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AB-1784 Resource families: pilot program: supportive services.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/26/2018 10:00 AM
AB1784:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 13, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1784


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Acosta, Baker, Flora, Lackey, Rodriguez, Rubio, and Voepel)
(Coauthors: Senators Bates, Berryhill, Gaines, Hill, and Newman)

January 08, 2018


An act to add Section 16519.67 to, and to add and repeal Section 16519.66 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1784, as amended, Maienschein. Resource families: pilot program: supportive services.
Existing law provides for the implementation, by counties and foster family agencies, of the resource family approval process, which is a unified, family friendly, and child-centered approval process that replaces the multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving adoptive families.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services to establish and facilitate a pilot program, as specified, for counties that elect to participate, in up to five counties that voluntarily apply and are selected by the department, to increase placement stability for foster youth and facilitate greater resource family retention through strengths-based, skills-based, trauma-informed coaching. The bill would set forth the components of the pilot program and would require the department, by June 30, 2019, to convene a work group, including individual and stakeholder members, to provide consult with relevant stakeholders and to consider the stakeholders’ recommendations to the department regarding certain parameters of the pilot program, as specified. The bill would require a county that elects to participate in the pilot program to conduct at least one evaluation of the program’s impact and effectiveness on increasing placement stability for foster youth and retaining resource families in accordance with, and upon issuance of guidance from, the department, and to submit the evaluation to the department, no later than December 31, 2021. The bill would require the department to report the information provided by the counties to the Legislature, as prescribed.
This bill would require the department to inform resource families of all available state and county supportive services, and would require that information to be posted on the Internet Web sites of the department and applicable county departments, as specified.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 16519.66 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

16519.66.
 (a) (1) The department shall establish and facilitate a pilot program in any county that elects to participate up to five counties, including both rural and urban counties, that voluntarily apply and are selected by the department, to increase placement stability for foster youth and facilitate greater resource family retention through strengths-based, skills-based, trauma-informed coaching.
(2) Implementation of the pilot project shall commence after the department has received and reviewed the recommendations of the stakeholder work group described in subdivision (c), but no later than January 1, 2020.
(3) (A) A participating county shall first seek to employ current social workers who meet the criteria established by the department under subdivision (c) to serve as coaches for the pilot program, or may hire new social workers who meet the established criteria, if necessary. A social worker with a current caseload shall not be eligible to serve as a coach.
(B) A county that is unable to fill a coach position with a current social worker or new hire as provided in subparagraph (A) may contract with a private individual or entity to fill the position. A coach hired under this subparagraph shall meet the criteria established by the department under subdivision (c).
(b) The pilot program shall provide coaching to resource families who volunteer to participate in the pilot project through a trained mentor, social worker, or mental health care provider who has received the pilot program coaching training.
(1) Coaches shall assist resource families to effectively utilize and implement skills and information covered in their preapproval training pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16519.5 in order to promote a stable and nurturing home environment for youth placed in the resource family home.
(2) Participation in the pilot program shall not be a condition of resource family approval or a requirement for a resource family to receive or maintain the placement of a youth.
(c) No later than June 30, 2019, the department shall convene a work group composed of consult relevant stakeholders, including, but not limited to, foster youth, resource families, biological families, representatives of child and family services agencies, and foster family agencies. The work group shall provide recommendations to the department department shall consider stakeholder recommendations regarding certain parameters of the pilot program, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Application and selection criteria for participating counties.
(2) A skills-based, strengths-based, trauma-informed coaching program curriculum, which may include trauma-informed principles and skills for improving attachment, empathy, and self-esteem, as well as practices from California’s core practice model.
(3) Application and selection criteria for coaches.
(4) Criteria used by counties to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in achieving the overall goals of the pilot program.
(d) (1) A county that elects to participate in the pilot program pursuant to this section shall conduct at least one evaluation of the program’s impact and effectiveness on increasing placement stability for foster youth and retaining resource families in accordance with, and upon issuance of guidance from, the department. The evaluation also may include a survey of resource families exiting the program. A participating county shall submit its evaluation to the department no later than December 31, 2021.
(2) The department shall report the information provided by counties under paragraph (1) to the Legislature. The report shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(e) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2022, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 16519.67 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

16519.67.
 The department shall inform resource families of all available state and county supportive services, including, but not limited to, the availability of respite services for emergency and nonemergency situations, availability of and access to 24-hour resource hotlines, where available, and mental health services for foster youth, among others. This information shall be made available to resource families both orally and in writing, and shall be posted on the Internet Web sites of the department and applicable county departments in a manner consistent with all applicable state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws.