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AB-1879 Foster youth: permanency.(2015-2016)

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AB1879:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 13, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1879


Introduced by Assembly Member McCarty

February 10, 2016


An act to amend Sections 361.5, 366, 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, 366.3, 706.5, 706.6, 727.2, 727.3, 11400, 16501, and 16501.1 of, and to add Section 371 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1879, as amended, McCarty. Foster youth: permanency.
Existing law provides that a minor may be removed from the physical custody of his or her parents if 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 to protect the child without removing him or her. Additionally, a minor who is in wardship proceedings may be removed from the physical custody of his or her parents if the court finds that one of several facts is present, including that the parent or guardian has failed to provide proper maintenance, training, and education for the minor. When a minor is removed from the physical custody of his or her parents in dependency or wardship proceedings, existing law generally requires that reunification services be provided to the minor and his or her family. Existing law also provides for periodic status review hearings, at which the court is required to return a minor to the physical custody of his or her parents unless the court makes specified findings.
Existing law requires, if a minor is not returned to the physical custody of his or her parents, the juvenile court to devise a permanency plan, including, among others things, an order that the child be placed for adoption, an order that a legal guardian be appointed, or an order that the child remain in another planned permanent living arrangement if the child is 16 years of age or older. Existing law requires, prior to ordering a dependent child to remain in another planned permanent living arrangement as his or her permanent plan, the court to make a finding that the child is not a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship.
This bill would require the court to order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined, to a child who does not have a permanent plan of adoption and who is not placed with a fit and willing relative, or who is 16 years of age or older and placed in another planned permanent living arrangement. The bill would also authorize the court to order these services for a nonminor dependent in another planned permanent living arrangement. The bill would require the case plan for the child to identify the child-centered specialized permanency services to be provided, provided and would require the court to review the child-centered specialized permanency services that have been provided to the child, as specified.
The bill would also require, in any case in which the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer to provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians specified mental health treatment information.
By expanding the duties of social workers and probation officers with regard to the provision of child welfare services, 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) As of September 30, 2014, there were 62,545 California children living in the foster care system, with 16,561 children, or approximately 26 percent, in foster care for over three years, and 9,780 children, or approximately 16 percent, in foster care for over five years. Adult outcomes are often poor for the children who emancipate from foster care without a permanent family. Within two years of exiting the foster care system, approximately 50 percent of former foster youth will be homeless, in prison, victimized, or dead.
(2) Families committing to adoption or guardianship of children in foster care may face challenges unique to the adoption or guardianship experience that result from the trauma of the child’s adverse childhood experiences. These challenges can create stress that puts the adoption or guardianship at risk of disruption and potentially results in the child’s reentry into the foster care system.
(3) Provisions of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (Public Law 113-183) address the need to enhance efforts to improve permanency outcomes for older children in care by eliminating the use of other planned permanent living arrangements as a permanent plan for children under 16 years of age.
(4) The new federal law also requires documentation of intensive and ongoing efforts to achieve permanence for youth with a case plan for another planned permanent living arrangement, and adds additional case plan and case plan review system requirements for children 16 years of age and older.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to improve permanency outcomes and stability for older children in foster care by doing the following:
(1) Improving the stability of adoptive and guardianship families by requiring the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agencies, county child welfare agencies, and licensed adoption agencies to provide potential adoptive families and guardians information, in writing, regarding the importance of working with mental health providers that have specialized adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional.
(2) Improving permanency outcomes for children in foster care by requiring child-centered, specialized permanency services for children whose reunification services have been terminated, who are not placed with a fit and willing relative, and who are considered unlikely to achieve a permanent family.

SEC. 2.

 Section 361.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

361.5.
 (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), or when the parent has voluntarily relinquished the child and the relinquishment has been filed with the State Department of Social Services, or upon the establishment of an order of guardianship pursuant to Section 360, or when a court adjudicates a petition under Section 329 to modify the court’s jurisdiction from delinquency jurisdiction to dependency jurisdiction pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 607.2 and the parents or guardian of the ward have had reunification services terminated under the delinquency jurisdiction, whenever a child is removed from a parent’s or guardian’s custody, the juvenile court shall order the social worker to provide child welfare services to the child and the child’s mother and statutorily presumed father or guardians. Upon a finding and declaration of paternity by the juvenile court or proof of a prior declaration of paternity by any court of competent jurisdiction, the juvenile court may order services for the child and the biological father, if the court determines that the services will benefit the child.
(1) Family reunification services, when provided, shall be provided as follows:
(A) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (C), for a child who, on the date of initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was three years of age or older, court-ordered services shall be provided beginning with the dispositional hearing and ending 12 months after the date the child entered foster care as provided in Section 361.49, unless the child is returned to the home of the parent or guardian.
(B) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was under three years of age, court-ordered services shall be provided for a period of six months from the dispositional hearing as provided in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21, but no longer than 12 months from the date the child entered foster care as provided in Section 361.49 unless the child is returned to the home of the parent or guardian.
(C) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group together in a permanent home should reunification efforts fail, for a child in a sibling group whose members were removed from parental custody at the same time, and in which one member of the sibling group was under three years of age on the date of initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, court-ordered services for some or all of the sibling group may be limited as set forth in subparagraph (B). For the purposes of this paragraph, “a sibling group” shall mean two or more children who are related to each other as full or half siblings.
(2) Any motion to terminate court-ordered reunification services prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), or prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1), shall be made pursuant to the requirements set forth in subdivision (c) of Section 388. A motion to terminate court-ordered reunification services shall not be required at the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence one of the following:
(A) That the child was removed initially under subdivision (g) of Section 300 and the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown.
(B) That the parent has failed to contact and visit the child.
(C) That the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness.
(3) (A) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1), court-ordered services may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 18 months after the date the child was originally removed from physical custody of his or her parent or guardian if it can be shown, at the hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21, that the permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be returned and safely maintained in the home within the extended time period. The court shall extend the time period only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended time period or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or guardian. In determining whether court-ordered services may be extended, the court shall consider the special circumstances of an incarcerated or institutionalized parent or parents, parent or parents court-ordered to a residential substance abuse treatment program, or a parent who has been arrested and issued an immigration hold, detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, including, but not limited to, barriers to the parent’s or guardian’s access to services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child. The court shall also consider, among other factors, good faith efforts that the parent or guardian has made to maintain contact with the child. If the court extends the time period, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended time period. The court also shall make findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.
(B) When counseling or other treatment services are ordered, the parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those services, unless the parent’s or guardian’s participation is deemed by the court to be inappropriate or potentially detrimental to the child, or unless a parent or guardian is incarcerated or detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the corrections facility in which he or she is incarcerated does not provide access to the treatment services ordered by the court, or has been deported to his or her country of origin and services ordered by the court are not accessible in that country. Physical custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the applicable time period under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) shall not serve to interrupt the running of the time period. If, at the end of the applicable time period, a child cannot be safely returned to the care and custody of a parent or guardian without court supervision, but the child clearly desires contact with the parent or guardian, the court shall take the child’s desire into account in devising a permanency plan.
(C) In cases in which the child was under three years of age on the date of the initial removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian or is a member of a sibling group as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the court shall inform the parent or guardian that the failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly in any court-ordered treatment programs or to cooperate or avail himself or herself of services provided as part of the child welfare services case plan may result in a termination of efforts to reunify the family after six months. The court shall inform the parent or guardian of the factors used in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 to determine whether to limit services to six months for some or all members of a sibling group as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1).
(4) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), court-ordered services may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 24 months after the date the child was originally removed from physical custody of his or her parent or guardian if it is shown, at the hearing held pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, that the permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be returned and safely maintained in the home within the extended time period. The court shall extend the time period only if it finds that it is in the child’s best interest to have the time period extended and that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian who is described in subdivision (b) of Section 366.22 within the extended time period, or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or guardian. If the court extends the time period, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the extended time period. The court also shall make findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.
(B) When counseling or other treatment services are ordered, the parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those services, in order for substantial probability to be found. Physical custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the applicable time period under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) shall not serve to interrupt the running of the time period. If, at the end of the applicable time period, the child cannot be safely returned to the care and custody of a parent or guardian without court supervision, but the child clearly desires contact with the parent or guardian, the court shall take the child’s desire into account in devising a permanency plan.
(C) Except in cases in which, pursuant to subdivision (b), the court does not order reunification services, the court shall inform the parent or parents of Section 366.26 and shall specify that the parent’s or parents’ parental rights may be terminated.
(b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or guardian described in this subdivision when the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, any of the following:
(1) That the whereabouts of the parent or guardian is unknown. A finding pursuant to this paragraph shall be supported by an affidavit or by proof that a reasonably diligent search has failed to locate the parent or guardian. The posting or publication of notices is not required in that search.
(2) That the parent or guardian is suffering from a mental disability that is described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 7820) of Part 4 of Division 12 of the Family Code and that renders him or her incapable of utilizing those services.
(3) That the child or a sibling of the child has been previously adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of physical or sexual abuse, that following that adjudication the child had been removed from the custody of his or her parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361, that the child has been returned to the custody of the parent or guardian from whom the child had been taken originally, and that the child is being removed pursuant to Section 361, due to additional physical or sexual abuse.
(4) That the parent or guardian of the child has caused the death of another child through abuse or neglect.
(5) That the child was brought within the jurisdiction of the court under subdivision (e) of Section 300 because of the conduct of that parent or guardian.
(6) That the child has been adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm to the child, a sibling, or a half sibling by a parent or guardian, as defined in this subdivision, and the court makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the child to pursue reunification services with the offending parent or guardian.
(A) A finding of severe sexual abuse, for the purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, sexual intercourse, or stimulation involving genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal contact, whether between the parent or guardian and the child or a sibling or half sibling of the child, or between the child or a sibling or half sibling of the child and another person or animal with the actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian; or the penetration or manipulation of the child’s, sibling’s, or half sibling’s genital organs or rectum by any animate or inanimate object for the sexual gratification of the parent or guardian, or for the sexual gratification of another person with the actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian.
(B) A finding of the infliction of severe physical harm, for the purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, deliberate and serious injury inflicted to or on a child’s body or the body of a sibling or half sibling of the child by an act or omission of the parent or guardian, or of another individual or animal with the consent of the parent or guardian; deliberate and torturous confinement of the child, sibling, or half sibling in a closed space; or any other torturous act or omission that would be reasonably understood to cause serious emotional damage.
(7) That the parent is not receiving reunification services for a sibling or a half sibling of the child pursuant to paragraph (3), (5), or (6).
(8) That the child was conceived by means of the commission of an offense listed in Section 288 or 288.5 of the Penal Code, or by an act committed outside of this state that, if committed in this state, would constitute one of those offenses. This paragraph only applies to the parent who committed the offense or act.
(9) That the child has been found to be a child described in subdivision (g) of Section 300; that the parent or guardian of the child willfully abandoned the child, and the court finds that the abandonment itself constituted a serious danger to the child; or that the parent or other person having custody of the child voluntarily surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code. For the purposes of this paragraph, “serious danger” means that without the intervention of another person or agency, the child would have sustained severe or permanent disability, injury, illness, or death. For purposes of this paragraph, “willful abandonment” shall not be construed as actions taken in good faith by the parent without the intent of placing the child in serious danger.
(10) That the court ordered termination of reunification services for any siblings or half siblings of the child because the parent or guardian failed to reunify with the sibling or half sibling after the sibling or half sibling had been removed from that parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361 and that parent or guardian is the same parent or guardian described in subdivision (a) and that, according to the findings of the court, this parent or guardian has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the sibling or half sibling of that child from that parent or guardian.
(11) That the parental rights of a parent over any sibling or half sibling of the child had been permanently severed, and this parent is the same parent described in subdivision (a), and that, according to the findings of the court, this parent has not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the sibling or half sibling of that child from the parent.
(12) That the parent or guardian of the child has been convicted of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.
(13) That the parent or guardian of the child has a history of extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol and has resisted prior court-ordered treatment for this problem during a three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition that brought that child to the court’s attention, or has failed or refused to comply with a program of drug or alcohol treatment described in the case plan required by Section 358.1 on at least two prior occasions, even though the programs identified were available and accessible.
(14) That the parent or guardian of the child has advised the court that he or she is not interested in receiving family maintenance or family reunification services or having the child returned to or placed in his or her custody and does not wish to receive family maintenance or reunification services.
The parent or guardian shall be represented by counsel and shall execute a waiver of services form to be adopted by the Judicial Council. The court shall advise the parent or guardian of any right to services and of the possible consequences of a waiver of services, including the termination of parental rights and placement of the child for adoption. The court shall not accept the waiver of services unless it states on the record its finding that the parent or guardian has knowingly and intelligently waived the right to services.
(15) That the parent or guardian has on one or more occasions willfully abducted the child or child’s sibling or half sibling from his or her placement and refused to disclose the child’s or child’s sibling’s or half sibling’s whereabouts, refused to return physical custody of the child or child’s sibling or half sibling to his or her placement, or refused to return physical custody of the child or child’s sibling or half sibling to the social worker.
(16) That the parent or guardian has been required by the court to be registered on a sex offender registry under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 16913(a)), as required in Section 106(b)(2)(B)(xvi)(VI) of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 5106a(2)(B)(xvi)(VI)).
(c) In deciding whether to order reunification in any case in which this section applies, the court shall hold a dispositional hearing. The social worker shall prepare a report that discusses whether reunification services shall be provided. When it is alleged, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), that the parent is incapable of utilizing services due to mental disability, the court shall order reunification services unless competent evidence from mental health professionals establishes that, even with the provision of services, the parent is unlikely to be capable of adequately caring for the child within the time limits specified in subdivision (a).
(1) The court shall not order reunification for a parent or guardian described in paragraph (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), or (16) of subdivision (b) unless the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that reunification is in the best interest of the child.
(2) In addition, the court shall not order reunification in any situation described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) unless it finds that, based on competent testimony, those services are likely to prevent reabuse or continued neglect of the child or that failure to try reunification will be detrimental to the child because the child is closely and positively attached to that parent. The social worker shall investigate the circumstances leading to the removal of the child and advise the court whether there are circumstances that indicate that reunification is likely to be successful or unsuccessful and whether failure to order reunification is likely to be detrimental to the child.
(3) The failure of the parent to respond to previous services, the fact that the child was abused while the parent was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a past history of violent behavior, or testimony by a competent professional that the parent’s behavior is unlikely to be changed by services are among the factors indicating that reunification services are unlikely to be successful. The fact that a parent or guardian is no longer living with an individual who severely abused the child may be considered in deciding that reunification services are likely to be successful, provided that the court shall consider any pattern of behavior on the part of the parent that has exposed the child to repeated abuse.
(d) If reunification services are not ordered pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) and the whereabouts of a parent become known within six months of the out-of-home placement of the child, the court shall order the social worker to provide family reunification services in accordance with this subdivision.
(e) (1) If the parent or guardian is incarcerated, institutionalized, or detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or has been deported to his or her country of origin, the court shall order reasonable services unless the court determines, by clear and convincing evidence, those services would be detrimental to the child. In determining detriment, the court shall consider the age of the child, the degree of parent-child bonding, the length of the sentence, the length and nature of the treatment, the nature of the crime or illness, the degree of detriment to the child if services are not offered and, for children 10 years of age or older, the child’s attitude toward the implementation of family reunification services, the likelihood of the parent’s discharge from incarceration, institutionalization, or detention within the reunification time limitations described in subdivision (a), and any other appropriate factors. In determining the content of reasonable services, the court shall consider the particular barriers to an incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child, and shall document this information in the child’s case plan. Reunification services are subject to the applicable time limitations imposed in subdivision (a). Services may include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) Maintaining contact between the parent and child through collect telephone calls.
(B) Transportation services, when appropriate.
(C) Visitation services, when appropriate.
(D) Reasonable services to extended family members or foster parents providing care for the child if the services are not detrimental to the child.
An incarcerated or detained parent may be required to attend counseling, parenting classes, or vocational training programs as part of the reunification service plan if actual access to these services is provided. The social worker shall document in the child’s case plan the particular barriers to an incarcerated, institutionalized, or detained parent’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child.
(E) Reasonable efforts to assist parents who have been deported to contact child welfare authorities in their country of origin, to identify any available services that would substantially comply with case plan requirements, to document the parents’ participation in those services, and to accept reports from local child welfare authorities as to the parents’ living situation, progress, and participation in services.
(2) The presiding judge of the juvenile court of each county may convene representatives of the county welfare department, the sheriff’s department, and other appropriate entities for the purpose of developing and entering into protocols for ensuring the notification, transportation, and presence of an incarcerated or institutionalized parent at all court hearings involving proceedings affecting the child pursuant to Section 2625 of the Penal Code. The county welfare department shall utilize the prisoner locator system developed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to facilitate timely and effective notice of hearings for incarcerated parents.
(3) Notwithstanding any other law, if the incarcerated parent is a woman seeking to participate in the community treatment program operated by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 4.8 (commencing with Section 1174) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Penal Code or Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 3410) of Title 2 of Part 3 of the Penal Code, the court shall determine whether the parent’s participation in a program is in the child’s best interest and whether it is suitable to meet the needs of the parent and child.
(f) If the court, pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), or (16) of subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), does not order reunification services, it shall, at the dispositional hearing, that shall include a permanency hearing, determine if a hearing under Section 366.26 shall be set in order to determine whether adoption, guardianship, or continuation in foster care, or, in the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, is the most appropriate current plan for the child, and shall consider in-state and out-of-state placement options. If the court so determines, it shall conduct the hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days after the dispositional hearing. However, the court shall not schedule a hearing so long as the other parent is being provided reunification services pursuant to subdivision (a). The court may continue to permit the parent to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child.
(g) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, including, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption is recommended, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:
(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents and notification of a noncustodial parent in the manner provided for in Section 291.
(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purpose of this subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.
(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history, including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4. As used in this subparagraph, “relative” means an adult who is related to the minor 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 those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.
(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, including a prospective tribal customary parent, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or guardianship, and whether the child over 12 years of age has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if so, a description of the condition.
(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.
(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:
(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.
(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.
(h) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, as applicable.
(i) In determining whether reunification services will benefit the child pursuant to paragraph (6) or (7) of subdivision (b), the court shall consider any information it deems relevant, including the following factors:
(1) The specific act or omission comprising the severe sexual abuse or the severe physical harm inflicted on the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.
(2) The circumstances under which the abuse or harm was inflicted on the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.
(3) The severity of the emotional trauma suffered by the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.
(4) Any history of abuse of other children by the offending parent or guardian.
(5) The likelihood that the child may be safely returned to the care of the offending parent or guardian within 12 months with no continuing supervision.
(6) Whether or not the child desires to be reunified with the offending parent or guardian.
(j) When the court determines that reunification services will not be ordered, it shall order that the child’s caregiver receive the child’s birth certificate in accordance with Sections 16010.4 and 16010.5. Additionally, when the court determines that reunification services will not be ordered, it shall order, when appropriate, that a child who is 16 years of age or older receive his or her birth certificate.
(k) The court shall read into the record the basis for a finding of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm under paragraph (6) of subdivision (b), and shall also specify the factual findings used to determine that the provision of reunification services to the offending parent or guardian would not benefit the child.

