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AB-2597 Resource family approval.(2015-2016)

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AB2597:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 11, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 06, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 18, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2597


Introduced by Assembly Member Cooley

February 19, 2016


An act to amend Sections 366.26, 11253.2, and 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2597, as amended, Cooley. Resource family approval.
Existing law provides for the early implementation, by counties and foster family agencies, of the resource family approval process, which is a unified, family friendly, and child-centered approval process that replaces the multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving adoptive families. Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to implement the resource family approval process in all counties and with all foster family agencies by January 1, 2017. Existing law requires a resource family to demonstrate, among other things, the financial ability within the household to ensure the stability and financial security of the family, and requires a resource family applicant to complete a psychosocial assessment. Existing law also provides, in specified circumstances, that AFDC-FC funding shall not be available until approval of the resource family has been completed.
This bill would provide that a family who will rely on AFDC-FC, Kin-Gap, Kin-GAP, or Adoption Assistance Program benefits to meet additional household expenses incurred due to the placement of a child or children shall not, for that reason, be denied approval as a resource family. The bill would authorize a family member or non-related nonrelated extended family member to be approved as a resource family only for the placement of a specific child or children in certain circumstances. The bill would provide that require a family approved only for the placement of a specific child or children pursuant to that provision or on an emergency basis be reassessed to be reviewed by the county prior to the placement of any other or additional children. children and would require any changes to be reflected in an updated permanency assessment. The bill would require the psychosocial assessment for an applicant who has a specific child or children placed with him or her on an emergency basis, or who is applying to become a resource family for a specific child or children, to consider the relationship between the applicant and the child or children. The bill would also provide, in specified circumstances, that if the resource family approval process is not completed within 90 days after placement due to circumstances outside the control of the resource family, then the beginning date of aid for AFDC-FC shall be no later than 90 days after placement. The bill would also require that a determination to deny approval of a resource family be reviewed by county or foster family agency staff at the supervisory or administrative level, level for compliance with the approval standards, as specified. By increasing duties on county staff, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and other social services to needy families through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant program, state, and county funds. Existing law requires that an application for CalWORKs filed on behalf of specified children in the juvenile dependency system be processed pursuant to an expedited process. Existing law makes that provision inapplicable if the person who applies for aid on behalf of that child is also an applicant for or a recipient of CalWORKs benefits.
This bill would delete the latter provision and instead provide that a person who applies for aid on behalf of that child and who is an applicant for or recipient of CalWORKs benefits is responsible for applying for CalWORKs benefits, and complying with continuing eligibility requirements, for himself or herself. The bill would also require that those specified children in the juvenile dependency system receive the applicable regional CalWORKs grant for a recipient in an assistance unit of one, and provide that his or her application date for CalWORKs benefits is the date he or she was placed with his or her relative. By increasing the number of expedited applications the county is required to process, this 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 with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

366.26.
 (a) This section applies to children who are adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 360. The procedures specified herein are the exclusive procedures for conducting these hearings; Part 2 (commencing with Section 3020) of Division 8 of the Family Code is not applicable to these proceedings. Section 8616.5 of the Family Code is applicable and available to all dependent children meeting the requirements of that section, if the postadoption contact agreement has been entered into voluntarily. For children who are adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 360, this section and Sections 8604, 8605, 8606, and 8700 of the Family Code and Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of Division 12 of the Family Code specify the exclusive procedures for permanently terminating parental rights with regard to, or establishing legal guardianship of, the child while the child is a dependent child of the juvenile court.
(b) At the hearing, which shall be held in juvenile court for all children who are dependents of the juvenile court, the court, in order to provide stable, permanent homes for these children, shall review the report as specified in Section 361.5, 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25, shall indicate that the court has read and considered it, shall receive other evidence that the parties may present, and then shall make findings and orders in the following order of preference:
(1) Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that the child be placed for adoption and, upon the filing of a petition for adoption in the juvenile court, order that a hearing be set. The court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted.
(2) Order, without termination of parental rights, the plan of tribal customary adoption, as described in Section 366.24, through tribal custom, traditions, or law of the Indian child’s tribe, and upon the court affording the tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit at the continued selection and implementation hearing, order that a hearing be set pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(3) Appoint a relative or relatives with whom the child is currently residing as legal guardian or guardians for the child, and order that letters of guardianship issue.
(4) On making a finding under paragraph (3) of subdivision (c), identify adoption or tribal customary adoption as the permanent placement goal and order that efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child within a period not to exceed 180 days.
(5) Appoint a nonrelative legal guardian for the child and order that letters of guardianship issue.
(6) Order that the child be permanently placed with a fit and willing relative, subject to the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.
(7) Order that the child remain in foster care, subject to the conditions described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and the periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.
In choosing among the above alternatives the court shall proceed pursuant to subdivision (c).
(c) (1) If the court determines, based on the assessment provided as ordered under subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, or subdivision (b) of Section 366.25, and any other relevant evidence, by a clear and convincing standard, that it is likely the child will be adopted, the court shall terminate parental rights and order the child placed for adoption. The fact that the child is not yet placed in a preadoptive home nor with a relative or foster family who is prepared to adopt the child, shall not constitute a basis for the court to conclude that it is not likely the child will be adopted. A finding under subdivision (b) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reunification services shall not be offered, under subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 that the whereabouts of a parent have been unknown for six months or that the parent has failed to visit or contact the child for six months, or that the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, or, under Section 366.21 or 366.22, that the court has continued to remove the child from the custody of the parent or guardian and has terminated reunification services, shall constitute a sufficient basis for termination of parental rights. Under these circumstances, the court shall terminate parental rights unless either of the following applies:
(A) The child is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of circumstances that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment through legal guardianship, and the removal of the child from the custody of his or her relative would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. For purposes of an Indian child, “relative” shall include an “extended family member,” as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(2)).
(B) The court finds a compelling reason for determining that termination would be detrimental to the child due to one or more of the following circumstances:
(i) The parents have maintained regular visitation and contact with the child and the child would benefit from continuing the relationship.
(ii) A child 12 years of age or older objects to termination of parental rights.
(iii) The child is placed in a residential treatment facility, adoption is unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of parental rights will not prevent finding the child a permanent family placement if the parents cannot resume custody when residential care is no longer needed.
(iv) The child is living with a foster parent or Indian custodian who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of exceptional circumstances, that do not include an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and permanent environment and the removal of the child from the physical custody of his or her foster parent or Indian custodian would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. This clause does not apply to any child who is either (I) under six years of age or (II) a member of a sibling group where at least one child is under six years of age and the siblings are, or should be, permanently placed together.
(v) There would be substantial interference with a child’s sibling relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the relationship, including, but not limited to, whether the child was raised with a sibling in the same home, whether the child shared significant common experiences or has existing close and strong bonds with a sibling, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best interest, including the child’s long-term emotional interest, as compared to the benefit of legal permanence through adoption.
(vi) The child is an Indian child and there is a compelling reason for determining that termination of parental rights would not be in the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to:
(I) Termination of parental rights would substantially interfere with the child’s connection to his or her tribal community or the child’s tribal membership rights.
(II) The child’s tribe has identified guardianship, foster care with a fit and willing relative, tribal customary adoption, or another planned permanent living arrangement for the child.
(III) The child is a nonminor dependent, and the nonminor and the nonminor’s tribe have identified tribal customary adoption for the nonminor.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), in the case of tribal customary adoptions, Section 366.24 shall apply.
(D) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would be detrimental to the child pursuant to clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi), it shall state its reasons in writing or on the record.
(2) The court shall not terminate parental rights if:
(A) At each hearing at which the court was required to consider reasonable efforts or services, the court has found that reasonable efforts were not made or that reasonable services were not offered or provided.
(B) In the case of an Indian child:
(i) At the hearing terminating parental rights, the court has found that active efforts were not made as required in Section 361.7.
(ii) The court does not make a determination at the hearing terminating parental rights, supported by evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, including testimony of one or more “qualified expert witnesses” as defined in Section 224.6, that the continued custody of the child by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.
(iii) The court has ordered tribal customary adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.
(3) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would not be detrimental to the child pursuant to paragraph (1) (1), and that the child has a probability for adoption but is difficult to place for adoption and there is no identified or available prospective adoptive parent, the court may identify adoption as the permanent placement goal and and, without terminating parental rights, order that efforts be made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child, within the state or out of the state, within a period not to exceed 180 days. During this 180-day period, the public agency responsible for seeking adoptive parents for each child shall, to the extent possible, ask each child who is 10 years of age or older, to identify any individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify potential adoptive parents. The public agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall, to the extent possible, contact other private and public adoption agencies regarding the availability of the child for adoption. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall conduct the search for adoptive parents in the same manner as prescribed for children in Sections 8708 and 8709 of the Family Code. At the expiration of this period, another hearing shall be held and the court shall proceed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of subdivision (b). For purposes of this section, a child may only be found to be difficult to place for adoption if there is no identified or available prospective adoptive parent for the child because of the child’s membership in a sibling group, or the presence of a diagnosed medical, physical, or mental handicap, or the child is seven years of age or more.
(4) (A) If the court finds that adoption of the child or termination of parental rights is not in the best interest of the child, because one of the conditions in clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or (vi) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2) applies, the court shall order that the present caretakers or other appropriate persons shall become legal guardians of the child, or, in the case of an Indian child, consider a tribal customary adoption pursuant to Section 366.24. Legal guardianship shall be considered before continuing the child in foster care under any other permanent plan, if it is in the best interests of the child and if a suitable guardian can be found. If the child continues in foster care, the court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to achieving adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative as of the date of the hearing. A child who is 10 years of age or older, older shall be asked to identify any individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify potential guardians or, in the case of an Indian child, prospective tribal customary adoptive parents. The agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as appropriate.
(B) (i) If the child is living with an approved relative or a relative approved as a resource family who is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian or adoptive parent as of the hearing date, the court shall order a permanent plan of placement with a fit and willing relative, and the child shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the relative caretaker.
(ii) If the child is living with a nonrelative caregiver who is willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian as of the hearing date, the court shall order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501. Regardless of the age of the child, the child shall not be removed from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the child has substantial psychological ties to the caregiver.
(iii) If the child is living in a group home or, on or after January 1, 2017, a short-term residential treatment center, the court shall order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of Section 16501.
(C) The court shall also make an order for visitation with the parents or guardians unless the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that the visitation would be detrimental to the physical or emotional well-being of the child.
(5) If the court finds that the child should not be placed for adoption, that legal guardianship shall not be established, that placement with a fit and willing relative is not appropriate as of the hearing date, and that there are no suitable foster parents except exclusive-use homes available to provide the child with a stable and permanent environment, the court may order the care, custody, and control of the child transferred from the county welfare department to a licensed foster family agency. The court shall consider the written recommendation of the county welfare director regarding the suitability of the transfer. The transfer shall be subject to further court orders.
The licensed foster family agency shall place the child in a suitable licensed or exclusive-use home that has been certified by the agency as meeting licensing standards. The licensed foster family agency shall be responsible for supporting the child and providing appropriate services to the child, including those services ordered by the court. Responsibility for the support of the child shall not, in and of itself, create liability on the part of the foster family agency to third persons injured by the child. Those children whose care, custody, and control are transferred to a foster family agency shall not be eligible for foster care maintenance payments or child welfare services, except for emergency response services pursuant to Section 16504.
(d) The proceeding for the appointment of a guardian for a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile court. If the court finds pursuant to this section that legal guardianship is the appropriate permanent plan, it shall appoint the legal guardian and issue letters of guardianship. The assessment prepared pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, and subdivision (b) of Section 366.25 shall be read and considered by the court prior to the appointment, and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the court. The person preparing the assessment may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding.
(e) (1) The proceeding for the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile court if the court finds pursuant to this section that adoption is the appropriate permanent plan and the petition for adoption is filed in the juvenile court. Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the juvenile court shall order that an adoption hearing be set. The court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted. The full report required by Section 8715 of the Family Code shall be read and considered by the court prior to the adoption and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the court. The person preparing the report may be called and examined by any party to the proceeding. It is the intent of the Legislature, pursuant to this subdivision, to give potential adoptive parents the option of filing in the juvenile court the petition for the adoption of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court. Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the filing of a petition for adoption in any other court as permitted by law, instead of in the juvenile court.
(2) In the case of an Indian child, if the Indian child’s tribe has elected a permanent plan of tribal customary adoption, the court, upon receiving the tribal customary adoption order will shall afford the tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit to the same extent that the court would afford full faith and credit to the public acts, records, judicial proceedings, and judgments of any other entity. Upon a determination that the tribal customary adoption order may be afforded full faith and credit, consistent with Section 224.5, the court shall thereafter order a hearing to finalize the adoption be set upon the filing of the adoption petition. The prospective tribal customary adoptive parents and the child who is the subject of the tribal customary adoption petition shall appear before the court for the finalization hearing. The court shall thereafter issue an order of adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.
(3) If a child who is the subject of a finalized tribal customary adoption shows evidence of a developmental disability or mental illness as a result of conditions existing before the tribal customary adoption to the extent that the child cannot be relinquished to a licensed adoption agency on the grounds that the child is considered unadoptable, and of which condition the tribal customary adoptive parent or parents had no knowledge or notice before the entry of the tribal customary adoption order, a petition setting forth those facts may be filed by the tribal customary adoptive parent or parents with the juvenile court that granted the tribal customary adoption petition. If these facts are proved to the satisfaction of the juvenile court, it may make an order setting aside the tribal customary adoption order. The set-aside petition shall be filed within five years of the issuance of the tribal customary adoption order. The court clerk shall immediately notify the child’s tribe and the department in Sacramento of the petition within 60 days after the notice of filing of the petition. The department shall file a full report with the court and shall appear before the court for the purpose of representing the child. Whenever a final decree of tribal customary adoption has been vacated or set aside, the child shall be returned to the custody of the county in which the proceeding for tribal customary adoption was finalized. The biological parent or parents of the child may petition for return of custody. The disposition of the child after the court has entered an order to set aside a tribal customary adoption shall include consultation with the child’s tribe.
(f) At the beginning of any proceeding pursuant to this section, if the child or the parents are not being represented by previously retained or appointed counsel, the court shall proceed as follows:
(1) In accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 317, if a child before the court is without counsel, the court shall appoint counsel unless the court finds that the child would not benefit from the appointment of counsel. The court shall state on the record its reasons for that finding.
(2) If a parent appears without counsel and is unable to afford counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent, unless this representation is knowingly and intelligently waived. The same counsel shall not be appointed to represent both the child and his or her parent. The public defender or private counsel may be appointed as counsel for the parent.
(3) Private counsel appointed under this section shall receive a reasonable sum for compensation and expenses, the amount of which shall be determined by the court. The amount shall be paid by the real parties in interest, other than the child, in any proportions the court deems just. However, if the court finds that any of the real parties in interest are unable to afford counsel, the amount shall be paid out of the general fund of the county.
(g) The court may continue the proceeding for a period of time not to exceed 30 days as necessary to appoint counsel, and to enable counsel to become acquainted with the case.
(h) (1) At all proceedings under this section, the court shall consider the wishes of the child and shall act in the best interests of the child.
(2) In accordance with Section 349, the child shall be present in court if the child or the child’s counsel so requests or the court so orders. If the child is 10 years of age or older and is not present at a hearing held pursuant to this section, the court shall determine whether the minor was properly notified of his or her right to attend the hearing and inquire as to the reason why the child is not present.
(3) (A) The testimony of the child may be taken in chambers and outside the presence of the child’s parent or parents, if the child’s parent or parents are represented by counsel, the counsel is present, and any of the following circumstances exists: exist:
(i) The court determines that testimony in chambers is necessary to ensure truthful testimony.
(ii) The child is likely to be intimidated by a formal courtroom setting.
(iii) The child is afraid to testify in front of his or her parent or parents.
(B) After testimony in chambers, the parent or parents of the child may elect to have the court reporter read back the testimony or have the testimony summarized by counsel for the parent or parents.
(C) The testimony of a child also may be taken in chambers and outside the presence of the guardian or guardians of a child under the circumstances specified in this subdivision.
(i) (1) Any order of the court permanently terminating parental rights under this section shall be conclusive and binding upon the child, upon the parent or parents parents, and upon all other persons who have been served with citation by publication or otherwise as provided in this chapter. After making the order, the juvenile court shall have no power to set aside, change, or modify it, except as provided in paragraph (2), but nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right to appeal the order.
(2) A tribal customary adoption order evidencing that the Indian child has been the subject of a tribal customary adoption shall be afforded full faith and credit and shall have the same force and effect as an order of adoption authorized by this section. The rights and obligations of the parties as to the matters determined by the Indian child’s tribe shall be binding on all parties. A court shall not order compliance with the order absent a finding that the party seeking the enforcement participated, or attempted to participate, in good faith, in family mediation services of the court or dispute resolution through the tribe regarding the conflict, prior to the filing of the enforcement action.
(3) A child who has not been adopted after the passage of at least three years from the date the court terminated parental rights and for whom the court has determined that adoption is no longer the permanent plan may petition the juvenile court to reinstate parental rights pursuant to the procedure prescribed by Section 388. The child may file the petition prior to the expiration of this three-year period if the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that is responsible for custody and supervision of the child as described in subdivision (j) and the child stipulate that the child is no longer likely to be adopted. A child over 12 years of age shall sign the petition in the absence of a showing of good cause as to why the child could not do so. If it appears that the best interests of the child may be promoted by reinstatement of parental rights, the court shall order that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the social worker or probation officer and to the child’s attorney of record, or, if there is no attorney of record for the child, to the child, and the child’s tribe, if applicable, by means prescribed by subdivision (c) of Section 297. The court shall order the child or the social worker or probation officer to give prior notice of the hearing to the child’s former parent or parents whose parental rights were terminated in the manner prescribed by subdivision (f) of Section 294 where the recommendation is adoption. The juvenile court shall grant the petition if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child is no longer likely to be adopted and that reinstatement of parental rights is in the child’s best interest. If the court reinstates parental rights over a child who is under 12 years of age and for whom the new permanent plan will not be reunification with a parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its findings that it is in the best interest of the child to reinstate parental rights. This subdivision is intended to be retroactive and applies to any child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court at the time of the hearing regardless of the date parental rights were terminated.
(j) If the court, by order or judgment, declares the child free from the custody and control of both parents, or one parent if the other does not have custody and control, or declares the child eligible for tribal customary adoption, the court shall at the same time order the child referred to the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency for adoptive placement by the agency. However, except in the case of a tribal customary adoption where there is no termination of parental rights, a petition for adoption may not be granted until the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted. The State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall be responsible for the custody and supervision of the child and shall be entitled to the exclusive care and control of the child at all times until a petition for adoption or tribal customary adoption is granted, except as specified in subdivision (n). With the consent of the agency, the court may appoint a guardian of the child, who shall serve until the child is adopted.
(k) Notwithstanding any other law, the application of any person who, as a relative caretaker or foster parent, has cared for a dependent child for whom the court has approved a permanent plan for adoption, or who has been freed for adoption, shall be given preference with respect to that child over all other applications for adoptive placement if the agency making the placement determines that the child has substantial emotional ties to the relative caretaker or foster parent and removal from the relative caretaker or foster parent would be seriously detrimental to the child’s emotional well-being.
As used in this subdivision, “preference” means that the application shall be processed and, if satisfactory, the family study shall be completed before the processing of the application of any other person for the adoptive placement of the child.
(l) (1) An order by the court that a hearing pursuant to this section be held is not appealable at any time unless all of the following apply:
(A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely manner.
(B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to be challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.
(C) The petition for extraordinary writ review was summarily denied or otherwise not decided on the merits.
(2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review within the period specified by rule, to substantively address the specific issues challenged, or to support that challenge by an adequate record shall preclude subsequent review by appeal of the findings and orders made pursuant to this section.
(3) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court, effective January 1, 1995, to ensure all of the following:
(A) A trial court, after issuance of an order directing a hearing pursuant to this section be held, shall advise all parties of the requirement of filing a petition for extraordinary writ review as set forth in this subdivision in order to preserve any right to appeal in these issues. This notice shall be made orally to a party if the party is present at the time of the making of the order or by first-class mail by the clerk of the court to the last known address of a party not present at the time of the making of the order.
(B) The prompt transmittal of the records from the trial court to the appellate court.
(C) That adequate time requirements for counsel and court personnel exist to implement the objective of this subdivision.
(D) That the parent or guardian, or their trial counsel or other counsel, is charged with the responsibility of filing a petition for extraordinary writ relief pursuant to this subdivision.
(4) The intent of this subdivision is to do both of the following:
(A) Make every reasonable attempt to achieve a substantive and meritorious review by the appellate court within the time specified in Sections 366.21, 366.22, and 366.25 for holding a hearing pursuant to this section.
(B) Encourage the appellate court to determine all writ petitions filed pursuant to this subdivision on their merits.
(5) This subdivision shall only apply to cases in which an order to set a hearing pursuant to this section is issued on or after January 1, 1995.
(m) Except for subdivision (j), this section shall also apply to minors adjudged wards pursuant to Section 727.31.
(n) (1) Notwithstanding Section 8704 of the Family Code or any other law, the court, at a hearing held pursuant to this section or anytime thereafter, may designate a current caretaker as a prospective adoptive parent if the child has lived with the caretaker for at least six months, the caretaker currently expresses a commitment to adopt the child, and the caretaker has taken at least one step to facilitate the adoption process. In determining whether to make that designation, the court may take into consideration whether the caretaker is listed in the preliminary assessment prepared by the county department in accordance with subdivision (i) of Section 366.21 as an appropriate person to be considered as an adoptive parent for the child and the recommendation of the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, steps to facilitate the adoption process include, but are not limited to, the following:
(A) Applying for an adoption home study.
(B) Cooperating with an adoption home study.
(C) Being designated by the court or the adoption agency as the adoptive family.
(D) Requesting de facto parent status.
(E) Signing an adoptive placement agreement.
(F) Engaging in discussions regarding a postadoption contact agreement.
(G) Working to overcome any impediments that have been identified by the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.
(H) Attending classes required of prospective adoptive parents.
(3) Prior to a change in placement and as soon as possible after a decision is made to remove a child from the home of a designated prospective adoptive parent, the agency shall notify the court, the designated prospective adoptive parent parent, or the current caretaker, if that caretaker would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) on the date of service of this notice, the child’s attorney, and the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the proposal in the manner described in Section 16010.6.
(A) Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer, of the date of notification, the child, the child’s attorney, or the designated prospective adoptive parent may file a petition with the court objecting to the proposal to remove the child, or the court, upon its own motion, may set a hearing regarding the proposal. The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period. A caretaker who would have met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the child may file, together with the petition under this subparagraph, a petition for an order designating the caretaker as a prospective adoptive parent for purposes of this subdivision.
(B) A hearing ordered pursuant to this paragraph shall be held as soon as possible and not later than five court days after the petition is filed with the court or the court sets a hearing upon its own motion, unless the court for good cause is unable to set the matter for hearing five court days after the petition is filed, in which case the court shall set the matter for hearing as soon as possible. At the hearing, the court shall determine whether the caretaker has met the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1), and whether the proposed removal of the child from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent is in the child’s best interest, and the child may not be removed from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent unless the court finds that removal is in the child’s best interest. If the court determines that the caretaker did not meet the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective adoptive parent on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the child, the petition objecting to the proposed removal filed by the caretaker shall be dismissed. If the caretaker was designated as a prospective adoptive parent prior to this hearing, the court shall inquire into any progress made by the caretaker towards the adoption of the child since the caretaker was designated as a prospective adoptive parent.
(C) A determination by the court that the caretaker is a designated prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1) or subparagraph (B) does not make the caretaker a party to the dependency proceeding nor does it confer on the caretaker any standing to object to any other action of the department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency, unless the caretaker has been declared a de facto parent by the court prior to the notice of removal served pursuant to paragraph (3).
(D) If a petition objecting to the proposal to remove the child is not filed, and the court, upon its own motion, does not set a hearing, the child may be removed from the home of the designated prospective adoptive parent without a hearing.
(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), if the State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency determines that the child must be removed from the home of the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent immediately, due to a risk of physical or emotional harm, the agency may remove the child from that home and is not required to provide notice prior to the removal. However, as soon as possible and not longer than two court days after the removal, the agency shall notify the court, the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent, the child’s attorney, and the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the removal. Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer, of the date of notification of the removal, the child, the child’s attorney, or the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive parent may petition for, or the court on its own motion may set, a noticed hearing pursuant to paragraph (3). The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period.
