read:

48918.1.
 (a) If the decision to recommend expulsion is a discretionary act and the pupil is a foster child, as defined in Section 48853.5, the governing board of the school district shall provide notice of the expulsion hearing to the pupil’s attorney and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency at least 10 calendar days before the date of the hearing. The notice may be made using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include, but is not limited to, electronic mail or a telephone call.
(b) If a recommendation of expulsion is required and the pupil is a foster child, as defined in Section 48853.5, the governing board of the school district may provide notice of the expulsion hearing to the pupil’s attorney and an appropriate representative of the county child welfare agency at least 10 calendar days before the date of the hearing. The notice may be made using the most cost-effective method possible, which may include, but is not limited to, electronic mail or a telephone call.

SEC. 6.

 Section 317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

317.
 (a) (1) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child desires counsel but is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, the court may appoint counsel as provided in this section.
(2) When it appears to the court that a parent or Indian custodian in an Indian child custody proceeding desires counsel but is presently unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, the provisions of Section 1912(b) of Title 25 of the United States Code and Section 23.13 of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations shall apply.
(b) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, and the child has been placed in out-of-home care, or the petitioning agency is recommending that the child be placed in out-of-home care, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent or guardian, unless the court finds that the parent or guardian has made a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel as provided in this section.
(c) If a child is not represented by counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the child, unless the court finds that the child would not benefit from the appointment of counsel. The court shall state on the record its reasons for that finding. A primary responsibility of counsel appointed to represent a child pursuant to this section shall be to advocate for the protection, safety, and physical and emotional well-being of the child. Counsel may be a district attorney, public defender, or other member of the bar, provided that he or she does not represent another party or county agency whose interests conflict with the child’s interests. The fact that the district attorney represents the child in a proceeding pursuant to Section 300 as well as conducts a criminal investigation or files a criminal complaint or information arising from the same or reasonably related set of facts as the proceeding pursuant to Section 300 is not in and of itself a conflict of interest. The court may fix the compensation for the services of appointed counsel. The appointed counsel shall have a caseload and training that ensures adequate representation of the child. The Judicial Council shall promulgate rules of court that establish caseload standards, training requirements, and guidelines for appointed counsel for children and shall adopt rules as required by Section 326.5 no later than July 1, 2001.
(d) Counsel shall represent the parent, guardian, or child at the detention hearing and at all subsequent proceedings before the juvenile court. Counsel shall continue to represent the parent, guardian, or child unless relieved by the court upon the substitution of other counsel or for cause. The representation shall include representing the parent, guardian, or the child in termination proceedings and in those proceedings relating to the institution or setting aside of a legal guardianship. On and after January 1, 2012, in the case of a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, no representation by counsel shall be provided for a parent.
(e) (1) Counsel shall be charged in general with the representation of the child’s interests. To that end, counsel shall make or cause to have made any further investigations that he or she deems in good faith to be reasonably necessary to ascertain the facts, including the interviewing of witnesses, and shall examine and cross-examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings. Counsel may also introduce and examine his or her own witnesses, make recommendations to the court concerning the child’s welfare, and participate further in the proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent the child.
(2) If the child is four years of age or older, counsel shall interview the child to determine the child’s wishes and assess the child’s well-being, and shall advise the court of the child’s wishes. Counsel shall not advocate for the return of the child if, to the best of his or her knowledge, return of the child conflicts with the protection and safety of the child.
(3) Counsel shall investigate the interests of the child beyond the scope of the juvenile proceeding, and report to the court other interests of the child that may need to be protected by the institution of other administrative or judicial proceedings. Counsel representing a child in a dependency proceeding is not required to assume the responsibilities of a social worker, and is not expected to provide nonlegal services to the child.
(4) (A) At least once every year, if the list of educational liaisons is available on the Internet Web site for the State Department of Education, both of the following shall apply:
(i) Counsel shall provide his or her contact information to the educational liaison, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 48853.5 of the Education Code, of each local educational agency serving counsel’s foster child clients in the county of jurisdiction.
(ii) If counsel is part of a firm or organization representing foster children, the firm or organization may provide its contact information in lieu of contact information for the individual counsel. The firm or organization may designate a person or persons within the firm or organization to receive communications from educational liaisons.
(B) The child’s caregiver or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the child may provide the contact information of the child’s attorney to the child’s local educational agency.
(C) Counsel for the child and counsel’s agent may, but are not required to, disclose to an individual who is being assessed for the possibility of placement pursuant to Section 361.3 the fact that the child is in custody, the alleged reasons that the child is in custody, and the projected likely date for the child’s return home, placement for adoption, or legal guardianship. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit counsel from making other disclosures pursuant to this subdivision, as appropriate.
(5) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit counsel to violate a child’s attorney-client privilege.
(6) The changes made to this subdivision during the 2011–12 Regular Session of the Legislature by the act adding subparagraph (C) of paragraph (4) and paragraph (5) are declaratory of existing law.
(7) The court shall take whatever appropriate action is necessary to fully protect the interests of the child.
(f) Either the child or counsel for the child, with the informed consent of the child if the child is found by the court to be of sufficient age and maturity to consent, which shall be presumed, subject to rebuttal by clear and convincing evidence, if the child is over 12 years of age, may invoke the psychotherapist-client privilege, physician-patient privilege, and clergyman-penitent privilege. If the child invokes the privilege, counsel may not waive it, but if counsel invokes the privilege, the child may waive it. Counsel shall be the holder of these privileges if the child is found by the court not to be of sufficient age and maturity to consent. For the sole purpose of fulfilling his or her obligation to provide legal representation of the child, counsel shall have access to all records with regard to the child maintained by a health care facility, as defined in Section 1545 of the Penal Code, health care providers, as defined in Section 6146 of the Business and Professions Code, a physician and surgeon or other health practitioner, as defined in former Section 11165.8 of the Penal Code, as that section read on January 1, 2000, or a child care custodian, as defined in former Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code, as that section read on January 1, 2000. Notwithstanding any other law, counsel shall be given access to all records relevant to the case that are maintained by state or local public agencies. All information requested from a child protective agency regarding a child who is in protective custody, or from a child’s guardian ad litem, shall be provided to the child’s counsel within 30 days of the request.
(g) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be provided to a child at the county’s expense other than by counsel for the agency, the court shall first use the services of the public defender before appointing private counsel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the public defender in any case in which the public defender has a conflict of interest. In the interest of justice, a court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of the public defender after making a finding of good cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.
(h) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be appointed to provide legal counsel for a parent or guardian at the county’s expense, the court shall first use the services of the alternate public defender before appointing private counsel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the alternate public defender in any case in which the public defender has a conflict of interest. In the interest of justice, a court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of the alternate public defender after making a finding of good cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.