SEC. 3.

 Section 366 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.
 (a) (1) The status of every dependent child in foster care shall be reviewed periodically as determined by the court but no less frequently than once every six months, as calculated from the date of the original dispositional hearing, until the hearing described in Section 366.26 is completed. The court shall consider the safety of the child and shall determine all of the following:
(A) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement.
(B) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the case plan in making reasonable efforts, or, in the case of a child 16 years of age or older with another planned permanent living arrangement, the ongoing and intensive efforts, including child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, or, in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to return the child to a safe home, as described in Section 361.7, and to complete any steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.
(C) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed those necessary to protect the child. Whenever the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.
(D) (i) Whether the child has other siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:
(I) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.
(II) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.
(III) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.
(IV) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:
(ia) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.
(ib) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.
(ic) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the location and length of the visits.
(id) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.
(V) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.
(VI) The continuing need to suspend sibling interaction, if applicable, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002.
(ii) The factors the court may consider in making a determination regarding the nature of the child’s sibling relationships may include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.
(E) The extent of progress that has been made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.
(F) If the review hearing is the last review hearing to be held before the child attains 18 years of age, the court shall conduct the hearing pursuant to Section 366.31 or 366.32.
(2) The court shall project a likely date by which the child may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, if the child is 16 years of age or older, in another planned permanent living arrangement with the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(b) Subsequent to the hearing, periodic reviews of each child in foster care shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of Sections 366.3 and 16503.
(c) If the child has been placed out of state, each review described in subdivision (a) and any reviews conducted pursuant to Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall also address whether the out-of-state placement continues to be the most appropriate placement selection and in the best interests of the child.
(d) (1) A review described in subdivision (a) and any reviews conducted pursuant to Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall not result in a placement of a child outside the United States prior to a judicial finding that the placement is in the best interest of the child, except as required by federal law or treaty.
(2) The party or agency requesting placement of the child outside the United States shall carry the burden of proof and must show, by clear and convincing evidence, that a placement outside the United States is in the best interest of the child.
(3) In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:
(A) Placement with a relative.
(B) Placement of siblings in the same home.
(C) Amount and nature of any contact between the child and the potential guardian or caretaker.
(D) Physical and medical needs of the dependent child.
(E) Psychological and emotional needs of the dependent child.
(F) Social, cultural, and educational needs of the dependent child.
(G) Specific desires of any dependent child who is 12 years of age or older.
(4) If the court finds that a placement outside the United States is, by clear and convincing evidence, in the best interest of the child, the court may issue an order authorizing the social worker or placing agency to make a placement outside the United States. A child subject to this subdivision shall not leave the United States prior to the issuance of the order described in this paragraph.
(5) For purposes of this subdivision, “outside the United States” shall not include the lands of any federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaskan Natives.
(6) This section shall not apply to the placement of a dependent child with a parent.
(e) A child may not be placed in an out-of-state group home, or remain in an out-of-state group home, unless the group home is in compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.
(f) The status review of every nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of Sections 366.3, 366.31, or 366.32, and 16503 until dependency jurisdiction is terminated pursuant to Section 391.

SEC. 4.

 Section 366.21 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.21.
 (a) Every hearing conducted by the juvenile court reviewing the status of a dependent child shall be placed on the appearance calendar. The court shall advise all persons present at the hearing of the date of the future hearing and of their right to be present and represented by counsel.
(b) Except as provided in Sections 294 and 295, notice of the hearing shall be provided pursuant to Section 293.
(c) At least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, the social worker shall file a supplemental report with the court regarding the services provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian to enable him or her to assume custody and the efforts made to achieve legal permanence for the child if efforts to reunify fail, including, but not limited to, efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests; the progress made; and, where relevant, the prognosis for return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian; and shall make his or her recommendation for disposition. If the child is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, the report and recommendation may also take into account those factors described in subdivision (e) relating to the child’s sibling group. If the recommendation is not to return the child to a parent or legal guardian, the report shall specify why the return of the child would be detrimental to the child. The social worker shall provide the parent or legal guardian, counsel for the child, and any court-appointed child advocate with a copy of the report, including his or her recommendation for disposition, at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing. In the case of a child removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, the social worker shall, at least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, provide a summary of his or her recommendation for disposition to any foster parents, relative caregivers, and certified foster parents who have been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, community care facility, or foster family agency having the physical custody of the child. The social worker shall include a copy of the Judicial Council Caregiver Information Form (JV-290) with the summary of recommendations to the child’s foster parents, relative caregivers, or foster parents approved for adoption, in the caregiver’s primary language when available, along with information on how to file the form with the court.
(d) Prior to any hearing involving a child in the physical custody of a community care facility or a foster family agency that may result in the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, in adoption or the creation of a legal guardianship, or, in the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, the facility or agency shall file with the court a report, or a Judicial Council Caregiver Information Form (JV-290), containing its recommendation for disposition. Prior to the hearing involving a child in the physical custody of a foster parent, a relative caregiver, or a certified foster parent who has been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, the foster parent, relative caregiver, or the certified foster parent who has been approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, may file with the court a report containing his or her recommendation for disposition. The court shall consider the report and recommendation filed pursuant to this subdivision prior to determining any disposition.
(e) (1) At the review hearing held six months after the initial dispositional hearing, but no later than 12 months after the date the child entered foster care as determined in Section 361.49, whichever occurs earlier, after considering the admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child, provided the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; and shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, taking into account the particular barriers to a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child.
(2) Regardless of whether the child is returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that the return would be detrimental or would not be detrimental. The court also shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366; and, when relevant, shall order any additional services reasonably believed to facilitate the return of the child to the custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall also inform the parent or legal guardian that if the child cannot be returned home by the 12-month permanency hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted. This section does not apply in a case in which, pursuant to Section 361.5, the court has ordered that reunification services shall not be provided.
(3) If the child was under three years of age on the date of the initial removal, or is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent failed to participate regularly and make substantive progress in a court-ordered treatment plan, the court may schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days. If, however, the court finds there is a substantial probability that the child, who was under three years of age on the date of initial removal or is a member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, may be returned to his or her parent or legal guardian within six months or that reasonable services have not been provided, the court shall continue the case to the 12-month permanency hearing.
(4) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group together in a permanent home, the court, in making its determination to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 for some or all members of a sibling group, as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations. Factors the report shall address, and the court shall consider, may include, but need not be limited to, whether the sibling group was removed from parental care as a group, the closeness and strength of the sibling bond, the ages of the siblings, the appropriateness of maintaining the sibling group together, the detriment to the child if sibling ties are not maintained, the likelihood of finding a permanent home for the sibling group, whether the sibling group is currently placed together in a preadoptive home or has a concurrent plan goal of legal permanency in the same home, the wishes of each child whose age and physical and emotional condition permits a meaningful response, and the best interests of each child in the sibling group. The court shall specify the factual basis for its finding that it is in the best interests of each child to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days for some or all of the members of the sibling group.
(5) If the child was removed initially under subdivision (g) of Section 300 and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown, or the parent has failed to contact and visit the child, the court may schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days. The court shall take into account any particular barriers to a parent’s ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent’s incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation. If the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, the court may schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days.
(6) If the child had been placed under court supervision with a previously noncustodial parent pursuant to Section 361.2, the court shall determine whether supervision is still necessary. The court may terminate supervision and transfer permanent custody to that parent, as provided for by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.2.
(7) In all other cases, the court shall direct that any reunification services previously ordered shall continue to be offered to the parent or legal guardian pursuant to the time periods set forth in subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, provided that the court may modify the terms and conditions of those services.
(8) If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall determine whether reasonable services that were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian in overcoming the problems that led to the initial removal and the continued custody of the child have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall order that those services be initiated, continued, or terminated.
(f) (1) The permanency hearing shall be held no later than 12 months after the date the child entered foster care, as that date is determined pursuant to Section 361.49. At the permanency hearing, the court shall determine the permanent plan for the child, which shall include a determination of whether the child will be returned to the child’s home and, if so, when, within the time limits of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5. After considering the relevant and admissible evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment.
(A) At the permanency hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child, provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also determine whether reasonable services that were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian to overcome the problems that led to the initial removal and continued custody of the child have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian.
(B) The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental.
(C) In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5, shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, taking into account the particular barriers to a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child, and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.
(D) For each youth 16 years of age and older, the court shall also determine whether services have been made available to assist him or her in making the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.
(2) Regardless of whether the child is returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that the return would be detrimental. The court also shall make a finding pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366. If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state placement options. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
(g) If the time period in which the court-ordered services were provided has met or exceeded the time period set forth in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, as appropriate, and a child is not returned to the custody of a parent or legal guardian at the permanency hearing held pursuant to subdivision (f), the court shall do one of the following:
(1) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue the case only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian. For the purposes of this section, in order to find a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the court shall be required to find all of the following:
(A) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited with the child.
(B) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant progress in resolving problems that led to the child’s removal from the home.
(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity and ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment plan and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.
(i) For purposes of this subdivision, the court’s decision to continue the case based on a finding or substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child.
(ii) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if the child cannot be returned home by the next permanency review hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted. The court shall not order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held unless there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian.
(2) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, if the parent has been arrested and issued an immigration hold, detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, and the court determines either that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian.
(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), in order to find a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the court shall find all of the following:
(A) The parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited with the child, taking into account any particular barriers to a parent’s ability to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent’s arrest and receipt of an immigration hold, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation.
(B) The parent or legal guardian has made significant progress in resolving the problems that led to the child’s removal from the home.
(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity or ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment plan and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.
(4) Order that a hearing be held within 120 days, pursuant to Section 366.26, but only if the court does not continue the case to the permanency planning review hearing and there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parents or legal guardians. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan.
(5) Order that the child remain in foster care with one of the permanent plans listed in subparagraph (A), but only if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based upon the evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child because the child is not currently a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date. For purposes of this section, a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency that adoption is not currently in the best interests of the child shall constitute a compelling reason for the court’s determination. That recommendation shall be based on the present circumstances of the child and shall not preclude a different recommendation at a later date if the child’s circumstances change. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.
(A) The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. When the child is under 16 years of age, the court shall order a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the court determines that it will not order a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, and the child is not currently placed with a fit and willing relative, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. When the child is 16 years of age or older, or is a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501, and and, if such a permanent plan is ordered, shall order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in another planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366. If the court orders another planned permanent living arrangement for a child 16 years of age or older, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the court orders another planned permanent living arrangement for a nonminor dependent, the court may order the same services for the nonminor dependent.
(B) If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained.
(C) If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state options for permanent placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
(h) In any case in which the court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall also order the termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child pending the hearing unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child. The court shall make any other appropriate orders to enable the child to maintain relationships with individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests. When the court orders a termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian, it shall also order that the child’s caregiver receive the child’s birth certificate in accordance with Sections 16010.4 and 16010.5. Additionally, when the court orders a termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian, it shall order, when appropriate, that a child who is 16 years of age or older receive his or her birth certificate.
(i) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, including, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption is recommended, shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:
(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents or legal guardians.
(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between the child and his or her parents or legal guardians and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purpose of this subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.
(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including the prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4.
(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if so, a description of the condition.
(F) A description of efforts to be made to identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment and listing on an adoption exchange within the state or out of the state.
(G) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.
(H) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (G), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:
(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.
(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.
(j) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.
(k) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is related to the minor 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 those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.
(l) For purposes of this section, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall not, in and of itself, be deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:
(1) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.
(2) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.
(3) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with services to reunify the family.

SEC. 5.

 Section 366.22 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.22.
 (a) (1) When a case has been continued pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, the permanency review hearing shall occur within 18 months after the date the child was originally removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. After considering the admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the permanency review hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal, to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child, provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided, taking into account the particular barriers of a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated or institutionalized parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his or her child; and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.
(2) Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that return would be detrimental. If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state options for the child’s permanent placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
(3) Unless the conditions in subdivision (b) are met and the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the permanency review hearing, the court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 in order to determine whether adoption, or, in the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, guardianship, or continued placement in foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child, and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. However, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, for determining that a hearing held under Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child because the child is currently not a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date, the court may, only under these circumstances, order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the court determines it will not order a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, and the child is not currently placed with a fit and willing relative, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the child is 16 years of age or older or is a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501, and order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in another planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3. If the court orders another planned permanent living arrangement for a child 16 years of age or older, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement and may order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the permanency review hearing. The court shall also order termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child. The court shall determine whether reasonable services have been offered or provided to the parent or legal guardian. For purposes of this subdivision, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall not, in and of themselves, be deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:
(A) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.
(B) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.
(C) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with services to reunify the family.
(b) (1) If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the permanency review hearing and the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that the best interests of the child would be met by the provision of additional reunification services to a parent or legal guardian who is making significant and consistent progress in a court-ordered residential substance abuse treatment program, a parent who was either a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent at the time of the initial hearing making significant and consistent progress in establishing a safe home for the child’s return, or a parent recently discharged from incarceration, institutionalization, or the custody of the United States Department of Homeland Security and making significant and consistent progress in establishing a safe home for the child’s return, the court may continue the case for up to six months for a subsequent permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 24 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue the case only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian. For the purposes of this section, in order to find a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the court shall be required to find all of the following:
(A) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly contacted and visited with the child.
(B) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant and consistent progress in the prior 18 months in resolving problems that led to the child’s removal from the home.
(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity and ability both to complete the objectives of his or her substance abuse treatment plan as evidenced by reports from a substance abuse provider as applicable, or complete a treatment plan postdischarge from incarceration, institutionalization, or detention, or following deportation to his or her country of origin and his or her return to the United States, and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, the court’s decision to continue the case based on a finding or substantial probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interests of the child.
(3) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if the child cannot be returned home by the subsequent permanency review hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted. The court shall not order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held unless there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian.
(c) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, including when a tribal customary adoption is recommended, shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:
(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.
(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purposes of this subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.
(D)  A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed legal guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and Section 361.4.
(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or legal guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or legal guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if so, a description of the condition.
(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.
(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:
(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.
(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.
(d) This section shall become operative January 1, 1999. If at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a legal guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.
(e) 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 those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

SEC. 6.

