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AB-2944 Foster care.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/21/2020 09:00 PM
AB2944:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2944


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 21, 2020


An act to amend Sections 7911.1 and 8732 of the Family Code, to amend Sections 1517.2, 1517.5, 1524, 1524.01, 1530.5, and 1551.3 of, and to add Section 1522.45 to, the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Sections 16519.501, 16519.55, 16519.58, and 16519.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2944, as introduced, Mark Stone. Foster care.
(1) Existing law, commonly known as the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), states the intent of the Legislature to improve California’s child welfare system and its outcomes by increasing the use of home-based family care and creating faster paths to permanency resulting in shorter durations of involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, among other things.
Existing law, as part of the CCR, requires the State Department of Social Services to implement a resource family approval process, and directs counties and foster family agencies, to approve resource families, as defined, in lieu of licensing foster family homes, certifying foster homes by foster family agencies, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving guardians and adoptive families. Existing law requires a foster family agency to, and authorizes a county to, conduct a reference check of a resource family applicant before approval by contacting specified entities, including any foster family agencies that have certified the applicant.
This bill would, among other things, clarify that the reference check is to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for the approval of the resource family, and would require that a foster family agency that has previously certified the applicant or approved the applicant as a resource family to divulge information regarding the applicant within 20 business days of being contacted by a foster family agency or county conducting a reference check.
(2) Existing law authorizes a resource family that is currently approved by a foster family agency or a county to be approved by a subsequent foster family agency upon the completion of specified activities, including the resource family submitting an application and the subsequent foster family agency conducting a background check and reference check, as specified. Existing law also authorizes a resource family approved by a foster family agency to transfer their approval to a county upon the completion of similar activities.
This bill would prohibit a subsequent foster family agency or a county from approving or denying an application if there is a pending investigation that poses a health and safety risk or a pending administrative action against the applicant or an adult residing in the home. The bill would authorize the approval or denial of the application after the investigation or administrative action has concluded, and the subsequent foster family agency or county confirms that the applicant is still eligible to apply for approval and does not pose a health and safety risk to children or nonminor dependents.
(3) Existing law, the California Community Care Facilities Act, provides for the licensing and regulation of community care facilities, including foster family homes, group homes, and short-term residential therapeutic programs, by the State Department of Social Services. Existing law requires a license under the act or a resource family approval to be forfeited by operation of law under specific circumstances, including when the licensee or resource family is convicted of a specified offense for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption for. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor.
This bill would remove the above-described circumstance from the requirement that a license under the act or a resource family approval be forfeited by operation of law. The bill would require forfeiture of a group home license when the licensee transfers the group home to a short-term residential therapeutic program and receives a license for that program.
(4) Existing law requires specified proceedings under the California Community Care Facilities Act against a foster family home, certified family home, or a resource family of a foster family agency to be confidential and not open to the public in order to preserve the confidential information of a child or foster parent.
This bill would expand that confidentiality requirement to all proceedings under the act against a foster family home, certified family home, or a resource family of a foster family agency.
The bill would require all licensed community care facilities serving children to provide trauma-informed care and utilize trauma-informed practices, as defined by the department. The bill would require the department to implement this requirement, and would authorize the department to implement this requirement through interim licensing standards until the regulations are adopted. Because the failure of a licensed community care facility serving children to comply with these provisions would be a misdemeanor, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(5) Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
(6) 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.

