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AB-2060 Juveniles: educational decisions.(2011-2012)

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AB2060:v95#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2060
CHAPTER 176

An act to amend Sections 319, 361, and 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to juveniles.

[ Approved by Governor  August 17, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State  August 17, 2012. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2060, Bonilla. Juveniles: educational decisions.
Existing law authorizes the court to limit the right of a parent to make educational decisions for a dependent child or ward of the court under specific circumstances. If the court limits a parent’s right to make educational decisions for his or her child, existing law authorizes the court to temporarily appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child. Under existing law, if the court cannot identify a responsible adult to fulfill that role while dependency proceedings are pending, the court may make educational decisions for the child, except as specified. After a child has been adjudged a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court, if the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child, the court is required to refer the child to the local educational agency for appointment of a surrogate parent if the child has special education needs. If appointment of a surrogate parent is not warranted because the child does not have special education needs, and the child does not have a foster parent, the court may make educational decisions for the child.
This bill would require the court, after limiting a parent’s educational rights in dependency or wardship proceedings, to determine if there is a responsible adult who is a relative, nonrelative extended family member, or other adult known to the child and who is available and willing to serve as the child’s educational representative before appointing an educational representative or surrogate who is not known to the child. This bill would also require an appointed educational representative or surrogate parent to meet with the child, investigate the child’s educational needs and whether those needs are being met, and present recommendations to the court or attend court to participate in any portion of a hearing that concerns the child’s education. By requiring a higher level of service by local educational agencies in the appointment and performance of surrogate parents, 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 319 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