 Section 366.25 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.25.
 (a) (1) When a case has been continued pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, the subsequent permanency review hearing shall occur within 24 months after the date the child was originally removed from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. After considering the relevant and admissible evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the subsequent permanency review hearing, the court shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child or parent’s or legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child can be returned to the custody of a parent who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided; and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.
(2) Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that return would be detrimental. If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall consider and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state options for the child’s permanent placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.
(3) If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the subsequent permanency review hearing, the court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 in order to determine whether adoption, or, in the case of an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a child 16 years of age or older when no other permanent plan is currently appropriate, another planned permanent living arrangement is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. However, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the evidence already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, for determining that a hearing held under Section 366.26 is not in the best interest of the child because the child is not currently a proper subject for adoption or, in the case of an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date, then the court may, only under these circumstances, order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the court determines it will not order a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, and the child is not currently placed with a fit and willing relative, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the child is 16 years of age or older or is a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501, and and, if such a permanent plan is ordered, shall order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in another planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366. If the court orders another planned permanent living arrangement for a child 16 years of age or older, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in another planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3. If the court orders another planned permanent living arrangement for a nonminor dependent, the court may order the same services for the nonminor dependent. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the subsequent permanency review hearing. The court shall also order termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child. The court shall determine whether reasonable services have been offered or provided to the parent or legal guardian. For purposes of this paragraph, evidence of any of the following circumstances shall not, in and of themselves, be deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:
(A) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.
(B) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.
(C) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with services to reunify the family.
(b) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that shall include:
(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.
(B) A review of the amount of, and nature of, any contact between the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purposes of this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental, scholastic, mental, and emotional status.
(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed legal guardian is a relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4.
(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, the duration and character of the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or legal guardianship, a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption or legal guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if so, a description of the condition.
(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted if parental rights are terminated.
(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs (A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:
(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons for reaching that conclusion.
(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive placement.
(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.
(c) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.
(d) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is related to the minor 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 those persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

SEC. 7.

 Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.26.
 (a) This section applies to children who are adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 360. The procedures specified herein are the exclusive procedures for conducting these hearings; Part 2 (commencing with Section 3020) of Division 8 of the Family Code is not applicable to these proceedings. Section 8616.5 of the Family Code is applicable and available to all dependent children meeting the requirements of that section, if the postadoption contact agreement has been entered into voluntarily. For children who are adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 360, this section and Sections 8604, 8605, 8606, and 8700 of the Family Code and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of Division 12 of the Family Code specify the exclusive procedures for permanently terminating parental rights with regard to, or establishing legal guardianship of, the child while the child is a dependent child of the juvenile court.
(b) At the hearing, which shall be held in juvenile court for all children who are dependents of the juvenile court, the court, in order to provide stable, permanent homes for these children, shall review the report as specified in Section 361.5, 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25, shall indicate that the court has read and considered it, shall receive other evidence that the parties may present, and then shall make findings and orders in the following order of preference:
(1) Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that the child be placed for adoption and, upon the filing of a petition for adoption in the juvenile court, order that a hearing be set. The court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted.
(2) Order, without termination of parental rights, the plan of tribal customary adoption, as described in Section 366.24, through tribal custom, traditions, or law of the Indian child’s tribe, and upon the court affording the tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit at the continued selection and implementation hearing, order that a hearing be set pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(3) Appoint a relative or relatives with whom the child is currently residing as legal guardian or guardians for the child, and order that letters of guardianship issue.
(4) On making a finding under paragraph (3) of subdivision (c), identify adoption or tribal customary adoption as the permanent placement goal and order that efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child within a period not to exceed 180 days.
(5) Appoint a nonrelative legal guardian for the child and order that letters of guardianship issue.
(6) Order that the child be permanently placed with a fit and willing relative, subject to the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.
(7) Order that the child remain in foster care, subject to the conditions described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.
In choosing among the above alternatives the court shall proceed pursuant to subdivision (c).
(c) (1) If the court determines, based on the assessment provided as ordered under subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, or subdivision (b) of Section 366.25, and any other relevant evidence, by a clear and convincing standard, that it is likely the child will be adopted, the court shall terminate parental rights and order the child placed for adoption. The fact that the child is not yet placed in a preadoptive home nor with a relative or foster family who is prepared to adopt the child, shall not constitute a basis for the court to conclude that it is not likely the child will be adopted. A finding under subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reunification services shall not be offered, under subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 that the whereabouts of a parent have been unknown for six months or that the parent has failed to visit or contact the child for six months, or that the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, or, under Section 366.21 or 366.22, that the court has continued to remove the child from the custody of the parent or guardian and has terminated reunification services, shall constitute a sufficient basis for termination of parental rights. Under these circumstances, the court shall terminate parental rights unless either of the following applies:
(A) The child is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment through legal guardianship, and the removal of the child from the custody of his or her relative would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. For purposes of an Indian child, “relative” shall include an “extended family member,” as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(2)).
(B) The court finds a compelling reason for determining that termination would be detrimental to the child due to one or more of the following circumstances:
(i) The parents have maintained regular visitation and contact with the child and the child would benefit from continuing the relationship.
(ii) A child 12 years of age or older objects to termination of parental rights.
(iii) The child is placed in a residential treatment facility, adoption is currently unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of parental rights will not prevent finding the child a permanent family placement if the parents cannot resume custody when residential care is no longer needed. If the court determines that adoption is currently unlikely or undesirable, the court shall order child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and assess progress towards placement in a permanent family at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3.
(iv) The child is living with a foster parent or Indian custodian who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of exceptional circumstances, that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment and the removal of the child from the physical custody of his or her foster parent or Indian custodian would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. This clause does not apply to any child who is either (I) under six years of age or (II) a member of a sibling group where at least one child is under six years of age and the siblings are, or should be, permanently placed together.
(v) There would be substantial interference with a child’s sibling relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the relationship, including, but not limited to, whether the child was raised with a sibling in the same home, whether the child shared significant common experiences or has existing close and strong bonds with a sibling, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best interest, including the child’s long-term emotional interest, as compared to the benefit of legal permanence through adoption.
(vi) The child is an Indian child and there is a compelling reason for determining that termination of parental rights would not be in the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to:
(I) Termination of parental rights would substantially interfere with the child’s connection to his or her tribal community or the child’s tribal membership rights.
(II) The child’s tribe has identified guardianship, foster care with a fit and willing relative, tribal customary adoption, or another planned permanent living arrangement for the child.
(III) The child is a nonminor dependent, and the nonminor and the nonminor’s tribe have identified tribal customary adoption for the nonminor.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), in the case of tribal customary adoptions, Section 366.24 shall apply.
(D) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would be detrimental to the child pursuant to clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi), it shall state its reasons in writing or on the record.
(2) The court shall not terminate parental rights if:
(A) At each hearing at which the court was required to consider reasonable efforts or services, the court has found that reasonable efforts were not made or that reasonable services were not offered or provided.
(B) In the case of an Indian child:
(i) At the hearing terminating parental rights, the court has found that active efforts were not made as required in Section 361.7.
(ii) The court does not make a determination at the hearing terminating parental rights, supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, including testimony of one or more “qualified expert witnesses” as defined in Section 224.6, that the continued custody of the child by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.
(iii) The court has ordered tribal customary adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.
(3) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would not be detrimental to the child pursuant to paragraph (1) and that the child has a probability for adoption but is difficult to place for adoption and there is no identified or available prospective adoptive parent, the court may identify adoption as the permanent placement goal and without terminating parental rights, order that efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child, within the state or out of the state, within a period not to exceed 180 days. During this 180-day period, the public agency responsible for seeking adoptive parents for each child shall, to the extent possible, ask each child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify potential adoptive parents. The public agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall, to the extent possible, contact other private and public adoption agencies regarding the availability of the child for adoption. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall conduct the search for adoptive parents in the same manner as prescribed for children in Sections 8708 and 8709 of the Family Code. At the expiration of this period, another hearing shall be held and the court shall proceed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of subdivision (b). For purposes of this section, a child may only be found to be difficult to place for adoption if there is no identified or available prospective adoptive parent for the child because of the child’s membership in a sibling group, or the presence of a diagnosed medical, physical, or mental handicap, or the child is seven years of age or more. If the child is found to be difficult to place for adoption, the court shall order child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(4) (A) If the court finds that adoption of the child or termination of parental rights is not in the best interest of the child, because one of the conditions in clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2) applies, the court shall order that the present caretakers or other appropriate persons shall become legal guardians of the child, or, in the case of an Indian child, consider a tribal customary adoption pursuant to Section 366.24. Legal guardianship shall be considered before continuing the child in foster care under any other permanent plan, if it is in the best interests of the child and if a suitable guardian can be found. If the child continues in foster care, the court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative as of the date of the hearing and shall order the agency to begin providing child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. A child who is 10 years of age or older shall be asked to identify any individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify potential guardians or, in the case of an Indian child, prospective tribal customary adoptive parents. The agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate.
(B) (i) If the child is living with an approved relative who is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian as of the hearing date, the court shall order a permanent plan of placement with a fit and willing relative, and the child shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the relative caretaker.
(ii) If the child is living with a nonrelative caregiver who is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent environment but is not willing to become a legal guardian as of the hearing date, the court shall order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate, and shall order the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to begin providing child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501, and and, if such a permanent plan is ordered, shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the child is 16 years of age or older, the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in a planned permanent living arrangement shall be assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3. If the order of another planned permanent living arrangement is made for a nonminor dependent, the court may order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. Regardless of the age of the child, the child shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the caregiver.
(iii) If the child is living in a group home or, on or after January 1, 2017, a short-term residential treatment center, the court shall order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501. If the child is 16 years of age or older, the court shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in a planned permanent living arrangement be assessed again at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3. If the order of another planned permanent living arrangement is made for a nonminor dependent, the court may order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(C) The court shall also make an order for visitation with the parents or guardians unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the visitation would be detrimental to the physical or emotional well-being of the child.
(5) (A) If the court finds that the child should not be placed for adoption, that legal guardianship shall not be established, that placement with a fit and willing relative is not appropriate as of the hearing date, and that there are no suitable foster parents except exclusive-use homes available to provide the child with a stable and permanent environment, the court may order the care, custody, and control of the child transferred from the county welfare department to a licensed foster family agency. The court shall consider the written recommendation of the county welfare director regarding the suitability of the transfer. The transfer shall be subject to further court orders.
(B) The licensed foster family agency shall place the child in a suitable licensed or exclusive-use home that has been certified by the agency as meeting licensing standards. The licensed foster family agency shall be responsible for supporting the child and providing appropriate services to the child, including those services ordered by the court. Responsibility for the support of the child shall not, in and of itself, create liability on the part of the foster family agency to third persons injured by the child. Those children whose care, custody, and control are transferred to a foster family agency shall not be eligible for foster care maintenance payments or child welfare services, except for emergency response services pursuant to Section 16504.
(d) The proceeding for the appointment of a guardian for a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile court. If the court finds pursuant to this section that legal guardianship is the appropriate permanent plan, it shall appoint the legal guardian and issue letters of guardianship. The assessment prepared pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, and subdivision (b) of Section 366.25 shall be read and considered by the court prior to the appointment, and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the court. The person preparing the assessment may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding.
(e) (1) The proceeding for the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile court if the court finds pursuant to this section that adoption is the appropriate permanent plan and the petition for adoption is filed in the juvenile court. Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the juvenile court shall order that an adoption hearing be set. The court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted. The full report required by Section 8715 of the Family Code shall be read and considered by the court prior to the adoption and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the court. The person preparing the report may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding. It is the intent of the Legislature, pursuant to this subdivision, to give potential adoptive parents the option of filing in the juvenile court the petition for the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court. Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the filing of a petition for adoption in any other court as permitted by law, instead of in the juvenile court.
(2) In the case of an Indian child, if the Indian child’s tribe has elected a permanent plan of tribal customary adoption, the court, upon receiving the tribal customary adoption order will afford the tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit to the same extent that the court would afford full faith and credit to the public acts, records, judicial proceedings, and judgments of any other entity. Upon a determination that the tribal customary adoption order may be afforded full faith and credit, consistent with Section 224.5, the court shall thereafter order a hearing to finalize the adoption be set upon the filing of the adoption petition. The prospective tribal customary adoptive parents and the child who is the subject of the tribal customary adoption petition shall appear before the court for the finalization hearing. The court shall thereafter issue an order of adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.
(3) If a child who is the subject of a finalized tribal customary adoption shows evidence of a developmental disability or mental illness as a result of conditions existing before the tribal customary adoption to the extent that the child cannot be relinquished to a licensed adoption agency on the grounds that the child is considered difficult to place for adoption as pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (c) and of which condition the tribal customary adoptive parent or parents had no knowledge or notice before the entry of the tribal customary adoption order, a petition setting forth those facts may be filed by the tribal customary adoptive parent or parents with the juvenile court that granted the tribal customary adoption petition. If these facts are proved to the satisfaction of the juvenile court, it may make an order setting aside the tribal customary adoption order. The set-aside petition shall be filed within five years of the issuance of the tribal customary adoption order. The court clerk shall immediately notify the child’s tribe and the department in Sacramento of the petition within 60 days after the notice of filing of the petition. The department shall file a full report with the court and shall appear before the court for the purpose of representing the child. Whenever a final decree of tribal customary adoption has been vacated or set aside, the child shall be returned to the custody of the county in which the proceeding for tribal customary adoption was finalized. The biological parent or parents of the child may petition for return of custody. The disposition of the child after the court has entered an order to set aside a tribal customary adoption shall include consultation with the child’s tribe.
(f) At the beginning of any proceeding pursuant to this section, if the child or the parents are not being represented by previously retained or appointed counsel, the court shall proceed as follows:
(1) In accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 317, if a child before the court is without counsel, the court shall appoint counsel 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.
(2) If a parent appears without counsel and is unable to afford counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent, unless this representation is knowingly and intelligently waived. The same counsel shall not be appointed to represent both the child and his or her parent. The public defender or private counsel may be appointed as counsel for the parent.
(3) Private counsel appointed under this section shall receive a reasonable sum for compensation and expenses, the amount of which shall be determined by the court. The amount shall be paid by the real parties in interest, other than the child, in any proportions the court deems just. However, if the court finds that any of the real parties in interest are unable to afford counsel, the amount shall be paid out of the general fund of the county.
(g) The court may continue the proceeding for a period of time not to exceed 30 days as necessary to appoint counsel, and to enable counsel to become acquainted with the case.
(h) (1) At all proceedings under this section, the court shall consider the wishes of the child and shall act in the best interests of the child.
(2) In accordance with Section 349, the child shall be present in court if the child or the child’s counsel so requests or the court so orders. If the child is 10 years of age or older and is not present at a hearing held pursuant to this section, the court shall determine whether the minor was properly notified of his or her right to attend the hearing and inquire as to the reason why the child is not present.
(3) (A) The testimony of the child may be taken in chambers and outside the presence of the child’s parent or parents, if the child’s parent or parents are represented by counsel, the counsel is present, and any of the following circumstances exists:
(i) The court determines that testimony in chambers is necessary to ensure truthful testimony.
(ii) The child is likely to be intimidated by a formal courtroom setting.
(iii) The child is afraid to testify in front of his or her parent or parents.
(B) After testimony in chambers, the parent or parents of the child may elect to have the court reporter read back the testimony or have the testimony summarized by counsel for the parent or parents.
(C) The testimony of a child also may be taken in chambers and outside the presence of the guardian or guardians of a child under the circumstances specified in this subdivision.
(i) (1) Any order of the court permanently terminating parental rights under this section shall be conclusive and binding upon the child, upon the parent or parents, and upon all other persons who have been served with citation by publication or otherwise as provided in this chapter. After making the order, the juvenile court shall have no power to set aside, change, or modify it, except as provided in paragraph (2), but nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right to appeal the order.
(2) A tribal customary adoption order evidencing that the Indian child has been the subject of a tribal customary adoption shall be afforded full faith and credit and shall have the same force and effect as an order of adoption authorized by this section. The rights and obligations of the parties as to the matters determined by the Indian child’s tribe shall be binding on all parties. A court shall not order compliance with the order absent a finding that the party seeking the enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith, in family mediation services of the court or dispute resolution through the tribe regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the enforcement action.
(3) A child who has not been adopted after the passage of at least three years from the date the court terminated parental rights and for whom the court has determined that adoption is no longer the permanent plan may petition the juvenile court to reinstate parental rights pursuant to the procedure prescribed by Section 388. The child may file the petition prior to the expiration of this three-year period if the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that is responsible for custody and supervision of the child as described in subdivision (j) and the child stipulate that the child is no longer likely to be adopted. A child over 12 years of age shall sign the petition in the absence of a showing of good cause as to why the child could not do so. If it appears that the best interests of the child may be promoted by reinstatement of parental rights, the court shall order that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the social worker or probation officer and to the child’s attorney of record, or, if there is no attorney of record for the child, to the child, and the child’s tribe, if applicable, by means prescribed by subdivision (c) of Section 297. The court shall order the child or the social worker or probation officer to give prior notice of the hearing to the child’s former parent or parents whose parental rights were terminated in the manner prescribed by subdivision (f) of Section 294 where the recommendation is adoption. The juvenile court shall grant the petition if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child is no longer likely to be adopted and that reinstatement of parental rights is in the child’s best interest. If the court reinstates parental rights over a child who is under 12 years of age and for whom the new permanent plan will not be reunification with a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its findings that it is in the best interest of the child to reinstate parental rights. This subdivision is intended to be retroactive and applies to any child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court at the time of the hearing regardless of the date parental rights were terminated.
(j) If the court, by order or judgment, declares the child free from the custody and control of both parents, or one parent if the other does not have custody and control, or declares the child eligible for tribal customary adoption, the court shall at the same time order the child referred to the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency for adoptive placement by the agency. However, except in the case of a tribal customary adoption where there is no termination of parental rights, a petition for adoption may not be granted until the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted. The State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall be responsible for the custody and supervision of the child and shall be entitled to the exclusive care and control of the child at all times until a petition for adoption or tribal customary adoption is granted, except as specified in subdivision (n). With the consent of the agency, the court may appoint a guardian of the child, who shall serve until the child is adopted.
(k) Notwithstanding any other law, the application of any person who, as a relative caretaker or foster parent, has cared for a dependent child for whom the court has approved a permanent plan for adoption, or who has been freed for adoption, shall be given preference with respect to that child over all other applications for adoptive placement if the agency making the placement determines that the child has substantial emotional ties to the relative caretaker or foster parent and removal from the relative caretaker or foster parent would be seriously detrimental to the child’s emotional well-being.
As used in this subdivision, “preference” means that the application shall be processed and, if satisfactory, the family study shall be completed before the processing of the application of any other person for the adoptive placement of the child.
(l) (1) An order by the court that a hearing pursuant to this section be held is not appealable at any time unless all of the following apply:
(A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely manner.
(B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to be challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.
(C) The petition for extraordinary writ review was summarily denied or otherwise not decided on the merits.
(2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review within the period specified by rule, to substantively address the specific issues challenged, or to support that challenge by an adequate record shall preclude subsequent review by appeal of the findings and orders made pursuant to this section.
(3) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court, effective January 1, 1995, to ensure all of the following:
(A) A trial court, after issuance of an order directing a hearing pursuant to this section be held, shall advise all parties of the requirement of filing a petition for extraordinary writ review as set forth in this subdivision in order to preserve any right to appeal in these issues. This notice shall be made orally to a party if the party is present at the time of the making of the order or by first-class mail by the clerk of the court to the last known address of a party not present at the time of the making of the order.
(B) The prompt transmittal of the records from the trial court to the appellate court.
(C) That adequate time requirements for counsel and court personnel exist to implement the objective of this subdivision.
(D) That the parent or guardian, or their trial counsel or other counsel, is charged with the responsibility of filing a petition for extraordinary writ relief pursuant to this subdivision.
(4) The intent of this subdivision is to do both of the following:
(A) Make every reasonable attempt to achieve a substantive and meritorious review by the appellate court within the time specified in Sections 366.21, 366.22, and 366.25 for holding a hearing pursuant to this section.
(B) Encourage the appellate court to determine all writ petitions filed pursuant to this subdivision on their merits.
(5) This subdivision shall only apply to cases in which an order to set a hearing pursuant to this section is issued on or after January 1, 1995.
(m) Except for subdivision (j), this section shall also apply to minors adjudged wards pursuant to Section 727.31.
(n) (1) Notwithstanding Section 8704 of the Family Code or any other law, the court, at a hearing held pursuant to this section or anytime thereafter, may designate a current caretaker as a prospective adoptive parent if the child has lived with the caretaker for at least six months, the caretaker currently expresses a commitment to adopt the child, and the caretaker has taken at least one step to facilitate the adoption process. In determining whether to make that designation, the court may take into consideration whether the caretaker is listed in the preliminary assessment prepared by the county department in accordance with subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 as an appropriate person to be considered as an adoptive parent for the child and the recommendation of the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, steps to facilitate the adoption process include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) Applying for an adoption home study.
(B) Cooperating with an adoption home study.
(C) Being designated by the court or the adoption agency as the adoptive family.
(D) Requesting de facto parent status.
(E) Signing an adoptive placement agreement.
(F) Engaging in discussions regarding a postadoption contact agreement.
(G) Working to overcome any impediments that have been identified by the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.
(H) Attending classes required of prospective adoptive parents.
(3) Prior to a change in placement and as soon as possible after a decision is made to remove a child from the home of a designated prospective adoptive parent, the agency shall notify the court, the designated prospective adoptive parent, or the current caretaker, if that caretaker would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) on the date of service of this notice, the child’s attorney, and the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the proposal in the manner described in Section 16010.6.
(A) Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer, of the date of notification, the child, the child’s attorney, or the designated prospective adoptive parent may file a petition with the court objecting to the proposal to remove the child, or the court, upon its own motion, may set a hearing regarding the proposal. The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period. A caretaker who would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the child may file, together with the petition under this subparagraph, a petition for an order designating the caretaker as a prospective adoptive parent for purposes of this subdivision.
(B) A hearing ordered pursuant to this paragraph shall be held as soon as possible and not later than five court days after the petition is filed with the court or the court sets a hearing upon its own motion, unless the court for good cause is unable to set the matter for hearing five court days after the petition is filed, in which case the court shall set the matter for hearing as soon as possible. At the hearing, the court shall determine whether the caretaker has met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1), and whether the proposed removal of the child from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent is in the child’s best interest, and the child may not be removed from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent unless the court finds that removal is in the child’s best interest. If the court determines that the caretaker did not meet the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the child, the petition objecting to the proposed removal filed by the caretaker shall be dismissed. If the caretaker was designated as a prospective adoptive parent prior to this hearing, the court shall inquire into any progress made by the caretaker towards the adoption of the child since the caretaker was designated as a prospective adoptive parent.
(C) A determination by the court that the caretaker is a designated prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) or subparagraph (B) does not make the caretaker a party to the dependency proceeding nor does it confer on the caretaker any standing to object to any other action of the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency, unless the caretaker has been declared a de facto parent by the court prior to the notice of removal served pursuant to paragraph (3).
(D) If a petition objecting to the proposal to remove the child is not filed, and the court, upon its own motion, does not set a hearing, the child may be removed from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent without a hearing.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), if the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency determines that the child must be removed from the home of the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent immediately, due to a risk of physical or emotional harm, the agency may remove the child from that home and is not required to provide notice prior to the removal. However, as soon as possible and not longer than two court days after the removal, the agency shall notify the court, the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent, the child’s attorney, and the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the removal. Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer, of the date of notification of the removal, the child, the child’s attorney, or the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent may petition for, or the court on its own motion may set, a noticed hearing pursuant to paragraph (3). The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period.
(5) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 366.28, an order by the court issued after a hearing pursuant to this subdivision shall not be appealable.
(6) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county child protective services agency from fully investigating and responding to alleged abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to Section 11165.5 of the Penal Code.
(7) The Judicial Council shall prepare forms to facilitate the filing of the petitions described in this subdivision, which shall become effective on January 1, 2006.

