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AB-2043 Foster children and youth: family urgent response system.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/29/2018 09:00 PM
AB2043:v92#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  August 29, 2018
Passed  IN  Senate  August 21, 2018
Passed  IN  Assembly  August 28, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  August 17, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  June 28, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  June 20, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 25, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2043


Introduced by Assembly Member Arambula
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cooley and Gipson)

February 06, 2018


An act to add Chapter 5.4 (commencing with Section 16526) to Part 4 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2043, Arambula. Foster children and youth: family urgent response system.
Existing law, commonly known as Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), states the intent of the Legislature in adopting CCR to improve California’s child welfare system and its outcomes by using comprehensive initial child assessments, increasing the use of home-based family care and the provision of services and supports to home-based family care, reducing the use of congregate care placement settings, and creating faster paths to permanency resulting in shorter durations of involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Existing law, as part of the CCR, requires the State Department of Social Services to implement a resource family approval process, which replaces the multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, certifying foster homes by foster family agencies, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving guardians and adoptive families.
This bill would make legislative findings and declarations, stating the intent of the Legislature in adopting this bill to build upon the current CCR implementation effort. The bill would require the department to establish a statewide hotline, operational no later than January 1, 2020, as the entry point for a Family Urgent Response System, as defined, to respond to calls from caregivers or current or former foster children or youth when a crisis arises, as specified. The bill would require the hotline to include, among other things, referrals to the county, as specified, for further support and in-person response. The bill would require the department to ensure that deidentified, aggregated data are collected regarding individuals served through the hotline and to publish a report on the department’s Internet Web site by January 1, 2021, and annually by January 1 thereafter, including specified information.
This bill would require, no later than January 1, 2020, county child welfare, probation, and behavioral health agencies, in each county or region of counties, as specified, to establish a joint county-based Family Urgent Response System that includes a mobile response and stabilization team to provide stabilization services for caregivers and current or former foster children or youth who are experiencing a crisis. The bill would require those agencies to submit a single, coordinated plan to the department, no later than November 1, 2019, describing how the system would meet specified requirements. The bill would authorize those agencies to implement these provisions on a per-county basis or by collaborating with other counties to establish regional, cross-county Family Urgent Response Systems, as specified. By creating new duties for county officials relating to foster care services, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would require the department, in collaboration with the State Department of Health Care Services, no later than March 1, 2019, to issue all necessary guidance for county-based Family Urgent Response Systems established pursuant to these provisions.
This bill would make the implementation of this act contingent upon the appropriation of funds for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or another statute.
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.

 The Legislature hereby finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Existing law establishes the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) effort and states the intent of the Legislature to improve California’s child welfare system and its outcomes by using comprehensive initial child assessments, increasing the use of home-based family care and the provision of services and supports to home-based family care, reducing the use of congregate care placement settings, and creating faster paths to permanency resulting in shorter durations of involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
(b) Existing law states the intent of the Legislature that CCR include the timely provision of an array of appropriate services that are coordinated, comprehensive, and community-based, and that children and youth in need of services are identified and assessed promptly and provided services regardless of placement setting, and that child welfare and mental health agencies work together in the provision of coordinated services to these children and youth.
(c) Existing law states the intent of the Legislature to reduce the frequency of law enforcement involvement and delinquency petitions arising from incidents at group homes and other facilities licensed to provide residential care to dependent children and youth.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature in adopting this act to build upon the current CCR implementation effort to provide current and former foster children and youth and their caregivers with immediate and timely services at the moment of crisis. The Legislature expects that those services, provided by a trained and trauma-informed team of practitioners, will prevent placement disruption and separation of the children or youth from his or her caregiver, will reduce contacts with law enforcement and potential entry into the criminal justice system, and will prevent hospitalization and higher-level placement into congregate care.
(e) Establishing a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week response system at the state and local levels for caregivers and current or former foster children and youth who are experiencing emotional, behavioral, or other needs that require immediate support will lead to improved child and youth and family outcomes, will improve retention of current foster caregivers, will help to maintain children and youth in their current living situation, will improve the emotional disposition of the child or youth, will connect children and youth and caregivers to existing services in their communities, and will provide children and youth and caregivers with the tools that they need to heal from trauma and to thrive.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 5.4 (commencing with Section 16526) is added to Part 4 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
CHAPTER  5.4. Family Urgent Response System for Caregivers and Children or Youth