319.
 (a) At the initial petition hearing, the court shall examine the child’s parents, guardians, or other persons having relevant knowledge and hear the relevant evidence as the child, the child’s parents or guardians, the petitioner, or their counsel desires to present. The court may examine the child, as provided in Section 350.
(b) The social worker shall report to the court on the reasons why the child has been removed from the parent’s physical custody, the need, if any, for continued detention, the available services and the referral methods to those services that could facilitate the return of the child to the custody of the child’s parents or guardians, and whether there are any relatives who are able and willing to take temporary physical custody of the child. The court shall order the release of the child from custody unless a prima facie showing has been made that the child comes within Section 300, the court finds that continuance in the parent’s or guardian’s home is contrary to the child’s welfare, and any of the following circumstances exist:
(1) There is a substantial danger to the physical health of the child or the child is suffering severe emotional damage, and there are no reasonable means by which the child’s physical or emotional health may be protected without removing the child from the parent’s or guardian’s physical custody.
(2) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the court.
(3) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed by the juvenile court.
(4) The child indicates an unwillingness to return home, if the child has been physically or sexually abused by a person residing in the home.
(c) If the matter is continued pursuant to Section 322 or for any other reason, the court shall find that the continuance of the child in the parent’s or guardian’s home is contrary to the child’s welfare at the initial petition hearing or order the release of the child from custody.
(d) (1) The court shall also make a determination on the record, referencing the social worker’s report or other evidence relied upon, as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his or her home, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 306, and whether there are available services that would prevent the need for further detention. Services to be considered for purposes of making this determination are case management, counseling, emergency shelter care, emergency in-home caretakers, out-of-home respite care, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parenting training, transportation, and any other child welfare services authorized by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4 of Division 9. The court shall also review whether the social worker has considered whether a referral to public assistance services pursuant to Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) and Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000) of Part 3, Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17000) of Part 5, and Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 18900) of Part 6 of Division 9 would have eliminated the need to take temporary custody of the child or would prevent the need for further detention.
(2) If the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent or guardian through the provision of those services, the court shall place the child with his or her parent or guardian and order that the services shall be provided. If the child cannot be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, the court shall determine if there is a relative who is able and willing to care for the child, and has been assessed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 309.
(e) If a court orders a child detained, the court shall state the facts on which the decision is based, specify why the initial removal was necessary, reference the social worker’s report or other evidence relied upon to make its determination whether continuance in the home of the parent or legal guardian is contrary to the child’s welfare, order temporary placement and care of the child to be vested with the county child welfare department pending the hearing held pursuant to Section 355 or further order of the court, and order services to be provided as soon as possible to reunify the child and his or her family if appropriate.
(f) (1) If the child is not released from custody, the court may order that the child shall be placed in the assessed home of a relative, in an emergency shelter or other suitable licensed place, in a place exempt from licensure designated by the juvenile court, or in the assessed home of a nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7 for a period not to exceed 15 judicial days.
(2) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of these persons, even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. However, only the following relatives shall be given preferential consideration for placement of the child: an adult who is a grandparent, aunt, uncle, or sibling of the child.
(3) The court shall consider the recommendations of the social worker based on the assessment pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 309 of the relative’s home, including the results of a criminal records check and prior child abuse allegations, if any, prior to ordering that the child be placed with a relative. The court shall order the parent to disclose to the social worker the names, residences, and any known identifying information of any maternal or paternal relatives of the child. The social worker shall initiate the assessment pursuant to Section 361.3 of any relative to be considered for continuing placement.
(g) (1) At the initial hearing upon the petition filed in accordance with subdivision (c) of Rule 5.520 of the California Rules of Court or anytime thereafter up until the time that the minor is adjudged a dependent child of the court or a finding is made dismissing the petition, the court may temporarily limit the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child and temporarily appoint a responsible adult to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child if all of the following conditions are found:
(A) The parent or guardian is unavailable, unable, or unwilling to exercise educational or developmental services rights for the child.
(B) The county placing agency has made diligent efforts to locate and secure the participation of the parent or guardian in educational or developmental services decisionmaking.
(C) The child’s educational and developmental services needs cannot be met without the temporary appointment of a responsible adult.
(2) If the court limits the parent’s educational rights under this subdivision, the court shall determine whether there is a responsible adult who is a relative, nonrelative extended family member, or other adult known to the child and who is available and willing to serve as the child’s educational representative before appointing an educational representative or surrogate who is not known to the child.
(3) If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child and the appointment of a surrogate parent, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 56050 of the Education Code, is not warranted, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make educational decisions for the child. If the child is receiving services from a regional center, the provision of any developmental services related to the court’s decision must be consistent with the child’s individual program plan and pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500)). If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make developmental services decisions for the child, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make developmental services decisions for the child. If the court makes educational or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall also issue appropriate orders to ensure that every effort is made to identify a responsible adult to make future educational or developmental services decisions for the child.
(4) Any temporary appointment of a responsible adult and temporary limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child shall be specifically addressed in the court order. Any order made under this section shall expire at the conclusion of the hearing held pursuant to Section 361 or upon dismissal of the petition. Upon the entering of disposition orders, any additional needed limitation on the parent’s or guardian’s educational or developmental services rights shall be addressed pursuant to Section 361.
(5) Nothing in this section in any way removes the obligation to appoint surrogate parents for students with disabilities who are without parental representation in special education procedures as required by state and federal law, including Section 1415(b)(2) of Title 20 of the United States Code, Section 56050 of the Education Code, Section 7579.5 of the Government Code, and Rule 5.650 of the California Rules of Court.
(6) If the court appoints a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant to this section, he or she shall have the authority to access the child’s information and records pursuant to subdivision (u) of Section 4514 and subdivision (y) of Section 5328, and to act on the child’s behalf for the purposes of the individual program plan process pursuant to Sections 4646, 4646.5, and 4648 and the fair hearing process pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4700), and as set forth in the court order.

SEC. 2.