(5) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 366.28, an order by the court issued after a hearing pursuant to this subdivision shall not be appealable.
(6) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county child protective services agency from fully investigating and responding to alleged abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to Section 11165.5 of the Penal Code.
(7) The Judicial Council shall prepare forms to facilitate the filing of the petitions described in this subdivision, which shall become effective on January 1, 2006.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11253.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11253.2.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, an application for aid filed on behalf of a child to whom Section 309, 361.45, or 16519.5 applies shall be processed pursuant to an expedited process as determined by the department in consultation with the counties.
(b) Both of the following shall apply to a child described in subdivision (a):
(1) The child shall receive the applicable regional CalWORKs grant for a recipient in an assistance unit of one pursuant to the exempt maximum aid payment set forth in Section 11450. Any adjustments to CalWORKs grant amounts shall apply to a grant described in this paragraph.
(2) The application date for the application described in subdivision (a) shall be the date the child was placed with his or her relative.
(c) If the person who applies for aid on behalf of a child described in subdivision (a) is also an applicant for or a recipient of benefits under this chapter, that person shall be responsible for applying for benefits under this chapter, and complying with continuing eligibility requirements, for himself or herself.
(d) (1) A person who applies for aid on behalf of a child described in subdivision (a) shall be exempt from Chapter 4.6 (commencing with Section 10830) of Part 2 governing the statewide fingerprint imaging system.

(3)

(2) A relative caregiver who is also an applicant for or a recipient of benefits under this chapter shall comply with the statewide fingerprint imaging system requirements if applying for or receiving benefits for himself or herself.

SEC. 3.

 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, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving 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. 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.
(c) (1) For the purposes of this chapter, “resource family” means an individual or couple that a participating county or foster family agency, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 11400 of this code, and paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, determines to have successfully met both the home environment assessment standards and the permanency assessment criteria adopted pursuant to subdivision (d) necessary for providing care for a related or unrelated child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, or otherwise in the care of a county child welfare agency or probation department. 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 his or her 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. A family who will rely on AFDC-FC, Kin-Gap, Kin-GAP, or Adoption Assistance Program benefits to meet additional household expenses incurred due to the placement of a child or children 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) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), subsequent to meeting the criteria set forth in this subdivision and designation as a resource family, a resource family shall be considered eligible to provide foster care for related and unrelated children in out-of-home placement, shall be considered approved for adoption or guardianship, and shall not have to undergo any additional approval or licensure as long as the family lives in a county participating in the program.
(B) (i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), an applicant who is a relative or non-related nonrelated extended family member may be approved as a resource family only for the placement of a specific child or children if exceptional circumstances exist indicating that the placement is in the best interest of the specific child or children and the applicant is not able to care for other or additional children.
(ii) A family approved only for the placement of a specific child or children, pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (e) or pursuant to clause (i) shall be reassessed reviewed by the county prior to the placement of any other or additional children. children and any changes shall be reflected in an updated permanency assessment. This determination shall be reflected in the permanency assessment conducted pursuant to this section.
(iii) If a relative seeking approval as a resource family for a specific child or children is willing and able to provide a stable and permanent home for the child or children, but not willing to become a legal guardian or adoptive parent, the permanency assessment shall take into account the provision for a permanent plan of placement with a fit and willing relative pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26, and approval as a resource family shall not be denied for this reason.
(3) Resource family approval means that the applicant successfully meets the home environment assessment and permanency assessment standards. This approval is in lieu of the existing foster care license, relative or nonrelative extended family member approval, and the adoption home study approval.
(4) Approval of a resource family does not guarantee an initial or continued placement of a child with a resource family.
(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, the department or county may cease any further review of an application if the applicant has had a previous application denial within the preceding year, or if the applicant has had a previous rescission, revocation, or exemption denial or rescission by the department or county within the preceding two years. However, the department or 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 department or county shall cease review of the individual’s application unless the excluded individual has been reinstated pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code. The cessation of review shall not constitute a denial of the application for purposes of this section or any other law.
(d) Prior to implementation of this program, the department shall adopt standards pertaining to the home environment and permanency assessments of a resource family.
(1) Resource family home environment assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) (i) Criminal records clearance of 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 (CACI), 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 either the applicant or any other adult residing in the home. An approval may not be granted to applicants whose criminal record indicates a conviction for any of the offenses specified in subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(iii) If the resource family parent, applicant, or any other person specified in subdivision (b) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation, 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 director or the early implementation county, if that county has been granted permission by the director 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.
(iv) For public foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized.
(v) 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) Buildings and grounds and storage requirements set forth in Sections 89387 and 89387.2 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.
