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AB-819 Foster care.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/12/2019 09:00 PM
AB819:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 819


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 20, 2019


An act to amend Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care. An act to amend Sections 1517.5, 1558, 1568.092, 1569.58, and 1596.8897 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Sections 16519.58 and 18360.15 of, and to add Section 18360.20 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 819, as amended, Mark Stone. Foster care: resource family approval: training. care.
(1) Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to implement a resource family approval process, and directs counties and foster family agencies, commencing January 1, 2017, to approve resource families in lieu of licensing and certifying foster homes. Existing law defines a resource family as an individual or family that has successfully met both home environment assessment standards and permanency assessment criteria. Existing law requires the department to review resource family approval standards, including case file documentation. Existing law requires foster family agencies to prepare a written report on an applicant’s capacity to foster, adopt, and provide legal guardianship of a child based on information gathered through the resource family application and assessment processes, and requires counties and foster family agencies, when a resource family seeks approval by a subsequent foster family agency or transfer of their approval to a county, to request or provide the above-specified written report, including any updates to the report.
This bill would require counties and foster family agencies, when a resource family seeks approval by a subsequent foster family agency or transfer of their approval to a county, to request or provide documents in the resource family case file, including any updates to the family case file. By imposing additional duties on counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law requires the department to license and regulate various facilities, including community care facilities, residential care facilities for persons with chronic, life-threatening illness, childcare centers, family childcare homes, and licensed foster family homes or certified family homes, and generally makes violations of these requirements a crime. Existing law authorizes the department to prohibit a person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of one of the above-specified facilities if they, among other things, have engaged in conduct that is inimical to the health, morals, welfare, or safety of either the people of the state or an individual in or receiving services from the facility or have engaged in acts of financial malfeasance concerning the operation of the facility. Existing law generally prohibits an excluded person from working in a facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or from being a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life if the excluded person appealed the exclusion order and there is a decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order.
This bill would state that an excluded person is prohibited from being a resource family.
(3) Existing law requires the department to develop an intensive services foster care program to serve children with specific needs, including intensive treatment and behavioral needs and specialized health care needs, whose needs for safety, permanency, and well-being require specially trained resource parents and intensive professional and paraprofessional services and supports in order to remain in a home-based setting or to avoid or exit congregate care in a short-term residential therapeutic program, group home, or out-of-state residential center. Existing law prohibits more than 2 foster children from being placed in an intensive services foster care resource family home if one or both of the children has intensive needs. Existing law, notwithstanding that provision, authorizes up to 5 foster children to be placed in an intensive services foster care resource family home in order to accommodate sibling group placement. Existing law requires, prior to the placement of a 2nd or subsequent child in an intensive services foster care resource family home, a foster family agency to provide the county placing agency with a written assessment of risks and compatibility.
This bill would instead authorize up to 6 foster children to be placed in an intensive services foster care resource family home in order to accommodate sibling group placement. The bill would authorize a county placing agency to place up to 3 unrelated foster children, one or 2 of whom are eligible for intensive services foster care, in an intensive services foster care home, subject to approval by the department. The bill would authorize a foster family agency to provide a county placing agency with documentation of approval by the county interagency placement committee in lieu of the provision of a written assessment prior to placement of a subsequent child, and would additionally require a foster family agency to provide a plan for assessment and services to ensure timely support and services for the caregiver and children placed in the home. The bill would require the licensed foster family agency to complete the plan for assessment and services within 5 business days following the referral for placement, a county placing agency to approve or deny the placement within 3 business days of the receipt of the plan for assessment and services, and, in the case of a 3rd unrelated foster child, the department to approve or deny the placement within 3 business days of receipt from the county placing agency of the agency’s approval and the plan for assessment and services.
This bill would also require the department, in consultation with counties and other interested stakeholders, to consider options to expand the number of available resource parents who are willing to provide intensive services foster care.
(4) 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.

Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to implement the resource family approval process, which replaces the multiple processes for 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 defines “resource family” as an individual or family that has successfully met both home environment assessment standards and permanency assessment criteria, as specified, necessary for providing care for a child placed by a public or private child placement agency by court order, or voluntarily placed by a parent or legal guardian.

Existing law makes counties responsible for certain components of the resource family approval process, including, among other things, ensuring that a resource family applicant completes a minimum of 12 hours of preapproval caregiver training. Existing law requires this training to include, among other specified topics, the effects of trauma, and child abuse and neglect, on child development and behavior, and methods to behaviorally support children impacted by that trauma or child abuse and neglect.

This bill would require that the training include an understanding of adverse childhood experiences, the immense impact that those experiences can have on health and other factors, and how to prevent those experiences and outcomes. By expanding the training requirements, and thereby increasing the oversight duties of counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 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 second 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) The subsequent foster family agency shall complete all of the following activities:
(A) 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) Conduct a reference check pursuant to Section 1517.2.
(C) 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) The subsequent foster family agency shall request a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 and 1517, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family from the current foster family agency. agency, and documents in, and updates to, the resource family case file, as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, from the county.
(ii) The current foster family agency shall forward a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 and 1517, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family to the subsequent foster family agency agency, and documents in, and updates to, the resource family case file, as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and 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) 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) The subsequent foster family agency shall complete all of the following activities:
(A) 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) Conduct a reference check pursuant to Section 1517.2.
(C) 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) 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 and Code, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family family, and documents in the resource family case file, including any updates to the family case file, as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, from the county.
(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 family, and documents in the resource family case file, including any updates to the family case file, as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and 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.
(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 shall 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. 2.

