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AB-2023 Foster care placement: rights of children.(2011-2012)

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AB2023:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2023


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Jones

February 23, 2012


An act to amend Section 11999 of the Health and Safety Code 16001.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to drugs and alcohol programs foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2023, as amended, Jones. Drug and alcohol programs. Foster care placement: rights of children.
Existing law provides that it is the policy of this state that all children in foster care have the right to not be locked in a room, building, or facility premises, unless placed in a community treatment facility.
This bill would provide that the right does not apply to privately funded residential facilities that treat individuals under 18 years of age for substance or alcohol abuse.

Existing law makes findings and declarations about the use of illegal drugs and the consumption of alcohol by persons under 21 years of age. It is the intent of the Legislature that the messages and information provided by the drug and alcohol programs promote no unlawful use of any drug or alcohol.

This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to these provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 16001.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16001.9.
 (a) It is the policy of the state that all children in foster care shall have the following rights:
(1) To live in a safe, healthy, and comfortable home where he or she is treated with respect.
(2) To be free from physical, sexual, emotional, or other abuse, or corporal punishment.
(3) To receive adequate and healthy food, adequate clothing, and, for youth in group homes, an allowance.
(4) To receive medical, dental, vision, and mental health services.
(5) To be free of the administration of medication or chemical substances, unless authorized by a physician.
(6) To contact family members, unless prohibited by court order, and social workers, attorneys, foster youth advocates and supporters, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), and probation officers.
(7) To visit and contact brothers and sisters, unless prohibited by court order.
(8) To contact the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services or the State Foster Care Ombudsperson regarding violations of rights, to speak to representatives of these offices confidentially, and to be free from threats or punishment for making complaints.
(9) To make and receive confidential telephone calls and send and receive unopened mail, unless prohibited by court order.
(10) To attend religious services and activities of his or her choice.
(11) To maintain an emancipation bank account and manage personal income, consistent with the child’s age and developmental level, unless prohibited by the case plan.
(12) (A) To not be locked in a room, building, or facility premises, unless placed in a community treatment facility.
(B) This paragraph shall not apply to privately funded residential facilities that treat individuals under 18 years of age for substance or alcohol abuse.
(13) To attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities, consistent with the child’s age and developmental level with minimal disruptions to school attendance and educational stability.
(14) To work and develop job skills at an age-appropriate level, consistent with state law.
(15) To have social contacts with people outside of the foster care system, such as teachers, church members, mentors, and friends.
(16) To attend Independent Living Program classes and activities if he or she meets age requirements.
(17) To attend court hearings and speak to the judge.
(18) To have storage space for private use.
(19) To be involved in the development of his or her own case plan and plan for permanent placement.
(20) To review his or her own case plan and plan for permanent placement, if he or she is 12 years of age or older and in a permanent placement, and to receive information about his or her out-of-home placement and case plan, including being told of changes to the plan.
(21) To be free from unreasonable searches of personal belongings.
(22) To confidentiality of all juvenile court records consistent with existing law.
(23) To have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, and benefits, and to not be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or HIV status.
(24) At 16 years of age or older, to have access to existing information regarding the educational options available, including, but not limited to, the coursework necessary for vocational and postsecondary educational programs, and information regarding financial aid for postsecondary education.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to require a foster care provider to take any action that would impair the health and safety of children in out-of-home placement.
(c) The State Department of Social Services and each county welfare department are encouraged to work with the Student Aid Commission, the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to receive information pursuant to paragraph (23) of subdivision (a).

SECTION 1.Section 11999 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:
11999.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) The Legislature has established various drug- and alcohol-related programs that provide for education, prevention, intervention, treatment, or enforcement.

(b) The Legislature has classified certain substances as controlled substances and has defined the lawful and unlawful use of controlled substances, which are commonly referred to as, but not limited to, anabolic steroids, marijuana, and cocaine.

(c) The Legislature has classified certain substances as imitation controlled substances, which are commonly referred to as, but not limited to, designer drugs.

(d) The Legislature has determined that the possession with the intent to be under the influence, or being under the influence of toluene, or a substance or material containing toluene, or a substance with similar toxic qualities, is unlawful. Some substances or materials containing toluene, or substances with similar toxic qualities, are commonly referred to, but not limited to, inhalants such as cement, glue, and paint thinner.

(e) The Legislature has determined that the purchase, possession, or use of alcohol by persons under 21 years of age is unlawful.

(f) Public and private agencies that provide information pertaining to the drug- and alcohol-related programs provide mixed messages and misinformation relating to the unlawful use of drugs and alcohol. It is the intent of the Legislature that the messages and information provided by the drug and alcohol programs promote no unlawful use of any drug or alcohol. Mixed messages mean communications discussing how to use or when to use unlawful drugs or alcohol.

(g) Material, curricula, teachings, or promotion of responsible use, if the use is unlawful, of drugs or alcohol is inconsistent with the law.

(h) The “no unlawful use” message applies to all drug and alcohol programs for the people of the State of California. These materials are to teach and promote that unlawful use of drugs and alcohol is illegal and dangerous.