 Section 7911.1 of the Family Code is amended to read:

7911.1.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the State Department of Social Services or its designee shall investigate any threat to the health and safety of children placed by a California county social services agency or probation department in an out-of-state group home pursuant to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. This authority shall include the authority to interview children or staff in private or review their file at the out-of-state facility or wherever the child or files may be at the time of the investigation. Notwithstanding any other law, the State Department of Social Services or its designee shall require certified out-of-state group homes to comply with the reporting requirements applicable to short-term residential therapeutic programs licensed in California for each child in care regardless of whether the child is a California placement, by submitting a copy of the required reports to the Compact Administrator within regulatory timeframes. The Compact Administrator within one business day of receiving a serious events report shall verbally notify the appropriate placement agencies and, within five working days of receiving a written report from the out-of-state group home, forward a copy of the written report to the appropriate placement agencies.
(b) Any contract, memorandum of understanding, or agreement entered into pursuant to paragraph (b) of Article 5 of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children regarding the placement of a child out of state by a California county social services agency or probation department shall include the language set forth in subdivision (a).
(c) (1) The State Department of Social Services or its designee shall perform initial and continuing inspection of out-of-state group homes in order to either certify that the out-of-state group home meets all licensure standards required of group homes operated in California or that the department has granted a waiver to a specific licensing standard upon a finding that there exists no adverse impact to health and safety.
(2) (A) On and after January 1, 2017, the licensing standards applicable to out-of-state group homes certified by the department, as described in paragraph (1), shall be those required of short-term residential therapeutic programs operated in this state, unless the out-of-state group home is granted an extension pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 11462.04 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or has otherwise been granted a waiver pursuant to this subdivision.
(B) On and after January 1, 2017, the licensing standards applicable to out-of-state group homes certified by the department, as described in paragraph (1), shall include the licensing standards for mental health program approval described in Section 1562.01 of the Health and Safety Code. These standards may be satisfied if the out-of-state group home has an equivalent mental health program approval in the state in which it is operating. If an out-of-state group home cannot satisfy the licensing standards for an equivalent mental health program approval, children shall not be placed in that facility.
(3) In order to receive certification, the out-of-state group home shall have a current license, or an equivalent approval, in good standing issued by the appropriate authority or authorities of the state in which it is operating.
(4) On and after January 1, 2017, an out-of-state group home program shall, in order to receive an AFDC-FC rate, meet the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 11460 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(5) Failure by an out-of-state group home facility to make children or staff available as required by subdivision (a) for a private interview or make files available for review shall be grounds to deny or discontinue the certification.
(6) Certifications made pursuant to this subdivision shall be reviewed annually.
(d) A county shall be required to obtain an assessment and placement recommendation by a county multidisciplinary team prior to placement of a child in an out-of-state group home facility.
(e) Failure by an out-of-state group home to obtain or maintain its certification, as required by subdivision (c), shall preclude the use of any public funds, whether county, state, or federal, in the payment for the placement of any child in that out-of-state group home, pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
(f) (1) A multidisciplinary team shall consist of participating members from county social services, county mental health, county probation, county superintendents of schools, and other members, as determined by the county.
(2) Participants shall have knowledge or experience in the prevention, identification, and treatment of child abuse and neglect cases, and shall be qualified to recommend a broad range of services related to child abuse or neglect.
(g) (1) The department may deny, suspend, or discontinue the certification of the out-of-state group home if the department makes a finding that the group home is not operating in compliance with the requirements of subdivision (c).
(2) Any judicial proceeding to contest the department’s determination as to the status of the out-of-state group home certificate shall be held in California pursuant to Section 1085 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(h) The certification requirements of this section shall not impact placements of emotionally disturbed children made pursuant to an individualized education program developed pursuant to the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.) if the placement is not funded with federal or state foster care funds.
(i) Only an out-of-state group home authorized by the Compact Administrator to receive state funds for the placement by a county social services agency or probation department of any child in that out-of-state group home from the effective date of this section shall be eligible for public funds pending the department’s certification under this section.

SEC. 2.