 Section 1558 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1558.
 (a) The department may prohibit any person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee, or a licensee from employing, or continuing the employment of, or allowing in a licensed facility or certified family home, or allowing contact with clients of a licensed facility or certified family home by, any employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client who has:
(1) Violated, or aided or permitted the violation by any other person of, any provisions of this chapter or of any rules or regulations promulgated under this chapter.
(2) Engaged in conduct that is inimical to the health, morals, welfare, or safety of either the people of this state or an individual in, or receiving services from, the facility or certified family home.
(3) Been denied an exemption to work or to be present in a facility or certified family home, when that person has been convicted of a crime, as defined in Section 1522.
(4) Engaged in any other conduct that would constitute a basis for disciplining a licensee or certified family home.
(5) Engaged in acts of financial malfeasance concerning the operation of a facility or certified family home, including, but not limited to, improper use or embezzlement of client moneys and property or fraudulent appropriation for personal gain of facility moneys and property, or willful or negligent failure to provide services.
(b) The excluded person, the facility or certified family home, and the licensee shall be given written notice of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to an appeal. The notice shall be served either by personal service or by registered mail. Within 15 days after the department serves the notice, the excluded person may file with the department a written appeal of the exclusion order. If the excluded person fails to file a written appeal within the prescribed time, the department’s action shall be final.
(c) (1) The department may require the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility or certified family home pending a final decision of the matter, when, in the opinion of the director, the action is necessary to protect residents or clients from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to their health or safety.
(2) If the department requires the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility or certified family home, the department shall serve an order of immediate exclusion upon the excluded person that shall notify the excluded person of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to a hearing.
(3) Within 15 days after the department serves an order of immediate exclusion, the excluded person may file a written appeal of the exclusion with the department. The department’s action shall be final if the excluded person does not appeal the exclusion within the prescribed time. The department shall do both of the following upon receipt of a written appeal:
(A) Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, serve an accusation upon the excluded person.
(B) Within 60 days of receipt of a notice of defense pursuant to Section 11506 of the Government Code by the excluded person to conduct a hearing on the accusation.
(4) An order of immediate exclusion of the excluded person from the facility or certified family home shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the director has made a final determination on the merits. However, the order of immediate exclusion shall be deemed vacated if the director fails to make a final determination on the merits within 60 days after the original hearing has been completed.
(d) An excluded person who files a written appeal with the department pursuant to this section shall, as part of the written request, provide his or her their current mailing address. The excluded person shall subsequently notify the department in writing of any change in mailing address, until the hearing process has been completed or terminated.
(e) Hearings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The standard of proof shall be the preponderance of the evidence and the burden of proof shall be on the department.
(f) The department may institute or continue a disciplinary proceeding against a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client upon any ground provided by this section. The department may enter an order prohibiting any person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or prohibiting the excluded person’s employment or presence in the facility or certified family home, or otherwise take disciplinary action against the excluded person, notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal of employment application, or change of duties by the excluded person, or any discharge, failure to hire, or reassignment of the excluded person by the licensee or that the excluded person no longer has contact with clients at the facility or certified family home.
(g) A licensee’s or certified family home’s failure to comply with the department’s exclusion order after being notified of the order shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1550.
(h) (1) (A) In cases in which the excluded person appealed the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or from being a certified foster parent for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement one year after the effective date of the decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the decision and order.
(2) (A) In cases in which the department informed the excluded person of his or her their right to appeal the exclusion order and the excluded person did not appeal the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or a certified foster parent for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement after one year has elapsed from the date of the notification of the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the exclusion order.
(i) Notwithstanding paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) or subdivision (c) of Section 1550, the department shall take reasonable action, including, but not limited to, prohibiting a person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee of a licensed facility or certified family home, or denying an application for, or suspending or revoking, a license, special permit, certificate of approval, or administrator certificate, issued under this chapter, or denying a transfer of a license pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 1524, upon a finding of a violation of subdivision (i) of Section 11166 of the Penal Code.

(j)For purposes of this section, exclusion from a licensed foster family home or certified family home shall include exclusion from a resource family, as defined in Section 1517 of this code and Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(j) If a person is excluded under subdivision (a), they are prohibited from being a resource family, as defined in Section 1517 of this code and Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions.

SEC. 3.

 Section 1568.092 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1568.092.
 (a) The department may prohibit any person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or a licensee from employing, or continuing the employment of, or allowing in a licensed facility, or allowing contact with clients of a licensed facility by, any employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client who has:
(1) Violated, aided, or permitted the violation by any other person of this chapter or of any rules or regulations adopted under this chapter.
(2) Engaged in conduct that is inimical to the health, welfare, or safety of either an individual, in or receiving services from the facility, or the people of the State of California.
(3) Been denied an exemption to work or to be present in a facility, when that person has been convicted of a crime as defined in Section 1568.09.
(4) Engaged in any other conduct that would constitute a basis for disciplining a licensee.
(5) Engaged in acts of financial malfeasance concerning the operation of a facility, including, but not limited to, improper use or embezzlement of client moneys and property or fraudulent appropriation for personal gain of facility moneys and property, or willful or negligent failure to provide services.
(b) The excluded person, the facility, and the licensee shall be given written notice of the basis of the action of the department and of the right to an appeal of the excluded person. The notice shall be served either by personal service or by registered mail. Within 15 days after the department serves the notice, the excluded person may file with the department a written appeal of the exclusion order. If the excluded person fails to file a written appeal within the prescribed time, the action of the department shall be final.
(c) (1) The department may require the immediate removal of an executive director, a board member, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility pending a final decision of the matter when, in the opinion of the director, the action is necessary to protect residents or clients from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to their health or safety.
(2) If the department requires the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility, the department shall serve an order of immediate exclusion upon the excluded person that shall notify the excluded person of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to a hearing.
(3) Within 15 days after the department serves an order of immediate exclusion, the excluded person may file a written appeal of the exclusion with the department. The department’s action shall be final if the excluded person does not appeal the exclusion within the prescribed time. The department shall do the following upon receipt of a written appeal:
(A) Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, serve an accusation upon the excluded person.
(B) Within 60 days of receipt of a notice of defense by the excluded person pursuant to Section 11506 of the Government Code, conduct a hearing on the accusation.
(4) An order of immediate exclusion of the excluded person from the facility shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits. However, the order of immediate exclusion shall be deemed vacated if the department fails to make a final determination on the merits within 60 days after the original hearing has been completed.
(d) An excluded person who files a written appeal of the exclusion order with the department pursuant to this section shall, as part of the written request, provide his or her their current mailing address. The excluded person shall subsequently notify the department in writing of any change in mailing address, until the hearing process has been completed or terminated.
(e) Hearings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The standard of proof shall be the preponderance of the evidence and the burden of proof shall be on the department.
(f) The department may institute or continue a disciplinary proceeding against a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client upon any ground provided by this section. The department may enter an order prohibiting any person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or prohibiting the excluded person’s employment or presence in the facility, or otherwise take disciplinary action against the excluded person, notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal of employment application, or change of duties by the excluded person, or any discharge, failure to hire, or reassignment of the excluded person by the licensee or that the excluded person no longer has contact with clients at the facility.
(g) A licensee’s failure to comply with the department’s exclusion order after being notified of the order shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1568.082.
(h) (1) (A) In cases in which the excluded person appealed the exclusion order and there is a decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or from being a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement one year after the effective date of the decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the decision and order.
(2) (A) In cases in which the department informed the excluded person of his or her their right to appeal the exclusion order and the excluded person did not appeal the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement after one year has elapsed from the date of the notification of the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the exclusion order.
(i) If a person is excluded under subdivision (a), they are prohibited from being a resource family, as defined in Section 1517 of this code and Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions.

