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SB-976 Nonminor dependents.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/11/2020 09:00 PM
SB976:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 976


Introduced by Senator Wilk

February 11, 2020


An act to amend Section 11403 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 976, as introduced, Wilk. Nonminor dependents.
Existing law provides aid and services to children placed in out-of-home care through various social service programs, including California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC), Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-GAP), and the Adoption Assistance Program. Under existing law, a nonminor dependent, defined to mean a person between 18 and 21 years of age who is still within the jurisdiction or transitional jurisdiction of the juvenile court under specified placement and care responsibility and who has a transitional independent living case plan, continues to be eligible for those social service programs until 21 years of age, if the nonminor dependent is otherwise eligible for that program and one or more other specified conditions are met, including that the nonminor is employed for at least 80 hours per month or enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education.
This bill would make technical, nonsubstantive changes to those provisions.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 11403 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11403.
 (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to exercise the option afforded states under Section 475(8) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)), and Section 473(a)(4) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 673(a)(4)) of the federal Social Security Act, as contained in the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351), to receive federal financial participation for nonminor dependents of the juvenile court who satisfy the conditions of subdivision (b), consistent with their transitional independent living case plan. Nonminor dependents are eligible to receive support until they reach 21 years of age, consistent with their transitional independent living case plan and as described in Section 10103.5. It is the intent of the Legislature, both at the time of initial determination of the nonminor dependent’s eligibility and throughout the time the nonminor dependent is eligible for aid pursuant to this section, that the social worker or probation officer or Indian tribal placing entity and the nonminor dependent shall work together to ensure the nonminor dependent’s ongoing eligibility. All case planning shall be a collaborative effort between the nonminor dependent and the social worker, probation officer, or Indian tribe, with the nonminor dependent assuming increasing levels of responsibility and independence.
(b) A nonminor dependent receiving aid pursuant to this chapter, who satisfies the age criteria set forth in subdivision (a), shall meet the legal authority for placement and care by being under a foster care placement order by the juvenile court, or the voluntary reentry agreement as set forth in subdivision (z) of Section 11400, and is otherwise eligible for AFDC-FC payments pursuant to Section 11401. A nonminor who satisfies the age criteria set forth in subdivision (a), and who is otherwise eligible, shall continue to receive CalWORKs payments pursuant to Section 11253, Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Program benefits pursuant to Section 11461.3, or, as a nonminor former dependent or ward, aid pursuant to Kin-GAP under Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) or adoption assistance payments, as specified in Chapter 2.1 (commencing with Section 16115) of Part 4. A nonminor former dependent child or ward of the juvenile court who is receiving AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Section 11405 and who satisfies the criteria set forth in subdivision (a) is eligible to continue to receive aid as long as the nonminor is otherwise eligible for AFDC-FC benefits under this subdivision. This subdivision applies when one or more of the following conditions exist:
(1) The nonminor is completing secondary education or a program leading to an equivalent credential.
(2) The nonminor is enrolled in an institution that provides postsecondary or vocational education.
(3) The nonminor is participating in a program or activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to employment.
(4) The nonminor is employed for at least 80 hours per month.
(5) The nonminor is incapable of doing any of the activities described in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, due to a medical condition, and that incapability is supported by regularly updated information in the case plan of the nonminor. The requirement to update the case plan under this section does not apply to nonminor former dependents or wards in receipt of Kin-GAP program or Adoption Assistance Program payments.
(c) The county child welfare or probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1, shall work together with a nonminor dependent who is in foster care on the nonminor dependent’s 18th birthday and thereafter or a nonminor former dependent receiving aid pursuant to Section 11405, to satisfy one or more of the conditions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) and shall certify the nonminor’s applicable condition or conditions in the nonminor’s six-month transitional independent living case plan update, and provide the certification to the eligibility worker and to the court at each six-month case plan review hearing for the nonminor dependent. Relative guardians who receive Kin-GAP payments and adoptive parents who receive adoption assistance payments shall be responsible for reporting to the county welfare agency that the nonminor does not satisfy at least one of the conditions described in subdivision (b). The social worker, probation officer, or tribal entity shall verify and obtain assurances that the nonminor dependent continues to satisfy at least one of the conditions in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) at each six-month transitional independent living case plan update. The six-month case plan update shall certify the nonminor’s eligibility pursuant to subdivision (b) for the next six-month period. During the six-month certification period, the payee and nonminor shall report any change in placement or other relevant changes in circumstances that may affect payment. The nonminor dependent, or nonminor former dependent receiving aid pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405, shall be informed of all due process requirements, in accordance with state and federal law, prior to an involuntary termination of aid, and shall simultaneously be provided with a written explanation of how to exercise their due process rights and obtain referrals to legal assistance. Any notices of action regarding eligibility shall be sent to the nonminor dependent or former dependent, their counsel, as applicable, and the placing worker, in addition to any other payee. Payments of aid pursuant to Kin-GAP under Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), adoption assistance payments as specified in Chapter 2.1 (commencing with Section 16115) of Part 4, or aid pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405 that are made on behalf of a nonminor former dependent shall terminate subject to the terms of the agreements. Subject to federal approval of amendments to the state plan, aid payments may be suspended and resumed based on changes of circumstances that affect eligibility. Nonminor former dependents, as identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (aa) of Section 11400, are not eligible for reentry under subdivision (e) of Section 388 as nonminor dependents under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, but may be eligible for reentry pursuant to Section 388.1 if (1) the nonminor former dependent was receiving or, but for the receipt of Supplemental Security Income benefits or other aid from the federal Social Security Administration, would have received aid under either Kin-GAP pursuant to Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) or AFDC-FC pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405, or the nonminor was receiving adoption assistance payments, as specified in Chapter 2.1 (commencing with Section 16115) of Part 4, and (2) the nonminor’s former guardian or adoptive parent dies, or no longer provides ongoing support to, and no longer receives benefits on behalf of, the nonminor after the nonminor turns 18 years of age, but before the nonminor turns 21 years of age. Nonminor former dependents requesting the resumption of AFDC-FC payments pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405 shall complete the applicable portions of the voluntary reentry agreement, as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400.
