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AB-1784 Resource family approval: pilot program.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 01/08/2018 09:00 PM
AB1784:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1784


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

January 08, 2018


An act to add Section 16519.66 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1784, as introduced, Maienschein. Resource family approval: pilot program.
Existing law provides for the 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.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services to establish and facilitate a 2-year pilot program for counties that elect to participate, to increase the support resources available to resource families, as specified. The bill would set forth the components of the pilot program and would require the department to convene a workgroup, including individual and stakeholder members, to evaluate existing supportive services and training, and to develop and implement the improved resources provided under the pilot program. The bill would require the department to measure and track the effectiveness of the supportive and training services offered to resource families in participating counties, as specified, and to report to the Legislature regarding the results of the pilot program.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 16519.66 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

16519.66.
 (a) The department shall establish and facilitate a 2-year pilot program, for counties that elect to participate, to increase the support resources available to resource families. The pilot program shall include the following elements:
(1) Transfer of learning through coaching. Resource families shall receive formal and informal coaching through a trained mentor, social worker, or mental health care provider. Coaches shall assist resource families with transitioning children to new resource family homes, and promoting an ongoing stable family environment for children in foster care by helping families transfer knowledge from their preapproval training to implementation with the children placed in their home.
(2) Respite services. Resource families shall be informed verbally and in writing how to access respite services in emergency and nonemergency situations.
(3) A 24-hour resource family hotline telephone number. Resource families shall be informed how to access supportive services available 24 hours a day. The hotline number shall be staffed by persons with appropriate knowledge regarding these services.
(4) The support resources and support structure to be utilized for each resource family shall be in writing and made available on both state and county child welfare services Internet Web sites, in a manner procedures consistent with applicable state and federal privacy and confidentiality laws.
(b) In order to achieve the goals and objectives of pilot program described in this section, the department shall convene a work group composed of stakeholders and individuals, including, but not limited to, representatives of child and family services agencies, foster family agencies, and resource families, with demonstrated expertise in improving supportive and training services offered to resource families. The work group shall be responsible for evaluation of existing supportive services and training, as well as the development and implementation of improved resources, including, but not limited to, those described in subdivision (a). The department, in conjunction with stakeholder groups, shall measure and track the effectiveness of the supportive and training services offered to resource families in participating counties, which may include evaluating retention of resource families and the stability of the placements of children within the resource family homes.
(c) No later than six months after the conclusion of the pilot program, the department shall submit a report to the Legislature, in accordance with the requirements of Section 9795 of the Government Code, regarding the results of the pilot program. The report shall do all of the following:
(1) Document the effect of the pilot program on increasing placement stability for foster children.
(2) Identify methods to expand the pilot program to additional counties or statewide.
(3) Identify funding opportunities to support the expansion of the pilot program including, but not limited to, federal and state funding sources.