SEC. 4.

 Section 1569.58 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1569.58.
 (a) The department may prohibit any person from being a licensee, owning a beneficial ownership interest of 10 percent or more in a licensed facility, or being an administrator, officer, director, member, or manager of a licensee or entity controlling a licensee, and may further prohibit any licensee from employing, or continuing the employment of, or allowing in a licensed facility, or allowing contact with clients of a licensed facility by, any employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client and who has done any of the following:
(1) Violated, or aided or permitted the violation by any other person of, any provisions of this chapter or of any rules or regulations promulgated under this chapter.
(2) Engaged in conduct that is inimical to the health, morals, welfare, or safety of either an individual in or receiving services from the facility, or the people of the State of California.
(3) Been denied an exemption to work or to be present in a facility, when that person has been convicted of a crime as defined in Section 1569.17.
(4) Engaged in any other conduct that would constitute a basis for disciplining a licensee.
(5) Engaged in acts of financial malfeasance concerning the operation of a facility, including, but not limited to, improper use or embezzlement of client moneys and property or fraudulent appropriation for personal gain of facility moneys and property, or willful or negligent failure to provide services for the care of clients.
(b) The excluded person, the facility, and the licensee shall be given written notice of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to an appeal. The notice shall be served either by personal service or by registered mail. Within 15 days after the department serves the notice, the excluded person may file with the department a written appeal of the exclusion order. If the excluded person fails to file a written appeal within the prescribed time, the department’s action shall be final.
(c) (1) The department may require the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility pending a final decision of the matter, when, in the opinion of the department, the action is necessary to protect residents or clients from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to their health or safety.
(2) If the department requires the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility the department shall serve an order of immediate exclusion upon the excluded person that shall notify the excluded person of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to a hearing.
(3) Within 15 days after the department serves an order of immediate exclusion, the excluded person may file a written appeal of the exclusion with the department. The department’s action shall be final if the excluded person does not appeal the exclusion within the prescribed time. The department shall do the following upon receipt of a written appeal:
(A) Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, serve an accusation upon the excluded person.
(B) Within 60 days of receipt of a notice of defense by the excluded person pursuant to Section 11506 of the Government Code, conduct a hearing on the accusation.
(4) An order of immediate exclusion of the excluded person from the facility shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits. However, the order of immediate exclusion shall be deemed vacated if the department fails to make a final determination on the merits within 60 days after the original hearing has been completed.
(d) An excluded person who files a written appeal of the exclusion order with the department pursuant to this section shall, as part of the written request, provide his or her their current mailing address. The excluded person shall subsequently notify the department in writing of any change in mailing address, until the hearing process has been completed or terminated.
(e) Hearings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The standard of proof shall be the preponderance of the evidence and the burden of proof shall be on the department.
(f) The department may institute or continue a disciplinary proceeding against a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client upon any ground provided by this section. The department may enter an order prohibiting any person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee, or prohibiting the excluded person’s employment or presence in the facility, or otherwise take disciplinary action against the excluded person, notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal of employment application, or change of duties by the excluded person, or any discharge, failure to hire, or reassignment of the excluded person by the licensee or that the excluded person no longer has contact with clients at the facility.
(g) A licensee’s failure to comply with the department’s exclusion order after being notified of the order shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1569.50.
(h) (1) (A) In cases in which the excluded person appealed the exclusion order and there is a decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or from being a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement one year after the effective date of the decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the decision and order.
(2) (A) In cases in which the department informed the excluded person of his or her their right to appeal the exclusion order and the excluded person did not appeal the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement after one year has elapsed from the date of the notification of the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the exclusion order.
(i) If a person is excluded under subdivision (a), they are prohibited from being a resource family, as defined in Section 1517 of this code and Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions.

SEC. 5.

 Section 1596.8897 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1596.8897.
 (a) The department may prohibit any person from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or a licensee from employing, or continuing the employment of, or allowing in a licensed facility, or allowing contact with clients of a licensed facility by, any employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client who has:
(1) Violated, or aided or permitted the violation by any other person of, any provisions of this chapter or of any rules or regulations promulgated under this chapter.
(2) Engaged in conduct that is inimical to the health, morals, welfare, or safety of either an individual in or receiving services from the facility, or the people of the State of California.
(3) Been denied an exemption to work or to be present in a facility, when that person has been convicted of a crime as defined in Section 1596.871.
(4) Engaged in any other conduct that would constitute a basis for disciplining a licensee.
(5) Engaged in acts of financial malfeasance concerning the operation of a facility, including, but not limited to, improper use or embezzlement of client moneys and property or fraudulent appropriation for personal gain of facility moneys and property, or willful or negligent failure to provide services for the care of clients.
(b) The excluded person, the facility, and the licensee shall be given written notice of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to an appeal. The notice shall be served either by personal service or by registered mail. Within 15 days after the department serves the notice, the excluded person may file with the department a written appeal of the exclusion order. If the excluded person fails to file a written appeal within the prescribed time, the department’s action shall be final.
(c) (1) The department may require the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility pending a final decision of the matter, when, in the opinion of the department, the action is necessary to protect residents or clients from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to their health or safety.
(2) If the department requires the immediate removal of a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or exclusion of an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client from a facility, the department shall serve an order of immediate exclusion upon the excluded person that shall notify the excluded person of the basis of the department’s action and of the excluded person’s right to a hearing.
(3) Within 15 days after the department serves an order of immediate exclusion, the excluded person may file a written appeal of the exclusion with the department. The department’s action shall be final if the excluded person does not appeal the exclusion within the prescribed time. The department shall do the following upon receipt of a written appeal:
(A) Within 30 days of receipt of the appeal, serve an accusation upon the excluded person.
(B) Within 60 days of receipt of a notice of defense by the employee or prospective employee pursuant to Section 11506 of the Government Code, conduct a hearing on the accusation.
(4) An order of immediate exclusion of the excluded person from the facility shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits. However, the order of immediate exclusion shall be deemed vacated if the department fails to make a final determination on the merits within 60 days after the original hearing has been completed.
(d) An excluded person who files a written appeal of the exclusion order with the department pursuant to this section shall, as part of the written request, provide his or her their current mailing address. The excluded person shall subsequently notify the department in writing of any change in mailing address, until the hearing process has been completed or terminated.
(e) Hearings held pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. The standard of proof shall be the preponderance of the evidence and the burden of proof shall be on the department.
(f) The department may institute or continue a disciplinary proceeding against a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensee or an employee, prospective employee, or person who is not a client upon any ground provided by this section. The department may enter an order prohibiting any person from being a member of the board of directors, the executive director, or an officer of a licensee prohibiting the excluded person’s employment or presence in the facility, or otherwise take disciplinary action against the excluded person, notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal of employment application, or change of duties by the excluded person, or any discharge, failure to hire, or reassignment of the excluded person by the licensee or that the excluded person no longer has contact with clients at the facility.
(g) A licensee’s failure to comply with the department’s exclusion order after being notified of the order shall be grounds for disciplining the licensee pursuant to Section 1596.885 or 1596.886.
(h) (1) (A) In cases in which the excluded person appealed the exclusion order and there is a decision and order upholding the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or from being a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement one year after the effective date of the decision and order of the department upholding the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the decision and order.
(2) (A) In cases in which the department informed the excluded person of his or her their right to appeal the exclusion order and the excluded person did not appeal the exclusion order, the person shall be prohibited from working in any facility or being licensed to operate any facility licensed by the department or a certified foster parent or resource family for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.
(B) The excluded individual may petition for reinstatement after one year has elapsed from the date of the notification of the exclusion order pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The department shall provide the excluded person with a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the exclusion order.
(i) If a person is excluded under subdivision (a), they are prohibited from being a resource family, as defined in Section 1517 of this code and Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions.