(d) A nonminor dependent may receive all of the payment directly provided that the nonminor is living independently in a supervised placement, as described in subdivision (w) of Section 11400, and that both the youth and the agency responsible for the foster care placement have signed a mutual agreement, as defined in subdivision (u) of Section 11400, if the youth is capable of making an informed agreement, that documents the continued need for supervised out-of-home placement, and the nonminor’s and social worker’s or probation officer’s agreement to work together to facilitate implementation of the mutually developed supervised placement agreement and transitional independent living case plan.
(e) Eligibility for aid under this section shall not terminate until the nonminor dependent attains the age criteria, as set forth in subdivision (a), but aid may be suspended when the nonminor dependent no longer resides in an eligible facility, as described in Section 11402, or is otherwise not eligible for AFDC-FC benefits under Section 11401, or terminated at the request of the nonminor, or after a court terminates dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391, delinquency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 607.2, or transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 452. AFDC-FC benefits to nonminor dependents may be resumed at the request of the nonminor by completing a voluntary reentry agreement pursuant to subdivision (z) of Section 11400, before or after the filing of a petition filed pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 after a court terminates dependency or transitional jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391 or delinquency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 607.2. The county welfare or probation department or Indian tribal entity that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 shall complete the voluntary reentry agreement with the nonminor who agrees to satisfy the criteria of the agreement, as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400. The county welfare department or tribal entity shall establish a new child-only Title IV-E eligibility determination based on the nonminor’s completion of the voluntary reentry agreement pursuant to Section 11401. The beginning date of aid for either federal or state AFDC-FC for a reentering nonminor who is placed in foster care is the date the voluntary reentry agreement is signed or the nonminor is placed, whichever is later. The county welfare department, county probation department, or tribal entity shall provide a nonminor dependent who wishes to continue receiving aid with the assistance necessary to meet and maintain eligibility.
(f) (1) The county having jurisdiction of the nonminor dependent shall remain the county of payment under this section regardless of the youth’s physical residence. Nonminor former dependents A nonminor former dependent receiving aid pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405 shall be paid by their the nonminor former dependent’s county of residence. Counties may develop courtesy supervision agreements to provide case management and independent living services by the county of residence pursuant to the nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan. Placements made out of state are subject to the applicable requirements of the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children, pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family Code.
(2) The county welfare department, county probation department, or tribal entity shall notify all foster youth who attain 16 years of age and are under the jurisdiction of that county or tribe, including those receiving Kin-GAP, and AAP, of the existence of the aid prescribed by this section.
(3) The department shall seek any waiver to amend its Title IV-E State Plan with the Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services necessary to implement this section.
(g) (1) Subject to paragraph (3), a county shall pay the nonfederal share of the cost of extending aid pursuant to this section to eligible nonminor dependents who have reached 18 years of age and who are under the jurisdiction of the county, including AFDC-FC payments pursuant to Section 11401, aid pursuant to Kin-GAP under Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), adoption assistance payments as specified in Chapter 2.1 (commencing with Section 16115) of Part 4, and aid pursuant to Section 11405 for nonminor dependents who are residing in the county as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f). A county shall contribute to the CalWORKs payments pursuant to Section 11253 and aid pursuant to Kin-GAP under Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) at the statutory sharing ratios in effect on January 1, 2012.
(2) Subject to paragraph (3), a county shall pay the nonfederal share of the cost of providing permanent placement services pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16508 and administering the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Foster Care program pursuant to Section 15204.9. For purposes of budgeting, the department shall use a standard for the permanent placement services that is equal to the midpoint between the budgeting standards for family maintenance services and family reunification services.
(3) (A) (i) Notwithstanding any other law, a county’s required total contribution pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2), excluding costs incurred pursuant to Section 10103.5, shall not exceed the amount of savings in Kin-GAP assistance grant expenditures realized by the county from the receipt of federal funds due to the implementation of Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), and the amount of funding specifically included in the Protective Services Subaccount within the Support Services Account within the Local Revenue Fund 2011, plus any associated growth funding from the Support Services Growth Subaccount within the Sales and Use Tax Growth Account to pay the costs of extending aid pursuant to this section.