SEC. 8.

 Section 366.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.3.
 (a) If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of adoption, tribal customary adoption, adoption of a nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31, or legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, the court shall retain jurisdiction over the child or nonminor dependent until the child or nonminor dependent is adopted or the legal guardianship is established, except as provided for in Section 366.29 or, on and after January 1, 2012, Section 366.32. The status of the child or nonminor dependent shall be reviewed every six months to ensure that the adoption or legal guardianship is completed as expeditiously as possible. When the adoption of the child or nonminor dependent has been granted, or in the case of a tribal customary adoption, when the tribal customary adoption order has been afforded full faith and credit and the petition for adoption has been granted, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the child or nonminor dependent. Following establishment of a legal guardianship, the court may continue jurisdiction over the child as a dependent child of the juvenile court or may terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the legal guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. If, however, a relative of the child is appointed the legal guardian of the child and the child has been placed with the relative for at least six months, the court shall, except if the relative guardian objects, or upon a finding of exceptional circumstances, terminate its dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a ward of the guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. Following a termination of parental rights, the parent or parents shall not be a party to, or receive notice of, any subsequent proceedings regarding the child.
(b) (1) If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction following the establishment of a legal guardianship, or no dependency jurisdiction attached because of the granting of a legal guardianship pursuant to Section 360, and the legal guardianship is subsequently revoked or otherwise terminated, the county department of social services or welfare department shall notify the juvenile court of this fact. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child.
(2) Notwithstanding Section 1601 of the Probate Code, the proceedings to terminate a legal guardianship that has been granted pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26 shall be held either in the juvenile court that retains jurisdiction over the guardianship as authorized by Section 366.4 or the juvenile court in the county where the guardian and child currently reside, based on the best interests of the child, unless the termination is due to the emancipation or adoption of the child. The juvenile court having jurisdiction over the guardianship shall receive notice from the court in which the petition is filed within five calendar days of the filing. Prior to the hearing on a petition to terminate legal guardianship pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall order the county department of social services or welfare department having jurisdiction or jointly with the county department where the guardian and child currently reside to prepare a report, for the court’s consideration, that shall include an evaluation of whether the child could safely remain in, or be returned to, the legal guardian’s home, without terminating the legal guardianship, if services were provided to the child or legal guardian. If applicable, the report shall also identify recommended family maintenance or reunification services to maintain the legal guardianship and set forth a plan for providing those services. If the petition to terminate legal guardianship is granted, either juvenile court may resume dependency jurisdiction over the child, and may order the county department of social services or welfare department to develop a new permanent plan, which shall be presented to the court within 60 days of the termination. If no dependency jurisdiction has attached, the social worker shall make any investigation he or she deems necessary to determine whether the child may be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as provided in Section 328.
(3) Unless the parental rights of the child’s parent or parents have been terminated, they shall be notified that the legal guardianship has been revoked or terminated and shall be entitled to participate in the new permanency planning hearing. The court shall try to place the child in another permanent placement. At the hearing, the parents may be considered as custodians but the child shall not be returned to the parent or parents unless they prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that reunification is the best alternative for the child. The court may, if it is in the best interests of the child, order that reunification services again be provided to the parent or parents.
(c) If, following the establishment of a legal guardianship, the county welfare department becomes aware of changed circumstances that indicate adoption or, for an Indian child, tribal customary adoption, may be an appropriate plan for the child, the department shall so notify the court. The court may vacate its previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child and order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 to determine whether adoption or continued legal guardianship is the most appropriate plan for the child. The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the order. If the court orders that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services if it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment under subdivision (b) of Section 366.22.
(d) If the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent is in a placement other than the home of a legal guardian and jurisdiction has not been dismissed, the status of the child shall be reviewed at least every six months. The review of the status of a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption shall be conducted by the court. The review of the status of a child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent for whom the court has not ordered parental rights terminated and who has not been ordered placed for adoption may be conducted by the court or an appropriate local agency. The court shall conduct the review under the following circumstances:
(1) Upon the request of the child’s parents or legal guardians.
(2) Upon the request of the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent.
(3) It has been 12 months since a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 or an order that the child remain in foster care pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, or subdivision (h).
(4) It has been 12 months since a review was conducted by the court.
The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
(e) Except as provided in subdivision (g), at the review held every six months pursuant to subdivision (d), the reviewing body shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent home for the child, shall consider the safety of the child, and shall determine all of the following:
(1) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the placement.
(2) The extent to which child-centered specialized permanency services, as described Section 11400, have been provided.
(3) Identification of individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. The social worker shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.
(4) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the permanent plan for the child, including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals who are important to the child and efforts to identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on an adoption exchange.
(5) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the child welfare services case plan in making reasonable efforts either to return the child to the safe home of the parent or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the reviewing body determines that a second period of reunification services is in the child’s best interests, and that there is a significant likelihood of the child’s return to a safe home due to changed circumstances of the parent, pursuant to subdivision (f), the specific reunification services required to effect the child’s return to a safe home shall be described.
(6) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed what is necessary to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions or developmental services decisions for the child pursuant to Section 361.
(7) The adequacy of services provided to the child. The court shall consider the progress in providing the information and documents to the child, as described in Section 391. The court shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the assistance and services described in Section 391.
(8) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.
(9) The likely date by which the child may be returned to, and safely maintained in, the home, placed for adoption, legal guardianship, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption, or, if the child is 16 years of age or older, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, in another planned permanent living arrangement with the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(10) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:
(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.
(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.
(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.
(D) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:
(i) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.
(ii) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.
(iii) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the location and length of the visits.
(iv) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.
(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.
The factors the court may consider as indicators of the nature of the child’s sibling relationships include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.
(11) For a child who is 14 years of age or older, and, effective January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the services needed to assist the child or nonminor dependent to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.
The reviewing body shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each child in its care, custody, and control to the court concerning the continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the child’s permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the case plan, and the type and adequacy of services provided to the child.
(f) Unless their parental rights have been permanently terminated, the parent or parents of the child are entitled to receive notice of, and participate in, those hearings. It shall be presumed that continued care is in the best interests of the child, unless the parent or parents prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that further efforts at reunification are the best alternative for the child. In those cases, the court may order that further reunification services to return the child to a safe home environment be provided to the parent or parents up to a period of six months, and family maintenance services, as needed for an additional six months in order to return the child to a safe home environment. On and after January 1, 2012, this subdivision shall not apply to the parents of a nonminor dependent.
(g) (1) At the review conducted by the court and held at least every six months, regarding a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for adoption, or, for an Indian child for whom parental rights are not being terminated and a tribal customary adoption is being considered, the county welfare department shall prepare and present to the court a report describing the following:
(A) The child’s present placement.
(B) The child’s current physical, mental, emotional, and educational status.
(C) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or guardian, identification of individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The agency shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any individuals who are important to him or her, consistent with the child’s best interest, and may ask any child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that information as appropriate. The agency shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child.
(D) Whether the child has been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents.
(E) Whether an adoptive placement agreement has been signed and filed.
(F) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent or parents, the efforts made to identify an appropriate prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to, child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, child-specific recruitment efforts, and listing on an adoption exchange.
(G) Whether the final adoption order should include provisions for postadoptive sibling contact pursuant to Section 366.29.
(H) The progress of the search for an adoptive placement if one has not been identified.
(I) Any impediments to the adoption or the adoptive placement.
(J) The anticipated date by which the child will be adopted or placed in an adoptive home.
(K) The anticipated date by which an adoptive placement agreement will be signed.
(L) Recommendations for court orders that will assist in the placement of the child for adoption or in the finalization of the adoption, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(2) The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.
(3) The court shall make appropriate orders to protect the stability of the child and to facilitate and expedite the permanent placement and adoption of the child.
(h) (1) At the review held pursuant to subdivision (d) for a child in foster care, the court shall consider all permanency planning options for the child including whether the child should be returned to the home of the parent, placed for adoption, or, for an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal customary adoption, or appointed a legal guardian, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, if compelling reasons exist for finding that none of the foregoing options are in the best interest of the child and the child is 16 years of age or older, whether the child should be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement with the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. The court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26, unless it determines by clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best interest of the child because the child is being returned to the home of the parent, the child is not currently a proper subject for adoption, or no one is willing to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date. If the county adoption agency, or the department when it is acting as an adoption agency, has determined it is unlikely that the child will be adopted or one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, that fact shall constitute a compelling reason for purposes of this subdivision. Only upon that determination may the court order that the child remain in foster care, without holding a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26.
(2) When the child is 16 years of age or older and in another planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall do all of the following:
(A) Ask the child about his or her desired permanency outcome.
(B) Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the hearing date, another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the child.
(C) State for the record the compelling reason or reasons why it continues not to be in the best interest of the child to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, be placed with a legal guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative.
(3) When the child is 16 years of age or older and is in another planned permanent living arrangement, the social study prepared for the hearing shall include a description of all of the following:
(A) The intensive and ongoing efforts, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to return the child to the home of the parent, place the child for adoption, or establish a legal guardianship, as appropriate.
(B) The steps taken to do both of the following:
(i) Ensure that the child’s care provider is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard.
(ii) Determine whether the child has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities, including consulting with the child about opportunities for the child to participate in those activities.
(4) When the child is under 16 years of age and has a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, any barriers to achieving the permanent plan and the efforts made by the agency address those barriers, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(i) If, as authorized by subdivision (h), the court orders a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment as provided for in subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b) of Section 366.22. A hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of the 12-month review at which it is ordered, and at that hearing the court shall determine whether adoption, tribal customary adoption, legal guardianship, placement with a fit and willing relative, or, for a child 16 years of age or older, another planned permanent living arrangement is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. The court may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. At the request of the nonminor dependent who has an established relationship with an adult determined to be the nonminor dependent’s permanent connection, the court may order adoption of the nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31.
(j) The reviews conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) or (d) may be conducted earlier than every six months if the court determines that an earlier review is in the best interests of the child or as court rules prescribe.