 Section 8732 of the Family Code is amended to read:

8732.
 A report of a medical examination of the foster parent with whom the child has lived for a minimum of six months or the relative caregiver who has had an ongoing and significant relationship with the child shall be included in the assessment of each applicant unless the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency determines that, based on other available information, this report is unnecessary. The assessment shall require certification that the applicant and each adult residing in the applicant’s home has received a test for communicable tuberculosis.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1517.2 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1517.2.
 (a) The application form signed by a resource family applicant of a foster family agency shall be signed with a declaration by the applicant that the information submitted is true, correct, and contains no material omissions of fact to the best knowledge and belief of the applicant. Any person who willfully and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, makes a false statement or fails to disclose a material fact in his or her their application is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) (1) Before approving a resource family, a foster family agency shall conduct a reference check of the applicant to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for the foster family agency to approve the applicant to be a resource family by contacting all of the following:

(1)

(A) Any foster family agencies that have certified the applicant.

(2)

(B) Any state or county licensing offices that have licensed the applicant as a foster family home.

(3)

(C) Any counties that have approved the applicant as a relative or nonrelative extended family member.

(4)

(D) Any foster family agencies or counties that have approved the applicant as a resource family.

(5)

(E) Any state licensing offices that have licensed the applicant as a community care facility, child day care daycare center, or family child care childcare home.
(F) Any Indian tribe, as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(8)), that has approved or licensed an applicant in any of the categories described in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (c), within 20 business days of being contacted by a foster family agency, a foster family agency that has previously certified the applicant or approved the applicant as a resource family shall divulge information regarding the applicant to the requesting foster family agency conducting a reference check.
(c) The department, a county, or a foster family agency agency, or an Indian tribe may request information from, or divulge information to, the department, a county, or a foster family agency agency, or an Indian tribe regarding a prospective resource family for the purpose of conducting, and as necessary to conduct, a reference check to determine whether it is safe and appropriate to approve an applicant to be a resource family.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1517.5.
 (a) A resource family currently approved by a foster family agency pursuant to this section or Section 1517 may be approved by a subsequent foster family agency upon the successful completion of activities, as specified by the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The resource family shall complete the following activities:
(A) Submit an application for resource family approval to the subsequent foster family agency.
(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of Section 1522, comply with the criminal record clearance requirements set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code as part of an approval update with the subsequent foster family agency, including the submission of fingerprints pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code.
(C) Cooperate with the subsequent foster family agency in conducting an approval update, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(2) (A) The subsequent foster family agency shall complete all of the following activities:

(A)

(i) Conduct a background check of the resource family and all adults residing or regularly present in the home in accordance with Section 1517 and as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(B)

(ii) Conduct a reference check pursuant to Section 1517.2.

(C)

(iii) Complete an approval update for the resource family family, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(i)

(I) The subsequent foster family agency shall request a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family from the current foster family agency, and documents in the resource family case record, including any updates to the resource family case record, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, from the current foster family agency.

(ii)

(II) The current foster family agency shall forward a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family to the subsequent foster family agency, and documents in the resource family case record, including any updates to the resource family case record, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, to the subsequent foster family agency within 20 business days of receipt of the request.
(B) (i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a subsequent foster family agency shall not approve or deny an application if there is a pending investigation that poses a health and safety risk or a pending administrative action against the applicant or an adult residing in the home, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(ii) A subsequent foster family agency may approve or deny the application after the investigation or administrative action has concluded, and the subsequent foster family agency confirms the applicant is still eligible to apply for approval and does not pose a health and safety risk to children or nonminor dependents.
(b) A resource family currently approved by a county pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code may be approved by a subsequent foster family agency upon the successful completion of activities, as specified by the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The resource family shall complete all of the following activities:
(A) Submit an application for resource family approval to the subsequent foster family agency.
(B) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of Section 1522, comply with the criminal record clearance requirements set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code as part of an approval update with the subsequent foster family agency, including the submission of fingerprints pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code.
(C) Cooperate with the subsequent foster family agency in conducting an approval update, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(2) (A) The subsequent foster family agency shall complete all of the following activities:

(A)

(i) Conduct a background check of the resource family and all adults residing or regularly present in the home in accordance with Section 1517 and as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(B)

(ii) Conduct a reference check pursuant to Section 1517.2.

(C)

(iii) Complete an approval update for the resource family, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(i)

(I) The subsequent foster family agency shall request a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family, and documents in the resource family file, including any updates to the resource family file, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, from the county.

(ii)

(II) The county shall forward a copy of the written report and any updates to the written report completed pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code regarding the resource family, and documents in the resource family file, including any updates to the resource family file, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, to the subsequent foster family agency within 20 business days of receipt of the request.
(B) (i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a subsequent foster family agency shall not approve or deny an application if there is a pending investigation that poses a health and safety risk or a pending administrative action against the applicant or an adult residing in the home as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(ii) A subsequent foster family agency may approve or deny the application after the investigation or administrative action has concluded, and the subsequent foster family agency confirms the applicant is still eligible to apply for approval and does not pose a health and safety risk to children or nonminor dependents.
(c) Resource family approval by a current foster family agency or a county shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family by a subsequent foster family agency in accordance with this section.
(d) A resource family approved pursuant to this section shall comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and comply with other applicable federal and state laws in order to maintain approval.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Current foster family agency” means a foster family agency by which a resource family is currently approved pursuant to this section or Section 1517.
(2) “Subsequent foster family agency” means a foster family agency to which a resource family has submitted an application for resource family approval pursuant to this section.
(3) “County” means a county child welfare or probation department by which a resource family is currently approved pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 5.

 Section 1522.45 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1522.45.
 (a) All licensed community care facilities serving children shall provide trauma-informed care and utilize trauma-informed practices, as defined and set forth in standards and regulations adopted by the department.
(b) The department shall adopt regulations to implement this section. Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement and administer this section through interim licensing standards until regulations are adopted.

SEC. 6.

 Section 1524 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1524.
 A license shall be forfeited by operation of law when one of the following occurs:
(a) The licensee sells or otherwise transfers the facility or facility property, except when change of ownership applies to transferring of stock when the facility is owned by a corporation, and when the transfer of stock does not constitute a majority change of ownership.
(b) The licensee surrenders the license to the department.
(c) (1) The licensee moves a facility from one location to another. The department shall develop regulations to ensure that the facilities are not charged a full licensing fee and do not have to complete the entire application process when applying for a license for the new location.
(2) This subdivision shall does not apply to a licensed foster family or a home certified by a licensed foster family agency. When a foster family home licensee or certified home parent moves to a new location, the existing license or certification may be transferred to the new location. All caregivers to whom this paragraph applies shall be required to meet all applicable licensing laws and regulations at the new location.

(d)The licensee is convicted of an offense for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522.

(e)

(d) The licensee dies. If an adult relative notifies the department of his or her the relative’s desire to continue operation of the facility and submits an application, the department shall expedite the application. The department shall promulgate regulations for expediting applications submitted pursuant to this subdivision.

(f)

(e) The licensee abandons the facility.

(g)

(f) When the certification issued by the State Department of Developmental Services to a licensee of an Adult Residential Facility for Persons with Special Health Care Needs, licensed pursuant to Article 9 (commencing with Section 1567.50), is rescinded.

(h)

(g) When the certification issued by the State Department of Developmental Services to a licensee of an enhanced behavioral supports home, licensed pursuant to Article 9.5 (commencing with Section 1567.61), is rescinded.

(i)

(h) When the certificate of program approval issued by the State Department of Developmental Services, pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 4698) of Chapter 6 of Division 4.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to a licensee of a community crisis home, licensed pursuant to Article 9.7 (commencing with Section 1567.80), is rescinded.
(i) A group home license shall be forfeited by operation of law when the licensee transitions the group home to a short-term residential therapeutic program and receives a permanent short-term residential therapeutic program license.
(j) A group home license issued to a county shall be forfeited by operation of law when the county receives a license to operate a temporary shelter care facility in accordance with Section 1530.8.
(k) A temporary shelter care facility license issued to a private, nonprofit organization under contract with a county shall be forfeited by operation of law upon termination of the contract in accordance with Section 1530.8.
(l) A foster family home license is forfeited by operation of law, as provided in Section 1517.1 of this code or Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 7.

