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AB-1164 Foster care placement: funding.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM
AB1164:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1164


Introduced by Assembly Member Thurmond

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 8212 of the Education Code, and to amend Section 11460 of, and to add Section 11461.6 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1164, as introduced, Thurmond. Foster care placement: funding.
Existing law, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) program, requires foster care providers to be paid a per-child per-month rate, established by the State Department of Social Services, for the care and supervision of the child placed with the provider. Existing law defines “care and supervision” to include, among others, food, clothing, shelter, and daily supervision.
This bill would establish the Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children (bridge program). The bill would authorize, contingent upon an appropriation of $22,000,000 annually, county welfare departments to administer the bridge program and distribute vouchers to children between birth and 4 years of age, placed with an approved resource family or the child of a young parent involved in the child welfare system. The bill would require, for counties that choose to participate, that county welfare departments determine eligibility for the bridge program and provide a monthly voucher for child care for up to 6 months following the child’s initial placement, unless the child and resource family are able to access long-term, subsidized child care prior to the end of the 6-month period. The bill would allow eligibility for a child care voucher to be extended for 6 months, at the discretion of the county welfare department, if the child and resource family have been unable to access long-term, subsidized child care during the initial 6-month period. The bill would require that each child receiving a monthly child care voucher be provided with a child care navigator, as specified.
The bill would provide that “daily supervision,” for purposes of payments to foster care providers, may include licensed child care if work responsibilities preclude a resource family from being at home when the child for whom they have care and responsibility is not in school. The bill would make other conforming changes.
Existing law establishes the California Child Care Initiative Project for certain purposes, including increasing the availability of qualified child care programs in the state and establishing child care resource and referral programs to serve a defined geographic area.
This bill would require, contingent upon an appropriation of $4,000,000 annually, each child care resource and referral program to provide a child care navigator to support children in foster care and children previously in foster care upon return to their home of origin. The bill would also require, contingent upon an appropriation of $5,000,000 annually, the child care resource and referral program to provide trauma-informed training and coaching to child care providers working with children in the foster care system.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 8212 of the Education Code is amended to read:

8212.
 (a) For purposes of this article, child care resource and referral programs, established to serve a defined geographic area, shall provide the following services:

(a)

(1) Identification of the full range of existing child care services through information provided by all relevant public and private agencies in the areas of service, and the development of a resource file of those services which shall be maintained and updated at least quarterly. These services shall include, but not be limited to, family day care homes, public and private day care programs, full-time and part-time programs, and infant, preschool, and extended care programs.
The resource file shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:

(1)

(A) Type of program.

(2)

(B) Hours of service.

(3)

(C) Ages of children served.

(4)

(D) Fees and eligibility for services.

(5)

(E) Significant program information.

(b)(1)

(2) (A) Establishment of a referral process which responds to parental need for information and which is provided with full recognition of the confidentiality rights of parents. Resource and referral programs shall make referrals to licensed child day care facilities. Referrals shall be made to unlicensed care facilities only if there is no requirement that the facility be licensed. The referral process shall afford parents maximum access to all referral information. This access shall include, but is not limited to, telephone referrals to be made available for at least 30 hours per week as part of a full week of operation. Every effort shall be made to reach all parents within the defined geographic area, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(A)

(i) Toll-free telephone lines.

(B)

(ii) Office space convenient to parents and providers.

(C)

(iii) Referrals in languages which are spoken in the community.
Each child care resource and referral program shall publicize its services through all available media sources, agencies, and other appropriate methods.

(2)(A)

(B) (i) Provision of information to any person who requests a child care referral of his or her right to view the licensing information of a licensed child day care facility required to be maintained at the facility pursuant to Section 1596.859 of the Health and Safety Code and to access any public files pertaining to the facility that are maintained by the State Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division.

(B)

(ii) A written or oral advisement in substantially the following form will comply with the requirements of subparagraph (A): clause (i):
“State law requires licensed child day care facilities to make accessible to the public a copy of any licensing report pertaining to the facility that documents a facility visit or a substantiated complaint investigation. In addition, a more complete file regarding a child care licensee may be available at an office of the State Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division. You have the right to access any public information in these files.”

(c)

(3) Maintenance of ongoing documentation of requests for service tabulated through the internal referral process. The following documentation of requests for service shall be maintained by all child care resource and referral programs:

(1)

(A) Number of calls and contacts to the child care information and referral program or component.

(2)

(B) Ages of children served.

(3)

(C) Time category of child care request for each child.

(4)

(D) Special time category, such as nights, weekends, and swing shift.

(5)

(E) Reason that the child care is needed.
This information shall be maintained in a manner that is easily accessible for dissemination purposes.