SEC. 9.

 Section 371 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

371.
 When the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer shall provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians information, in writing, regarding the importance of working with mental health providers that have specialized adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional.

SEC. 10.

 Section 706.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

706.5.
 (a) If placement in foster care is recommended by the probation officer, or where the minor is already in foster care placement or pending placement pursuant to an earlier order, the social study prepared by the probation officer that is received into evidence at disposition pursuant to Section 706 shall include a case plan, as described in Section 706.6. If the court elects to hold the first status review at the disposition hearing, the social study shall also include, but not be limited to, the factual material described in subdivision (c).
(b) If placement in foster care is not recommended by the probation officer prior to disposition, but the court orders foster care placement, the court shall order the probation officer to prepare a case plan, as described in Section 706.6, within 30 days of the placement order. The case plan shall be filed with the court.
(c) At each status review hearing, the social study shall include, but not be limited to, an updated case plan as described in Section 706.6 and the following information:
(1) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement.
(2) The extent of the probation department’s compliance with the case plan in making reasonable efforts to safely return the minor to the minor’s home or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the minor.
(3) The extent of progress that has been made by the minor and parent or guardian toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.
(4) If the first permanency planning hearing has not yet occurred, the social study shall include the likely date by which the minor may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption, appointed a legal guardian, permanently placed with a fit and willing relative, or referred to another planned permanent living arrangement.
(5) Whether the minor has been or will be referred to educational services and what services the minor is receiving, including special education and related services if the minor has exceptional needs as described in Part 30 (commencing with Section 56000) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code or accommodations if the child has disabilities as described in Chapter 16 (commencing with Section 701) of Title 29 of the United States Code Annotated. The probation officer or child advocate shall solicit comments from the appropriate local education agency prior to completion of the social study.
(6) If the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to participate in making an educational or developmental services decision for his or her child, or if other circumstances exist that compromise the ability of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the child, the probation department shall consider whether the right of the parent or guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor should be limited. If the study makes that recommendation, it shall identify whether there is a responsible adult available to make educational or developmental services decisions for the minor pursuant to Section 726.
(7) When the minor is 16 years of age or older and in another planned permanent living arrangement, the social study shall include a description of all of the following:
(A) The intensive and ongoing efforts, including child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to return the minor to the home of the parent, place the minor for adoption, or establish a legal guardianship, as appropriate.
(B) The steps taken to do both of the following:
(i) Ensure that the minor’s care provider is following the reasonable and prudent parent standard.
(ii) Determine whether the minor has regular, ongoing opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate activities, including consulting with the minor about opportunities for the minor to participate in the activities.
(8) When the minor is under 16 years of age and has a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, the social study shall include a description of any barriers to achieving the permanent plan and the efforts made by the agency to address those barriers.
(d) At each permanency planning hearing, the social study shall include, but not be limited to, an updated case plan as described in Section 706.6, the factual material described in subdivision (c) of this section, and a recommended permanent plan for the minor.

SEC. 11.

 Section 706.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

706.6.
 (a) Services to minors are best provided in a framework that integrates service planning and delivery among multiple service systems, including the mental health system, using a team-based approach, such as a child and family team. A child and family team brings together individuals that engage with the child or youth and family in assessing, planning, and delivering services. Use of a team approach increases efficiency, and thus reduces cost, by increasing coordination of formal services and integrating the natural and informal supports available to the child or youth and family.
(b) (1) For the purposes of this section, “child and family team” has the same meaning as in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501.
(2) In its development of the case plan, the probation agency shall consider any recommendations of the child and family team, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501. The agency shall document the rationale for any inconsistencies between the case plan and the child and family team recommendations.
(c) A case plan prepared as required by Section 706.5 shall be submitted to the court. It shall either be attached to the social study or incorporated as a separate section within the social study. The case plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) A description of the circumstances that resulted in the minor being placed under the supervision of the probation department and in foster care.
(2) Documentation of the preplacement assessment of the minor’s and family’s strengths and service needs showing that preventive services have been provided, and that reasonable efforts to prevent out-of-home placement have been made. The assessment shall include the type of placement best equipped to meet those needs.
(3) (A) A description of the type of home or institution in which the minor is to be placed, and the reasons for that placement decision, including a discussion of the safety and appropriateness of the placement, including the recommendations of the child and family team, if available.
(B) An appropriate placement is a placement in the least restrictive, most family-like environment that promotes normal childhood experiences, in closest proximity to the minor’s home, that meets the minor’s best interests and special needs.
(d) The following shall apply:
(1) The agency selecting a placement shall consider, in order of priority:
(A) Placement with relatives, nonrelated extended family members, and tribal members.
(B) Foster family homes and certified homes or resource families of foster family agencies.
(C) Treatment and intensive treatment certified homes or resource families of foster family agencies, or multidimensional treatment foster homes or therapeutic foster care homes.
(D) Group care placements in the following order:
(i) Short-term residential treatment centers.
(ii) Group homes.
(iii) Community treatment facilities.
(iv) Out-of-state residential treatment pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family Code.
(2) Although the placement options shall be considered in the preferential order specified in paragraph (1), the placement of a child may be with any of these placement settings in order to ensure the selection of a safe placement setting that is in the child’s best interests and meets the child’s special needs.
(3) A minor may be placed into a community care facility licensed as a short-term residential treatment center, as defined in subdivision (ad) of Section 11400, provided the case plan indicates that the placement is for the purposes of providing short-term, specialized, and intensive treatment for the minor, the case plan specifies the need for, nature of, and anticipated duration of this treatment, and the case plan includes transitioning the minor to a less restrictive environment and the projected timeline by which the minor will be transitioned to a less restrictive environment.
(e) Effective January 1, 2010, a case plan shall ensure the educational stability of the child while in foster care and shall include both of the following:
(1) Assurances that the placement takes into account the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.
(2) An assurance that the placement agency has coordinated with appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement, or, if remaining in that school is not in the best interests of the child, assurances by the placement agency and the local educational agency to provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school and to provide all of the child’s educational records to the new school.
(f) Specific time-limited goals and related activities designed to enable the safe return of the minor to his or her home, or in the event that return to his or her home is not possible, activities designed to result in permanent placement or emancipation. Specific responsibility for carrying out the planned activities shall be assigned to one or more of the following:
(1) The probation department.
(2) The minor’s parent or parents or legal guardian or guardians, as applicable.
(3) The minor.
(4) The foster parents or licensed agency providing foster care.
(g) The projected date of completion of the case plan objectives and the date services will be terminated.
(h) (1) Scheduled visits between the minor and his or her family and an explanation if no visits are made.
(2) Whether the child has other siblings, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:
(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or her siblings.
(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002.
(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home, why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not appropriate.
(D) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:
(i) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.
(ii) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised and what needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.
(iii) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the location and length of the visits.
(iv) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.
(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s placement and planning for legal permanence.
(F) The continuing need to suspend sibling interaction, if applicable, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002.
(3) The factors the court may consider in making a determination regarding the nature of the child’s sibling relationships may include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best emotional interests.
(i) (1) When placement is made in a foster family home, group home, or other child care institution that is either a substantial distance from the home of the minor’s parent or legal guardian or out of state, the case plan shall specify the reasons why the placement is the most appropriate and is in the best interest of the minor.
(2) When an out-of-state group home placement is recommended or made, the case plan shall comply with Section 727.1 of this code and Section 7911.1 of the Family Code. In addition, documentation of the recommendation of the multidisciplinary team and the rationale for this particular placement shall be included. The case plan shall also address what in-state services or facilities were used or considered and why they were not recommended.
(j) If applicable, efforts to make it possible to place siblings together, unless it has been determined that placement together is not in the best interest of one or more siblings.
(k) A schedule of visits between the minor and the probation officer, including a monthly visitation schedule for those children placed in group homes.
(l) Health and education information about the minor, school records, immunizations, known medical problems, and any known medications the minor may be taking, names and addresses of the minor’s health and educational providers; the minor’s grade level performance; assurances that the minor’s placement in foster care takes into account proximity to the school in which the minor was enrolled at the time of placement; and other relevant health and educational information.
(m) When out-of-home services are used and the goal is reunification, the case plan shall describe the services that were provided to prevent removal of the minor from the home, those services to be provided to assist in reunification and the services to be provided concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts to reunify fail.
(n) (1) The updated case plan prepared for a permanency planning hearing shall include a recommendation for a permanent plan for the minor. The identified permanent plan for a minor under 16 years of age shall be return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative. The case plan shall identify any barriers to achieving legal permanence and the steps the agency will take to address those barriers.
(2) If, after considering reunification, adoptive placement, legal guardianship, or permanent placement with a fit and willing relative the probation officer recommends placement in a planned permanent living arrangement for a minor 16 years of age or older, the case plan shall include documentation of a compelling reason or reasons why termination of parental rights is not in the minor’s best interest. For purposes of this subdivision, a “compelling reason” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision (c) of Section 727.3. The case plan shall also identify the intensive and ongoing efforts, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as described in Section 11400, to return the minor to the home of the parent, place the minor for adoption, establish a legal guardianship, or place the minor with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. Efforts shall include the use of technology, including social media, to find biological family members of the minor.
(o) Each updated case plan shall include a description of the services that have been provided to the minor under the plan and an evaluation of the appropriateness and effectiveness of those services.
(p) A statement that the parent or legal guardian and the minor have had an opportunity to participate in the development of the case plan, to review the case plan, to sign the case plan, and to receive a copy of the plan, or an explanation about why the parent, legal guardian, or minor was not able to participate or sign the case plan.
(q) For a minor in out-of-home care who is 16 years of age or older, a written description of the programs and services, which will help the minor prepare for the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.

SEC. 12.

 Section 727.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

727.2.
 The purpose of this section is to provide a means to monitor the safety and well-being of every minor in foster care who has been declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 601 or 602 and to ensure that everything reasonably possible is done to facilitate the safe and early return of the minor to his or her home or to establish an alternative permanent plan for the minor.
(a) If the court orders the care, custody, and control of the minor to be under the supervision of the probation officer for placement pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727, the juvenile court shall order the probation department to ensure the provision of reunification services to facilitate the safe return of the minor to his or her home or the permanent placement of the minor, and to address the needs of the minor while in foster care, except as provided in subdivision (b).
(b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or legal guardian if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that one or more of the following is true:
(1) Reunification services were previously terminated for that parent or guardian, pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25, or not offered, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, in reference to the same minor.
(2) The parent has been convicted of any of the following:
(A) Murder of another child of the parent.
(B) Voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent.
(C) Aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to commit that murder or manslaughter described in subparagraph (A) or (B).
(D) A felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the minor or another child of the parent.
(3) The parental rights of the parent with respect to a sibling have been terminated involuntarily, and it is not in the best interest of the minor to reunify with his or her parent or legal guardian.
If no reunification services are offered to the parent or guardian, the permanency planning hearing, as described in Section 727.3, shall occur within 30 days of the date of the hearing at which the decision is made not to offer services.
(c) The status of every minor declared a ward and ordered to be placed in foster care shall be reviewed by the court no less frequently than once every six months. The six-month time periods shall be calculated from the date the minor entered foster care, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 727.4. If the court so elects, the court may declare the hearing at which the court orders the care, custody, and control of the minor to be under the supervision of the probation officer for foster care placement pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727 at the first status review hearing. It shall be the duty of the probation officer to prepare a written social study report including an updated case plan, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 706.5, and submit the report to the court prior to each status review hearing, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.4. The social study report shall include all reports the probation officer relied upon in making his or her recommendations.
(d) Prior to any status review hearing involving a minor in the physical custody of a community care facility or foster family agency, the facility or agency may provide the probation officer with a report containing its recommendations. Prior to any status review hearing involving the physical custody of a foster parent, relative caregiver, preadoptive parent, or legal guardian, that person may present to the court a report containing his or her recommendations. The court shall consider all reports and recommendations filed pursuant to subdivision (c) and pursuant to this subdivision.
(e) At any status review hearing prior to the first permanency planning hearing, the court shall consider the safety of the minor and make findings and orders which determine the following:
(1) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the placement.
(2) The extent of the probation department’s compliance with the case plan in making reasonable efforts, or, in the case of a child 16 years of age or older with another planned permanent living arrangement, the ongoing and intensive efforts, including provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to safely return the minor to the minor’s home or to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the minor.
(3) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the minor. That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order and may not exceed what is necessary to protect the minor. If the court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the minor, the court shall at the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for the minor pursuant to Section 726.
(4) The extent of progress that has been made by the minor and parent or guardian toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.
(5) The likely date by which the minor may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption, appointed a legal guardian, permanently placed with a fit and willing relative, or, if the minor is 16 years of age or older, referred to another planned permanent living arrangement with the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
(6) In the case of a minor who has reached 16 years of age, the court shall, in addition, determine the services needed to assist the minor to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood.
The court shall make these determinations on a case-by-case basis and reference in its written findings the probation officer’s report and any other evidence relied upon in reaching its decision.
(f) At any status review hearing prior to the first permanency hearing, after considering the admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order return of the minor to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of evidence, that the return of the minor to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the minor. The probation department shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social study report, recommendations, and the case plan pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 706.5, the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed for the minor in the case, and any other reports submitted to the court pursuant to subdivision (d), and shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the minor and family and the extent to which the minor availed himself or herself of the services provided.
(g) At all status review hearings subsequent to the first permanency planning hearing, the court shall consider the safety of the minor and make the findings and orders as described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, and (6) of subdivision (e). The court shall either make a finding that the previously ordered permanent plan continues to be appropriate or shall order that a new permanent plan be adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.3. However, the court shall not order a permanent plan of “return to the physical custody of the parent or legal guardian after further reunification services are offered,” as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 727.3.
(h) The status review hearings required by subdivision (c) may be heard by an administrative review panel, provided that the administrative panel meets all of the requirements listed in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (7) of subdivision (d) of Section 727.4.
(i) (1) On and after January 1, 2012, at any status review hearing at which a recommendation to terminate delinquency jurisdiction is being considered, or at the status review hearing held closest to the ward attaining 18 years of age, but no fewer than 90 days before the ward’s 18th birthday, the court shall consider whether to modify its jurisdiction pursuant to Section 601 or 602 and assume transition jurisdiction over the minor pursuant to Section 450. The probation department shall address this issue in its report to the court and make a recommendation as to whether transition jurisdiction is appropriate for the minor.
(2) The court shall order the probation department or the minor’s attorney to submit an application to the child welfare services department pursuant to Section 329 to declare the minor a dependent of the court and modify its jurisdiction from delinquency to dependency jurisdiction if it finds both of the following:
(A) The ward does not come within the description set forth in Section 450, but jurisdiction as a ward may no longer be required.
(B) The ward appears to come within the description of Section 300 and cannot be returned home safely.
(3) The court shall set a hearing within 20 judicial days of the date of its order issued pursuant to paragraph (2) to review the decision of the child welfare services department and may either affirm the decision not to file a petition pursuant to Section 300 or order the child welfare services department to file a petition pursuant to Section 300.
(j) On and after January 1, 2012, if a review hearing pursuant to this section is the last review hearing to be held before the minor attains 18 years of age, the court shall ensure that the minor’s transitional independent living case plan includes a plan for the minor to meet one or more of the criteria in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, so that the minor can become a nonminor dependent, and that the minor has been informed of his or her right to decline to become a nonminor dependent and to seek termination of the court’s jurisdiction pursuant to Section 607.2.

