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AB-1006 Foster youth.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2017 09:00 PM
AB1006:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1006


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

February 16, 2017


An act to amend Sections 16119, 16206, 16501, and 16501.1 of, and to add Section 371 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1006, as introduced, Maienschein. Foster youth.
(1) Existing law requires, if a minor is not returned to the physical custody of his or her parents, the juvenile court to devise a permanency plan, including, among others things, an order that the child be placed for adoption, an order that a legal guardian be appointed, or an order that the child remain in another planned permanent living arrangement if the child is 16 years of age or older.
Existing law requires, at the time of application for adoption of a child who is potentially eligible for Adoption Assistance Program benefits is made, and at the time immediately prior to the finalization of the adoption decree, the State Department of Social Services, the county adoption agency, or the licensed adoption agency, to provide the prospective adoptive family with information on the availability of mental health services through the Medi-Cal program or other programs.
This bill would require, in any case in which the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer to provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians specified mental health treatment information. The bill would also require the department, the county adoption agency, or the licensed adoption agency, to provide that information to the prospective adoptive family at the time the application for adoption is made and at the time immediately prior to the finalization of the adoption decree. By requiring social workers, probation officers, and county adoption agencies to provide additional information to prospective adoptive families and guardians, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(2) Existing law requires the State Department of Social Services to select and award a grant to a private nonprofit or public entity for the purpose of establishing a statewide multipurpose child welfare training program. Existing law requires the training to provide practice-relevant training to county child protective services social workers who screen referrals for child abuse or neglect and for all workers assigned to provide emergency response, family maintenance, family reunification, and permanent placement services.
This bill would require the training program to provide practice-relevant adoption and permanency competency casework training for county child protective services social workers working in the areas of family reunification, permanent placement, and adoption.
(3) Existing law requires a county social worker to create a case plan for foster youth within a specified timeframe after the child is introduced into the foster care system. Existing law requires the case plan to include prescribed components, including, among other things, if the case plan has as its goal for the child a permanent plan of adoption, or legal guardianship, a statement of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes.
This bill would additionally require, if the case plan has as its goal for the child another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan to include a statement of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes. The bill would also require, if a child has been in care for 3 years or more, certain documentation relating to steps the agency to is taking to find an adoptive family or other permanent living arrangement for the child to include a description of the specialized permanency services the agency is using or, if specialized permanent services have not been used, a statement explaining why the agency chose not to provide these services. The bill would require, for youth 16 years of age or older and nonminor dependents, if the case plan has as its goal for the youth a permanent plan of another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan to include certain information relating to permanency services and activities. By imposing additional duties on county social workers and probation officers, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 371 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

371.
 When the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer shall provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians information, in writing, regarding the importance of working with mental health providers that have specialized adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional.

SEC. 2.

 Section 16119 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16119.
 (a) At the time application for adoption of a child who is potentially eligible for Adoption Assistance Program benefits is made, and at the time immediately prior to the finalization of the adoption decree, the department, county adoption agency, or the licensed adoption agency, whichever is appropriate, shall provide the prospective adoptive family with information, in writing, on the availability of Adoption Assistance Program benefits, with an explanation of the difference between these benefits and foster care payments. The department, county adoption agency, or the licensed adoption agency shall also provide the prospective adoptive family with information, in writing, on the availability of reimbursement for the nonrecurring expenses incurred in the adoption of the Adoption Assistance Program eligible child. The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall also provide the prospective adoptive family with information on the availability of mental health services through the Medi-Cal program or other programs. programs, including information, in writing, regarding the importance of working with mental health providers that have specialized adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional. The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall also provide information regarding the federal adoption tax credit for any individual who is adopting or considering adopting a child in foster care, in accordance with Section 403 of the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351).
(b) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall encourage families that elect not to sign an adoption assistance agreement to sign a deferred adoption assistance agreement.
(c) The department or the county, whichever is responsible for determining the child’s eligibility for the Adoption Assistance Program, shall assess the needs of the child and the circumstances of the family.
(d) (1) The amount of an adoption assistance cash benefit, if any, shall be a negotiated amount based upon the needs of the child and the circumstances of the family. There shall be no means test used to determine an adoptive family’s eligibility for the Adoption Assistance Program, or the amount of adoption assistance payments. In those instances where an otherwise eligible child does not require a cash benefit, Medi-Cal eligibility may be established for the child, as needed.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), “circumstances of the family” includes the family’s ability to incorporate the child into the household in relation to the lifestyle, standard of living, and future plans and to the overall capacity to meet the immediate and future plans and needs, including education, of the child.
(e) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall inform the prospective adoptive family regarding the county responsible for providing financial aid to the adoptive family in an amount determined pursuant to Sections 16120 and 16120.1.
(f) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall inform the prospective adoptive family that the adoptive parents will continue to receive benefits in the agreed upon amount unless one of the following occurs:
(1) The department or county adoption agency determines that the adoptive parents are no longer legally responsible for the support of the child.
(2) The department or county adoption agency determines that the child is no longer receiving support from the adoptive family.