SEC. 6.

 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 paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(C) Cooperate with the county in conducting an approval update as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.
(2) The county shall complete the following activities:
(A) 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) 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) The county shall request a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code and Code, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family family, and documents in the resource family case file, including any updates to the family case file, as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5, and as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department, from the licensed foster family agency.
(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 and Code, any updates to the written report regarding the resource family family, and documents in the resource family case file, including any updates to the family case file, as described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5, and 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) 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 as specified in Section 16519.6.

(b)

(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.

(c)

(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.

(d)

(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.
(2) “County” means a county child welfare or probation department.

SEC. 7.

 Section 18360.15 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

18360.15.
 (a) Each licensed foster family agency or county operating an intensive services foster care program shall develop a child’s individual needs and services plan in coordination with the child’s case worker, intensive services foster care resource family, and child and family team, if available. A county operating under a public delivery model or as a licensed foster family agency model may utilize the child’s case plan as the individual needs and services plan.
(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 17732, no more than two foster children, one or both of whom may be eligible children, shall be placed in an intensive services foster care resource family home.
(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), in and in accordance with the procedures set forth in subdivision (d), a county placing agency may approve placements for more than two foster children under either of the following conditions:
(1) In order to accommodate sibling group placements when at least one sibling is an eligible child, there shall be no more than a total of five six foster children in an intensive services foster care resource family home, including the maximum of two eligible children that may be placed pursuant to subdivision (b). Siblings may remain in the intensive services foster care resource home when the eligible sibling is no longer eligible for intensive services foster care.
(2) For unrelated foster children, when at least one foster child is an eligible child, there shall be no more than a total of three unrelated foster children placed in an intensive services foster care resource home, including the maximum of two eligible children that may be placed pursuant to subdivision (b).
(d) (1) Prior to placement of a second child pursuant to subdivision (b), or a second and subsequent child or sibling placement pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (c), or a third unrelated foster child pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), a licensed foster family agency operating an intensive services foster care program shall provide each county placing agency that has placed children in that home with documentation of approval by the county interagency placement committee or with a written assessment of the risk and compatibility of placing subsequent foster children together in the same intensive services foster care resource family home with an eligible child. Placement child, and a plan for assessment and services, prepared in accordance with guidelines developed pursuant to subdivision (e), to ensure timely support and services for the caregiver and each child placed in the home.
(2) Placement may then be made if approved by the county placing agency agencies involved, considering and, in the case of a third unrelated foster child pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), if also approved by the department. The county placing agency and the department shall consider the recommendations of the child and family team. teams of the child to be placed and the other children who are currently in that placement, when feasible to do so.
(3) In order to avoid unnecessary delays in the placement of children, the licensed foster family agency shall complete the plan for assessment and services within five business days following the referral for placement, a county placing agency shall approve or deny the placement within three business days of the receipt of the plan for assessment and services, and, in the case of a third unrelated foster child pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), the department shall approve or deny the placement within three business days of receipt from the county placing agency of its approval and the plan for assessment and services.
(e) The department, in consultation with representatives of county placing agencies and other stakeholders, shall develop guidelines for the plan for assessment and services described in subdivision (d).

(e)

(f) A foster family agency or county operating an intensive services foster care program may adopt and utilize, and adapt as appropriate, evidence-based approaches and models of care that meet the specific needs of the children and families served by the program.

SEC. 8.

 Section 18360.20 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

18360.20.
 The department, in consultation with counties and other stakeholders, shall consider options to expand the number of available resource families who are willing to provide intensive services foster care, including, but not limited to, the feasibility of counties and foster family agencies contracting with each other for services.

SEC. 9.

 To the extent that this act has an overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a local agency for programs or levels of service mandated by the 2011 Realignment Legislation within the meaning of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, it shall apply to local agencies only to the extent that the state provides annual funding for the cost increase. Any new program or higher level of service provided by a local agency pursuant to this act above the level for which funding has been provided shall not require a subvention of funds by the state or otherwise be subject to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:
16519.5.

(a)The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with county child welfare agencies, foster parent associations, and other interested community parties, shall implement a unified, family friendly, and child-centered resource family approval process to replace the existing multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, certifying foster homes by licensed foster family agencies, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving guardians and adoptive families.

(b)(1)Counties shall be selected to participate on a voluntary basis as early implementation counties for the purpose of participating in the initial development of the approval process. Early implementation counties shall be selected according to criteria developed by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California. In selecting the five early implementation counties, the department shall promote diversity among the participating counties in terms of size and geographic location.

(2)Additional counties may participate in the early implementation of the program upon authorization by the department.

(3)The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:

(A)Selecting early implementation counties, based on criteria established by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California.

(B)Establishing timeframes for participating counties to submit an implementation plan, enter into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program, train appropriate staff, and accept applications from resource families.

(C)Entering into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program by counties.

(4)Counties participating in the early implementation of the program shall be responsible for all of the following:

(A)Submitting an implementation plan.

(B)Entering into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program.

(C)Consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan.

(D)Training appropriate staff.