 Section 1524.01 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1524.01.
 A resource family approval shall be forfeited by operation of law when one of the following occurs:
(a) The resource family surrenders the approval to the licensed foster family agency.

(b)The resource family is convicted of an offense for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522.

(c)

(b) The sole resource family parent dies.

(d)

(c) The resource family abandons the approved home.

(e)

(d) The resource family fails to cooperate with an annual update, as described in subparagraph (F) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 1517, within 30 days of the date of written notice by the licensed foster family agency.

(f)

(e) A resource family approval is forfeited by operation of law law, as provided in Section 1517.5 of this code or Section 16519.58 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 8.

 Section 1530.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1530.5.
 (a) The department, in establishing regulations, including provisions for periodic inspections, under this chapter for foster family homes and homes, certified family homes homes, and resource family homes of foster family agencies, shall consider these homes as private residences, and shall establish regulations for these foster family homes and homes, certified family homes homes, and resource family homes of foster family agencies as an entirely separate regulation package from regulations for all other community care facilities. Certified family homes of foster family agencies and foster family homes shall not be subject to civil penalties pursuant to this chapter, except for penalties imposed pursuant to Sections 1522 and 1547. Resource family homes of foster family agencies shall not be subject to civil penalties pursuant to this chapter, as specified in Section 16519.54 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. The department, in adopting and amending regulations for these foster family homes and certified family homes of foster family agencies, shall consult with foster parent and foster family agency organizations in order to ensure compliance with the requirement of this section.
(b) This section shall not apply to small family homes or foster family agencies as defined in Section 1502.

SEC. 9.

 Section 1551.3 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1551.3.
 Notwithstanding Sections 11425.10 and 11425.20 of the Government Code, a proceeding conducted pursuant to Section 1534, 1551, or 1558 this chapter against a foster family home, certified family home, or resource family of a foster family agency shall be confidential and not open to the public in order to preserve the confidential information of a child or foster parent consistent with the confidentiality requirements in Section 1536 of this code, Section 11167.5 of the Penal Code, and Sections 827, 10850, and 16519.55 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. Notwithstanding this requirement, an administrative law judge may admit those persons deemed to have a direct and legitimate interest in a particular case or the work of the court on a case-by-case basis and with any admonishments, limitations, or protective orders that may be necessary to preserve the confidential nature of the proceedings.

SEC. 10.

 Section 16519.501 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16519.501.
 A resource family approval shall be forfeited by operation of law when one of the following occurs:
(a) The resource family surrenders the approval to the county child welfare agency or probation department.

(b)The resource family is convicted of an offense for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(c)

(b) The sole resource family parent dies.

(d)

(c) The resource family abandons the approved home.

(e)

(d) The resource family fails to cooperate with an annual update, as described in paragraph (6) of subdivision (g) of Section 16519.5, within 30 days of the date of written notice by the county child welfare agency or probation department.

(f)

(e) A resource family approval is forfeited by operation of law law, as provided in Section 16519.58 of this code or Section 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

SEC. 11.

 Section 16519.55 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16519.55.
 (a) Subject to subdivision (d), to encourage the recruitment of resource families, to protect their personal privacy, and to preserve the security of confidentiality of the placements with resource families, the names, addresses, and other identifying information of resource families shall be considered personal information for purposes of the Information Practices Act of 1977 (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1798) of Title 1.8 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code). This information shall not be disclosed by any state or local agency pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code), except as necessary for administering the resource family approval program, facilitating the placement of children with resource families, and providing names and addresses, upon request, only to bona fide professional foster parent organizations and to professional organizations educating foster parents, including the Foster and Kinship Care Education Program of the California Community Colleges.
(b) The application form signed by a resource family applicant of a county shall be signed with a declaration by the applicant that the information submitted is true, correct, and contains no material omissions of fact to the best knowledge and belief of the applicant. Any person who willfully and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, makes a false statement or fails to disclose a material fact in his or her their application is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) (1) Before approving a resource family, a county may conduct a reference check of the applicant to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for the county to approve the applicant to be a resource family by contacting the following:

(1)

(A) Any foster family agencies that have certified the applicant.