SEC. 6.5.

 Section 317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

317.
 (a) (1) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child desires counsel but is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, the court may appoint counsel as provided in this section.
(2) When it appears to the court that a parent or Indian custodian in an Indian child custody proceeding desires counsel but is presently unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, the provisions of Section 1912(b) of Title 25 of the United States Code and Section 23.13 of Title 25 of the Code of Federal Regulations shall apply.
(b) When it appears to the court that a parent or guardian of the child is presently financially unable to afford and cannot for that reason employ counsel, and the child has been placed in out-of-home care, or the petitioning agency is recommending that the child be placed in out-of-home care, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent or guardian, unless the court finds that the parent or guardian has made a knowing and intelligent waiver of counsel as provided in this section.
(c) If a child or nonminor dependent is not represented by counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the child or nonminor dependent, unless the court finds that the child or nonminor dependent would not benefit from the appointment of counsel. The court shall state on the record its reasons for that finding. A primary responsibility of counsel appointed to represent a child or nonminor dependent pursuant to this section shall be to advocate for the protection, safety, and physical and emotional well-being of the child or nonminor dependent. Counsel may be a district attorney, public defender, or other member of the bar, provided that he or she does not represent another party or county agency whose interests conflict with the child’s or nonminor dependent’s interests. The fact that the district attorney represents the child or nonminor dependent in a proceeding pursuant to Section 300 as well as conducts a criminal investigation or files a criminal complaint or information arising from the same or reasonably related set of facts as the proceeding pursuant to Section 300 is not in and of itself a conflict of interest. The court may fix the compensation for the services of appointed counsel. The appointed counsel shall have a caseload and training that ensures adequate representation of the child or nonminor dependent. The Judicial Council shall promulgate rules of court that establish caseload standards, training requirements, and guidelines for appointed counsel for children and shall adopt rules as required by Section 326.5 no later than July 1, 2001.
(d) Counsel shall represent the parent, guardian, child, or nonminor dependent at the detention hearing and at all subsequent proceedings before the juvenile court. Counsel shall continue to represent the parent, guardian, child, or nonminor dependent unless relieved by the court upon the substitution of other counsel or for cause. The representation shall include representing the parent, guardian, or the child in termination proceedings and in those proceedings relating to the institution or setting aside of a legal guardianship. On and after January 1, 2012, in the case of a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, no representation by counsel shall be provided for a parent, unless the parent is receiving court-ordered family reunification services.
(e) (1) Counsel shall be charged in general with the representation of the child’s interests. To that end, counsel shall make or cause to have made any further investigations that he or she deems in good faith to be reasonably necessary to ascertain the facts, including the interviewing of witnesses, and shall examine and cross-examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings. Counsel may also introduce and examine his or her own witnesses, make recommendations to the court concerning the child’s welfare, and participate further in the proceedings to the degree necessary to adequately represent the child. When counsel is appointed to represent a nonminor dependent, counsel is charged with representing the wishes of the nonminor dependent except when advocating for those wishes conflicts with the protection or safety of the nonminor dependent. If the court finds that a nonminor dependent is not competent to direct counsel, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for the nonminor dependent.
(2) If the child is four years of age or older, counsel shall interview the child to determine the child’s wishes and assess the child’s well-being, and shall advise the court of the child’s wishes. Counsel shall not advocate for the return of the child if, to the best of his or her knowledge, return of the child conflicts with the protection and safety of the child.