SEC. 13.

 Section 727.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

727.3.
 The purpose of this section is to provide a means to monitor the safety and well-being of every minor in foster care who has been declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 601 or 602 and to ensure that everything reasonably possible is done to facilitate the safe and early return of the minor to his or her own home or to establish an alternative permanent plan for the minor.
(a) (1) For every minor declared a ward and ordered to be placed in foster care, a permanency planning hearing shall be conducted within 12 months of the date the minor entered foster care, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 727.4. Subsequent permanency planning hearings shall be conducted periodically, but no less frequently than once every 12 months thereafter during the period of placement. It shall be the duty of the probation officer to prepare a written social study report including an updated case plan and a recommendation for a permanent plan, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 706.5, and submit the report to the court prior to each permanency planning hearing, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.4.
(2) Prior to any permanency planning hearing involving a minor in the physical custody of a community care facility or foster family agency, the facility or agency may file with the court a report containing its recommendations, in addition to the probation officer’s social study. Prior to any permanency planning hearing involving the physical custody of a foster parent, relative caregiver, preadoptive parent, or legal guardian, that person may present to the court a report containing his or her recommendations. The court shall consider all reports and recommendations filed pursuant to this subdivision.
(3) If the minor has a continuing involvement with his or her parents or legal guardians, the parents or legal guardians shall be involved in the planning for a permanent placement. The court order placing the minor in a permanent placement shall include a specification of the nature and frequency of visiting arrangements with the parents or legal guardians.
(4) At each permanency planning hearing, the court shall order a permanent plan for the minor, as described in subdivision (b). The court shall also make findings, as described in subdivision (e) of Section 727.2. In the case of a minor who has reached 16 years of age or older, the court shall, in addition, determine the services needed to assist the minor to make the transition from foster care to successful adulthood. The court shall make all of these determinations on a case-by-case basis and make reference to the probation officer’s report, the case plan, or other evidence relied upon in making its decisions.
(5) When the minor is 16 years of age or older, and is in another planned permanent living arrangement, the court, at each permanency planning hearing, shall do all of the following:
(A) Ask the minor about his or her desired permanency outcome.
(B) Review documentation of intensive and ongoing efforts, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to place the child in a permanent family.
(C) Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the hearing date, another planned permanent living arrangement is the best permanency plan for the minor.
(D) State for the record the compelling reason or reasons why it continues not to be in the best interest of the minor to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed with a legal guardian, or be placed with a fit and willing relative.
(b) At all permanency planning hearings, the court shall determine the permanent plan for the minor. The court shall order one of the following permanent plans, which are, in order of priority:
(1) Return of the minor to the physical custody of the parent or legal guardian. After considering the admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order the return of the minor to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless:
(A) Reunification services were not offered, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.2.
(B) The court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return of the minor to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional well-being of the minor. The probation department shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. In making its determination, the court shall review and consider the social study report and recommendations pursuant to Section 706.5, the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed for the minor in the case, and any other reports submitted pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), and shall consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the minor and family and the extent to which the minor availed himself or herself of the services provided.
(2) Order that the permanent plan for the minor will be to return the minor to the physical custody of the parent or legal guardian, order further reunification services to be provided to the minor and his or her parent or legal guardian for a period not to exceed six months and continue the case for up to six months for a subsequent permanency planning hearing, provided that the subsequent hearing shall occur within 18 months of the date the minor was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue the case only if it finds that there is a substantial probability that the minor will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or guardian. For purposes of this section, in order to find that there is a substantial probability that the minor will be returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall be required to find that the minor and his or her parent or legal guardian have demonstrated the capacity and ability to complete the objectives of the case plan.
(A) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if the minor cannot be returned home by the next permanency planning hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 727.31 may be initiated.
(B) The court shall not continue the case for further reunification services if it has been 18 months or more since the date the minor was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian.
(3) Identify adoption as the permanent plan and order that a hearing be held within 120 days, pursuant to the procedures described in Section 727.31. The court shall only set a hearing pursuant to Section 727.31 if there is clear and convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parents. When the court sets a hearing pursuant to Section 727.31, it shall order that an adoption assessment report be prepared, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.31.
(4) Order a legal guardianship, pursuant to procedures described in subdivisions (c) to (f), inclusive, of Section 728.
(5) Place the minor with a fit and willing relative. “Placement with a fit and willing relative” means placing the minor with an appropriate approved relative who is willing to provide a permanent and stable home for the minor, but is unable or unwilling to become the legal guardian. When a minor is placed with a fit and willing relative, the court may authorize the relative to provide the same legal consent for the minor’s medical, surgical, and dental care, and education as the custodial parent of the minor.
(6) (A) (i) If he or she is 16 years of age or older, place the minor in another planned permanent living arrangement. For purposes of this section, “planned permanent living arrangement” means any permanent living arrangement described in Section 11402 that is ordered by the court for a minor 16 years of age or older when there is a compelling reason or reasons to determine that it is not in the best interest of the minor to have any permanent plan listed in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive. These plans include, but are not limited to, placement in a specific, identified foster family home, program, or facility on a permanent basis, or placement in a transitional housing placement facility. When the court places a minor in a planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall specify the goal of the placement, which may include, but shall not be limited to, return home, emancipation, guardianship, or permanent placement with a relative.
(ii) The court shall only order that the minor remain in a planned permanent living arrangement if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based upon the evidence already presented to it that there is a compelling reason, as defined in subdivision (c), for determining that a plan of termination of parental rights and adoption is not in the best interest of the minor. If the court orders that the minor remain in another planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall order the provision of child-centered permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in a planned permanent living arrangement be assessed again at the next permanency planning hearing.
(B) If the minor is under 16 years of age and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based upon the evidence already presented to it, that there is a compelling reason, as defined in subdivision (c), for determining that a plan of termination of parental rights and adoption is not in the best interest of the minor as of the hearing date, the court shall order the minor to remain in a foster care placement with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. The court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date and shall order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services unless the minor is currently placed with a fit and willing relative.
(c) A compelling reason for determining that a plan of termination of parental rights and adoption is not in the best interest of the minor is any of the following:
(1) Documentation by the probation department that adoption is not currently in the best interest of the minor and is not currently an appropriate permanency goal. That documentation may include, but is not limited to, documentation that:
(A) The minor is 12 years of age or older and objects to termination of parental rights.
(B) The minor is 17 years of age or older and specifically requests that transition to independent living with the identification of a caring adult to serve as a lifelong connection be established as his or her permanent plan. On and after January 1, 2012, this includes a minor who requests that his or her transitional independent living case plan include modification of his or her jurisdiction to that of dependency jurisdiction pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 607.2 or subdivision (i) of Section 727.2, or to that of transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 450, in order to be eligible as a nonminor dependent for the extended benefits pursuant to Section 11403.
(C) The parent or guardian and the minor have a significant bond, but the parent or guardian is unable to care for the minor because of an emotional or physical disability, and the minor’s caregiver has committed to raising the minor to the age of majority and facilitating visitation with the disabled parent or guardian.
(D) The minor agrees to continued placement in a residential treatment facility that provides services specifically designed to address the minor’s treatment needs, including child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and the minor’s needs could not be served by a less restrictive placement.
The probation department’s recommendation that adoption is not in the best interest of the minor shall be based on the present family circumstances of the minor and shall not preclude a different recommendation at a later date if the minor’s family circumstances change.
(2) Documentation by the probation department that no grounds exist to file for termination of parental rights.
(3) Documentation by the probation department that the minor is an unaccompanied refugee minor, or there are international legal obligations or foreign policy reasons that would preclude terminating parental rights.
(4) A finding by the court that the probation department was required to make reasonable efforts to reunify the minor with the family pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727.2, and did not make those efforts.
(5) Documentation by the probation department that the minor is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt the minor because of exceptional circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the minor, but who is willing and capable of providing the minor with a stable and permanent home environment, and the removal of the minor from the physical custody of his or her relative would be detrimental to the minor’s emotional well-being.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability of a parent to voluntarily relinquish his or her child to the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or to a county adoption agency at any time while the minor is a ward of the juvenile court if the department or county adoption agency is willing to accept the relinquishment.
(e) Any change in the permanent plan of a minor placed with a fit and willing relative or in a planned permanent living arrangement shall be made only by order of the court pursuant to a Section 778 petition or at a regularly scheduled and noticed status review hearing or permanency planning hearing. Any change in the permanent plan of a minor placed in a guardianship shall be made only by order of the court pursuant to a motion filed in accordance with Section 728.

SEC. 14.

 Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11400.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC)” means the aid provided on behalf of needy children in foster care under the terms of this division.
(b) “Case plan” means a written document that, at a minimum, specifies the type of home in which the child shall be placed, the safety of that home, and the appropriateness of that home to meet the child’s needs. It shall also include the agency’s plan for ensuring that the child receive proper care and protection in a safe environment, and shall set forth the appropriate services to be provided to the child, the child’s family, and the foster parents, in order to meet the child’s needs while in foster care, and to reunify the child with the child’s family. In addition, the plan shall specify the services that will be provided or steps that will be taken to facilitate an alternate permanent plan if reunification is not possible.
(c) “Certified family home” means a family residence certified by a licensed foster family agency and issued a certificate of approval by that agency as meeting licensing standards, and used only by that foster family agency for placements.
(d) “Family home” means the family residence of a licensee in which 24-hour care and supervision are provided for children.
(e) “Small family home” means any residential facility, in the licensee’s family residence, which provides 24-hour care for six or fewer foster children who have mental disorders or developmental or physical disabilities and who require special care and supervision as a result of their disabilities.
(f) “Foster care” means the 24-hour out-of-home care provided to children whose own families are unable or unwilling to care for them, and who are in need of temporary or long-term substitute parenting.
(g) “Foster family agency” means a licensed community care facility, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code. Private foster family agencies shall be organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.
(h) “Group home” means a nondetention privately operated residential home, organized and operated on a nonprofit basis only, of any capacity, or a nondetention licensed residential care home operated by the County of San Mateo with a capacity of up to 25 beds, that accepts children in need of care and supervision in a group home, as defined by paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code.
(i) “Periodic review” means review of a child’s status by the juvenile court or by an administrative review panel, that shall include a consideration of the safety of the child, a determination of the continuing need for placement in foster care, evaluation of the goals for the placement and the progress toward meeting these goals, and development of a target date for the child’s return home or establishment of alternative permanent placement.
(j) “Permanency planning hearing” means a hearing conducted by the juvenile court in which the child’s future status, including whether the child shall be returned home or another permanent plan shall be developed, is determined.
(k) “Placement and care” refers to the responsibility for the welfare of a child vested in an agency or organization by virtue of the agency or organization having (1) been delegated care, custody, and control of a child by the juvenile court, (2) taken responsibility, pursuant to a relinquishment or termination of parental rights on a child, (3) taken the responsibility of supervising a child detained by the juvenile court pursuant to Section 319 or 636, or (4) signed a voluntary placement agreement for the child’s placement; or to the responsibility designated to an individual by virtue of his or her being appointed the child’s legal guardian.
(l) “Preplacement preventive services” means services that are designed to help children remain with their families by preventing or eliminating the need for removal.
(m) “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.
(n) “Nonrelative extended family member” means an adult caregiver who has an established familial or mentoring relationship with the child, as described in Section 362.7.
(o) “Voluntary placement” means an out-of-home placement of a child by (1) the county welfare department, probation department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1, after the parents or guardians have requested the assistance of the county welfare department and have signed a voluntary placement agreement; agreement or (2) the county welfare department licensed public or private adoption agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency, after the parents have requested the assistance of either the county welfare department, the licensed public or private adoption agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency for the purpose of adoption planning, and have signed a voluntary placement agreement.
(p) “Voluntary placement agreement” means a written agreement between either the county welfare department, probation department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1, licensed public or private adoption agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency, and the parents or guardians of a child that specifies, at a minimum, the following:
(1) The legal status of the child.
(2) The rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency in which the child is placed.
(q) “Original placement date” means the most recent date on which the court detained a child and ordered an agency to be responsible for supervising the child or the date on which an agency assumed responsibility for a child due to termination of parental rights, relinquishment, or voluntary placement.
(r) (1) “Transitional housing placement provider” means an organization licensed by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Section 1559.110 of the Health and Safety Code, to provide transitional housing to foster children at least 16 years of age and not more than 18 years of age, and nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v). A transitional housing placement provider shall be privately operated and organized on a nonprofit basis.
(2) Prior to licensure, a provider shall obtain certification from the applicable county, in accordance with Section 16522.1.
(s) “Transitional Housing Program-Plus” means a provider certified by the applicable county, in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 16522, to provide transitional housing services to former foster youth who have exited the foster care system on or after their 18th birthday.
(t) “Whole family foster home” means a new or existing family home, approved relative caregiver or nonrelative extended family member’s home, the home of a nonrelated legal guardian whose guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, certified family home, or a host family home placement of a transitional housing placement provider, that provides foster care for a minor or nonminor dependent parent and his or her child, and is specifically recruited and trained to assist the minor or nonminor dependent parent in developing the skills necessary to provide a safe, stable, and permanent home for his or her child. The child of the minor or nonminor dependent parent need not be the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Section 300 to qualify for placement in a whole family foster home.
(u) “Mutual agreement” means any of the following:
(1) A written voluntary agreement of consent for continued placement and care in a supervised setting between a minor or, on and after January 1, 2012, a nonminor dependent, and the county welfare services or probation department or tribal agency responsible for the foster care placement, that documents the nonminor’s continued willingness to remain in supervised out-of-home placement under the placement and care of the responsible county, tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement with the state pursuant to Section 10553.1, remain under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a nonminor dependent, and report any change of circumstances relevant to continued eligibility for foster care payments, and that documents the nonminor’s and social worker’s or probation officer’s agreement to work together to facilitate implementation of the mutually developed supervised placement agreement and transitional independent living case plan.
(2) An agreement, as described in paragraph (1), between a nonminor former dependent or ward in receipt of Kin-GAP payments under Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), and the agency responsible for the Kin-GAP benefits, provided that the nonminor former dependent or ward satisfies the conditions described in Section 11403.01, or one or more of the conditions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403. For purposes of this paragraph and paragraph (3), “nonminor former dependent or ward” has the same meaning as described in subdivision (aa).
(3) An agreement, as described in paragraph (1), between a nonminor former dependent or ward in receipt of AFDC-FC payments under subdivision (e) or (f) of Section 11405 and the agency responsible for the AFDC-FC benefits, provided that the nonminor former dependent or ward described in subdivision (e) of Section 11405 satisfies one or more of the conditions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and the nonminor described in subdivision (f) of Section 11405 satisfies the secondary school or equivalent training or certificate program conditions described in that subdivision.
(v) “Nonminor dependent” means, on and after January 1, 2012, a foster child, as described in Section 675(8)(B) of Title 42 of the United States Code under the federal Social Security Act who is a current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or who is a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as described in Section 450, and who satisfies all of the following criteria:
(1) He or she has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court, and is not more than 19 years of age on or after January 1, 2012, not more than 20 years of age on or after January 1, 2013, or not more than 21 years of age on or after January 1, 2014, and as described in Section 10103.5.
(2) He or she is in foster care under the placement and care responsibility of the county welfare department, county probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.
(3) He or she has a transitional independent living case plan pursuant to Section 475(8) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)), as contained in the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351), as described in Section 11403.
(w) “Supervised independent living placement” means, on and after January 1, 2012, an independent supervised setting, as specified in a nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan, in which the youth is living independently, pursuant to Section 472(c)(2) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 672(c)(2)).
(x) “Supervised independent living setting,” pursuant to Section 472(c)(2) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 672(c)(2)), includes both a supervised independent living placement, as defined in subdivision (w), and a residential housing unit certified by the transitional housing placement provider operating a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 16522.1.
(y) “Transitional independent living case plan” means, on or after January 1, 2012, a child’s case plan submitted for the last review hearing held before he or she reaches 18 years of age or the nonminor dependent’s case plan, updated every six months, that describes the goals and objectives of how the nonminor will make progress in the transition to living independently and assume incremental responsibility for adult decisionmaking, the collaborative efforts between the nonminor and the social worker, probation officer, or Indian tribal placing entity and the supportive services as described in the transitional independent living plan (TILP) to ensure active and meaningful participation in one or more of the eligibility criteria described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, the nonminor’s appropriate supervised placement setting, and the nonminor’s permanent plan for transition to living independently, which includes maintaining or obtaining permanent connections to caring and committed adults, as set forth in paragraphs (16) and (17) of subdivision (g) of Section 16501.1.
(z) “Voluntary reentry agreement” means a written voluntary agreement between a former dependent child or ward or a former nonminor dependent, who has had juvenile court jurisdiction terminated pursuant to Section 391, 452, or 607.2, and the county welfare or probation department or tribal placing entity that documents the nonminor’s desire and willingness to reenter foster care, to be placed in a supervised setting under the placement and care responsibility of the placing agency, the nonminor’s desire, willingness, and ability to immediately participate in one or more of the conditions of paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, the nonminor’s agreement to work collaboratively with the placing agency to develop his or her transitional independent living case plan within 60 days of reentry, the nonminor’s agreement to report any changes of circumstances relevant to continued eligibility for foster care payments, and (1) the nonminor’s agreement to participate in the filing of a petition for juvenile court jurisdiction as a nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 within 15 judicial days of the signing of the agreement and the placing agency’s efforts and supportive services to assist the nonminor in the reentry process, or (2) if the nonminor meets the definition of a nonminor former dependent or ward, as described in subdivision (aa), the nonminor’s agreement to return to the care and support of his or her former juvenile court-appointed guardian and meet the eligibility criteria for AFDC-FC pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405.
(aa) “Nonminor former dependent or ward” means, on and after January 1, 2012, either of the following:
(1) A nonminor who reached 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement, and for whom dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction has been terminated, and who is still under the general jurisdiction of the court.
(2) A nonminor who is over 18 years of age and, while a minor, was a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court when the guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, or subdivision (d) of Section 728, and the juvenile court dependency or wardship was dismissed following the establishment of the guardianship.
(ab) “Runaway and homeless youth shelter” means a type of group home, as defined in paragraph (14) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, that is not an eligible placement option under Sections 319, 361.2, 450, and 727, and that is not eligible for AFDC-FC funding pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 11402 or Section 11462.
(ac) “Transition dependent” is a minor between 17 years and five months and 18 years of age who is subject to the court’s transition jurisdiction under Section 450.
(ad) “Short-term residential treatment center” means a nondetention, licensed community care facility, as defined in paragraph (18) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, that provides short-term, specialized, and intensive treatment for the child or youth, when the child’s or youth’s case plan specifies the need for, nature of, and anticipated duration of this specialized treatment.
(ae) “Resource family” means an approved caregiver, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 16519.5.
(af) “Core Services” mean services, made available to children, youth, and nonminor dependents either directly or secured through formal agreement with other agencies, which are trauma informed and culturally relevant as specified in Sections 11462 and 11463.
(ag) “Child-centered specialized permanency services” means services designed for, and with, the child to address the child’s history of trauma, separation, and loss. Those services shall include mental health services, as necessary, or other services that are needed to ameliorate impairments in significant areas of life functioning that may reduce the likelihood of the child achieving a permanent family. These services shall utilize family finding and engagement, including, but not limited to, using search technology and social media to locate family members, and child-specific recruitment to assist the child in achieving a permanent family through reunification, adoption, legal guardianship, or other lifelong connections to caring adults, including at least one adult who will provide a permanent, parent-like relationship for that child. These services include services designed to prepare the permanent family to meet the child’s needs, set appropriate expectations for before and after permanency, and stabilize the placement.