(2)

(B) Any state or county licensing offices that have licensed the applicant as a foster family home.

(3)

(C) Any counties that have approved the applicant as a relative or nonrelative extended family member.

(4)

(D) Any foster family agencies or counties that have approved the applicant as a resource family.

(5)

(E) Any state licensing offices that have licensed the applicant as a community care facility, child day care center, or family child care home.
(F) Any Indian tribe, as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(8)), that has approved or licensed an applicant in any of the categories described in subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive.
(2) Notwithstanding subdivision (d), within 20 business days of being contacted by a county, a foster family agency that has previously certified the applicant or approved the applicant as a resource family shall divulge information regarding the applicant to the county that is conducting a reference check.
(d) The department, a county, a foster family agency, or a an Indian tribe may request information from, or divulge information to, the department, a county, a foster family agency, or a an Indian tribe regarding a prospective resource family for the purpose of and as necessary to conduct a reference check to determine whether it is safe and appropriate to approve an applicant to be a resource family.

SEC. 12.

 Section 16519.58 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16519.58.
 (a) A resource family approved by a licensed foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 or 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code may transfer their approval to a county upon the successful completion of activities, as specified by the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) The resource family shall complete the following activities:
(A) Submit to the county information necessary to initiate the transfer process on a form specified by the department.
(B) Authorize the county to request that clearances and exemptions issued to the resource family and all adults residing or regularly present in the home be transferred from the department to the county pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(C) Cooperate with the county in conducting an approval update update, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.
(2) (A) The county shall complete the following activities:

(A)

(i) With respect to notifications issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code and Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code, submit a request to the Department of Justice as specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B)

(ii) Complete an approval update for the resource family as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(i)

(I) The county shall request a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family, and documents in the resource family case record, including any updates to the resource family case record, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, from the licensed foster family agency.

(ii)

(II) The licensed foster family agency shall forward a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family, and documents in the resource family case record, including any updates to the resource family case record, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, to the county within 20 business days of receipt of the request.
(B) (i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a county shall not approve or deny an application if there is a pending investigation that poses a health and safety risk or pending administrative action against the applicant or an adult residing in the home, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.
(ii) A county may approve or deny the application after the investigation or administrative action has concluded, and the county confirms the applicant is still eligible to apply for approval and does not pose a health and safety risk to children or nonminor dependents.
(b) A county may deny a resource family’s request to transfer approval to a county for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61. If the county denies a resource family’s request, the resource family shall be entitled to a hearing hearing, as specified in Section 16519.6.
(c) Resource family approval by a licensed foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 or 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code shall be forfeited by operation of law upon the transfer of the resource family approval to a county in accordance with this section.
(d) A resource family approved pursuant to this section shall comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 and comply with other applicable federal and state laws in order to maintain approval.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.
(2) “County” means a county child welfare or probation department.

SEC. 13.