(3) Counsel shall investigate the interests of the child beyond the scope of the juvenile proceeding, and report to the court other interests of the child that may need to be protected by the institution of other administrative or judicial proceedings. Counsel representing a child in a dependency proceeding is not required to assume the responsibilities of a social worker, and is not expected to provide nonlegal services to the child.
(4) (A) At least once every year, if the list of educational liaisons is available on the Internet Web site for the State Department of Education, both of the following shall apply:
(i) Counsel shall provide his or her contact information to the educational liaison, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 48853.5 of the Education Code, of each local educational agency serving counsel’s foster child clients in the county of jurisdiction.
(ii) If counsel is part of a firm or organization representing foster children, the firm or organization may provide its contact information in lieu of contact information for the individual counsel. The firm or organization may designate a person or persons within the firm or organization to receive communications from educational liaisons.
(B) The child’s caregiver or other person holding the right to make educational decisions for the child may provide the contact information of the child’s attorney to the child’s local educational agency.
(C) Counsel for the child and counsel’s agent may, but are not required to, disclose to an individual who is being assessed for the possibility of placement pursuant to Section 361.3 the fact that the child is in custody, the alleged reasons that the child is in custody, and the projected likely date for the child’s return home, placement for adoption, or legal guardianship. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prohibit counsel from making other disclosures pursuant to this subdivision, as appropriate.
(5) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to permit counsel to violate a child’s attorney-client privilege.
(6) The changes made to this subdivision during the 2011–12 Regular Session of the Legislature by the act adding subparagraph (C) of paragraph (4) and paragraph (5) are declaratory of existing law.
(7) The court shall take whatever appropriate action is necessary to fully protect the interests of the child.
(f) Either the child or counsel for the child, with the informed consent of the child if the child is found by the court to be of sufficient age and maturity to consent, which shall be presumed, subject to rebuttal by clear and convincing evidence, if the child is over 12 years of age, may invoke the psychotherapist-client privilege, physician-patient privilege, and clergyman-penitent privilege. If the child invokes the privilege, counsel may not waive it, but if counsel invokes the privilege, the child may waive it. Counsel shall be the holder of these privileges if the child is found by the court not to be of sufficient age and maturity to consent. For the sole purpose of fulfilling his or her obligation to provide legal representation of the child, counsel shall have access to all records with regard to the child maintained by a health care facility, as defined in Section 1545 of the Penal Code, health care providers, as defined in Section 6146 of the Business and Professions Code, a physician and surgeon or other health practitioner, as defined in former Section 11165.8 of the Penal Code, as that section read on January 1, 2000, or a child care custodian, as defined in former Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code, as that section read on January 1, 2000. Notwithstanding any other law, counsel shall be given access to all records relevant to the case that are maintained by state or local public agencies. All information requested from a child protective agency regarding a child who is in protective custody, or from a child’s guardian ad litem, shall be provided to the child’s counsel within 30 days of the request.
(g) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be provided to a child at the county’s expense other than by counsel for the agency, the court shall first use the services of the public defender before appointing private counsel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the public defender in any case in which the public defender has a conflict of interest. In the interest of justice, a court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of the public defender after making a finding of good cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.
(h) In a county of the third class, if counsel is to be appointed to provide legal counsel for a parent or guardian at the county’s expense, the court shall first use the services of the alternate public defender before appointing private counsel. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to require the appointment of the alternate public defender in any case in which the public defender has a conflict of interest. In the interest of justice, a court may depart from that portion of the procedure requiring appointment of the alternate public defender after making a finding of good cause and stating the reasons therefor on the record.