(E)Accepting applications from resource families within the timeframes established by the department.

(5)(A)Approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members, licensed foster family homes, or approved adoptive homes that have completed the license or approval process prior to statewide implementation of the program shall not be considered part of the program. The otherwise applicable assessment and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for families and facilities not included in the program.

(B)Upon implementation of the program in a county, that county shall not accept new applications for the licensure of foster family homes, the approval of relative and nonrelative extended family members, or the approval of prospective guardians and adoptive homes.

(6)The department may waive regulations that pose a barrier to the early implementation and operation of this program. The waiver of any regulations by the department pursuant to this section shall apply to only those counties or foster family agencies participating in the early implementation of the program and only for the duration of the program.

(7)This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2017.

(c)(1)For purposes of this article, “resource family” means an individual or family that has successfully met both the home environment assessment standards and the permanency assessment criteria adopted pursuant to subdivision (d) necessary for providing care for a child placed by a public or private child placement agency by court order, or voluntarily placed by a parent or legal guardian. A resource family shall demonstrate all of the following:

(A)An understanding of the safety, permanence, and well-being needs of children who have been victims of child abuse and neglect, and the capacity and willingness to meet those needs, including the need for protection, and the willingness to make use of support resources offered by the agency, or a support structure in place, or both.

(B)An understanding of children’s needs and development, effective parenting skills or knowledge about parenting, and the capacity to act as a reasonable, prudent parent in day-to-day decisionmaking.

(C)An understanding of their role as a resource family and the capacity to work cooperatively with the agency and other service providers in implementing the child’s case plan.

(D)The financial ability within the household to ensure the stability and financial security of the family. An applicant who will rely on the funding described in subdivision (l) to meet additional household expenses incurred due to the placement of a child shall not, for this reason, be denied approval as a resource family.

(E)An ability and willingness to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences that serves the needs of the child.

(2)For purposes of this article, and unless otherwise specified, references to a “child” shall include a “nonminor dependent” and “nonminor former dependent or ward,” as defined in subdivision (v) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (aa) of Section 11400.

(3)There is no fundamental right to approval as a resource family. Emergency placement of a child pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, or placement with a resource family applicant pursuant to subdivision (e), does not entitle an applicant approval as a resource family.

(4)(A)A resource family shall be considered eligible to provide foster care for children in out-of-home placement and shall be considered approved for adoption and guardianship.

(B)Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a county may approve a resource family to care for a specific child, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(5) For purposes of this article, “resource family approval” means that the applicant or resource family successfully meets the home environment assessment and permanency assessment standards. This approval is in lieu of a foster family home license issued pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a certificate of approval issued by a licensed foster family agency, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 1506 of the Health and Safety Code, relative or nonrelative extended family member approval, guardianship approval, and the adoption home study approval.

(6)Approval of a resource family does not guarantee an initial, continued, or adoptive placement of a child with a resource family or with a relative or nonrelative extended family member. Approval of a resource family does not guarantee the establishment of a legal guardianship of a child with a resource family.

(7)(A)Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, the county shall, consistent with Sections 1520.3 and 1558.1 of the Health and Safety Code, cease any further review of an application if the applicant has had a previous application denial by the department or a county within the preceding year, or if the applicant has had a previous rescission, revocation, or exemption denial or exemption rescission by the department or a county within the preceding two years.

(B)Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the county may continue to review an application if it has determined that the reasons for the previous denial, rescission, or revocation were due to circumstances and conditions that either have been corrected or are no longer in existence. If an individual was excluded from a resource family home or facility licensed by the department, the county shall cease review of the individual’s application unless the excluded individual has been reinstated pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16519.6 of this code or pursuant to Section 1569.53, subdivision (h) of Section 1558, subdivision (h) of Section 1569.58, or subdivision (h) of Section 1596.8897, of the Health and Safety Code.

(C)(i)The county may cease any further review of an application if, after written notice to the applicant, the applicant fails to complete an application without good faith effort and within 30 days of the date of the notice, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(ii)Clause (i) does not apply if a child is placed with the applicant pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 16519.5.

(D)The cessation of an application review pursuant to this paragraph shall not constitute a denial of the application for purposes of this section or any other law.

(E)For purposes of this section, the date of a previous denial, rescission, revocation, exemption denial or exemption rescission, or exclusion shall be either of the following:

(i)The effective date of a final decision or order upholding a notice of action or exclusion order.

(ii)The date on the notice of the decision to deny, rescind, revoke, or exclude if the notice was not appealed or otherwise constitutes a final decision.

(8)A resource family shall meet the approval standards set forth in this section, comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section, and comply with other applicable laws in order to maintain approval.

(9)A resource family may be approved by a county child welfare department or a probation department pursuant to this section or by a foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.

(10)A resource family shall not be licensed to operate a residential facility, as defined in Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, a residential care facility for the elderly, as defined in Section 1569.2 of the Health and Safety Code, or a residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illnesses, as defined in Section 1568.01 of the Health and Safety Code, on the same premises used as the residence of the resource family.

(11)(A)An applicant who withdraws an application prior to its approval or denial may resubmit the application within 12 months of the withdrawal.

(B)Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude a county from requiring an applicant to complete an application activity, even if that activity was previously completed.

(d)(1)The department shall adopt standards pertaining to the home environment and permanency assessments of a resource family.

(2)Resource family home environment assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(A)(i)(I)A criminal record clearance of each applicant and all adults residing in, or regularly present in, the home, and not exempted from fingerprinting, as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code, utilizing a check of the Child Abuse Central Index pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code, and receipt of a fingerprint-based state and federal criminal offender record information search response. The criminal history information shall include subsequent notifications pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code.

(II)Consideration of any substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect against the applicant and any other adult residing in, or regularly present in, the home pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code.

(III)If the criminal records check indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, home approval shall be denied. If the criminal records check indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the home shall not be approved unless a criminal records exemption has been granted pursuant to subclause (IV).