 Section 361 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

361.
 (a) (1) In all cases in which a minor is adjudged a dependent child of the court on the ground that the minor is a person described by Section 300, the court may limit the control to be exercised over the dependent child by any parent or guardian and shall by its order clearly and specifically set forth all those limitations. Any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child shall be specifically addressed in the court order. The limitations may not exceed those necessary to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child until one of the following occurs:
(A) The minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child chooses not to make educational or developmental services decisions for himself or herself, or is deemed by the court to be incompetent.
(B) Another responsible adult is appointed to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor pursuant to this section.
(C) The right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor is fully restored.
(D) A successor guardian or conservator is appointed.
(E) The child is placed into a planned permanent living arrangement pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, Section 366.22, or Section 366.26, at which time, for educational decisionmaking, the foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7, has the right to represent the child in educational matters pursuant to Section 56055 of the Education Code, and for decisions relating to developmental services, unless the court specifies otherwise, the foster parent, relative caregiver, or nonrelative extended family member of the planned permanent living arrangement has the right to represent the child in matters related to developmental services.
(2) An individual who would have a conflict of interest in representing the child may not be appointed to make educational or developmental services decisions. For purposes of this section, “an individual who would have a conflict of interest,” means a person having any interests that might restrict or bias his or her ability to make educational or developmental services decisions, including, but not limited to, those conflicts of interest prohibited by Section 1126 of the Government Code, and the receipt of compensation or attorneys’ fees for the provision of services pursuant to this section. A foster parent may not be deemed to have a conflict of interest solely because he or she receives compensation for the provision of services pursuant to this section.
(3) If the court limits the parent’s educational rights pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall determine whether there is a responsible adult who is a relative, nonrelative extended family member, or other adult known to the child who is available and willing to serve as the child’s educational representative before appointing an educational representative or surrogate who is not known to the child.
If the court cannot identify a responsible adult who is known to the child and available to make educational decisions for the child, subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, of paragraph (1) do not apply, and the child has either been referred to the local educational agency for special education and related services, or has a valid individualized education program, the court shall refer the child to the local educational agency for appointment of a surrogate parent pursuant to Section 7579.5 of the Government Code.
If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the child, the appointment of a surrogate parent as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 56050 of the Education Code is not warranted, and there is no foster parent to exercise the authority granted by Section 56055 of the Education Code, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make educational decisions for the child.
(4) If the court appoints a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant to this section, he or she shall have the authority to access the child’s information and records pursuant to subdivision (u) of Section 4514 and subdivision (y) of Section 5328, and to act on the child’s behalf for the purposes of the individual program plan process pursuant to Sections 4646, 4646.5, and 4648 and the fair hearing process pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4700) of Division 4.5, and as set forth in the court order.
If the court cannot identify a responsible adult to make developmental services decisions for the child, the court may, with the input of any interested person, make developmental services decisions for the child. If the child is receiving services from a regional center, the provision of any developmental services related to the court’s decision must be consistent with the child’s individual program plan and pursuant to the provisions of the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500)).
(5) All educational and school placement decisions shall seek to ensure that the child is in the least restrictive educational programs and has access to the academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all pupils. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child. If an educational representative or surrogate is appointed for the child, the representative or surrogate shall meet with the child, shall investigate the child’s educational needs and whether those needs are being met, and shall, prior to each review hearing held under this article, provide information and recommendations concerning the child’s educational needs to the child’s social worker, make written recommendations to the court, or attend the hearing and participate in those portions of the hearing that concern the child’s education.