(C) In addition to the foregoing requirements, the resource family home environment assessment standards shall also require the following:
(i) That the applicant demonstrate an understanding about the rights of children in care and his or her 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 his or her responsibilities with respect to acting as a reasonable and prudent parent, and maintaining the least restrictive environment that serves the needs of the child.
(2) The resource family permanency assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) The applicant shall complete caregiver training.
(B) (i) The applicant shall complete a psychosocial assessment, which shall include the results of a risk assessment.
(ii) A caregiver risk assessment shall include, but shall not be limited to, physical and mental health, alcohol and other substance use and abuse, family and domestic violence, and the factors listed in subparagraphs (A) and (D) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).
(iii) If the applicant has a child or children placed with him or her pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (e), or is applying to become a resource family for a specific child or children pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (c), the relationship between the applicant and the child or children shall be considered as a factor in the psychosocial assessment.
(C) The applicant shall complete any other activities that relate to a resource family’s ability to achieve permanency with the child.
(e) (1) A child may be placed with a resource family that 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.
(2) The permanency assessment shall be completed within 90 days of the child’s placement in the home, unless good cause exists based upon the needs of the child.
(3) 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.
(4) The county shall report to the department on a quarterly basis the number of families with a child in an approved home whose permanency assessment goes beyond 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.
(5) Relatives and nonrelative extended family members, as defined in Section 362.7, shall continue to be assessed and given consideration for placement as described in Sections 309, 319, 361.3, and 362.7. A child may be placed with a relative or nonrelative extended family member prior to applying as a resource family only on an emergency basis if all of the following requirements are met:
(A) Consideration of the results of a criminal records check conducted pursuant to Section 16504.5 of the relative or nonrelative extended family member and of every other adult in the home.
(B) Consideration of the results of the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) consistent with Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code of the relative or nonrelative extended family member, and of every other adult in the home.
(C) The home and grounds are free of conditions that pose undue risk to the health and safety of the child.
(D) For any placement made pursuant to this paragraph, the county shall initiate the home environment assessment no later than five business days after the placement, which shall include a face-to-face interview with the resource family applicant and child.
(E) (i) For any placement made pursuant to this paragraph, AFDC-FC funding shall not be available until approval of the resource family has been completed. The county shall complete an application for CalWORKs benefits pursuant to Section 11253.2 for each child placed pursuant to this paragraph to enable the receipt of benefits while resource family approval is pending. The application date for CalWORKs benefits shall be the date the child was placed with his or her relative.
(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), if the resource family approval process is not completed within 90 days after placement due to circumstances outside the control of the resource family, then the beginning date of aid for AFDC-FC shall be no later than 90 days after placement.
(F) Any child placed under this section shall be afforded all the rights set forth in Section 16001.9.
(f) The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:
(1) Selecting early implementation counties, based on criteria established by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association.
(2) Establishing timeframes for participating counties to submit an implementation plan, enter into terms and conditions for participation in the program, train appropriate staff, and accept applications from resource families.
(3) Entering into terms and conditions for participation in the program by counties.
(4) 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 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.
(5) Approving and requiring the use of a single standard for resource family approval.
(6) Adopting and requiring the use of standardized documentation for the home environment and permanency assessments of resource families.
(7) Requiring counties to monitor resource families including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Investigating complaints of 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.
(8) Ongoing oversight and monitoring of county systems and operations including all of the following:
(A) Reviewing the county’s implementation of the program.
(B) Reviewing an adequate number of approved resource families in each participating 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 participating county is experiencing a disproportionate number of complaints against individual resource family homes.
(C) Reviewing county reports of serious complaints and incidents involving approved 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 participating counties.
(E) Requiring corrective action of counties that are not in full compliance with the terms and conditions of the program.
(9) 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.
(10) Implementing due process procedures, including all of the following:
(A) Providing a statewide fair hearing process for denials, rescissions, or exclusion actions.
(B) 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 participating in the program shall be responsible for all of the following:
(1) Submitting an implementation plan, entering into terms and conditions for participation in the program, consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan, training appropriate staff, and accepting applications from resource families within the timeframes established by the department.
(2) Complying with the written directives pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (f).
(3) Implementing the requirements for resource family approval and utilizing standardized documentation established by the department.
(4) Ensuring staff have the education and experience necessary to complete the home environment and psychosocial assessments competently.
(5) (A) Taking the following actions, as applicable:
(i) Approving or denying resource family applications.
(ii) Rescinding approvals of resource families.
(iii) Excluding a resource family parent or other individual from presence in a 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 urgent action is needed to protect a child or nonminor dependent from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety, consistent with the established standard.
(B) Providing a resource family parent, applicant, or excluded individual requesting review of that decision with due process pursuant to the department’s statutes, regulations, and written directives.
(C) Notifying the department of any decisions denying a resource family’s application or rescinding the approval of a resource family, excluding an individual, or taking other administrative action.
(D) Issuing a temporary suspension order that suspends the resource family approval prior to a hearing, when urgent action is needed to protect a child or nonminor dependent who is or may be placed in the home from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety.
(6) Updating resource family approval annually.
(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 comply with 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.