16526.
 For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Caregiver” means an individual responsible for meeting the daily care and supervision needs of a current or former foster child or youth.
(b) “Crisis” means an event involving the caregiver and current or former foster child or youth that causes emotional, physical, or behavioral distress and that, without immediate supports, creates a risk of disruption to the current living situation.
(c) “Current or former foster child or youth” includes a child or youth adjudicated under Section 300, 601, or 602 and who is served by a county child welfare agency or probation department, and a child or youth who has exited foster care to reunification, guardianship, or adoption. A current or former foster child or youth shall be eligible for services under this chapter until he or she attains 21 years of age.
(d) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.
(e) “Family Urgent Response System” means a coordinated statewide, regional, and county-level system designed to provide collaborative, timely, in-home, in-person mobile crisis response for purposes of stabilizing the living situation, mitigating the distress of the caregiver or child or youth, and connecting the caregiver and child or youth to the existing array of local services.
(f) “In-home” means where the child or youth and caregiver are located, preferably in the home, or at some other mutually agreeable location.

16527.
 (a) The department shall establish a statewide hotline as the entry point for the Family Urgent Response System, which shall be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond to calls from a caregiver or current or former foster child or youth when a crisis arises. Both of the following shall be available through this hotline:
(1) Hotline workers who are trained in techniques for deescalation and conflict resolution telephone response specifically for children or youth impacted by trauma.
(2) Referrals to a county-based Family Urgent Response System, established pursuant to Section 16529, for further support and in-person response. Referrals shall occur as follows:
(A) A warm hand-off whereby the hotline worker establishes direct and live connection through a three-way call that includes the caregiver, child, or youth and the county contact.
(B) If a direct communication cannot be established pursuant to subparagraph (A), a referral directly to the community- or county-based service and a followup call to ensure a connection to the caregiver, child, or youth occurs.
(C) The hotline worker shall contact the caregiver, child, or youth within 24 hours after the referral required under subparagraph (A) or (B) to offer additional support if needed.
(b) The statewide hotline shall maintain contact information for all county-based Family Urgent Response Systems, based on information provided by counties, for referrals to local services, including, but not limited to, county-based mobile response and stabilization teams.
(c) The department shall ensure that deidentified, aggregated data are collected regarding individuals served through the statewide hotline and shall publish a report on the department’s Internet Web site by January 1, 2021, and annually by January 1 thereafter, in consultation with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the County Welfare Directors Association of California and the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, to include all of the following information:
(1) The number of caregivers served through the hotline, separated by placement type and status as a current or former foster caregiver.
(2) The number of current and former foster children or youth served through the hotline, separated by county agency type, current or former foster care status, age, gender, race, and whether the call was made by the caregiver or the child or youth.
(3) The disposition of each call, including, but not limited to, whether mobile response and stabilization services were deployed or a referral was made to other services.
(4) Outcome data, including, but not limited to, placement stability, return into foster care, movement from child welfare to juvenile justice, and timeliness to permanency.
(d) The department may meet the requirements of this section through contract with an entity with demonstrated experience in working with populations of children or youth who have suffered trauma and with capacity to provide 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week response.
(e) The department, in consultation with stakeholders, shall do all of the following:
(1) Develop methods and materials for informing the caregivers and current or former foster children or youth about the statewide hotline.
(2) Establish protocols for triage and response.
(3) Establish minimum education and training requirements for hotline workers.
(4) Consider expanding the statewide hotline to include communication through electronic means, including, but not limited to, text messaging or by email.
(f) The statewide hotline shall be operational no later than January 1, 2020.

16528.
 (a) No later than March 1, 2019, the department, in collaboration with the State Department of Health Care Services, and in consultation with the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, and the County Welfare Directors Association, child welfare advocates, providers, current or former foster children or youth, and caregivers, shall issue all necessary guidance for county-based Family Urgent Response Systems for purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, data tracking and claiming of federal funding.
(b) No later than March 1, 2019, the State Department of Health Care Services, in consultation with the department, the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, and the County Welfare Directors Association, shall submit any Medicaid state plan, if deemed necessary to maximize federal financial participation, based on research of other state systems with mobile response capacity.