(3) The adoption assistance payment exceeds the amount that the child would have been eligible for in a licensed foster home.
(4) The adoptive parents demonstrate a need for an increased payment.
(5) The adoptive parents voluntarily reduce or terminate payments.
(6) The adopted child has an extraordinary need that was not anticipated at the time the amount of the adoption assistance was originally negotiated.
(g) The department, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency shall inform the prospective adoptive family of their potential eligibility for a federal tax credit under Section 23 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. Sec. 23) and a state tax credit under Section 17052.25 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 16206 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16206.
 (a) The purpose of the program is to develop and implement statewide coordinated training programs designed specifically to meet the needs of county child protective services social workers assigned emergency response, family maintenance, family reunification, permanent placement, and adoption responsibilities. It is the intent of the Legislature that the program include training for other agencies under contract with county welfare departments to provide child welfare services. In addition, the program shall provide training programs for persons defined as a mandated reporter pursuant to the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code). The program shall provide the services required in this section to the extent possible within the total allocation. If allocations are insufficient, the department, in consultation with the grantee or grantees and the Child Welfare Training Advisory Board, shall prioritize the efforts of the program, giving primary attention to the most urgently needed services. County child protective services social workers assigned emergency response responsibilities shall receive first priority for training pursuant to this section.
(b) The training program shall provide practice-relevant training for mandated child abuse reporters and all members of the child welfare delivery system that will address critical issues affecting the well-being of children, and shall develop curriculum materials and training resources for use in meeting staff development needs of mandated child abuse reporters and child welfare personnel in public and private agency settings.
(c) The training provided pursuant to this section shall include all of the following:
(1) Crisis intervention.
(2) Investigative techniques.
(3) Rules of evidence.
(4) Indicators of abuse and neglect.
(5) Assessment criteria, including the application of guidelines for assessment of relatives for placement according to the criteria described in Section 361.3.
(6) Intervention strategies.
(7) Legal requirements of child protection, including requirements of child abuse reporting laws.
(8) Case management.
(9) Use of community resources.
(10) Information regarding the dynamics and effects of domestic violence upon families and children, including indicators and dynamics of teen dating violence.
(11) Posttraumatic stress disorder and the causes, symptoms, and treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in children. children and the types of and behavioral manifestation of trauma, loss, and grief.
(12) The importance of maintaining relationships with individuals who are important to a child in out-of-home placement, including methods to identify those individuals, consistent with the child’s best interests, including, but not limited to, asking the child about individuals who are important, and ways to maintain and support those relationships.
(13) The legal duties of a child protective services social worker, in order to protect the legal rights and safety of children and families from the initial time of contact during investigation through treatment.
(14) The information described in subdivision (d) of Section 16501.4.
(d) The training provided pursuant to this section may also include any or all of the following:
(1) Child development and parenting.
(2) Intake, interviewing, and initial assessment.
(3) Casework and treatment.
(4) Medical aspects of child abuse and neglect.
(e) The training program in each county shall assess the program’s performance at least annually and forward it to the State Department of Social Services for an evaluation. The assessment shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Workforce data, including education, qualifications, and demographics.
(2) The number of persons trained.
(3) The type of training provided.
(4) The degree to which the training is perceived by participants as useful in practice.
(5) Any additional information or data deemed necessary by the department for reporting, oversight, and monitoring purposes.
(f) The training program shall provide practice-relevant training to county child protective services social workers who screen referrals for child abuse or neglect and for all workers assigned to provide emergency response, family maintenance, family reunification, and permanent placement services. The training shall be developed in consultation with the Child Welfare Training Advisory Board and domestic violence victims’ advocates and other public and private agencies that provide programs for victims of domestic violence or programs of intervention for perpetrators.
(g) The training program shall provide practice-relevant adoption and permanency competency casework training for county child protective services social workers working in the areas of family reunification, permanent placement, and adoption. This component of the training shall be developed in the consultation with the Child Welfare and Training Advisory Board and the National Adoption Mental Health Training Initiative.

SEC. 4.

 Section 16501 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16501.
 (a) (1) As used in this chapter, “child welfare services” means public social services that are directed toward the accomplishment of any or all of the following purposes: protecting and promoting the welfare of all children, including disabled, homeless, dependent, or neglected children; preventing or remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems which may result in, the neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of children; preventing the unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems, assisting families in resolving their problems, and preventing breakup of the family where the prevention of child removal is desirable and possible; restoring to their families children who have been removed, by the provision of services to the child and the families; identifying children to be placed in suitable adoptive homes, in cases where restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate; and ensuring adequate care of children away from their homes, in cases where the child cannot be returned home or cannot be placed for adoption.
(2) “Child welfare services” also means services provided on behalf of children alleged to be the victims of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The child welfare services provided on behalf of each child represent a continuum of services, including emergency response services, family preservation services, family maintenance services, family reunification services, and permanent placement services, including supportive transition services. The individual child’s case plan is the guiding principle in the provision of these services. The case plan shall be developed within a maximum of 60 days of the initial removal of the child or of the in-person response required under subdivision (f) if the child has not been removed from his or her home, or by the date of the dispositional hearing pursuant to Section 358, whichever comes first.
(3) “Child welfare services” are best provided in a framework that integrates service planning and delivery among multiple service systems, including the mental health system, using a team-based approach, such as a child and family team. A child and family team brings together individuals that engage with the child or youth and family in assessing, planning, and delivering services consistent with paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section 16501.1. Use of a team approach increases efficiency, and thus reduces cost, by increasing coordination of formal services and integrating the natural and informal supports available to the child or youth and family.
(4) “Child and family team” means a group of individuals who are convened by the placing agency and who are engaged through a variety of team-based processes to identify the strengths and needs of the child or youth and his or her family, and to help achieve positive outcomes for safety, permanency, and well-being.
(A) The activities of the team shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(i) Providing input into the development of a child and family plan that is strengths-based, needs-driven, and culturally relevant.
(ii) Providing input into the placement decision made by the placing agency and the services to be provided in order to support the child or youth.
(B)  The child and family team process shall engage the child or youth, the child’s family, and other people important to the family or to the child or youth in meeting the objectives set forth in subparagraph (A). The child and family team shall also include representatives who provide formal supports to the child or youth and family when appropriate, including, but not limited to, the caregiver, the placing agency caseworker, a representative from a foster family agency or short-term residential therapeutic program with which a child or youth is placed, a county mental health representative, a representative from the regional center when the child is eligible for regional center service, and a representative of the child’s or youth’s tribe or Indian custodian, as applicable. As appropriate, the child and family team also may include other formal supports, such as substance use disorder treatment professionals and educational professionals, providing services to the child or youth and family. For purposes of this definition, the child and family team also may include extended family and informal support persons, such as friends, coaches, faith-based connections, and tribes as identified by the child or youth and family. If placement into a short-term residential therapeutic program or a foster family agency that provides treatment services has occurred or is being considered, the mental health representative is required to be a licensed mental health professional. Any party to the child’s case who is represented by an attorney may consult with his or her attorney regarding this process. The child or youth and his or her family may request specific persons to be included on the child and family team. Nothing shall preclude another agency serving the child or youth from convening a team in collaboration with the placing agency.
(5) Child welfare services may include, but are not limited to, a range of service-funded activities, including case management, counseling, emergency shelter care, emergency in-home caretakers, temporary in-home caretakers, respite care, therapeutic day services, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parenting training, substance abuse testing, and transportation. transportation, and specialized permanency services. These service-funded activities shall be available to children and their families in all phases of the child welfare program in accordance with the child’s case plan and departmental regulations. Funding for services is limited to the amount appropriated in the annual Budget Act and other available county funds.
(6) Service-funded activities to be provided may be determined by each county, based upon individual child and family needs as reflected in the service plan.
(7) As used in this chapter, “emergency shelter care” means emergency shelter provided to children who have been removed pursuant to Section 300 from their parent or parents or their guardian or guardians. The department may establish, by regulation, the time periods for which emergency shelter care shall be funded. For the purposes of this paragraph, “emergency shelter care” may include “transitional shelter care facilities” as defined in paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code.
(8) As used in this chapter, “specialized permanency services” means services to assist a child or nonminor dependent whose case plan is for permanent placement or supportive transition to adulthood in achieving a permanent family through reunification, adoption, legal guardianship, or other lifelong connection to caring adults, including at least one adult who will provide a permanent, parent-like relationship for the child or nonminor dependent. “Specialized permanency services” may include all of the following:
(A) Medically necessary mental health services, as needed to ameliorate impairments in significant areas of life functioning that may reduce the likelihood of the child or nonminor dependent achieving a permanent family, and may include other services designed to address the child’s or nonminor dependent’s history of trauma, grief, loss, stigma, and rejection that reduce the likelihood of the child or nonminor dependent achieving a permanent family.
(B) Permanent support core services, as appropriate to achieve, stabilize, and sustain the child or nonminor dependent in a permanent family.
(C) Services designed to prepare the identified permanent family to meet the child’s or nonminor dependent’s needs, set appropriate expectations before and after permanency is achieved, and stabilize the placement.
(b) As used in this chapter, “respite care” means temporary care for periods not to exceed 72 hours, and, in order to preserve the placement, may be extended up to 14 days in any one month pending the development of policies and regulations in consultation with county placing agencies and stakeholders. This care may be provided to the child’s parents or guardians. This care shall not be limited by regulation to care over 24 hours. These services shall not be provided for the purpose of routine, ongoing child care.
(c) The county shall provide child welfare services as needed pursuant to an approved service plan and in accordance with regulations promulgated, in consultation with the counties, by the department. Counties may contract for service-funded activities as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). Counties shall not contract for needs assessment, client eligibility determination, or any other activity as specified by regulations of the State Department of Social Services, except as specifically authorized in Section 16100.
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect duties which are delegated to probation officers pursuant to Sections 601 and 654.
(e) Any county may utilize volunteer individuals to supplement professional child welfare services by providing ancillary support services in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Department of Social Services.
(f) As used in this chapter, emergency response services consist of a response system providing in-person response, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, as required by Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code for the purpose of investigation pursuant to Section 11166 of the Penal Code and to determine the necessity for providing initial intake services and crisis intervention to maintain the child safely in his or her own home or to protect the safety of the child. County welfare departments shall respond to any report of imminent danger to a child immediately and all other reports within 10 calendar days. An in-person response is not required when the county welfare department, based upon an evaluation of risk, determines that an in-person response is not appropriate. This evaluation includes collateral, contacts, a review of previous referrals, and other relevant information, as indicated.
(g) As used in this chapter, family maintenance services are activities designed to provide in-home protective services to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, for the purposes of preventing separation of children from their families.
(h) As used in this chapter, family reunification services are activities designed to provide time-limited foster care services to prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, when the child cannot safely remain at home, and needs temporary foster care, while services are provided to reunite the family.
(i) (1) As used in this chapter, permanent placement services are activities designed to provide an alternate permanent family structure for children who because of abuse, neglect, or exploitation cannot safely remain at home and who are unlikely to ever return home. These services shall be provided on behalf of children for whom there has been a judicial determination of a permanent plan for adoption, legal guardianship, placement with a fit and willing relative, or continued foster care placement, and, as needed, shall include supportive transition services to nonminor dependents, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400.
(2) For purposes of this section, “another planned permanent living arrangement” means a permanent plan ordered by the court for a child 16 years of age or older or a nonminor dependent, when there is a compelling reason or reasons to determine that it is not in the best interest of the child or nonminor dependent to return home, be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, or be placed with a fit and willing relative. Placement in a group home, or, on and after January 1, 2017, a short-term residential therapeutic program, shall not be the identified permanent plan for any child or nonminor dependent.
(j) As used in this chapter, family preservation services include those services specified in Section 16500.5 to avoid or limit out-of-home placement of children, and may include those services specified in that section to place children in the least restrictive environment possible.
(k) (1) (A) In any county electing to implement this subdivision, all county welfare department employees who have frequent and routine contact with children shall, by February 1, 1997, and all welfare department employees who are expected to have frequent and routine contact with children and who are hired on or after January 1, 1996, and all such employees whose duties change after January 1, 1996, to include frequent and routine contact with children, shall, if the employees provide services to children who are alleged victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, sign a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding any prior criminal conviction, and shall provide a set of fingerprints to the county welfare director.
(B) The county welfare director shall secure from the Department of Justice a criminal record to determine whether the employee has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation. The Department of Justice shall deliver the criminal record to the county welfare director.
(C) If it is found that the employee has been convicted of a crime, other than a minor traffic violation, the county welfare director shall determine whether there is substantial and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that the employee is of good character so as to justify frequent and routine contact with children.
(D) No exemption shall be granted pursuant to subparagraph (C) if the person has been convicted of a sex offense against a minor, or has been convicted of an offense specified in Section 220, 243.4, 264.1, 273d, 288, or 289 of the Penal Code, or in paragraph (1) of Section 273a of, or subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 368 of, the Penal Code, or has been convicted of an offense specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code. The county welfare director shall suspend such a person from any duties involving frequent and routine contact with children.
(E) Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), the county welfare director may grant an exemption if the employee or prospective employee, who was convicted of a crime against an individual specified in paragraph (1) or (7) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code, has been rehabilitated as provided in Section 4852.03 of the Penal Code and has maintained the conduct required in Section 4852.05 of the Penal Code for at least 10 years and has the recommendation of the district attorney representing the employee’s or prospective employee’s county of residence, or if the employee or prospective employee has received a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 4852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code. In that case, the county welfare director may give the employee or prospective employee an opportunity to explain the conviction and shall consider that explanation in the evaluation of the criminal conviction record.
(F) If no criminal record information has been recorded, the county welfare director shall cause a statement of that fact to be included in that person’s personnel file.
(2) For purposes of this subdivision, a conviction means a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere. Any action that the county welfare director is permitted to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, notwithstanding a subsequent order pursuant to Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a of the Penal Code permitting the person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment. For purposes of this subdivision, the record of a conviction, or a copy thereof certified by the clerk of the court or by a judge of the court in which the conviction occurred, shall be conclusive evidence of the conviction.

SEC. 5.

 Section 16501.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16501.1.
 (a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that the foundation and central unifying tool in child welfare services is the case plan.
(2) The Legislature further finds and declares that a case plan ensures that the child receives protection and safe and proper care and case management, and that services are provided to the child and parents or other caretakers, as appropriate, in order to improve conditions in the parent’s home, to facilitate the safe return of the child to a safe home or the permanent placement of the child, and to address the needs of the child while in foster care.
(3) The agency shall consider the recommendations of the child and family team, as defined in Section 16501, if any are available. The agency shall document the rationale for any inconsistencies between the case plan and the child and family team recommendations.
(b) (1) A case plan shall be based upon the principles of this section and the input from the child and family team.
(2) The case plan shall document that a preplacement assessment of the service needs of the child and family, and preplacement preventive services, have been provided, and that reasonable efforts to prevent out-of-home placement have been made. Preplacement services may include intensive mental health services in the home or a community setting and the reasonable efforts made to prevent out-of-home placement.
(3) In determining the reasonable services to be offered or provided, the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concerns.
(4) Upon a determination pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reasonable services will be offered to a parent who is incarcerated in a county jail or state prison, detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, the case plan shall include information, to the extent possible, about a parent’s incarceration in a county jail or the state prison, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation during the time that a minor child of that parent is involved in dependency care.
(5) Reasonable services shall be offered or provided to make it possible for a child to return to a safe home environment, unless, pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (e) of Section 361.5, the court determines that reunification services shall not be provided.
(6) If reasonable services are not ordered, or are terminated, reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanent plan and to complete all steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.
(c) If out-of-home placement is used to attain case plan goals, the case plan shall consider the recommendations of the child and family team.
(d) (1) The case plan shall include a description of the type of home or institution in which the child is to be placed, and the reasons for that placement decision. The decision regarding choice of placement shall be based upon selection of a safe setting that is the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and the most appropriate setting that meets the child’s individual needs and is available, in proximity to the parent’s home, in proximity to the child’s school, and consistent with the selection of the environment best suited to meet the child’s special needs and best interests. The selection shall consider, in order of priority, placement with relatives, nonrelated extended family members, and tribal members; foster family homes, resource families, and nontreatment certified homes of foster family agencies; followed by treatment and intensive treatment certified homes of foster family agencies; or multidimensional treatment foster care homes or therapeutic foster care homes; group care placements in the order of short-term residential therapeutic programs, group homes, community treatment facilities, and out-of-state residential treatment pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family Code.
(2) If a short-term residential therapeutic program placement is selected for a child, the case plan shall indicate the needs of the child that necessitate this placement, the plan for transitioning the child to a less restrictive environment, and the projected timeline by which the child will be transitioned to a less restrictive environment. This section of the case plan shall be reviewed and updated at least semiannually.
(A) The case plan for placements in a group home, or commencing January 1, 2017, in a short-term residential therapeutic program, shall indicate that the county has taken into consideration Section 16010.8.
(B) (i) After January 1, 2017, a child and family team meeting as described in Section 16501 shall be convened by the county placing agency for the purpose of identifying the supports and services needed to achieve permanency and enable the child or youth to be placed in the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences.
(ii) Child and family teams shall be provided written or electronic information describing services and activities, including specialized permanency services, shown to be effective in achieving and sustaining permanency for all children, youth, and nonminor dependents.
(3) On or after January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who is receiving AFDC-FC benefits and who is up to 21 years of age pursuant to Section 11403, in addition to the above requirements, the selection of the placement, including a supervised independent living placement, as described in subdivision (w) of Section 11400, shall also be based upon the developmental needs of young adults by providing opportunities to have incremental responsibilities that prepare a nonminor dependent to transition to successful adulthood. If admission to, or continuation in, a group home or short-term residential therapeutic program placement is being considered for a nonminor dependent, the group home or short-term residential therapeutic program placement approval decision shall include a youth-driven, team-based case planning process, as defined by the department, in consultation with stakeholders. The case plan shall consider the full range of placement options, and shall specify why admission to, or continuation in, a group home placement is the best alternative available at the time to meet the special needs or well-being of the nonminor dependent, and how the placement will contribute to the nonminor dependent’s transition to successful adulthood. The case plan shall specify the treatment strategies that will be used to prepare the nonminor dependent for discharge to a less restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences, including a target date for discharge from the group home placement. The placement shall be reviewed and updated on a regular, periodic basis to ensure that continuation in the group home placement remains in the best interests of the nonminor dependent and that progress is being made in achieving case plan goals leading to successful adulthood. The group home placement planning process shall begin as soon as it becomes clear to the county welfare department or probation office that a foster child in group home placement is likely to remain in group home placement on his or her 18th birthday, in order to expedite the transition to a less restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences, if he or she becomes a nonminor dependent. The case planning process shall include informing the youth of all of his or her options, including, but not limited to, admission to or continuation in a group home placement. Consideration for continuation of existing group home placement for a nonminor dependent under 19 years of age may include the need to stay in the same placement in order to complete high school. After a nonminor dependent either completes high school or attains his or her 19th birthday, whichever is earlier, continuation in or admission to a group home placement is prohibited unless the nonminor dependent satisfies the conditions of paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and group home placement functions as a short-term transition to the appropriate system of care. Treatment services provided by the group home placement to the nonminor dependent to alleviate or ameliorate the medical condition, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, shall not constitute the sole basis to disqualify a nonminor dependent from the group home placement.
(4) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, and taking into account other statutory considerations regarding placement, the selection of the most appropriate home that will meet the child’s special needs and best interests shall also promote educational stability by taking into consideration proximity to the child’s school of origin, and school attendance area, the number of school transfers the child has previously experienced, and the child’s school matriculation schedule, in addition to other indicators of educational stability that the Legislature hereby encourages the State Department of Social Services and the State Department of Education to develop.
(e) A written case plan shall be completed within a maximum of 60 days of the initial removal of the child or of the in-person response required under subdivision (f) of Section 16501 if the child has not been removed from his or her home, or by the date of the dispositional hearing pursuant to Section 358, whichever occurs first. The case plan shall be updated, as the service needs of the child and family dictate. At a minimum, the case plan shall be updated in conjunction with each status review hearing conducted pursuant to Sections 364, 366, 366.3, and 366.31, and the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 366.26, but no less frequently than once every six months. Each updated case plan shall include a description of the services that have been provided to the child under the plan and an evaluation of the appropriateness and effectiveness of those services.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that extending the maximum time available for preparing a written case plan from 30 to 60 days will afford caseworkers time to actively engage families, and to solicit and integrate into the case plan the input of the child and the child’s family, as well as the input of relatives and other interested parties.
(2) The extension of the maximum time available for preparing a written case plan from 30 to 60 days shall be effective 90 days after the date that the department gives counties written notice that necessary changes have been made to the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) to account for the 60-day timeframe for preparing a written case plan.
(f) The child welfare services case plan shall be comprehensive enough to meet the juvenile court dependency proceedings requirements pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 300) of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2.
(g) The case plan shall be developed considering the recommendations of the child and family team, as follows:
(1) The case plan shall be based upon an assessment of the circumstances that required child welfare services intervention. The child shall be involved in developing the case plan as age and developmentally appropriate.
(2) The case plan shall identify specific goals and the appropriateness of the planned services in meeting those goals.
(3) The case plan shall identify the original allegations of abuse or neglect, as defined in Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code, or the conditions cited as the basis for declaring the child a dependent of the court pursuant to Section 300, or all of these, and the other precipitating incidents that led to child welfare services intervention.
(4) The case plan shall include a description of the schedule of the placement agency contacts with the child and the family or other caretakers. The frequency of these contacts shall be in accordance with regulations adopted by the State Department of Social Services. If the child has been placed in foster care out of state, the county social worker or probation officer, or a social worker or probation officer on the staff of the agency in the state in which the child has been placed, shall visit the child in a foster family home or the home of a relative, consistent with federal law and in accordance with the department’s approved state plan. For children in out-of-state group home facilities, visits shall be conducted at least monthly, pursuant to Section 16516.5. At least once every six months, at the time of a regularly scheduled placement agency contact with the foster child, and at each placement change, the child’s social worker or probation officer shall inform the child, the care provider, and the child and family team, if applicable, of the child’s rights as a foster child, as specified in Section 16001.9, and shall provide a written copy of the rights to the child as part of the explanation. The social worker or probation officer shall provide the information to the child in a manner appropriate to the age or developmental level of the child. The social worker or probation officer shall document in the case plan that he or she has informed the child of, and has provided the child with a written copy of, his or her rights.
(5) (A) When out-of-home services are used, the frequency of contact between the natural parents or legal guardians and the child shall be specified in the case plan. The frequency of those contacts shall reflect overall case goals, and consider other principles outlined in this section.
(B) Information regarding any court-ordered visitation between the child and the natural parents or legal guardians, and the terms and conditions needed to facilitate the visits while protecting the safety of the child, shall be provided to the child’s out-of-home caregiver as soon as possible after the court order is made.
(6) When out-of-home placement is made, the case plan shall include provisions for the development and maintenance of sibling relationships as specified in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of Section 16002. If appropriate, when siblings who are dependents of the juvenile court are not placed together, the social worker for each child, if different, shall communicate with each of the other social workers and ensure that the child’s siblings are informed of significant life events that occur within their extended family. Unless it has been determined that it is inappropriate in a particular case to keep siblings informed of significant life events that occur within the extended family, the social worker shall determine the appropriate means and setting for disclosure of this information to the child commensurate with the child’s age and emotional well-being. These significant life events shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(A) The death of an immediate relative.
(B) The birth of a sibling.
(C) Significant changes regarding a dependent child, unless the child objects to the sharing of the information with his or her siblings, including changes in placement, major medical or mental health diagnoses, treatments, or hospitalizations, arrests, and changes in the permanent plan.
(7) If out-of-home placement is made in a foster family home, group home, or other child care institution that is either a substantial distance from the home of the child’s parent or out of state, the case plan shall specify the reasons why that placement is in the best interest of the child. When an out-of-state group home placement is recommended or made, the case plan shall, in addition, specify compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.
(8) A case plan shall ensure the educational stability of the child while in foster care and shall include both of the following:
(A) An assurance that the placement takes into account the appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.
(B) An assurance that the placement agency has coordinated with the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the child and appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement or, if remaining in that school is not in the best interests of the child, assurances by the placement agency and the local educational agency to provide immediate and appropriate enrollment in a new school and to provide all of the child’s educational records to the new school.
(9) (A) If out-of-home services are used, or if parental rights have been terminated and the case plan is placement for adoption, the case plan shall include a recommendation regarding the appropriateness of unsupervised visitation between the child and any of the child’s siblings. This recommendation shall include a statement regarding the child’s and the siblings’ willingness to participate in unsupervised visitation. If the case plan includes a recommendation for unsupervised sibling visitation, the plan shall also note that information necessary to accomplish this visitation has been provided to the child or to the child’s siblings.
(B) Information regarding the schedule and frequency of the visits between the child and siblings, as well as any court-ordered terms and conditions needed to facilitate the visits while protecting the safety of the child, shall be provided to the child’s out-of-home caregiver as soon as possible after the court order is made.
(10) If out-of-home services are used and the goal is reunification, the case plan shall describe the services to be provided to assist in reunification and the services to be provided concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts to reunify fail. The plan shall also consider in-state and out-of-state placements, the importance of developing and maintaining sibling relationships pursuant to Section 16002, and the desire and willingness of the caregiver to provide legal permanency for the child if reunification is unsuccessful.
(11) If out-of-home services are used, the child has been in care for at least 12 months, and the goal is not adoptive placement, the case plan shall include documentation of the compelling reason or reasons why termination of parental rights is not in the child’s best interest. A determination completed or updated within the past 12 months by the department when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a licensed adoption agency that it is unlikely that the child will be adopted, or that one of the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, shall be deemed a compelling reason.
(12) (A) Parents and legal guardians shall have an opportunity to review the case plan, and to sign it whenever possible, and then shall receive a copy of the plan. In a voluntary service or placement agreement, the parents or legal guardians shall be required to review and sign the case plan. Whenever possible, parents and legal guardians shall participate in the development of the case plan. Commencing January 1, 2012, for nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who are receiving AFDC-FC or CalWORKs assistance and who are up to 21 years of age pursuant to Section 11403, the transitional independent living case plan, as set forth in subdivision (y) of Section 11400, shall be developed with, and signed by, the nonminor.
(B) Parents and legal guardians shall be advised that, pursuant to Section 1228.1 of the Evidence Code, neither their signature on the child welfare services case plan nor their acceptance of any services prescribed in the child welfare services case plan shall constitute an admission of guilt or be used as evidence against the parent or legal guardian in a court of law. However, they shall also be advised that the parent’s or guardian’s failure to cooperate, except for good cause, in the provision of services specified in the child welfare services case plan may be used in any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25 of this code as evidence.
(13) A child shall be given a meaningful opportunity to participate in the development of the case plan and state his or her preference for foster care placement. A child who is 12 years of age or older and in a permanent placement shall also be given the opportunity to review the case plan, sign the case plan, and receive a copy of the case plan.
(14) The case plan shall be included in the court report and shall be considered by the court at the initial hearing and each review hearing. Modifications to the case plan made during the period between review hearings need not be approved by the court if the casework supervisor for that case determines that the modifications further the goals of the plan. If out-of-home services are used with the goal of family reunification, the case plan shall consider and describe the application of subdivision (b) of Section 11203.
(15) (A) If the case plan has as its goal for the child a permanent plan of adoption or adoption, legal guardianship, or another planned permanent living arrangement, it shall include a statement of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan and an assessment of those stated wishes. The agency shall also include documentation of the steps the agency is taking to find an adoptive family or other permanent living arrangements for the child; to place the child with an adoptive family, an appropriate and willing relative, or a legal guardian, and to finalize the adoption or legal guardianship. At a minimum, the documentation shall include child-specific recruitment efforts, such as the use of state, regional, and national adoption exchanges, including electronic exchange systems, when the child has been freed for adoption. Regardless of whether the child has been freed for adoption, documentation shall include a description of any barriers to achieving legal permanence and the steps the agency will take to address those barriers. If a child has been in care for three years or more, the documentation shall include a description of the specialized permanency services used or, if specialized permanency services have not been used, a statement explaining why the agency chose not to provide these services. If the plan is for kinship guardianship, the case plan shall document how the child meets the kinship guardianship eligibility requirements.
(B) (i) When the child is 16 years of age or older and is in another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan shall identify the intensive and ongoing efforts to return the child to the home of the parent, place the child for adoption, place the child for tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child, establish a legal guardianship, or place the child nonminor dependent with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. Efforts shall include the use of technology, including social media, to find biological family members of the child.
(ii) For purposes of this subparagraph, “intensive and ongoing efforts” means that the county has provided a full array of permanency services, including, but not limited to, the use of technology, including social media, to find biological family members of the child, has used services multiple times, has identified barriers to permanency and strategies to address barriers, has engaged the youth in permanency efforts, and has ensured that the youth understands his or her permanency options.
(16) (A) (i) For a child who is 14 or 15 years of age, the case plan shall include a written description of the programs and services that will help the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, to prepare for the transition from foster care to successful adulthood. The description may be included in the document described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (18).
