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AB-47 Human services: coordinated immigration support services.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 12/07/2020 09:00 PM
AB47:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 47


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes

December 07, 2020


An act to add Chapter 5.65 (commencing with Section 13350) to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to human services.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 47, as introduced, Reyes. Human services: coordinated immigration support services.
Existing federal law, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, empowers the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the federal Department of Health and Human Services with functions under the immigration laws of the United States with respect to the care of unaccompanied undocumented children, as specified, including, but not limited to, coordinating and implementing the care and placement of those children who are in federal custody by reason of their immigration status. Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services, subject to the availability of funding, to contract with qualified nonprofit legal services organizations to provide legal services to unaccompanied undocumented minors, as defined, who are transferred to the care and custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and who are present in this state. Existing law requires that the contracts awarded meet certain conditions.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services to establish a grant program in coordination with one or more qualified nonprofit social service agencies, as defined, to provide multi-tiered and coordinated immigration support services in California to undocumented and mixed-status families who reside in the state and were separated by the federal government. The bill would require those support services to meet specified criteria.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that undocumented immigrant families in California affected by the “zero tolerance” family separation policy of the federal government deserve coordinated social services to stabilize them following the trauma of separation.
(b) The Legislature further finds and declares all of the following:
(1) It is unethical to separate children from their parents in the absence of abuse or neglect due to the physical and emotional stress associated with such an ordeal, and such an ordeal has long lasting negative psychological consequences on children and adults.
(2) At least 2,654 children were separated from their parents or caregivers as a result of the Trump administration’s policies.
(3) The federal government was ordered to provide immediate needs assessment screenings and treatment to thousands of immigrant families who were traumatized by the separation policy and who remain in the United States.
(4) This critical remediation was time limited and a more comprehensive response is urgently needed.
(5) Some social service supports for separated undocumented families exist across the state, but these supports could be better coordinated and easier for families to access.
(6) It is in California’s best interest, both in economic and human terms, to locate families affected by the “zero tolerance” family separation policy and link them expeditiously to coordinated, comprehensive, culturally relevant services.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 5.65 (commencing with Section 13350) is added to Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, immediately following Chapter 5.6 (commencing with Section 13300), to read:
CHAPTER  5.65. Coordinated Immigration Support Services

13350.
 For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.
(b) “Multi-tiered and coordinated immigration support services” means the coordinated provision of four core service components: a statewide centralized warm line, care coordination and case management, a flexible funding pool, and trauma-informed services.
(c) “Promotorxs”, also known as community health workers (CHWs), peer leaders, or well-being advocates, means individuals who serve as a bridge between the community and the services system and nonprofit safety net, providing health education, health promotion, prevention, informational counseling, and referral information, as well as resources in a manner that is culturally and linguistically appropriate. Promotorxs function as cultural brokers who possess a unique understanding of often difficult-to-reach communities.
(d) “Qualified nonprofit social service agency” means a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with demonstrated experience providing the four core service components of multi-tiered and coordinated immigration support services.

13355.
 (a) (1) The department shall establish a program, in coordination with one or more qualified nonprofit social service agencies, to provide multi-tiered and coordinated immigration support services in California to undocumented and mixed-status families who reside in the state and were separated by the federal government’s “zero tolerance” policy.
(2) The program shall be coordinated with the qualified nonprofit social service agency or agencies that meet the following criteria:
(A) Has a statewide presence serving communities across all regions of California.
(B) Has an existing warm line infrastructure that can be made available for immediate use.
(C) Has national experience providing immigration-related services to families separated at the border.
(D) Has demonstrated experience providing culturally and linguistically responsive cross-sector services, including social services, behavioral health services, education, and legal services systems.
(E) Has demonstrated experience providing trauma-informed care to families affected by immigration policy in the United States.
(b) Under the program established pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall provide grants to qualified nonprofit social service agencies for the purpose of providing multi-tiered and coordinated immigration support services, which shall include the provision of the following four core service components:
(1) A centralized warm line that provides the following functions:
(A) Makes a confidential, toll-free statewide helpline available seven days a week.
(B) Provides services in the range of languages spoken by children, guardians, and families, as applicable.
(C) Triages caller needs and provides case management or linkage to local community-based providers.
(D) Utilizes developed partnerships with promotorxs that help promote utilization of the warm line.
(2) Care coordination and case management that connects families to the following services, in the range of languages spoken by children, guardians, and families, as applicable:
(A) Culturally relevant physical and behavioral health care.
(B) Legal services.
(C) Vocational services.
(D) Food and grocery resources.
(E) Education services.
(F) Housing services.
(3) Administration, provision, and tracking of a flexible, state-furnished funding pool to address comprehensive basic needs of families.
(4) Trauma-informed, culturally relevant services to address the psychological impact of family separation, including, but not limited to, the following services:
(A) Individual therapy for parents, caregivers, and children.
(B) Family therapy.
(C) Group therapy.