SEC. 7.

 Section 16010 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16010.
 (a) When a child is placed in foster care, the case plan for each child recommended pursuant to Section 358.1 shall include a summary of the health and education information or records, including mental health information or records, of the child. The summary may be maintained in the form of a health and education passport, or a comparable format designed by the child protective agency. The health and education summary shall include, but not be limited to, the names and addresses of the child’s health, dental, and education providers; the child’s grade level performance; the child’s school record; assurances that the child’s placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement; the number of school transfers the child has already experienced; the child’s educational progress, as demonstrated by factors, including, but not limited to, academic proficiency scores; credits earned toward graduation; a record of the child’s immunizations and allergies; the child’s known medical problems; the child’s current medications, past health problems, and hospitalizations; a record of the child’s relevant mental health history; the child’s known mental health condition and medications; and any other relevant mental health, dental, health, and education information concerning the child determined to be appropriate by the Director of Social Services. The health and education summary may also include the name and contact information for the educational liaison, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 48853.5 of the Education Code, of the child’s local educational agency. If any other law imposes more stringent information requirements, then that section shall prevail.
(b) Additionally, a court report or assessment required pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, Section 366.1, subdivision (d) of Section 366.21, or subdivision (c) of Section 366.22 shall include a copy of the current health and education summary described in subdivision (a).
(c) As soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after initial placement of a child into foster care, the child protective agency shall provide the caretaker with the child’s current health and education summary as described in subdivision (a). For each subsequent placement, the child protective agency shall provide the caretaker with a current summary as described in subdivision (a) within 48 hours of the placement.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding Section 827 or any other law, the child protective agency may disclose any information described in this section to a prospective caretaker or caretakers prior to placement of a child if all of the following requirements are met:
(A) The child protective agency intends to place the child with the prospective caretaker or caretakers.
(B) The prospective caretaker or caretakers are willing to become the adoptive parent or parents of the child.
(C) The prospective caretaker or caretakers have an approved adoption assessment or home study, a foster family home license, certification by a licensed foster family agency, or approval pursuant to the requirements in Sections 361.3 and 361.4.
(2) In addition to the information required to be provided under this section, the child protective agency may disclose to the prospective caretaker specified in paragraph (1), placement history or underlying source documents that are provided to adoptive parents pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 8706 of the Family Code.
(e) The child’s caretaker shall be responsible for obtaining and maintaining accurate and thorough information from physicians and educators for the child’s summary as described in subdivision (a) during the time that the child is in the care of the caretaker. On each required visit, the child protective agency or its designee family foster agency shall inquire of the caretaker whether there is any new information that should be added to the child’s summary as described in subdivision (a). The child protective agency shall update the summary with the information as appropriate, but not later than the next court date or within 48 hours of a change in placement. The child protective agency or its designee family foster agency shall take all necessary steps to assist the caretaker in obtaining relevant health and education information for the child’s health and education summary as described in subdivision (a).
(f) At the initial hearing, the court shall direct each parent to provide to the child protective agency complete medical, dental, mental health, and educational information, and medical background, of the child and of the child’s mother and the child’s biological father if known. The Judicial Council shall create a form for the purpose of obtaining health and education information from the child’s parents or guardians at the initial hearing. The court shall determine at the hearing held pursuant to Section 358 whether the medical, dental, mental health, and educational information has been provided to the child protective agency.

SEC. 7.5.