SEC. 15.

 Section 16501 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16501.
 (a) (1) As used in this chapter, “child welfare services” means public social services that are directed toward the accomplishment of any or all of the following purposes: protecting and promoting the welfare of all children, including disabled, homeless, dependent, or neglected children; preventing or remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems which may result in, the neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children; preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems, assisting families in resolving their problems, and preventing breakup of the family where the prevention of child removal is desirable and possible; restoring to their families children who have been removed, by the provision of services to the child and the families; identifying children to be placed in suitable adoptive homes, in cases where restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate; and ensuring adequate care of children away from their homes, in cases where the child cannot be returned home or cannot be placed for adoption.
(2) “Child welfare services” also means services provided on behalf of children alleged to be the victims of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The child welfare services provided on behalf of each child represent a continuum of services, including emergency response services, family preservation services, family maintenance services, family reunification services, and permanent placement services, including supportive transition services. The individual child’s case plan is the guiding principle in the provision of these services. The case plan shall be developed within a maximum of 60 days of the initial removal of the child or of the in-person response required under subdivision (f) if the child has not been removed from his or her home, or by the date of the dispositional hearing pursuant to Section 358, whichever comes first.
(3) “Child welfare services” are best provided in a framework that integrates service planning and delivery among multiple service systems, including the mental health system, using a team-based approach, such as a child and family team. A child and family team brings together individuals that engage with the child or youth and family in assessing, planning, and delivering services consistent with paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 16501.1. Use of a team approach increases efficiency, and thus reduces cost, by increasing coordination of formal services and integrating the natural and informal supports available to the child or youth and family.
(4) “Child and family team” means a group of individuals who are convened by the placing agency and who are engaged through a variety of team-based processes to identify the strengths and needs of the child or youth and his or her family, and to help achieve positive outcomes for safety, permanency, and well-being.
(A) The activities of the team shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(i) Providing input into the development of a child and family plan that is strengths-based, needs-driven, and culturally relevant.
(ii) Providing input into the placement decision made by the placing agency and the services to be provided in order to support the child or youth.
(B)  The child and family team process shall engage the child or youth, the child’s family, and other people important to the family or to the child or youth in meeting the objectives set forth in subparagraph (A). The child and family team shall also include representatives who provide formal supports to the child or youth and family when appropriate, including, but not limited to, the caregiver, the placing agency caseworker, a representative from a foster family agency or short-term residential treatment center with which a child or youth is placed, a county mental health representative, a representative from the regional center when the child is eligible for regional center service, and a representative of the child’s or youth’s tribe or Indian custodian, as applicable. As appropriate, the child and family team also may include other formal supports, such as substance use disorder treatment professionals and educational professionals, providing services to the child or youth and family. For purposes of this definition, the child and family team also may include extended family and informal support persons, such as friends, coaches, faith-based connections, and tribes as identified by the child or youth and family. If placement into a short-term residential treatment center or a foster family agency that provides treatment services has occurred or is being considered, the mental health representative is required to be a licensed mental health professional. Any party to the child’s case who is represented by an attorney may consult with his or her attorney regarding this process. The child or youth and his or her family may request specific persons to be included on the child and family team. Nothing shall preclude another agency serving the child or youth from convening a team in collaboration with the placing agency.
(5) Child welfare services may include, but are not limited to, a range of service-funded activities, including case management, counseling, emergency shelter care, emergency in-home caretakers, temporary in-home caretakers, respite care, therapeutic day services, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parenting training, substance abuse testing, and transportation. These service-funded activities shall be available to children and their families in all phases of the child welfare program in accordance with the child’s case plan and departmental regulations. Funding for services is limited to the amount appropriated in the annual Budget Act and other available county funds.
(6) Service-funded activities to be provided may be determined by each county, based upon individual child and family needs as reflected in the service plan.
(7) As used in this chapter, “emergency shelter care” means emergency shelter provided to children who have been removed pursuant to Section 300 from their parent or parents or their guardian or guardians. The department may establish, by regulation, the time periods for which emergency shelter care shall be funded. For the purposes of this paragraph, “emergency shelter care” may include “transitional shelter care facilities” as defined in paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) As used in this chapter, “respite care” means temporary care for periods not to exceed 72 hours, and, in order to preserve the placement, may be extended up to 14 days in any one month pending the development of policies and regulations in consultation with county placing agencies and stakeholders. This care may be provided to the child’s parents or guardians. This care shall not be limited by regulation to care over 24 hours. These services shall not be provided for the purpose of routine, ongoing child care.
(c) The county shall provide child welfare services as needed pursuant to an approved service plan and in accordance with regulations promulgated, in consultation with the counties, by the department. Counties may contract for service-funded activities as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). Counties shall not contract for needs assessment, client eligibility determination, or any other activity as specified by regulations of the State Department of Social Services, except as specifically authorized in Section 16100.
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect duties which are delegated to probation officers pursuant to Sections 601 and 654.
(e) Any county may utilize volunteer individuals to supplement professional child welfare services by providing ancillary support services in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Department of Social Services.
(f) As used in this chapter, emergency response services consist of a response system providing in-person response, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, as required by Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code for the purpose of investigation pursuant to Section 11166 of the Penal Code and to determine the necessity for providing initial intake services and crisis intervention to maintain the child safely in his or her own home or to protect the safety of the child. County welfare departments shall respond to any report of imminent danger to a child immediately and all other reports within 10 calendar days. An in-person response is not required when the county welfare department, based upon an evaluation of risk, determines that an in-person response is not appropriate. This evaluation includes collateral, contacts, a review of previous referrals, and other relevant information, as indicated.
(g) As used in this chapter, family maintenance services are activities designed to provide in-home protective services to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, for the purposes of preventing separation of children from their families.
(h) As used in this chapter, family reunification services are activities designed to provide time-limited foster care services to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, when the child cannot safely remain at home, and needs temporary foster care, while services are provided to reunite the family.
(i) (1) As used in this chapter, permanent placement services are activities designed to provide an alternate permanent family structure for children who because of abuse, neglect, or exploitation cannot safely remain at home and who are unlikely to ever return home. These services shall be provided on behalf of children for whom there has been a judicial determination of a permanent plan for adoption, legal guardianship, placement with a fit and willing relative, or continued foster care placement, and, as needed to achieve a permanent family, shall include child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. Permanent placement services for nonminor dependents may include child-centered specialized permanency services and shall include supportive transition services.
(2) For purposes of this section, “another planned permanent living arrangement” means a permanent plan ordered by the court for a child 16 years of age or older or a nonminor dependent, when there is a compelling reason or reasons to determine that it is not in the best interest of the child or nonminor dependent to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, or be placed with a fit and willing relative. Placement in a group home, or, on and after January 1, 2017, a short-term residential treatment facility, shall not be the identified permanent plan for any child or nonminor dependent.
(j) As used in this chapter, family preservation services include those services specified in Section 16500.5 to avoid or limit out-of-home placement of children, and may include those services specified in that section to place children in the least restrictive environment possible.
(k) (1) (A) In any county electing to implement this subdivision, all county welfare department employees who have frequent and routine contact with children shall, by February 1, 1997, and all welfare department employees who are expected to have frequent and routine contact with children and who are hired on or after January 1, 1996, and all such employees whose duties change after January 1, 1996, to include frequent and routine contact with children, shall, if the employees provide services to children who are alleged victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, sign a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding any prior criminal conviction, and shall provide a set of fingerprints to the county welfare director.
(B) The county welfare director shall secure from the Department of Justice a criminal record to determine whether the employee has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation. The Department of Justice shall deliver the criminal record to the county welfare director.
(C) If it is found that the employee has been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic violation, the county welfare director shall determine whether there is substantial and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that the employee is of good character so as to justify frequent and routine contact with children.
(D) No exemption shall be granted pursuant to subparagraph (C) if the person has been convicted of a sex offense against a minor, or has been convicted of an offense specified in Section 220, 243.4, 264.1, 273d, 288, or 289 of the Penal Code, or in paragraph (1) of Section 273a of, or subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 368 of, the Penal Code, or has been convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code. The county welfare director shall suspend such a person from any duties involving frequent and routine contact with children.
(E) Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), the county welfare director may grant an exemption if the employee or prospective employee, who was convicted of a crime against an individual specified in paragraph (1) or (7) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code, has been rehabilitated as provided in Section 4852.03 of the Penal Code and has maintained the conduct required in Section 4852.05 of the Penal Code for at least 10 years and has the recommendation of the district attorney representing the employee’s or prospective employee’s county of residence, or if the employee or prospective employee has received a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code. In that case, the county welfare director may give the employee or prospective employee an opportunity to explain the conviction and shall consider that explanation in the evaluation of the criminal conviction record.
(F) If no criminal record information has been recorded, the county welfare director shall cause a statement of that fact to be included in that person’s personnel file.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, a conviction means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. Any action that the county welfare director is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, notwithstanding a subsequent order pursuant to Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a of the Penal Code permitting the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment. For purposes of this subdivision, the record of a conviction, or a copy thereof certified by the clerk of the court or by a judge of the court in which the conviction occurred, shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction.

SEC. 16.

