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AB-3046 Foster care: rights.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2018 09:00 PM
AB3046:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3046


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

February 16, 2018


An act to amend Section 16001.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3046, as introduced, Gipson. Foster care: rights.
Existing law provides that it is the policy of the state that all minors and nonminors in foster care have specified rights, including, among others, the right to receive medical, dental, vision, and mental health services and the right to be placed in out-of-home care according to their gender identity, regardless of the gender or sex listed in their court or child welfare records.
This bill would revise these various rights, as specified, and would include additional rights, including, among others, the right to be referred to by the youth’s preferred name and gender pronoun, the right to maintain the privacy of the youth’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning status and gender identity, except as provided, and the right to have reasonable access to computer technology and the Internet.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 16001.9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16001.9.
 (a) It is the policy of the state that all minors and nonminors in foster care shall have the following rights:
(1) To live in a safe, healthy, and comfortable home where he or she is treated with respect.
(2) To be free from physical, sexual, emotional, or other abuse, or corporal punishment.
(3) To receive adequate and healthy food, adequate clothing, and, for youth in group homes, grooming, and hygiene products regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and an age-appropriate allowance.
(4) To receive medical, dental, vision, and mental health services. health, and substance use disorder services in a timely fashion that meet the needs of the youth.
(5) To be free of the administration of medication or chemical substances, unless authorized by a physician. physician, without consequences or retaliation.
(6) To contact family members, unless prohibited by court order, and to be provided with the names and contact information for social workers, attorneys, health providers, foster youth advocates and supporters, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs), education rights holders, and probation officers. officers, and to contact these individuals confidentially.
(7) To visit and contact brothers and sisters, siblings and other family members and relatives, unless prohibited by court order.
(8) To contact the Community Care Licensing Division of the State Department of Social Services or the State Foster Care Ombudsperson immediately upon request regarding violations of rights, to speak to representatives of these offices confidentially, and to be free from threats or punishment for making complaints.
(9) To make and receive confidential telephone calls and send and receive unopened mail, unless prohibited by court order.
(10) To attend religious and cultural services and activities of his or her choice.
(11) To maintain an emancipation a bank account and manage personal income, consistent with the child’s age and developmental level, unless prohibited by the case plan.
(12) To not be locked in a room, building, or facility premises, unless placed in a community treatment facility.
(13) To attend school and participate in extracurricular, cultural, and personal enrichment activities, consistent with the child’s age age, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and developmental level, with minimal disruptions to school attendance and educational stability.
(14) To work and develop job skills at an age-appropriate level, consistent with state law.
(15) To have social contacts with people outside of the foster care system, including teachers, church members, mentors, and friends.
(16) To attend Independent Living Program classes and activities if he or she meets the age requirements. requirements, and to not be restricted from attending as a consequence or punishment.
(17) To attend court hearings and speak to the judge.
(18) To have storage space for private use.
(19) To be involved in the development of his or her own case plan and plan for permanent placement.
(20) To review his or her own case plan and plan for permanent placement, if he or she is 12 10 years of age or older and in a permanent placement, and to receive information about his or her out-of-home placement and case plan, including being told of changes to the plan.
(21) To be free from unreasonable searches of personal belongings.
(22) To the confidentiality of all juvenile court records consistent with existing law.
(23) To have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, and benefits, and to not be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or HIV status.
(24) To be placed in out-of-home care according to their his or her gender identity, regardless of the gender or sex listed in their court or child welfare records. his or her court, child welfare, medical, or vital records.
(25) To be placed with a relative or nonrelative extended family member if an appropriate and willing individual is available.
(26) To be placed in the least restrictive setting possible, regardless of age, physical health, mental health, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, juvenile court record, or being a pregnant or parenting youth, unless a court orders otherwise.

(25)

(27) To have caregivers and caregivers, child welfare personnel and probation personnel, and legal counsel who have received instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing adequate care to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth in out-of-home care.
(28) To be referred to by his or her preferred name and gender pronoun.
(29) To maintain the privacy of his or her lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning status and gender identity, unless he or she specifically permits the information to be shared, or disclosure is required to protect his or her health and safety, or disclosure is compelled by law or a court order.
(30) To have access to gender affirming health care and gender affirming behavioral health services.

(26)

(31) At 16 years of age or older, to have access to existing information regarding the educational options available, including, but not limited to, the coursework necessary for vocational and postsecondary educational programs, and information regarding financial aid for postsecondary education.

(27)

(32) To have access to age-appropriate, medically accurate information about reproductive health care, the prevention of unplanned pregnancy, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections at 12 10 years of age or older.
(33) To review and receive copies of educational records, child welfare records, juvenile court records, and medical and mental health records at no cost to the youth until he or she is 26 years of age.
(34) To have reasonable access to computer technology and the Internet.
(b) Nothing in this This section shall be interpreted to does not require a foster care provider to take any action that would impair the health and safety of children in out-of-home placement.
(c) The State Department of Social Services and each county welfare department are encouraged to work with the Student Aid Commission, the University of California, the California State University, and the California Community Colleges to receive information pursuant to paragraph (26) (31) of subdivision (a).