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AB-2186 Youth Emergency Telephone Referral Project.(2011-2012)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  May 01, 2012
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 29, 2012

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2011–2012 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2186


Introduced  by  Assembly Member Grove

February 23, 2012


An act to add Chapter 1.4 (commencing with Section 1945) to Division 2.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and to repeal Chapter 1614 of the Statutes of 1984, relating to the Youth Emergency Telephone Referral Project.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2186, as amended, Grove. Youth Emergency Telephone Referral Project.
Existing uncodified law establishes the Youth Emergency Telephone Referral Project, in the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, to be headquartered in Sacramento, as specified. Existing law provides that the Office of Criminal Justice Planning may directly implement the project, or may contract with nonprofit corporations, as specified, for administration of the project.
This bill would recast and codify these uncodified provisions of law establishing the project and stating the intent of the Legislature in that regard. The bill would establish the project in the California Emergency Management Agency, and would provide that the agency may directly implement the project, or may administer competitively awarded grants awarded to contract with California nonprofit corporations to do so, as specified. The bill would delete the provisions requiring the project to be headquartered in Sacramento. This bill would also clarify that the project’s services, as specified, are available to youth who are at risk of running away from home or becoming homeless, or who have run away from home or are homeless.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 1.4 (commencing with Section 1945) is added to Division 2.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  1.4. Youth Emergency Telephone Referral Project

1945.
 The Legislature finds and declares that the problem of runaway children is one of major significance, causing great suffering both for parents, who often do not know whether their child is alive, as well as for the runaways themselves, as they often are young, impressionable children, who are frequently the victims of crime, including forced prostitution, drug abuse, and death.

1946.
 (a) There is, administered by the California Emergency Management Agency, the Youth Emergency Telephone Referral Project. The agency may directly implement the project or may administer grants that shall be awarded pursuant to a request for application process. Grants shall be competitively awarded to nonprofit corporations that can most efficiently and effectively meet the following mandated objectives contract with any California nonprofit corporation to implement the project. The project shall:
(1) Provide a statewide 24-hour youth emergency telephone hotline for homeless or runaway youth who are at risk of running away from home or becoming homeless, or who have run away from home or are homeless.
(2) Provide counseling and referrals to appropriate services to homeless or runaway youth who are at risk of running away from home or becoming homeless, or who have run away from home or are homeless who call the hotline, for shelter, meals, clothing, counseling, and other services necessary for their well-being.
(3) Provide a free, nonthreatening 24-hour telephone crisis counseling by trained volunteer or paid staff for homeless or runaway youth who are at risk of running away from home or becoming homeless, or who have run away from home or are homeless. Counseling provided to a caller shall be confidential, unless it is determined that the health and safety of the caller is at risk and that contact with local law enforcement or medical services is necessary.
(4) Serve as a message center for homeless or runaway youth who are at risk of running away from home or becoming homeless, or who have run away from home or are homeless who wish to communicate with their parents or guardians.
(b) The agency shall supervise the grant recipients contracted California nonprofit corporations, as needed, to ensure compliance with the objectives of this chapter.
(c) The agency shall, in conjunction with providers of telephone service, establish and implement a statewide toll-free telephone number to carry out the purposes of this chapter. The agency shall use the provider of telephone services that, in the opinion of the agency, provides the most efficient services at the lowest cost.
(d) The agency shall publicize the existence of the referral service through the print and electronic media, including, but not limited to, the use of television and radio public service announcements, brochures, newspaper announcements, posters, bumper stickers, and agreements for the provision of publicity, free of charge, by private entities.
(e) The agency shall cooperate with other services of this kind throughout the United States, or existing local services in California, with the goal of aiding, rather that preempting, these services.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 1614 of the Statutes of 1984 is repealed.