(d)

(4) Provision of technical assistance to existing and potential providers of all types of child care services. This assistance shall include, but not be limited to:

(1)

(A) Information on all aspects of initiating new child care services including, but not limited to, licensing, zoning, program and budget development, and assistance in finding this information from other sources.

(2)

(B) Information and resources that help existing child care services providers to maximize their ability to serve the children and parents of their community.

(3)

(C) Dissemination of information on current public issues affecting the local and state delivery of child care services.

(4)

(D) Facilitation of communication between existing child care and child-related services providers in the community served.
Services prescribed by this section shall be provided in order to maximize parental choice in the selection of child care to facilitate the maintenance and development of child care services and resources.
(5) (A) Contingent upon an appropriation of four million dollars ($4,000,000) annually for purposes of this subparagraph, provision of a child care navigator to support children in foster care, and children previously in foster care upon return to their home of origin. The navigator shall work with the child’s resource family, social worker, and child and family team to assess child care opportunities appropriate to the child’s age and needs, assist the resource family in identifying potential opportunities for an ongoing child care subsidy, assist the caregiver in completing appropriate child care program applications, and develop an overall, long-term child care plan for the child.
(B) Contingent upon an appropriation of five million dollars ($5,000,000) annually for purposes of this subparagraph, provision of trauma-informed training and coaching to child care providers working with children in the foster care system. Training shall include, but not be limited to, infant and toddler development and research-based, trauma-informed best care practices. Child care providers shall be provided with coaching to assist them in applying training techniques and strategies for working with children in foster care.

(e)

(b) (1) A program operating pursuant to this article shall, within two business days of receiving notice, remove a licensed child day care facility with a revocation or a temporary suspension order, or that is on probation from the program’s referral list.
(2) A program operating pursuant to this article shall, within two business days of receiving notice, notify all entities, operating a program under Article 3 (commencing with Section 8220) and Article 15.5 (commencing with Section 8350) in the program’s jurisdiction, of a licensed child day care facility with a revocation or a temporary suspension order, or that is on probation.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11460 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11460.
 (a) (1) Foster care providers shall be paid a per child per month rate in return for the care and supervision of the AFDC-FC child placed with them. The department is designated the single organizational unit whose duty it shall be to administer a state system for establishing rates in the AFDC-FC program. State functions shall be performed by the department or by delegation of the department to county welfare departments or Indian tribes, consortia of tribes, or tribal organizations that have entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.
(2) (A) Foster care providers that care for a child in a home-based setting described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section 11461, or in a certified home or an approved resource family of a foster family agency, shall be paid the per child per month rate as set forth in subdivision (g) of Section 11461.
(B) The basic rate paid to either a certified family home or an approved resource family of a foster family agency shall be paid by the agency to the certified family home or approved resource family from the rate that is paid to the agency pursuant to Section 11463.
(b) “Care and supervision” includes food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child’s personal incidentals, liability insurance with respect to a child, reasonable travel to the child’s home for visitation, and reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which he or she is enrolled at the time of placement. Reimbursement for the costs of educational travel, as provided for in this subdivision, shall be made pursuant to procedures determined by the department, in consultation with representatives of county welfare and probation directors, and additional stakeholders, as appropriate.
(1) (A) A child who meets the eligibility criteria of the Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children, as established by Section 11461.6, may be provided with a voucher for child care services for the child for up to six months immediately following the child’s placement as well as a child care navigator to assist the child and resource family in accessing long-term subsidized child care.
(B) “Daily supervision” includes licensed child care if work responsibilities preclude resource families from being at home when the child for whom they have care and responsibility is not in school. It also includes child care for periods when the resource family is required to participate, without the child, in activities associated with parenting a child in foster care that are beyond the scope of ordinary parental duties, including, but not limited to, attendance at administrative or judicial reviews, case conferences, and resource family training.

(1)

(2) For a child or youth placed in a short-term residential therapeutic program or a group home, care and supervision shall also include reasonable administration and operational activities necessary to provide the items listed in this subdivision.

(2)

(3) For a child or youth placed in a short-term residential therapeutic program or a group home, care and supervision may also include reasonable activities performed by social workers employed by the program provider that are not otherwise considered daily supervision or administration activities.