 Section 16519.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16519.6.
 (a) All hearings conducted pursuant to Section 16519.5 shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of this section and the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5.
(b) For resource family hearings held at the department’s State Hearings Division, the procedures set forth in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 10950) of Part 2 shall apply, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(c) (1) For resource family hearings held at the Office of Administrative Hearings, the procedures set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) shall apply, except as otherwise provided in this article.
(2) For purposes of the administrative action procedures set forth in this article, “agency” shall mean a county or the department according to the authority to take action provided in subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 16519.5, except that “agency” shall mean the department for purposes of a decision or a posthearing procedure procedure, as provided in Sections 11517 to 11522, inclusive, of the Government Code.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding the time to appeal set forth in Section 10951 of this code and Section 1558 of the Health and Safety Code, an applicant for approval or for a criminal record exemption may file a written appeal within 90 days of service of a notice of action, and a resource family, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption rescission may file a written appeal within 25 days of service of a notice of action or exclusion order. Pursuant
(2) Pursuant to Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if the notice of action or exclusion order is served by mail, the time to respond shall be extended five days. Nothing
(3) If different appeal timelines apply to a matter as a result of multiple actions filed against a respondent, the following shall apply:
(A) A county or the department, as applicable, shall accept an appeal to one action as an appeal to all of the actions against the same respondent, if requested to do so by the respondent.
(B) When an action for rescission of approval, criminal record exemption rescission, or exclusion includes an action for application denial, the applicable appeal timeline for a rescission of approval, criminal record exemption rescission, or exclusion specified in paragraph (1) shall also apply to the action for application denial.
(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impede or extend jurisdiction as set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(e) (1) Notwithstanding Section 10951, a county’s action shall be final, or for matters set before the State Hearings Division, an action shall be subject to dismissal if the resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission does not file an appeal to the notice of action or exclusion order within the prescribed time.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission shall be entitled to a hearing pursuant to Section 16519.5 if he or she files they file the appeal no more than 30 calendar days after the due date for the appeal, as specified in subdivision (d), and the person provides good cause for the late filing of the appeal. Good cause shall be determined by the department in an administrative review procedure set forth in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5. The department shall not grant a late appeal for good cause if the appeal is filed more than 30 calendar days after the due date for the appeal, as specified in subdivision (d).
(3) For purposes of this subdivision “good cause” means a substantial and compelling reason beyond the party’s control, considering the length of the delay, the diligence of the party filing the appeal, and the potential prejudice to the other party. The inability of a person to understand an adequate and language-compliant notice, in and of itself, shall not constitute good cause.
(4) This section shall not preclude the application of the principles of equity jurisdiction as otherwise provided by law.
(f) Except as provided in subdivisions (g) and (h), and notwithstanding Section 10952, a hearing under this section, notwithstanding any time waiver, shall be held within 90 days following the receipt of a timely appeal for matters to be set before the State Hearings Division or within 90 days following the receipt of a timely notice of defense for matters to be set before the Office of Administrative Hearings, unless a continuance or postponement of the hearing is granted for good cause.
(g) (1) The department may exclude a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, from employment in, presence in, and contact with clients of any facility licensed by the department or certified or approved by a licensed foster family agency, and from holding the position of member of the board of directors, executive director, or officer of the licensee of any facility licensed by the department, for any of the reasons set forth in Section 16519.61.
(2) The department may issue an exclusion order requiring the immediate removal of an individual if, in the opinion of the department, the action is necessary to protect a child from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to his or her the child’s health or safety. If the department has issued an immediate exclusion order, the timelines for the service of an accusation, conducting a hearing, and for a final determination set forth in Section 1558 of the Health and Safety Code shall apply, unless a continuance of the hearing is granted for good cause.
(3) A resource family’s failure to comply with the department’s exclusion order after being notified of the order shall be grounds for taking action against the resource family’s approval pursuant to Section 16519.61.
(4) An exclusion order that was effective prior to the implementation of the resource family approval program and conversion of licensed foster family homes and certified family homes to resource families shall be deemed to exclude the individual from presence in any resource family home.
(5) (A) An exclusion shall be for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) Pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code, the excluded individual may petition for reinstatement to the department after one year has elapsed from the effective date of an exclusion order that was not appealed or the effective date of a decision and order by the department upholding an exclusion order. The department shall provide the excluded person a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the exclusion order and decision and order.