(8) Investigating all complaints against a resource family and taking action as necessary. This shall include investigating any incidents reported about a resource family indicating that the approval standard is not being maintained.
(A) The child’s social worker shall not conduct the formal investigation into the complaint received concerning a family providing services under the standards required by subdivision (d). To the extent that adequate resources are available, complaints shall be investigated by a worker who did not initially conduct the home environment or psychosocial assessments.
(B) Upon conclusion of the complaint investigation, the final disposition shall be reviewed and approved by a supervising staff member.
(C) 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 is necessary to study, monitor, and prepare the report specified in paragraph (9) 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 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.
(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; and ensuring a harassment and violence free school environment pursuant to Article 3.6 (commencing with Section 32228) of Chapter 2 of Part 19 of Division 1 of Title 1 of the Education Code.
(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, 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).
(14) Ensuring approved resource families complete a minimum of eight training hours annually, a portion of which shall be from one or more of the topics listed in paragraph (13).
(h) In addition to any training required by this section, a resource family may be required to receive specialized training, as relevant, 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 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) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county or a foster family agency from requiring resource family training in excess of the requirements in this section.
(j) (1) 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 full 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.
(2)  Upon implementation of the program in a county, that county may 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 adoptive homes.
(k) The department may waive regulations that pose a barrier to 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 program and only for the duration of the program.
(l) Resource families approved under initial implementation of the program, who move within an early implementation county or who move to another early implementation county, shall retain their resource family status if the new building and grounds, outdoor activity areas, and storage areas meet home environment standards. The State Department of Social Services or early implementation county may allow a program-affiliated individual to transfer his or her subsequent arrest notification if the individual moves from one early implementation county to another early implementation county, as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(m) (1) The approval of a resource family who moves to a nonparticipating county remains in full force and effect pending a determination by the county approval agency or the department, as appropriate, whether the new building and grounds and storage areas meet applicable standards, and whether all adults residing in the home have a criminal records clearance or exemptions granted, using the exemption criteria used for foster care licensing, as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. Upon this determination, the nonparticipating county shall either approve the family as a relative or nonrelative extended family member, as applicable, or the department shall license the family as a foster family home.
(2) Subject to the requirements in paragraph (1), the family shall continue to be approved for guardianship and adoption. Nothing in this subdivision shall limit a county or adoption agency from determining that the family is not approved for guardianship or adoption based on changes in the family’s circumstances or psychosocial assessment.
(3) A program-affiliated individual who moves to a nonparticipating county may not transfer his or her subsequent arrest notification from a participating county to the nonparticipating county.
(n) 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 under the program.
(o) A child placed with a resource family shall be eligible for AFDC-FC payments. A resource family, or a foster family agency pursuant to subdivisions (s) and (t), shall be paid an AFDC-FC rate pursuant to Sections 11460, 11461, and 11463. 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.
(p) 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.
(q) Except as provided, approved resource families under this program shall be exempt from all of the following:
(1) Licensure requirements set forth under the Community Care Facilities Act, commencing with Section 1500 of the Health and Safety Code, and all regulations promulgated thereto.
(2) Relative and nonrelative extended family member approval requirements set forth under Sections 309, 361.4, and 362.7, and all regulations promulgated thereto.
(3) Adoptions approval and reporting requirements set forth under Section 8712 of the Family Code, and all regulations promulgated thereto.
(r) (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) No later than July 1, 2017, each county shall provide the following information to all licensed foster family homes and all approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members:
(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, 2019.
(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 provided for in paragraph (4).
(3) By no later than January 1, 2018, the following shall apply to all licensed foster family homes and approved relative and nonrelative extended family members:
(A) A licensed foster family home, and 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 an approved resource family.
(B) A licensed foster family home, and an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member who had a child in placement at any time, for any length of 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 psychosocial assessment pursuant to subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (d).
(C) A county may provide supportive services to all licensed foster family home providers, relatives, and nonrelative extended family members with a child in placement to assist with the resource family transition and to minimize placement disruptions.
(4) All foster family licenses and approvals of a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law on December 31, 2019, except as provided in this paragraph:
(A) All licensed foster family homes that did not have a child in placement at any time, for any length of 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, 2019, the foster family home license or relative and nonrelative extended family member approval shall be forfeited by operation of law on the date of 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.
(s) On and after January 1, 2017, all licensed foster family agencies shall approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes. A foster family agency or a short-term residential treatment center pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 11462 shall require applicants and resource families to meet the resource family approval standards and requirements set forth in this chapter and in the written directives adopted pursuant to this chapter prior to approval and in order to maintain approval.
(t) Commencing January 1, 2016, 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 hereto 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) Nothing in this section shall 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.
(u) A determination to deny approval of a resource family shall be reviewed by county or foster family agency staff at the supervisory or administrative level for compliance with the approval standards set forth pursuant to this section. This subdivision does not affect the right of an applicant to request an administrative hearing pursuant to Section 10950.

SEC. 4.

 To the extent that this act has an overall effect of increasing certain 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 nor otherwise be subject to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.