16529.
 (a) County child welfare, probation, and behavioral health agencies, in each county or region of counties as specified in subdivision (d), shall establish a joint county-based Family Urgent Response System that includes a mobile response and stabilization team for the purpose of providing stabilization services for caregivers and current or former foster children or youth who are experiencing a crisis.
(b) In each county or region of counties as specified in subdivision (d), the county child welfare, probation, and behavioral health agencies shall submit a single, coordinated plan to the department no later than November 1, 2019, that describes how the county-based Family Urgent Response System shall meet the requirements described in subdivision (c). The plan shall also describe all of the following:
(1) How the county, or region of counties, will track and monitor calls.
(2) Data collection efforts, consistent with guidance provided by the department.
(3) Transitions from mobile response and stabilization services to ongoing services.
(4) Process for identifying if the child or youth has an existing child and family team, and for coordinating with the child and family team to address the crisis and for ongoing care.
(5) Process and criteria for determining response.
(6) Composition of the responders, including efforts to include peer partners and those with lived experience in the response team, whenever possible.
(7) Both existing and new services that will be used to support the mobile response and stabilization services.
(8) Protocols related to the response processes of the county-based Family Urgent Response System for the child or youth in family-based and other congregate care settings based on guidelines developed by the department with input from stakeholders pursuant to Section 16258.
(9) Process for identifying whether the child or youth has an existing crisis plan, and for coordinating response consistent with the plan.
(c) A county-based Family Urgent Response System shall include all of the following:
(1) Phone response at the county level that facilitates entry of the caregivers and current or former foster children or youth into mobile response services.
(2) A process for determining when a mobile response and stabilization team will be deployed, or when other services will be used, based on the urgent and critical needs of the caregiver, child, or youth.
(3) A mobile response and stabilization team available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
(4) Ability to provide immediate, in-person, face-to-face response preferably within one hour, but not to exceed three hours in extenuating circumstances for urgent needs, or same-day response within 24 hours for nonurgent situations.
(5) Utilization of responders with specialized training in trauma of children or youth and the foster care system. Efforts should be made to include peer partners and those with lived experience in the response team, whenever possible.
(6) Provision of in-home crisis deescalation, stabilization, and support, including all of the following:
(A) Establishing in-person, face-to-face contact with the child or youth and caregiver.
(B) Identifying the underlying causes of, and precursors to, the behavior.
(C) Identifying the caregiver interventions attempted.
(D) Observing the child and caregiver interaction.
(E) Diffusing the immediate situation.
(F) Coaching and advising the caregiver in order to maintain the child or youth in the current living situation.
(G) Establishing connections to other county- or community-based supports and services to ensure continuity of care.
(H) Following up after the initial face-to-face response, for up to 72 hours, to determine if additional supports or services are needed.
(I) Identifying any additional support or ongoing stabilization needs for the family and making a plan for, or referral to, appropriate community services within the county.
(7) A process for communicating with the county of jurisdiction and the county mental health plan regarding the service needs of the child or youth and caregiver provided that the child or youth is currently under the jurisdiction of either the county child welfare or the probation system.
(d) (1) Each county shall establish a Family Urgent Response System no later than January 1, 2020.
(2) The county agencies described in subdivisions (a) and (b) may implement this section on a per-county basis or by collaborating with other counties to establish regional, cross-county Family Urgent Response Systems. For counties implementing this section pursuant to a regional approach, a single plan, as described in subdivision (b), signed by all agency representatives, shall be submitted to the department and a lead county shall be identified.
(3) Funds expended pursuant to this act shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, other existing funding for mobile response services.
(4) A county or region of counties may receive an extension, not to exceed six months, to implement a Family Urgent Response System beyond January 1, 2020, upon submission of a written request, in a manner to be prescribed by the department, that includes a demonstration of actions to implement and progress towards implementation.
(e) The creation and implementation of the Family Urgent Response System shall not infringe on entitlements or services provided pursuant to Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act (Section 670 et seq. of Title 42 of the United States Code) or the federal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment services (Section 1396d(r) of Title 42 of the United States Code).

SEC. 3.

 Implementation of this act is contingent upon the appropriation of funds for these purposes in the annual Budget Act or another statute.

SEC. 4.

 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.