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AB-2605 Foster care facilities.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/01/2018 10:00 AM
AB2605:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 30, 2018
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2605


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Chiu)
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Reyes)
(Coauthor: Senator Beall)

February 15, 2018


An act to add Section 1531.6 to the Health and Safety Code, relating to foster care facilities.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2605, as amended, Gipson. Foster care facilities.
Existing law, the California Community Care Facilities Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of community care facilities, including children’s residential facilities, as provided. Existing law states that it is the policy of the state to facilitate the proper placement of every child in a residential care facility where the placement is in the best interests of the child. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor.
This bill would require a each group home, transitional shelter care facility, short-term residential therapeutic program, or a and temporary shelter care facility to develop protocols that dictate the circumstances under which law enforcement may be contacted in response to the conduct of a child residing at the facility. The bill would require the protocols to, among other things, specify that contacting law enforcement shall only be used as a last resort once all other de-escalation deescalation and intervention techniques have been exhausted and only upon approval of a staff supervisor. The bill would not prohibit a facility or a facility employee from contacting law enforcement in an instance in which the facility or a facility employee is required by law to report an incident. To the extent that the bill would impose additional duties on county facilities and expand the scope of an existing crime, the 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 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.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to maintain a child’s safety, well-being, and healthy development when the child is removed from his or her family. Children and youth in foster care have been affected by trauma, both by the fact that they have been separated from their family, and by the circumstances that led to their removal. Recognizing this trauma and minimizing additional trauma should be a top priority when placing a child or youth in foster care. It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to reduce the frequency of law enforcement involvement and delinquency petitions arising from incidents at children’s residential facilities. The intent of this act is to give clear guidance to operators of children’s residential facilities, to provide heightened protections for foster youth, and to ensure that contacting law enforcement shall be a last resort and shall not be relied upon as a substitute for appropriate behavioral management techniques.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1531.6 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

1531.6.
 (a) A Each group home, transitional shelter care facility, or and short-term residential therapeutic program, as defined in Section 1502, or a and each temporary shelter care facility as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 1530.8, shall develop protocols that dictate the circumstances under which law enforcement may be contacted in response to the conduct of a child residing at the facility.
(b) The protocols shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
(1) Employ trauma-informed and evidence-based deescalation and intervention techniques when staff is responding to the behavior of a child residing in the facility.
(2) Require staff to undergo annual training on the facility’s protocols developed pursuant to this section.
(3) Specify that contacting law enforcement shall only be used as a last resort once all other deescalation and intervention techniques have been exhausted, and only upon approval of a staff supervisor.
(4) Address contacting law enforcement in an emergency situation if there is an immediate risk of serious harm to a child or others.
(c) This section shall not prohibit a facility or a facility employee from contacting law enforcement in an instance in which the facility or a facility employee is required by law to report an incident, which includes, but is not limited to, mandated reporting of child abuse, or if the child is missing or has run away.
(d) A Each group home, transitional shelter care facility, short-term residential therapeutic program, or a and temporary shelter care facility shall include the protocols developed pursuant to this section in its emergency intervention plan and its plan of operation.

SEC. 3.

 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 those cost increases. 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.
With regard to certain other costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district, no reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article III B of the California Constitution because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.