(6) Nothing in this section in any way removes the obligation to appoint surrogate parents for students with disabilities who are without parental representation in special education procedures as required by state and federal law, including Section 1415(b)(2) of Title 20 of the United States Code, Section 56050 of the Education Code, Section 7579.5 of the Government Code, and Rule 5.650 of the California Rules of Court.
(b) Subdivision (a) does not limit the ability of a parent to voluntarily relinquish his or her child to the State Department of Social Services or to a county adoption agency at any time while the child is a dependent child of the juvenile court, if the department or agency is willing to accept the relinquishment.
(c) A dependent child may not be taken from the physical custody of his or her parents or guardian or guardians with whom the child resides at the time the petition was initiated, unless the juvenile court finds clear and convincing evidence of any of the following circumstances listed in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, and, in an Indian child custody proceeding, paragraph (6):
(1) There is or would be a substantial danger to the physical health, safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the minor if the minor were returned home, and there are no reasonable means by which the minor’s physical health can be protected without removing the minor from the minor’s parent’s or guardian’s physical custody. The fact that a minor has been adjudicated a dependent child of the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 300 shall constitute prima facie evidence that the minor cannot be safely left in the physical custody of the parent or guardian with whom the minor resided at the time of injury. The court shall consider, as a reasonable means to protect the minor, the option of removing an offending parent or guardian from the home. The court shall also consider, as a reasonable means to protect the minor, allowing a nonoffending parent or guardian to retain physical custody as long as that parent or guardian presents a plan acceptable to the court demonstrating that he or she will be able to protect the child from future harm.
(2) The parent or guardian of the minor is unwilling to have physical custody of the minor, and the parent or guardian has been notified that if the minor remains out of their physical custody for the period specified in Section 366.26, the minor may be declared permanently free from their custody and control.
(3) The minor is suffering severe emotional damage, as indicated by extreme anxiety, depression, withdrawal, or untoward aggressive behavior toward himself or herself or others, and there are no reasonable means by which the minor’s emotional health may be protected without removing the minor from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian.
(4) The minor or a sibling of the minor has been sexually abused, or is deemed to be at substantial risk of being sexually abused, by a parent, guardian, or member of his or her household, or other person known to his or her parent, and there are no reasonable means by which the minor can be protected from further sexual abuse or a substantial risk of sexual abuse without removing the minor from his or her parent or guardian, or the minor does not wish to return to his or her parent or guardian.
(5) The minor has been left without any provision for his or her support, or a parent who has been incarcerated or institutionalized cannot arrange for the care of the minor, or a relative or other adult custodian with whom the child has been left by the parent is unwilling or unable to provide care or support for the child and the whereabouts of the parent is unknown and reasonable efforts to locate him or her have been unsuccessful.
(6) In an Indian child custody proceeding, continued custody of the child by the parent or Indian custodian is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child, and that finding is supported by testimony of a “qualified expert witness” as described in Section 224.6.
(A) Stipulation by the parent, Indian custodian, or the Indian child’s tribe, or failure to object, may waive the requirement of producing evidence of the likelihood of serious damage only if the court is satisfied that the party has been fully advised of the requirements of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), and has knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waived them.
(B) Failure to meet non-Indian family and child-rearing community standards, or the existence of other behavior or conditions that meet the removal standards of this section, will not support an order for placement in the absence of the finding in this paragraph.
(d) The court shall make a determination as to whether reasonable efforts were made to prevent or to eliminate the need for removal of the minor from his or her home or, if the minor is removed for one of the reasons stated in paragraph (5) of subdivision (c), whether it was reasonable under the circumstances not to make any of those efforts, or, in the case of an Indian child custody proceeding, whether active efforts as required in Section 361.7 were made and that these efforts have proved unsuccessful. The court shall state the facts on which the decision to remove the minor is based.
(e) The court shall make all of the findings required by subdivision (a) of Section 366 in either of the following circumstances:
(1) The minor has been taken from the custody of his or her parent or guardian and has been living in an out-of-home placement pursuant to Section 319.
(2) The minor has been living in a voluntary out-of-home placement pursuant to Section 16507.4.