(6) For purposes of this subdivision, a “facility licensed by the department” means a facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of, Chapter 3.01 (commencing with Section 1568.01) of, Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 1569) of, Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 1570) of, Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70) of, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 1596.90) of, or Chapter 3.6 (commencing with Section 1597.30) of, Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code.
(h) If a county or the department has issued a temporary suspension order, the hearing shall be held within 30 days following the receipt of a timely appeal for matters to be set before the State Hearings Division, or within 30 days following the receipt of a timely notice of defense for matters to be set before the Office of Administrative Hearings. The temporary suspension order shall remain in effect until the time the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits. However, the temporary suspension order shall be deemed vacated if the department fails to make a final determination on the merits within 30 days after receipt of the proposed decision by the county or department.
(i) Upon a finding of noncompliance, the department may require a foster family agency to deny a resource family application, rescind the approval of a resource family, or take other action deemed necessary for the protection of a child who is or who may be placed with the resource family. The resource family or applicant shall be afforded the due process provided pursuant to this section.
(1) If the department requires a foster family agency to deny an application or rescind the approval of a resource family, the department shall serve an order of denial or rescission notifying the resource family, applicant, and foster family agency of the basis of the department’s action and of the right to a hearing.
(2) The department’s order of the application denial or rescission of the approval shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits.
(3) A foster family agency’s failure to comply with the department’s order to deny an application or rescind the approval of a resource family by placing or retaining a child in care shall be grounds for disciplining the foster family agency pursuant to Section 1550 of the Health and Safety Code.
(j) A resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission who files an appeal to a notice of action or exclusion order pursuant to this section shall, as part of the appeal, provide his or her their current mailing address. The resource family, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission shall subsequently notify the county, and the excluded individual shall notify the department, in writing of any change in mailing address, until the hearing process has been completed or terminated.
(k) Service by mail of a notice or other writing on a resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission in a procedure provided herein is effective if served to the last mailing address on file with the county or department. Service of a notice of action shall be by personal service or by first-class mail, and service of an exclusion order shall be by personal service or registered mail. If the last day for performance of any action required herein falls on a holiday, then such period shall be extended to the next day which is not a holiday.
(l) In all proceedings conducted in accordance with this section, the burden of proof on the department or county shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.
(m) (1) A county or the department may institute or continue an administrative proceeding against a resource family, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission upon any ground provided by this section or Section 16519.61, enter an order denying an application or rescinding the approval of a resource family, exclude an individual, issue a temporary suspension order, or otherwise take disciplinary action against a resource family, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal, surrender of approval, or denial or rescission of the approval by a foster family agency.
(2) The department may institute or continue an administrative proceeding against an excluded individual upon any ground provided by this section or Section 16519.61, enter an order to exclude an individual, or otherwise take disciplinary action against an excluded individual, notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal, surrender of approval, or denial or rescission of the approval by a foster family agency.
(n) (1) Notwithstanding Sections 11425.10 and 11425.20 of the Government Code, a proceeding conducted pursuant to this section shall be confidential and not open to the public in order to preserve the confidential information of a child or resource family consistent with the confidentiality requirements in Sections 827, 10850, and 16519.55 of this code, Section 1536 of the Health and Safety Code, and Section 11167.5 of the Penal Code. Notwithstanding this requirement, an administrative law judge may admit persons deemed to have a direct and legitimate interest in the particular case or the work of the court on a case-by-case basis and with any admonishments, limitations, and protective orders as may be necessary to preserve the confidential nature of the proceedings.
(2) Except as otherwise required by law, in any writ of mandate proceeding related to an issue arising out of this article, the name, identifying information, or confidential information of a child as described in Sections 827, 10850, and 16519.55, and Section 11167.5 of the Penal Code, shall not be disclosed in a public document and a protective order shall be issued by the court in order to protect the confidential information of a child.

SEC. 14.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 9 of this act, which amends Section 1551.3 of the Health and Safety Code, imposes a limitation on the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
In order to preserve the confidential identity and information of foster children, resource families, foster family homes, and certified family homes of foster family agencies, it is necessary to ensure that the confidential information in administrative hearings regarding resource families, foster family homes, certified family homes of foster family agencies is protected from the public.

SEC. 15.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.