(IV)If the resource family parent, applicant, or any other person specified in subclause (I) has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation or arrested for an offense specified in subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, except for the civil penalty language, the criminal background check provisions specified in subdivisions (d) through (f) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code shall apply. Exemptions from the criminal records clearance requirements set forth in this section may be granted by the department or the county, if that county has been granted permission by the department to issue criminal records exemptions pursuant to Section 361.4, using the exemption criteria currently used for foster care licensing, as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(V)If it is determined, on the basis of the fingerprint images and related information submitted to the Department of Justice, that subsequent to obtaining a criminal record clearance or exemption from disqualification, the person has been convicted of, or is awaiting trial for, a sex offense against a minor, or has been convicted for an offense specified in Section 243.4, 273a, 273ab, 273d, 273g, or 368 of the Penal Code, or a felony, the department or county shall notify the resource family to act immediately to remove or bar the person from entering the resource family’s home. The department or county, as applicable, may subsequently grant an exemption from disqualification pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. If the conviction or arrest was for another crime, the resource family shall, upon notification by the department or county, act immediately to either remove or bar the person from entering the resource family’s home, or require the person to seek an exemption from disqualification pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. The department or county, as applicable, shall determine if the person shall be allowed to remain in the home until a decision on the exemption from disqualification is rendered.

(ii)For public foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized.

(iii)For private foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized, but the Department of Justice shall disseminate a fitness determination resulting from the federal criminal offender record information search.

(B)A home and grounds evaluation to ensure the health and safety of children.

(C)In addition to the foregoing requirements, the resource family home environment assessment standards shall also require the following:

(i)That the applicant demonstrates an understanding of the rights of children in care and the applicant’s responsibility to safeguard those rights.

(ii)That the total number of children residing in the home of a resource family shall be no more than the total number of children the resource family can properly care for, regardless of status, and shall not exceed six children, unless exceptional circumstances that are documented in the foster child’s case file exist to permit a resource family to care for more children, including, but not limited to, the need to place siblings together.

(iii)That the applicant understands the applicant’s responsibilities with respect to acting as a reasonable and prudent parent, and maintaining the least restrictive environment that serves the needs of the child.

(3)The resource family permanency assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(A)Caregiver training, as described in subdivisions (g) and (h).

(B)A family evaluation, which shall include, but not be limited to, interviews of an applicant to assess the applicant’s personal history, family dynamic, and need for support or resources, and a risk assessment.

(i)When the applicant is a relative or nonrelative extended family member to an identified child, the family evaluation shall consider the nature of the relationship between the relative or nonrelative extended family member and the child. The relative or nonrelative extended family member’s expressed desire to only care for a specific child or children shall not be a reason to deny the approval.

(ii)A caregiver risk assessment shall include, but not be limited to, physical and mental health, alcohol and other substance use and abuse, family and domestic violence, and the factors listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(iii)A county may review and discuss data contained in the statewide child welfare database with an applicant for purposes of conducting a family evaluation, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(C)Completion of any other activities that relate to the ability of an applicant or a resource family to achieve permanency with a child.

(4)(A)For a child placed on an emergency basis with a family that has successfully completed the home environmental assessment, the permanency assessment shall be completed within 90 days of the application to become a resource family, unless good cause exists based upon the needs of the child.

(B)If additional time is needed to complete the permanency assessment, the county shall document the extenuating circumstances for the delay and generate a timeframe for the completion of the permanency assessment.

(C)The county shall report to the department, on a quarterly basis, the number of families with emergency placements whose permanency assessment goes beyond 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.

(e)(1)A county may place a child with a resource family applicant who has successfully completed the home environment assessment prior to completion of a permanency assessment only if a compelling reason for the placement exists based on the needs of the child.

(A)The permanency assessment and the written report described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) shall be completed within 90 days of the child’s placement in the home, unless good cause exists.

(B)If additional time is needed to comply with subparagraph (A), the county shall document the extenuating circumstances for the delay and generate a timeframe for the completion of the permanency assessment.

(C)The county shall report to the department, on a quarterly basis, the number of applicants for whom the requirements of subparagraph (A) exceed 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.

(2)The home environment, permanency assessments, and the written report described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) shall be completed within 90 days of a child’s placement with a relative or nonrelative extended family member pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, unless good cause exists.

(3)For any placement made pursuant to this subdivision, AFDC-FC funding shall not be available until approval of the resource family has been completed.

(4)Any child placed pursuant to this subdivision shall be afforded all the rights set forth in Section 16001.9.

(5)This section shall not limit the county’s authority to inspect the home of a resource family applicant as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.

(6)This subdivision does not limit the county’s obligation under law to assess and give placement consideration to relatives and nonrelative extended family members and to place a child pursuant to Section 309, 361.3, or 361.45.

(f)The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:

(1)(A)Until regulations are adopted, administering the program through the issuance of written directives that shall have the same force and effect as regulations. Any directive affecting Article 1 (commencing with Section 700) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations shall be approved by the Department of Justice. The directives shall be exempt from 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.

(B)Adopting, amending, or repealing, in accordance with Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, any reasonable rules, regulations, and standards that may be necessary or proper to carry out the purposes and intent of this article and to enable the department to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred upon it by this section, consistent with the laws of this state.

(2)Approving and requiring the use of a single standard for resource family approval.

(3)Adopting and requiring the use of standardized documentation for the home environment and permanency assessments of resource families.

(4)Adopting core competencies for county staff to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.

(5)Requiring counties to monitor county-approved resource families, including, but not limited to, both of the following:

(A)Investigating complaints regarding resource families.

(B)Developing and monitoring resource family corrective action plans to correct identified deficiencies and to rescind resource family approval if compliance with corrective action plans is not achieved.

(6)Ongoing oversight and monitoring of county systems and operations including all of the following:

(A)Reviewing the county’s implementation plan and implementation of the program.

(B)Reviewing an adequate number of county-approved resource families in each county to ensure that approval standards are being properly applied. The review shall include case file documentation and may include onsite inspection of individual resource families. The review shall occur on an annual basis and more frequently if the department becomes aware that a county is experiencing a disproportionate number of complaints against individual resource family homes.

(C)Reviewing county reports of serious complaints and incidents involving resource families, as determined necessary by the department. The department may conduct an independent review of the complaint or incident and change the findings depending on the results of its investigation.

(D)Investigating unresolved complaints against counties.

(E)Requiring corrective action of counties that are not in full compliance with this section.

(7)Updating the Legislature on the early implementation phase of the program, including the status of implementation, successes, and challenges during the early implementation phase, and relevant available data, including resource family satisfaction.

(8)Excluding a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, consistent with the established standard for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61.

(9)Implementing due process procedures, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A)Providing a statewide fair hearing process for application denials, rescissions of approval, exclusion actions, or criminal record exemption denials or rescissions by a county or the department.

(B)Providing an excluded individual with due process pursuant to Section 16519.6.

(C)Amending the department’s applicable state hearing procedures and regulations or using the Administrative Procedure Act, when applicable, as necessary for the administration of the program.

(g)Counties shall be responsible for all of the following:

(1)Submitting an implementation plan and consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan.