 Section 16010 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16010.
 (a) When a child is placed in foster care, the case plan for each child recommended pursuant to Section 358.1 shall include a summary of the health and education information or records, including mental health information or records, of the child. The summary may be maintained in the form of a health and education passport, or a comparable format designed by the child protective agency. The health and education summary shall include, but not be limited to, the names and addresses of the child’s health, dental, and education providers; the child’s grade level performance; the child’s school record; assurances that the child’s placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement; the number of school transfers the child has already experienced; the child’s educational progress, as demonstrated by factors, including, but not limited to, academic proficiency scores; credits earned toward graduation; a record of the child’s immunizations and allergies; the child’s known medical problems; the child’s current medications, past health problems, and hospitalizations; a record of the child’s relevant mental health history; the child’s known mental health condition and medications; and any other relevant mental health, dental, health, and education information concerning the child determined to be appropriate by the Director of Social Services. The health and education summary may also include the name and contact information for the educational liaison, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 48853.5 of the Education Code, of the child’s local educational agency. If any other law imposes more stringent information requirements, then that section shall prevail.
(b) Additionally, a court report or assessment required pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, Section 366.1, subdivision (d) of Section 366.21, or subdivision (c) of Section 366.22 shall include a copy of the current health and education summary described in subdivision (a). With respect to a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, a copy of the current health and education summary shall be included in the court report only if and when the nonminor dependent consents in writing to its inclusion.
(c) As soon as possible, but not later than 30 days after initial placement of a child into foster care, the child protective agency shall provide the caregiver with the child’s current health and education summary as described in subdivision (a). For each subsequent placement of a child or nonminor dependent, the child protective agency shall provide the caregiver with a current summary as described in subdivision (a) within 48 hours of the placement. With respect to a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, the social worker or probation officer shall advise the young adult of the social worker’s or probation officer’s obligation to provide the health and education summary to the new caregiver and the court, and shall discuss with the youth the benefits and liabilities of sharing that information.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding Section 827 or any other law, the child protective agency may disclose any information described in this section to a prospective caregiver or caregivers prior to placement of a child if all of the following requirements are met:
(A) The child protective agency intends to place the child with the prospective caregiver or caregivers.
(B) The prospective caregiver or caregivers are willing to become the adoptive parent or parents of the child.
(C) The prospective caregiver or caregivers have an approved adoption assessment or home study, a foster family home license, certification by a licensed foster family agency, or approval pursuant to the requirements in Sections 361.3 and 361.4.
(2) In addition to the information required to be provided under this section, the child protective agency may disclose to the prospective caregiver specified in paragraph (1), placement history or underlying source documents that are provided to adoptive parents pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 8706 of the Family Code.
(e) The child’s caregiver shall be responsible for obtaining and maintaining accurate and thorough information from physicians and educators for the child’s summary as described in subdivision (a) during the time that the child is in the care of the caregiver. On each required visit, the child protective agency or its designee family foster agency shall inquire of the caregiver whether there is any new information that should be added to the child’s summary as described in subdivision (a). The child protective agency shall update the summary with the information as appropriate, but not later than the next court date or within 48 hours of a change in placement. The child protective agency or its designee family foster agency shall take all necessary steps to assist the caregiver in obtaining relevant health and education information for the child’s health and education summary as described in subdivision (a). The caregiver of a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, is not responsible for obtaining and maintaining the nonminor dependent’s health and educational information, but may assist the nonminor dependent with any recordkeeping that the nonminor requests of the caregiver.
(f) At the initial hearing, the court shall direct each parent to provide to the child protective agency complete medical, dental, mental health, and educational information, and medical background, of the child and of the child’s mother and the child’s biological father if known. The Judicial Council shall create a form for the purpose of obtaining health and education information from the child’s parents or guardians at the initial hearing. The court shall determine at the hearing held pursuant to Section 358 whether the medical, dental, mental health, and educational information has been provided to the child protective agency.

SEC. 8.

 Section 2.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 48853.5 of the Education Code proposed by both this bill and Senate Bill 1568. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2013, (2) each bill amends Section 48853.5 of the Education Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Senate Bill 1568, in which case Section 2 of this bill shall not become operative.

SEC. 9.

 Section 6.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 1712. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2013, (2) each bill amends Section 317 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1712, in which case Section 6 of this bill shall not become operative.

SEC. 10.

 Section 7.5 of this bill incorporates amendments to Section 16010 of the Welfare and Institutions Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 1712. It shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2013, (2) each bill amends Section 16010 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 1712, in which case Section 7 of this bill shall not become operative.