 Section 16501.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16501.1.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that the foundation and central unifying tool in child welfare services is the case plan.
(2) The Legislature further finds and declares that a case plan ensures that the child receives protection and safe and proper care and case management, and that services are provided to the child and parents or other caretakers, as appropriate, in order to improve conditions in the parent’s home, to facilitate the safe return of the child to a safe home or the permanent placement of the child, and to address the needs of the child while in foster care.
(3) The agency shall consider the recommendations of the child and family team, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501, if any are available. The agency shall document the rationale for any inconsistencies between the case plan and the child and family team recommendations.
(b) (1) A case plan shall be based upon the principles of this section and the input from the child and family team.
(2) The case plan shall document that a preplacement assessment of the service needs of the child and family, and preplacement preventive services, have been provided, and that reasonable efforts to prevent out-of-home placement have been made. Preplacement services may include intensive mental health services in the home or a community setting and the reasonable efforts made to prevent out-of-home placement.
(3) In determining the reasonable services to be offered or provided, the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concerns.
(4) Upon a determination pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reasonable services will be offered to a parent who is incarcerated in a county jail or state prison, detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, the case plan shall include information, to the extent possible, about a parent’s incarceration in a county jail or the state prison, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation during the time that a minor child of that parent is involved in dependency care.
(5) Reasonable services shall be offered or provided to make it possible for a child to return to a safe home environment, unless, pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (e) of Section 361.5, the court determines that reunification services shall not be provided.
(6) If reasonable services are not ordered, or are terminated, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanent plan and to complete all steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.
(c) If out-of-home placement is used to attain case plan goals, the case plan shall consider the recommendations of the child and family team.
(d) (1) The case plan shall include a description of the type of home or institution in which the child is to be placed, and the reasons for that placement decision. The decision regarding choice of placement shall be based upon selection of a safe setting that is the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and the most appropriate setting that meets the child’s individual needs and is available, in proximity to the parent’s home, in proximity to the child’s school, and consistent with the selection of the environment best suited to meet the child’s special needs and best interests. The selection shall consider, in order of priority, placement with relatives, nonrelated extended family members, and tribal members; foster family homes, resource families, and nontreatment certified homes of foster family agencies; followed by treatment and intensive treatment certified homes of foster family agencies; or multidimensional treatment foster care homes or therapeutic foster care homes; group care placements in the order of short-term residential treatment centers, group homes, community treatment facilities, and out-of-state residential treatment pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family Code.
(2) If a short-term intensive treatment center placement is selected for a child, the case plan shall indicate the needs of the child that necessitate this placement, the plan for transitioning the child to a less restrictive environment, and the projected timeline by which the child will be transitioned to a less restrictive environment. This section of the case plan shall be reviewed and updated at least semiannually.
(A) The case plan for placements in a group home, or commencing January 1, 2017, in a short-term residential treatment center, shall indicate that the county has taken into consideration Section 16010.8.
(B) After January 1, 2017, a child and family team meeting as defined in Section 16501 shall be convened by the county placing agency for the purpose of identifying the supports and services needed to achieve permanency and enable the child or youth to be placed in the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences.
(3) On or after January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who is receiving AFDC-FC benefits up to 21 years of age pursuant to Section 11403, in addition to the above requirements, the selection of the placement, including a supervised independent living placement, as described in subdivision (w) of Section 11400, shall also be based upon the developmental needs of young adults by providing opportunities to have incremental responsibilities that prepare a nonminor dependent to transition to successful adulthood. If admission to, or continuation in, a group home or short-term residential treatment center placement is being considered for a nonminor dependent, the group home or short-term residential treatment center placement approval decision shall include a youth-driven, team-based case planning process, as defined by the department, in consultation with stakeholders. The case plan shall consider the full range of placement options, and shall specify why admission to, or continuation in, a group home placement is the best alternative available at the time to meet the special needs or well-being of the nonminor dependent, and how the placement will contribute to the nonminor dependent’s transition to successful adulthood. The case plan shall specify the treatment strategies that will be used to prepare the nonminor dependent for discharge to a less restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences, including a target date for discharge from the group home placement. The placement shall be reviewed and updated on a regular, periodic basis to ensure that continuation in the group home placement remains in the best interests of the nonminor dependent and that progress is being made in achieving case plan goals leading to successful adulthood. The group home placement planning process shall begin as soon as it becomes clear to the county welfare department or probation office that a foster child in group home placement is likely to remain in group home placement on his or her 18th birthday, in order to expedite the transition to a less restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences, if he or she becomes a nonminor dependent. The case planning process shall include informing the youth of all of his or her options, including, but not limited to, admission to or continuation in a group home placement and the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. Consideration for continuation of existing group home placement for a nonminor dependent under 19 years of age may include the need to stay in the same placement in order to complete high school. After a nonminor dependent either completes high school or attains his or her 19th birthday, whichever is earlier, continuation in or admission to a group home placement is prohibited unless the nonminor dependent satisfies the conditions of paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and group home placement functions as a short-term transition to the appropriate system of care. Treatment services provided by the group home placement to the nonminor dependent to alleviate or ameliorate the medical condition, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, shall not constitute the sole basis to disqualify a nonminor dependent from the group home placement.
(4) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, and taking into account other statutory considerations regarding placement, the selection of the most appropriate home that will meet the child’s special needs and best interests shall also promote educational stability by taking into consideration proximity to the child’s school of origin, and school attendance area, the number of school transfers the child has previously experienced, and the child’s school matriculation schedule, in addition to other indicators of educational stability that the Legislature hereby encourages the State Department of Social Services and the State Department of Education to develop.
(e) A written case plan shall be completed within a maximum of 60 days of the initial removal of the child or of the in-person response required under subdivision (f) of Section 16501 if the child has not been removed from his or her home, or by the date of the dispositional hearing pursuant to Section 358, whichever occurs first. The case plan shall be updated, as the service needs of the child and family dictate. At a minimum, the case plan shall be updated in conjunction with each status review hearing conducted pursuant to Sections 364, 366, 366.3, and 366.31, and the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 366.26, but no less frequently than once every six months. Each updated case plan shall include a description of the services that have been provided to the child under the plan and an evaluation of the appropriateness and effectiveness of those services.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that extending the maximum time available for preparing a written case plan from 30 to 60 days will afford caseworkers time to actively engage families, and to solicit and integrate into the case plan the input of the child and the child’s family, as well as the input of relatives and other interested parties.
(2) The extension of the maximum time available for preparing a written case plan from the 30 to 60 days shall be effective 90 days after the date that the department gives counties written notice that necessary changes have been made to the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) to account for the 60-day timeframe for preparing a written case plan.
(f) The child welfare services case plan shall be comprehensive enough to meet the juvenile court dependency proceedings requirements pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 300) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2.
(g) The case plan shall be developed considering the recommendations of the child and family team, as follows:
(1) The case plan shall be based upon an assessment of the circumstances that required child welfare services intervention. The child shall be involved in developing the case plan as age and developmentally appropriate.
(2) The case plan shall identify specific goals and the appropriateness of the planned services in meeting those goals.
(3) The case plan shall identify the original allegations of abuse or neglect, as defined in Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code, or the conditions cited as the basis for declaring the child a dependent of the court pursuant to Section 300, or all of these, and the other precipitating incidents that led to child welfare services intervention.
(4) The case plan shall include a description of the schedule of the placement agency contacts with the child and the family or other caretakers. The frequency of these contacts shall be in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Department of Social Services. If the child has been placed in foster care out of state, the county social worker or probation officer, or a social worker or probation officer on the staff of the agency in the state in which the child has been placed, shall visit the child in a foster family home or the home of a relative, consistent with federal law and in accordance with the department’s approved state plan. For children in out-of-state group home facilities, visits shall be conducted at least monthly, pursuant to Section 16516.5. At least once every six months, at the time of a regularly scheduled placement agency contact with the foster child, the child’s social worker or probation officer shall inform the child of his or her rights as a foster child, as specified in Section 16001.9. The social worker or probation officer shall provide the information to the child in a manner appropriate to the age or developmental level of the child.
(5) (A) When out-of-home services are used, the frequency of contact between the natural parents or legal guardians and the child shall be specified in the case plan. The frequency of those contacts shall reflect overall case goals, and consider other principles outlined in this section.
(B) Information regarding any court-ordered visitation between the child and the natural parents or legal guardians, and the terms and conditions needed to facilitate the visits while protecting the safety of the child, shall be provided to the child’s out-of-home caregiver as soon as possible after the court order is made.
(6) When out-of-home placement is made, the case plan shall include provisions for the development and maintenance of sibling relationships as specified in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of Section 16002. If appropriate, when siblings who are dependents of the juvenile court are not placed together, the social worker for each child, if different, shall communicate with each of the other social workers and ensure that the child’s siblings are informed of significant life events that occur within their extended family. Unless it has been determined that it is inappropriate in a particular case to keep siblings informed of significant life events that occur within the extended family, the social worker shall determine the appropriate means and setting for disclosure of this information to the child commensurate with the child’s age and emotional well-being. These significant life events shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(A) The death of an immediate relative.
(B) The birth of a sibling.
(C) Significant changes regarding a dependent child, unless the child objects to the sharing of the information with his or her siblings, including changes in placement, major medical or mental health diagnoses, treatments, or hospitalizations, arrests, and changes in the permanent plan.
(7) If out-of-home placement is made in a foster family home, group home, or other child care institution that is either a substantial distance from the home of the child’s parent or out of state, the case plan shall specify the reasons why that placement is in the best interest of the child. When an out-of-state group home placement is recommended or made, the case plan shall, in addition, specify compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.
(8) A case plan shall ensure the educational stability of the child while in foster care and shall include both of the following:
(A) An assurance that the placement takes into account the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.
(B) An assurance that the placement agency has coordinated with the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the child and appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement or, if remaining in that school is not in the best interests of the child, assurances by the placement agency and the local educational agency to provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school and to provide all of the child’s educational records to the new school.
(9) (A) If out-of-home services are used, or if parental rights have been terminated and the case plan is placement for adoption, the case plan shall include a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of unsupervised visitation between the child and any of the child’s siblings. This recommendation shall include a statement regarding the child’s and the siblings’ willingness to participate in unsupervised visitation. If the case plan includes a recommendation for unsupervised sibling visitation, the plan shall also note that information necessary to accomplish this visitation has been provided to the child or to the child’s siblings.
(B) Information regarding the schedule and frequency of the visits between the child and siblings, as well as any court-ordered terms and conditions needed to facilitate the visits while protecting the safety of the child, shall be provided to the child’s out-of-home caregiver as soon as possible after the court order is made.
(10) If out-of-home services are used and the goal is reunification, the case plan shall describe the services to be provided to assist in reunification and the services to be provided concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts to reunify fail. The plan shall also consider in-state and out-of-state placements, the importance of developing and maintaining sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002, and the desire and willingness of the caregiver to provide legal permanency for the child if reunification is unsuccessful.
(11) If out-of-home services are used, the child has been in care for at least 12 months, and the goal is not adoptive placement, the case plan shall include documentation of the compelling reason or reasons why termination of parental rights is not in the child’s best interest. A determination completed or updated within the past 12 months by the department when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a licensed adoption agency that it is unlikely that the child will be adopted, or that one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, shall be deemed a compelling reason.
(12) (A) Parents and legal guardians shall have an opportunity to review the case plan, and to sign it whenever possible, and then shall receive a copy of the plan. In a voluntary service or placement agreement, the parents or legal guardians shall be required to review and sign the case plan. Whenever possible, parents and legal guardians shall participate in the development of the case plan. Commencing January 1, 2012, for nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who are receiving AFDC-FC or CalWORKs assistance up to 21 years of age pursuant to Section 11403, the transitional independent living case plan, as set forth in subdivision (y) of Section 11400, shall be developed with, and signed by, the nonminor.
(B) Parents and legal guardians shall be advised that, pursuant to Section 1228.1 of the Evidence Code, neither their signature on the child welfare services case plan nor their acceptance of any services prescribed in the child welfare services case plan shall constitute an admission of guilt or be used as evidence against the parent or legal guardian in a court of law. However, they shall also be advised that the parent’s or guardian’s failure to cooperate, except for good cause, in the provision of services specified in the child welfare services case plan may be used in any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25 of this code as evidence.
(13) A child shall be given a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of the case plan and state his or her preference for foster care placement. A child who is 12 years of age or older and in a permanent placement shall also be given the opportunity to review the case plan, sign the case plan, and receive a copy of the case plan.
(14) The case plan shall be included in the court report and shall be considered by the court at the initial hearing and each review hearing. Modifications to the case plan made during the period between review hearings need not be approved by the court if the casework supervisor for that case determines that the modifications further the goals of the plan. If out-of-home services are used with the goal of family reunification, the case plan shall consider and describe the application of subdivision (b) of Section 11203.
(15) (A) If the case plan has as its goal for the child a permanent plan of adoption or legal guardianship, it shall include a statement of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes. The agency shall also include documentation of the steps the agency is taking to find an adoptive family or other permanent living arrangements for the child, to place the child with an adoptive family, an appropriate and willing relative, or a legal guardian, and to finalize the adoption or legal guardianship. At a minimum, the documentation shall include child-specific recruitment efforts, such as the use of state, regional, and national adoption exchanges, including electronic exchange systems, when the child has been freed for adoption. The documentation shall also reflect the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. Regardless of whether the child has been freed for adoption, documentation shall include a description of any barriers to achieving legal permanence and the steps the agency will take to address those barriers, including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If the plan is for kinship guardianship, the case plan shall document how the child meets the kinship guardianship eligibility requirements.
(B) When the child is 16 years of age or older and is in another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan shall identify the intensive and ongoing efforts, including child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to return the child to the home of the parent, place the child for adoption, place the child for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, establish a legal guardianship, or place the child nonminor dependent with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. Efforts shall include the use of technology, including social media, to find biological family members of the child.
(16) (A) (i) For a child who is 14 or 15 years of age, the case plan shall include a written description of the programs and services that will help the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, to prepare for the transition from foster care to successful adulthood. The description may be included in the document described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (18).
(ii) When appropriate, for a child who is 16 years of age or older and, commencing January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the case plan shall include the transitional independent living plan (TILP), a written description of the programs and services that will help the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, to prepare for the transition from foster care to successful adulthood, and, in addition, whether the youth has an in-progress application pending for Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits or for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or other applicable application for legal residency and an active dependency case is required for that application. When appropriate, for a nonminor dependent, the transitional independent living case plan, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, shall include the TILP, a written description of the programs and services that will help the nonminor dependent, consistent with his or her best interests, to prepare for transition from foster care and assist the youth in meeting the eligibility criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403. If applicable, the case plan shall describe the individualized supervision provided in the supervised independent living placement as defined in subdivision (w) of Section 11400. The case plan shall be developed with the child or nonminor dependent and individuals identified as important to the child or nonminor dependent, and shall include steps the agency is taking to ensure that the child or nonminor dependent achieves permanence, including maintaining or obtaining permanent connections to caring and committed adults.
(B) During the 90-day period prior to the participant attaining 18 years of age or older as the state may elect under Section 475(8)(B)(iii) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)(B)(iii)), whether during that period foster care maintenance payments are being made on the child’s behalf or the child is receiving benefits or services under Section 477 of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 677), a caseworker or other appropriate agency staff or probation officer and other representatives of the participant, as appropriate, shall provide the youth or nonminor dependent with assistance and support in developing the written 90-day transition plan, that is personalized at the direction of the child, information as detailed as the participant elects that shall include, but not be limited to, options regarding housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and workforce supports and employment services, a power of attorney for health care, and information regarding the advance health care directive form.
(C) For youth 14 years of age or older, the case plan shall include documentation that a consumer credit report was requested annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at no charge to the youth and that any results were provided to the youth. For nonminor dependents, the case plan shall include documentation that the county assisted the nonminor dependent in obtaining his or her reports. The case plan shall include documentation of barriers, if any, to obtaining the credit reports. If the consumer credit report reveals any accounts, the case plan shall detail how the county ensured the youth received assistance with interpreting the credit report and resolving any inaccuracies, including any referrals made for the assistance.
(17) For youth 14 years of age or older and nonminor dependents, the case plan shall be developed in consultation with the youth. At the youth’s option, the consultation may include up to two members of the case planning team who are chosen by the youth and who are not foster parents of, or caseworkers for, the youth. The agency, at any time, may reject an individual selected by the youth to be a member of the case planning team if the agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the youth’s best interest. One individual selected by the youth to be a member of the case planning team may be designated to be the youth’s adviser and advocate with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the youth, as necessary.
(18) For youth in foster care 14 years of age and older and nonminor dependents, the case plan shall include both of the following:
(A) A document that describes the youth’s rights with respect to education, health, visitation, and court participation, the right to be annually provided with copies of his or her credit reports at no cost while in foster care pursuant to Section 10618.6, and the right to stay safe and avoid exploitation.
(B) A signed acknowledgment by the youth that he or she has been provided a copy of the document and that the rights described in the document have been explained to the youth in an age-appropriate manner.
(19) The case plan for a child or nonminor dependent who is, or who is at risk of becoming, the victim of commercial sexual exploitation, shall document the services provided to address that issue.
(h) If the court finds, after considering the case plan, that unsupervised sibling visitation is appropriate and has been consented to, the court shall order that the child or the child’s siblings, the child’s current caregiver, and the child’s prospective adoptive parents, if applicable, be provided with information necessary to accomplish this visitation. This section does not require or prohibit the social worker’s facilitation, transportation, or supervision of visits between the child and his or her siblings.
(i) The case plan documentation on sibling placements required under this section shall not require modification of existing case plan forms until the Child Welfare Service/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) is implemented on a statewide basis.
(j) When a child is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, the case plan shall include an identification of individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The social worker or probation officer shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any other child to provide that information, or may seek that information from the child and family team, as appropriate. The social worker or probation officer shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.
(k) The child’s caregiver shall be provided a copy of a plan outlining the child’s needs and services. The nonminor dependent’s caregiver shall be provided with a copy of the nonminor’s TILP.
(l) Each county shall ensure that the total number of visits made by caseworkers on a monthly basis to children in foster care during a federal fiscal year is not less than 95 percent of the total number of those visits that would occur if each child were visited once every month while in care and that the majority of the visits occur in the residence of the child. The county child welfare and probation departments shall comply with data reporting requirements that the department deems necessary to comply with the federal Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-288) and the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-34).
(m) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subdivision (i) enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase, as provided in Section 366.35.

SEC. 17.

 To the extent that this act has an overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a local agency for programs or levels of service mandated by the 2011 Realignment Legislation within the meaning of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, it shall apply to local agencies only to the extent that the state provides annual funding for the cost increase. Any new program or higher level of service provided by a local agency pursuant to this act above the level for which funding has been provided shall not require a subvention of funds by the state nor otherwise be subject to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.