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AB-1984 Foster youth: enrichment activities.(2015-2016)

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AB1984:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 20, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 31, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1984


Introduced by Assembly Member Linder

February 16, 2016


An act to add and repeal Section 16007 to of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1984, as amended, Linder. Foster youth: enrichment activities.
Existing law provides that it is the policy of the state that all minors and nonminors in foster care have specified rights, including, among others, the right to attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities, consistent with the child’s age and developmental level, with minimal disruptions to school attendance and educational stability.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, on or before March 1, 2017, to convene a workgroup and would require the workgroup to develop an implementation plan for the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2018, upon appropriation by the Legislature and in consideration of the implementation plan, to establish that program in order to provide grants of $500 or less to qualified foster youth to enable the foster youth to participate in activities that enhance the foster youth’s skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being. The bill would specify eligibility criteria for receipt of a grant and the authorized uses of a grant. The bill would require a recipient, within 6 months after receipt of a grant, to submit documentation that describes how the grant was used and the actual cost, supported by copies of receipts, of the program, product, or service, and directly related costs, purchased with the grant. The bill would require the department, on or before January 1, 2021, to submit a report to the Legislature containing the addresses, among other things, data on the number of applications received and the number of grants awarded. The bill would repeal these provisions on January 1, 2022.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) California foster youth face many challenges. Approximately three-fourths of youth in foster care have spent two or more years in the system between birth and 12th grade. While in foster care, about 70 percent of youth had three or more placements. Less than half of all foster youth complete high school.
(b) Although the state has seen a reduction in the number of children in foster care and a decreased reliance on group homes, it continues to struggle to find stable, fulfilling families for children.
(c) Participating in enrichment activities, including, but not limited to, sports leagues, camps, college preparation courses, arts, music, and formative social experiences, can greatly contribute to a foster youth’s sense of normalcy and increase the likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 16007 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
16007.

(a)(1)The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(A)California foster youth face many challenges. Approximately three-fourths of youth in foster care have spent two or more years in the system between birth and 12th grade. While in foster care, about 70 percent of youth had three or more placements. Less than half of all foster youth complete high school.

(B)Although the state has seen a reduction in the number of children in foster care and a decreased reliance on group homes, it continues to struggle to find stable, fulfilling families for children.

(C)Participating in enrichment activities, including, but not limited to, sports leagues, camps, college preparation courses, arts, music, and formative social experiences, can greatly contribute to a foster youth’s sense of normalcy and increase the likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood.

(2)

16007.
 (a) The purpose of this section is to establish the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program, which will provide grants to foster youth to participate in activities that enhance their skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being.
(b) On or before March 1, 2017, the State Department of Social Services shall convene a workgroup composed of individuals and groups that represent the interests of foster youth. The workgroup shall develop an implementation plan to maximize the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program’s impact.
(c) On or before January 1, 2018, upon appropriation by the Legislature and in consideration of the plan developed pursuant to subdivision (b), the State Department of Social Services shall establish the California Foster Youth Enrichment Grant Program to provide grants to qualified foster youth to enable the foster youth to participate in activities that enhance the foster youth’s skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being.

(d)Grant applicants shall meet all of the following criteria immediately prior to approval of a grant:

(1)Be a California foster youth between six years of age and 17 years of age, inclusive, or a California nonminor dependent.

(2)Be placed in a foster family home, certified family home, or group home.

(3)Be enrolled in a California school.

(d) A grant shall be awarded to a foster youth who meets all of the following eligibility criteria:
(1) Is in foster care under the placement and care responsibility of a county welfare department, county probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.
(2) Is 6 years of age to 21 years of age, inclusive.
(3) Is enrolled in an elementary, middle, or high school, or an equivalent educational program, or in a postsecondary educational institution in California.

(e)(1) Grants

(e) Grants awarded under this section for activities that contribute to the enhancement of an individual foster youth’s skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being shall be five hundred dollars ($500) or less and less. Grants shall be used to fund a program, service, or product, and any directly related costs, that provide any of the following to a foster youth:

(A)

(1) Skill development, including, but not limited to, lessons in music, dance, or drama, and the rental or purchase of equipment needed to further skill development.

(B)

(2) Academic or school-related assistance, including, but not limited to, school trips, college campus visits, Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam fees, test preparation courses or materials, and books.

(C)

(3) Recreational or social participation, including, but not limited to, summer camp attendance, sports league participation, school-sponsored formal dance attendance, and participation in school graduation activities.

(2)Grants shall not be awarded to fund any activity that does not directly contribute to the enhancement of an individual foster youth’s skills, abilities, self-esteem, or overall well-being, including, but not limited to, either of the following:

(A)Child care expenses for the foster youth or his or her child.

(B)A vacation with the foster youth’s foster family.

(f) Applications for grants under this section shall be on forms developed by the department, and shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Evidence that the applicant meets the eligibility criteria specified in subdivision (d).
(2) A description of the need for and proposed use of the grant, the anticipated cost of the program, product, or service, and directly related costs, and the projected benefit to the foster youth.
(3) Any other information that the department determines is necessary to further the intent of this section.
(g) Within six months after a grant is awarded, the recipient shall submit documentation, on forms developed by the department, that describes how the grant was used and the actual cost, supported by copies of receipts, of the program, product, or service, and directly related costs, purchased with the grant. A foster youth shall not be eligible for a subsequent grant until this documentation is received.
(h) (1) On or before January 1, 2021, the department shall submit a report to the Legislature that addresses, at a minimum, all of the following:
(A) Data on the number of applications received, aggregated by year.
(B) Data on the number of grants awarded, aggregated by year.
(C) Data on the programs, products, or services, and directly related costs, the grants were used to fund, aggregated by year.
(D) A description of the documentation a recipient is required to submit pursuant to subdivision (g).
(E) Data on the number of recipients who provided the documentation required pursuant to subdivision (g) and who did not provide the documentation required by subdivision (g), aggregated by year.
(2) The report required pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(i) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department explore the feasibility of transitioning the program to private funding and control.
(j) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2022, deletes or extends that date.