(3)

(4) The department, in consultation with the California State Foster Parent Association, and other interested stakeholders, shall provide information to the Legislature, no later than January 1, 2017, regarding the availability and cost for liability and property insurance covering acts committed by children in care, and shall make recommendations for any needed program development in this area.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish the maximum level of financial participation in out-of-state foster care group home program rates for placements in facilities described in subdivision (h) of Section 11402.
(1) The department shall develop regulations that establish the method for determining the level of financial participation in the rate paid for out-of-state placements in facilities described in subdivision (h) of Section 11402. The department shall consider all of the following methods:
(A) Until December 31, 2016, a standardized system based on the rate classification level of care and services per child per month.
(B) The rate developed for a short-term residential therapeutic program pursuant to Section 11462.
(C) A system that considers the actual allowable and reasonable costs of care and supervision incurred by the out-of-state program.
(D) A system that considers the rate established by the host state.
(E) Any other appropriate methods as determined by the department.
(2) Reimbursement for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care rate to be paid to an out-of-state program described in subdivision (h) of Section 11402 shall only be paid to programs that have done all of the following:
(A) Submitted a rate application to the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(i) Commencing January 1, 2017, unless granted an extension from the department pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 11462.04, the equivalent of the mental health program approval required in Section 4096.5.
(ii) Commencing January 1, 2017, unless granted an extension from the department pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 11462.04, the national accreditation required in paragraph (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 11462.
(B) Maintained a level of financial participation that shall not exceed any of the following:
(i) The current fiscal year’s standard rate for rate classification level 14 for a group home.
(ii) Commencing January 1, 2017, the current fiscal year’s rate for a short-term residential therapeutic program.
(iii) The rate determined by the ratesetting authority of the state in which the facility is located.
(C) Agreed to comply with information requests, and program and fiscal audits as determined necessary by the department.
(3) Except as specifically provided for in statute, reimbursement for an AFDC-FC rate shall only be paid to a group home or short-term residential therapeutic program organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.
(d) A foster care provider that accepts payments, following the effective date of this section, based on a rate established under this section, shall not receive rate increases or retroactive payments as the result of litigation challenging rates established prior to the effective date of this section. This shall apply regardless of whether a provider is a party to the litigation or a member of a class covered by the litigation.
(e) Nothing shall preclude a county from using a portion of its county funds to increase rates paid to family homes, foster family agencies, group homes, and short-term residential therapeutic programs within that county, and to make payments for specialized care increments, clothing allowances, or infant supplements to homes within that county, solely at that county’s expense.
(f) Nothing shall preclude a county from providing a supplemental rate to serve commercially sexually exploited foster children to provide for the additional care and supervision needs of these children. To the extent that federal financial participation is available, it is the intent of the Legislature that the federal funding shall be utilized.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11461.6 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

11461.6.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(1) When a child is first placed in foster care he or she is in crisis and in immediate need of a stable placement with a loving resource family.
(2) A barrier to finding resource families for children, especially young children, is the difficulty they experience in accessing subsidized child care for the foster child.
(3) The difficulty accessing subsidized child care at the time of placement, in addition to being a barrier to stability, can also lead to delayed placement, subsequent placement changes, or sibling separation, all of which retraumatize foster children.
(b) The Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children is hereby established for the purpose of stabilizing foster children with resource families at the time of initial placement by providing a voucher for child care and development services for up to six months immediately following the child’s placement and by providing the resource family with a child care navigator to assist the family in accessing long-term subsidized child care.
(c) Contingent upon appropriation of twenty-two million dollars ($22,000,000) annually for the purposes of this section, the Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children shall be administered by county welfare departments for counties that choose to participate in the program to distribute vouchers to eligible children. These funds may be encumbered to a local alternative payment agency pursuant to Section 8220.1 of the Education Code. If the county chooses to contract with the local alternative payment agency to provide alternative payment services, this contract shall not displace, or result in the reduction of an existing contract with, a current alternative payment program.
(d) Participating county welfare departments shall determine eligibility of a child for the Child Care Bridge Program for Foster Children and provide an eligible child between birth and four years of age placed with an approved resource family or the child of a young parent involved in the child welfare system, including a nonminor dependent, with a monthly voucher for child care commensurate with regional market rate requirements, as specified in Section 8357 of the Education Code, upon and for up to six months following the child’s initial placement.
(e) Each child receiving a monthly child care voucher shall be provided with a child care navigator, pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 8212 of the Education Code, who shall work directly with the child’s resource family, social worker, and the child and family team to assist in accessing child care at the time of placement as well as long-term, subsidized child care for the child, as necessary.
(f) Each child receiving a monthly child care voucher shall be eligible to receive child care pursuant to the voucher for up to six months. If the child and resource family access long-term, subsidized child care prior to the end of the six-month period covered by the voucher, eligibility for the monthly voucher shall terminate upon enrollment in long-term, subsidized child care.
(g) Eligibility for the monthly voucher may be extended beyond the initial six-month period for an additional six-month period, not to exceed 12 months in total, at the discretion of the county welfare department, if the child and resource family have been unable to access long-term, subsidized child care during the initial six-month period.
(h) Assistance of a child care navigator, pursuant to subdivision (e), shall be available until the child and family procures long-term, subsidized child care.