SEC. 3.

 Section 726 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

726.
 (a) In all cases in which a minor is adjudged a ward or dependent child of the court, the court may limit the control to be exercised over the ward or dependent child by any parent or guardian and shall in its order, clearly and specifically set forth all those limitations, but no ward or dependent child shall be taken from the physical custody of a parent or guardian, unless upon the hearing the court finds one of the following facts:
(1) That the parent or guardian is incapable of providing or has failed or neglected to provide proper maintenance, training, and education for the minor.
(2) That the minor has been tried on probation while in custody and has failed to reform.
(3) That the welfare of the minor requires that custody be taken from the minor’s parent or guardian.
(b) Whenever the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child until one of the following occurs:
(1)The minor reaches 18 years of age, unless the child chooses not to make educational or developmental services decisions for himself or herself, or is deemed by the court to be incompetent.
(2) Another responsible adult is appointed to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor pursuant to this section.
(3) The right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor is fully restored.
(4) A successor guardian or conservator is appointed.
(5) The child is placed into a planned permanent living arrangement pursuant to paragraph (5) or (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 727.3, at which time, for educational decisionmaking, the foster parent, relative caretaker, or nonrelative extended family member as defined in Section 362.7 has the right to represent the child in educational matters pursuant to Section 56055 of the Education Code, and for decisions relating to developmental services, unless the court specifies otherwise, the foster parent, relative caregiver, or nonrelative extended family member of the planned permanent living arrangement has the right to represent the child in matters related to developmental services.
(c) An individual who would have a conflict of interest in representing the child, as specified under federal regulations, may not be appointed to make educational decisions. The limitations applicable to conflicts of interest for educational rights holders shall also apply to authorized representatives for developmental services decisions pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 4701.6. For purposes of this section, “an individual who would have a conflict of interest,” means a person having any interests that might restrict or bias his or her ability to make educational or developmental services decisions, including, but not limited to, those conflicts of interest prohibited by Section 1126 of the Government Code, and the receipt of compensation or attorneys’ fees for the provision of services pursuant to this section. A foster parent may not be deemed to have a conflict of interest solely because he or she receives compensation for the provision of services pursuant to this section.
(1) If the court limits the parent’s educational rights pursuant to subdivision (a), the court shall determine whether there is a responsible adult who is a relative, nonrelative extended family member, or other adult known to the child and who is available and willing to serve as the child’s educational representative before appointing an educational representative or surrogate who is not known to the child.
If the court cannot identify a responsible adult who is known to the child and available to make educational decisions for the child and subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, do not apply, and the child has either been referred to the local educational agency for special education and related services, or has a valid individualized education program, the court shall refer the child to the local educational agency for appointment of a surrogate parent pursuant to Section 7579.5 of the Government Code.
(2) All educational and school placement decisions shall seek to ensure that the child is in the least restrictive educational programs and has access to the academic resources, services, and extracurricular and enrichment activities that are available to all pupils. In all instances, educational and school placement decisions shall be based on the best interests of the child. If an educational representative or surrogate is appointed for the child, the representative or surrogate shall meet with the child, shall investigate the child’s educational needs and whether those needs are being met, and shall, prior to each review hearing held under Article 10 (commencing with Section 360), provide information and recommendations concerning the child’s educational needs to the child’s social worker, make written recommendations to the court, or attend the hearing and participate in those portions of the hearing that concern the child’s education.
(3) Nothing in this section in any way removes the obligation to appoint surrogate parents for students with disabilities who are without parental representation in special education procedures as required by state and federal law, including Section 1415(b)(2) of Title 20 of the United States Code, Section 56050 of the Education Code, Section 7579.5 of the Government Code, and Rule 5.650 of the California Rules of Court.
If the court appoints a developmental services decisionmaker pursuant to this section, he or she shall have the authority to access the child’s information and records pursuant to subdivision (u) of Section 4514 and subdivision (y) of Section 5328, and to act on the child’s behalf for the purposes of the individual program plan process pursuant to Sections 4646, 4646.5, and 4648 and the fair hearing process pursuant to Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 4700) of Division 4.5, and as set forth in the court order.
(d) If the minor is removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian as the result of an order of wardship made pursuant to Section 602, the order shall specify that the minor may not be held in physical confinement for a period in excess of the maximum term of imprisonment which could be imposed upon an adult convicted of the offense or offenses which brought or continued the minor under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.
As used in this section and in Section 731, “maximum term of imprisonment” means the longest of the three time periods set forth in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, but without the need to follow the provisions of subdivision (b) of Section 1170 of the Penal Code or to consider time for good behavior or participation pursuant to Sections 2930, 2931, and 2932 of the Penal Code, plus enhancements which must be proven if pled.
If the court elects to aggregate the period of physical confinement on multiple counts or multiple petitions, including previously sustained petitions adjudging the minor a ward within Section 602, the “maximum term of imprisonment” shall be the aggregate term of imprisonment specified in subdivision (a) of Section 1170.1 of the Penal Code, which includes any additional term imposed pursuant to Section 667, 667.5, 667.6, or 12022.1 of the Penal Code, and Section 11370.2 of the Health and Safety Code.
If the charged offense is a misdemeanor or a felony not included within the scope of Section 1170 of the Penal Code, the “maximum term of imprisonment” is the longest term of imprisonment prescribed by law.
“Physical confinement” means placement in a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, forestry camp or secure juvenile home pursuant to Section 730, or in any institution operated by the Youth Authority.
This section does not limit the power of the court to retain jurisdiction over a minor and to make appropriate orders pursuant to Section 727 for the period permitted by Section 607.

SEC. 4.

 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.