(2)Complying with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(3)Implementing the requirements for resource family approval and utilizing standardized documentation established by the department.

(4)Training appropriate staff, including ensuring staff have the education and experience or core competencies necessary to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.

(5)(A)Taking the following actions, as applicable, for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61:

(i)(I)Approving or denying resource family applications, including preparing a written report that evaluates an applicant’s capacity to foster, adopt, and provide legal guardianship of a child based on all of the information gathered through the resource family application and assessment processes.

(II)The applicant’s preference to provide a specific level of permanency, including adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a relative, placement with a fit and willing relative, shall not be a basis to deny an application.

(ii)Rescinding approvals of resource families.

(iii)When applicable, referring a case to the department for an action to exclude a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, consistent with the established standard.

(iv)Issuing a temporary suspension order that suspends the resource family approval prior to a hearing when, in the opinion of the county, urgent action is needed to protect a child from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety. The county shall serve the resource family with the temporary suspension order and a copy of available discovery in the possession of the county, including, but not limited to, affidavits, declarations, names of witnesses, and other evidence upon which the county relied in issuing the temporary suspension order. The temporary suspension order shall be served upon the resource family with a notice of action, and if the matter is to be heard before the Office of Administrative Hearings, an accusation. The temporary suspension order shall list the effective date on the order.

(v)Granting, denying, or rescinding criminal record exemptions.

(B)Providing a resource family parent, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission with due process pursuant to Section 16519.6.

(C)Notifying the department of any decisions denying an application for resource family approval, rescinding the approval of a resource family, or denying or rescinding a criminal record exemption and, if applicable, notifying the department of the results of an administrative action.

(6)(A)Updating resource family approval annually and as necessary to address any changes that have occurred in the resource family’s circumstances, including, but not limited to, moving to a new home location or commencing operation of a family day care home, as defined in Section 1596.78 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B)A county shall conduct an announced inspection of a resource family home during the annual update, and as necessary to address any changes specified in subparagraph (A), in order to ensure that the resource family is conforming to all applicable laws and the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(7)Monitoring resource families through all of the following:

(A)Ensuring that social workers who identify a condition in the home that may not meet the approval standards set forth in subdivision (d) while in the course of a routine visit to children placed with a resource family take appropriate action as needed.

(B)Requiring resource families to meet the approval standards set forth in this section and to comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section, other applicable laws, and corrective action plans as necessary to correct identified deficiencies. If corrective action is not completed, as specified in the plan, the county may rescind the resource family approval.

(C)Requiring resource families to report to the county child welfare agency any incidents consistent with the reporting requirements for licensed foster family homes.

(D)Inspecting resource family homes as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.

(8)(A)Investigating all complaints against a resource family and taking action as necessary, including, but not limited to, investigating any incidents reported about a resource family indicating that the approval standard is not being maintained and inspecting the resource family home.

(B)The child’s social worker shall not conduct the investigation into the complaint received concerning a family providing services pursuant to the standards required by subdivision (d). To the extent that adequate resources are available, complaints shall be investigated by a worker who did not conduct the home environment assessment or family evaluation or prepare the written report determining approval of the resource family.

(C)Upon conclusion of the complaint investigation, the final disposition shall be reviewed and approved by a supervising staff member.

(D)The department shall be notified of any serious incidents or serious complaints or any incident that falls within the definition of Section 11165.5 of the Penal Code. If those incidents or complaints result in an investigation, the department shall also be notified as to the status and disposition of that investigation.

(9)Performing corrective action as required by the department.

(10)Assessing county performance in related areas of the California Child and Family Services Review System, and remedying problems identified.

(11)Submitting information and data that the department determines are necessary to study, monitor, and prepare the update specified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (f).

(12)Ensuring resource family applicants and resource families have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to support children in foster care by completing caregiver training. The training should include a curriculum that supports the role of a resource family in parenting vulnerable children and should be ongoing in order to provide resource families with information on trauma-informed practices and requirements and other topics within the foster care system.

(13)Ensuring that a resource family applicant completes a minimum of 12 hours of preapproval caregiver training. The training shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following courses:

(A)An overview of the child protective and probation systems.

(B)The effects of trauma, including grief and loss, and child abuse and neglect, on child development and behavior, and methods to behaviorally support children impacted by that trauma or child abuse and neglect. This training shall include an understanding of adverse childhood experiences, the immense impact that those experiences can have on health and other factors, and how to prevent those experiences and outcomes.

(C)Positive discipline and the importance of self-esteem.

(D)Health issues in foster care.

(E)Accessing services and supports to address education needs, physical, mental, and behavioral health, and substance use disorders, including culturally relevant services.

(F)The rights of a child in foster care and the resource family’s responsibility to safeguard those rights, including the right to have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, and benefits, and to not be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or HIV status.

(G)Cultural needs of children, including instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity, and related best practices for providing adequate care for children or youth across diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, as well as children or youth identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

(H)Basic instruction on existing laws and procedures regarding the safety of foster youth at school.

(I)Permanence, well-being, and education needs of children.

(J)Child and adolescent development, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

(K)The role of resource families, including working cooperatively with the child welfare or probation agency, the child’s family, and other service providers implementing the case plan.

(L)The role of a resource family on the child and family team as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501.

(M)A resource family’s responsibility to act as a reasonable and prudent parent, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 1522.44 of the Health and Safety Code, and to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and that serves the needs of the child.

(N)An overview of the specialized training identified in subdivision (h).

(O)The information described in subdivision (i) of Section 16521.5. The program may use the curriculum created pursuant to subdivision (h), and described in subdivision (i), of Section 16521.5.

(14)Ensuring resource families complete a minimum of eight hours of caregiver training annually, a portion of which shall be from subparagraph (M) of paragraph (13) and from one or more of the other topics listed in paragraph (13).

(h)In addition to any training required by this section, a county may require a resource family or applicant to receive relevant specialized training for the purpose of preparing the resource family to meet the needs of a particular child in care. This training may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(1)Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to commercially sexually exploited children.

(2)Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.

(3)Understanding the requirements and best practices regarding psychotropic medications, including, but not limited to, court authorization, benefits, uses, side effects, interactions, assistance with self-administration, misuse, documentation, storage, and metabolic monitoring of children prescribed psychotropic medications.

(4)Understanding the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), its historical significance, the rights of children covered by the act, and the best interests of Indian children, including the role of the caregiver in supporting culturally appropriate, child-centered practices that respect Native American history, culture, retention of tribal membership, and connection to the tribal community and traditions.

(5)Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to nonminor dependents.