(ii) When appropriate, for a child who is 16 years of age or older and, commencing January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the case plan shall include the transitional independent living plan (TILP), a written description of the programs and services that will help the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, to prepare for the transition from foster care to successful adulthood, and, in addition, whether the youth has an in-progress application pending for Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits or for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or other applicable application for legal residency and an active dependency case is required for that application. When appropriate, for a nonminor dependent, the transitional independent living case plan, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, shall include the TILP, a written description of the programs and services that will help the nonminor dependent, consistent with his or her best interests, to prepare for transition from foster care and assist the youth in meeting the eligibility criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403. If applicable, the case plan shall describe the individualized supervision provided in the supervised independent living placement as defined in subdivision (w) of Section 11400. The case plan shall be developed with the child or nonminor dependent and individuals identified as important to the child or nonminor dependent, and shall include steps the agency is taking to ensure that the child or nonminor dependent achieves permanence, including maintaining or obtaining permanent connections to caring and committed adults.
(B) During the 90-day period prior to the participant attaining 18 years of age or older as the state may elect under Section 475(8)(B)(iii) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)(B)(iii)), whether during that period foster care maintenance payments are being made on the child’s behalf or the child is receiving benefits or services under Section 477 of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 677), a caseworker or other appropriate agency staff or probation officer and other representatives of the participant, as appropriate, shall provide the youth or nonminor dependent with assistance and support in developing the written 90-day transition plan, that is personalized at the direction of the child, information as detailed as the participant elects that shall include, but not be limited to, options regarding housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and workforce supports and employment services, a power of attorney for health care, and information regarding the advance health care directive form. Information provided regarding health insurance options shall include verification that the eligible youth or nonminor is enrolled in Medi-Cal and a description of the steps that have been or will be taken by the youth’s social worker or probation officer to ensure that the eligible youth or nonminor is transitioned into the Medi-Cal program for former foster youth upon case closure with no interruption in coverage and with no new application being required, as provided in Section 14005.28.
(C) For youth 14 years of age or older, the case plan shall include documentation that a consumer credit report was requested annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at no charge to the youth and that any results were provided to the youth. For nonminor dependents, the case plan shall include documentation that the county assisted the nonminor dependent in obtaining his or her reports. The case plan shall include documentation of barriers, if any, to obtaining the credit reports. If the consumer credit report reveals any accounts, the case plan shall detail how the county ensured the youth received assistance with interpreting the credit report and resolving any inaccuracies, including any referrals made for the assistance.
(17) For youth 14 years of age or older and nonminor dependents, the case plan shall be developed in consultation with the youth. At the youth’s option, the consultation may include up to two members of the case planning team who are chosen by the youth and who are not foster parents of, or caseworkers for, the youth. The agency, at any time, may reject an individual selected by the youth to be a member of the case planning team if the agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act in the youth’s best interest. One individual selected by the youth to be a member of the case planning team may be designated to be the youth’s adviser and advocate with respect to the application of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the youth, as necessary.
(18) For youth in foster care 14 years of age and older and nonminor dependents, the case plan shall include both of the following:
(A) A document that describes the youth’s rights with respect to education, health, visitation, and court participation, the right to be annually provided with copies of his or her credit reports at no cost while in foster care pursuant to Section 10618.6, and the right to stay safe and avoid exploitation.
(B) A signed acknowledgment by the youth that he or she has been provided a copy of the document and that the rights described in the document have been explained to the youth in an age-appropriate manner.
(19) The case plan for a child or nonminor dependent who is, or who is at risk of becoming, the victim of commercial sexual exploitation, shall document the services provided to address that issue.
(20) For youth 16 years of age or older and nonminor dependents, if the case plan has as its goal for the youth a permanent plan of another planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan shall include information describing services and activities, including specialized permanency services, shown to be effective in achieving and sustaining permanency for all children, youth, and nonminor dependents, with an acknowledgment, signed by the youth, that the youth has been provided the information and that the services and activities described have been explained to the youth in an age-appropriate manner.
(h) If the court finds, after considering the case plan, that unsupervised sibling visitation is appropriate and has been consented to, the court shall order that the child or the child’s siblings, the child’s current caregiver, and the child’s prospective adoptive parents, if applicable, be provided with information necessary to accomplish this visitation. This section does not require or prohibit the social worker’s facilitation, transportation, or supervision of visits between the child and his or her siblings.
(i) The case plan documentation on sibling placements required under this section shall not require modification of existing case plan forms until the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) is implemented on a statewide basis.
(j) When a child is 10 years of age or older and has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, the case plan shall include an identification of individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The social worker or probation officer shall ask every child who is 10 years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any other child to provide that information, or may seek that information from the child and family team, as appropriate. The social worker or probation officer shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.
(k) The child’s caregiver shall be provided a copy of a plan outlining the child’s needs and services. The nonminor dependent’s caregiver shall be provided with a copy of the nonminor’s TILP.
(l) Each county shall ensure that the total number of visits made by caseworkers on a monthly basis to children in foster care during a federal fiscal year is not less than 95 percent of the total number of those visits that would occur if each child were visited once every month while in care and that the majority of the visits occur in the residence of the child. The county child welfare and probation departments shall comply with data reporting requirements that the department deems necessary to comply with the federal Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-288) and the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Public Law 112-34).
(m) The implementation and operation of the amendments to subdivision (i) enacted at the 2005–06 Regular Session shall be subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase, as provided in Section 366.35.

SEC. 6.

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