(ii) A county, at its own discretion, may expend additional funds beyond the amounts identified in clause (i). These additional amounts shall not be included in any cost and savings calculations or comparisons performed pursuant to this section.
(B) Beginning in the 2011–12 fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code. In addition, the following are available to the counties for the purpose of funding costs pursuant to this section:
(i) The savings in Kin-GAP assistance grant expenditures realized from the receipt of federal funds due to the implementation of Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385).
(ii) The savings realized from the change in federal funding for adoption assistance resulting from the enactment of Public Law 110-351 and consistent with subdivision (d) of Section 16118.
(4) (A) The limit on the county’s total contribution pursuant to paragraph (3) shall be assessed by the State Department of Social Services, in conjunction with the California State Association of Counties, in 2015–16, to determine if it shall be removed. The assessment of the need for the limit shall be based on a determination on a statewide basis of whether the actual county costs of providing extended care pursuant to this section, excluding costs incurred pursuant to Section 10103.5, are fully funded by the amount of savings in Kin-GAP assistance grant expenditures realized by the counties from the receipt of federal funds due to the implementation of Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) and the amount of funding specifically included in the Protective Services Subaccount within the Support Services Account within the Local Revenue Fund 2011 plus any associated growth funding from the Support Services Growth Subaccount within the Sales and Use Tax Growth Account to pay the costs of extending aid pursuant to this section.
(B) If the assessment pursuant to subparagraph (A) shows that the statewide total costs of extending aid pursuant to this section, excluding costs incurred pursuant to Section 10103.5, are fully funded by the amount of savings in Kin-GAP assistance grant expenditures realized by the counties from the receipt of federal funds due to the implementation of Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) and the amount of funding specifically included in the Protective Services Subaccount within the Support Services Account within the Local Revenue Fund 2011 plus any associated growth funding from the Support Services Growth Subaccount within the Sales and Use Tax Growth Account to pay the costs of extending aid pursuant to this section, the Department of Finance shall certify that fact, in writing, and shall post the certification on its internet website, at which time subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) shall no longer be implemented.
(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that a county currently participating in the Child Welfare Demonstration Capped Allocation Project not be adversely impacted by the department’s exercise of its option to extend foster care benefits pursuant to Section 673(a)(4) and Section 675(8) of Title 42 of the United States Code in the federal Social Security Act, as contained in the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351). Therefore, the department shall negotiate with the United States Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of those counties that are currently participating in the demonstration project to ensure that those counties receive reimbursement for these new programs outside of the provisions of those counties’ waiver under Subtitle IV-E (commencing with Section 470) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 et seq.).
(i) The department, on or before July 1, 2013, shall develop regulations to implement this section in consultation with concerned stakeholders, including, but not limited to, representatives of the Legislature, the County Welfare Directors Association of California, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the Judicial Council, representatives of Indian tribes, the California Youth Connection, former foster youth, child advocacy organizations, labor organizations, juvenile justice advocacy organizations, foster caregiver organizations, and researchers. In the development of these regulations, the department shall consider its Manual of Policy and Procedures, Division 30, Chapter 30-912, 913, 916, and 917, as guidelines for developing regulations that are appropriate for young adults who can exercise incremental responsibility concurrently with their growth and development. The department, in its consultation with stakeholders, shall take into consideration the impact to the Automated Child Welfare Services Case Management Services (CWS-CMS) and required modifications needed to accommodate eligibility determination under this section, benefit issuance, case management across counties, and recognition of the legal status of nonminor dependents as adults, as well as changes to data tracking and reporting requirements as required by the Child Welfare System Improvement and Accountability Act as specified in Section 10601.2, and federal outcome measures as required by the federal John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (42 U.S.C. Sec. 677(f)). In addition, the department, in its consultation with stakeholders, shall define the supervised independent living setting, which shall include, but not be limited to, apartment living, room and board arrangements, college or university dormitories, and shared roommate settings, and define how those settings meet health and safety standards suitable for nonminors. The department, in its consultation with stakeholders, shall define the six-month certification of the conditions of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (b) to be consistent with the flexibility provided by federal policy guidance, to ensure that there are ample supports for a nonminor to achieve the goals of the nonminor’s transition independent living case plan. The department, in its consultation with stakeholders, shall ensure that notices of action and other forms created to inform the nonminor of due process rights and how to access them shall be developed, using language consistent with the special needs of the nonminor dependent population.
(j) Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the department shall prepare for implementation of the applicable provisions of this section by publishing, after consultation with the stakeholders listed in subdivision (i), all-county letters or similar instructions from the director by October 1, 2011, to be effective January 1, 2012. Emergency regulations to implement the applicable provisions of this act may be adopted by the director in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. The initial adoption of the emergency regulations and one readoption of the emergency regulations are deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare. Initial emergency regulations and the first readoption of those emergency regulations are exempt from review by the Office of Administrative Law. The emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.