(6)Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to children with special health care needs.

(7)Understanding the different permanency options and the services and benefits associated with the options.

(i)This section shall not preclude a county from requiring training in excess of the requirements in this section.

(j)(1)Resource families who move home locations shall retain their resource family status pending the outcome of the update conducted pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision (g).

(2)(A)If a resource family moves from one county to another county, the department, or the county to which a resource family has moved, shall submit a written request to the Department of Justice to transfer the individual’s subsequent arrest notification, as specified in subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B)A request to transfer a subsequent arrest notification shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.

(3)Subject to the requirements in paragraph (1), the resource family shall continue to be approved for guardianship and adoption. This subdivision shall not limit a county, foster family agency, or adoption agency from determining that the family is not approved for guardianship or adoption based on changes in the family’s circumstances or family evaluation.

(k)Implementation of the program shall be contingent upon the continued availability of federal Social Security Act Title IV-E (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670) funds for costs associated with placement of children with resource families assessed and approved pursuant to the program.

(l)A child placed with a resource family is eligible for the resource family basic rate, pursuant to Sections 11253.45, 11460, 11461, and 11463, and subdivision (l) of Section 11461.3, at the child’s assessed level of care.

(m)Sharing ratios for nonfederal expenditures for all costs associated with activities related to the approval of relatives and nonrelative extended family members shall be in accordance with Section 10101.

(n)The Department of Justice shall charge fees sufficient to cover the cost of initial or subsequent criminal offender record information and Child Abuse Central Index searches, processing, or responses, as specified in this section.

(o)Except as provided, resource families shall be exempt from both of the following:

(1)Licensure requirements established pursuant to the California Community Care Facilities Act (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code) and all regulations promulgated to implement the act.

(2)Relative and nonrelative extended family member approval requirements as those approval requirements existed prior to January 1, 2017.

(p)(1)Early implementation counties shall be authorized to continue through December 31, 2016. The program shall be implemented by each county on or before January 1, 2017.

 (2)(A)(i)On and after January 1, 2017, a county to which the department has delegated its licensing authority pursuant to Section 1511 of the Health and Safety Code shall approve resource families in lieu of licensing foster family homes.

(ii)Notwithstanding clause (i), the existing licensure and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for foster family homes licensed prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in subparagraph (C), until the license is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to Section 1517.1 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B)(i)On and after January 1, 2017, a county shall approve resource families in lieu of approving relative and nonrelative extended family members.

(ii)Notwithstanding clause (i), the existing approval and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for relatives and nonrelative extended family members approved prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in subparagraph (C), until the approval is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to this section.

(C)Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), a county shall approve or deny all applications for foster family home licenses and requests for relative or nonrelative extended family member approvals received on or before December 31, 2016, in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code or provisions providing for the approval of relatives or nonrelative extended family members, as applicable.

(D)On and after January 1, 2017, a county shall not accept applications for foster family home licenses or requests to approve relatives or nonrelative extended family members.

(3)No later than July 1, 2019, each county shall provide the following information to all licensed foster family homes and approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members licensed or approved by the county:

(A)A detailed description of the resource family approval program.

(B)Notification that, in order to care for a foster child, resource family approval is required by December 31, 2020.

(C)Notification that a foster family home license and an approval of a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law, as specified in paragraph (8).

(4)The following shall apply to all licensed foster family homes and approved relative and nonrelative extended family members:

(A)A licensed foster family home or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member with an approved adoptive home study completed prior to January 1, 2018, shall be deemed to be a resource family.

(B)A licensed foster family home or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member who had a child in placement at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation.

(C)A licensed foster family home that provided county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation.

(5)A county may provide supportive services to all licensed foster family homes, relatives, and nonrelative extended family members with a child in placement to assist with the resource family transition and to minimize placement disruptions.

(6)(A)In order to approve a licensed foster family home or approved relative or nonrelative extended family member as a resource family pursuant to paragraph (4), a county shall submit a written request to the Department of Justice to transfer any subsequent arrest and Child Abuse Central Index notifications, as specified in subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B)A request to transfer a subsequent arrest notification shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.

(7)An individual who is a member of a resource family approved pursuant to subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (4) shall be fingerprinted pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code upon filing an application for adoption.

(8)All foster family licenses and approvals of relatives and nonrelative extended family members shall be forfeited by operation of law on December 31, 2020, except as provided in this paragraph or Section 1524 of the Health and Safety Code:

(A)All licensed foster family homes that did not have a child in placement or did not provide county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, shall forfeit the license by operation of law on January 1, 2018.

(B)For foster family home licensees and approved relatives or nonrelative extended family members who have a pending resource family application on December 31, 2020, the foster family home license or relative and nonrelative extended family member approval shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family. If approval is denied, forfeiture by operation of law shall occur on the date of completion of any proceedings required by law to ensure due process.

(C)A foster family home license shall be forfeited by operation of law, pursuant to Section 1517.1 of the Health and Safety Code, upon approval as a resource family.

(D)Approval as a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family.

(q)On and after January 1, 2017, all licensed foster family agencies shall approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes, as set forth in Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.

(r)The department may establish participation conditions, and select and authorize foster family agencies that voluntarily submit implementation plans and revised plans of operation in accordance with requirements established by the department, to approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes.

(1)Notwithstanding any other law, a participating foster family agency shall require resource families to meet and maintain the resource family approval standards and requirements set forth in this chapter and in the written directives adopted consistent with the chapter prior to approval and in order to maintain approval.

(2)A participating foster family agency shall implement the resource family approval program pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3)This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of the department to inspect, evaluate, or investigate a complaint or incident, or initiate a disciplinary action against a foster family agency pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 1550) of Chapter 3 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, or to take any action it may deem necessary for the health and safety of children placed with the foster family agency.

(4)The department may adjust the foster family agency AFDC-FC rate pursuant to Section 11463 for implementation of this subdivision.

(5)This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2017.

(s)The department or a county is authorized to obtain any arrest or conviction records or reports from any court or law enforcement agency as necessary to the performance of its duties, as provided in this section or subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(t)A resource family approved pursuant to this section shall forfeit its approval concurrent with resource family approval by a foster family agency.

SEC. 2.

To the extent that this act has an overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a local agency for programs or levels of service mandated by the 2011 Realignment Legislation within the meaning of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, it shall apply to local agencies only to the extent that the state provides annual funding for the cost increase. Any new program or higher level of service provided by a local agency pursuant to this act above the level for which funding has been provided shall not require a subvention of funds by the state or otherwise be subject to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.