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SB-612 Foster care: transitional housing.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 05/09/2017 09:00 PM
SB612:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 09, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 27, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 17, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 612


Introduced by Senator Mitchell

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Sections 1506 and 1559.110 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to foster care.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 612, as amended, Mitchell. Foster care: transitional housing.
Existing law, the California Community Care Facilities Act, requires the State Department of Social Services to license and regulate transitional housing placement providers as a community care facility, and requires transitional housing to include, among others, programs in which a participant lives independently in an apartment, single-family dwelling, or condominium owned or leased by the provider either with an adult employee of the provider or in a building in which one or more adult employees of the provider reside and provide supervision, and programs in which a participant, who is either a minor foster child placed prior to October 1, 2012, or a nonminor dependent, lives independently in an apartment, single-family dwelling, or condominium owned or leased by a provider under the supervision of the provider if the department approves. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor.
This bill would, among other things, change the above-described program that requires one adult employee of the provider to reside with the participant or one or more adult employees to reside in the building and provide supervision to instead authorize one or more adult employees to either reside in the building or provide supervision. The bill would prohibit a minor foster child from participating in the above-described program that allows participants to live independently under the supervision of the provider.
The bill would also require a program manager for a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program to meet specified education and experience requirements, including possessing a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school in specified areas and having a minimum of 2 years’ experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting, or other equivalent education and experience. The bill would authorize the department to grant exceptions to these requirements. By expanding the definition of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law authorizes a foster family agency to use only a certified family home or a resource family that has been certified or approved by that agency, or a licensed foster family home or a county-approved resource family approved for this use by the county, for the placement of foster children.
This bill would authorize a home selected and certified or approved by a foster family agency to be concurrently certified as a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program provider if the home is both approved and certified by the same private, nonprofit organization that operates both the foster family agency and the Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care 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.

 Section 1506 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1506.
 (a) (1) A foster family agency may use only a certified family home or a resource family that has been certified or approved by that agency or, pursuant to Section 1506.5, a licensed foster family home or a county-approved resource family approved for this use by the county.
(2) A home selected and certified or approved for the reception and care of children by a foster family agency is not subject to Section 1508. A certified family home or a resource family of a foster family agency shall not be licensed as a residential facility.
(3) A child with a developmental disability who is placed in a certified family home or with a resource family by a foster family agency that is operating under agreement with the regional center responsible for that child may remain in the certified family home or with the resource family after 18 years of age. The determination regarding whether and how long he or she may remain as a resident after 18 years of age shall be made through the agreement of all parties involved, including the resident, the certified parent or resource family, the foster family agency social worker, the resident’s regional center case manager, and the resident’s parent, legal guardian, or conservator, as appropriate. This determination shall include a needs and service plan that contains an assessment of the child’s needs to ensure continued compatibility with the other children in placement. The needs and service plan shall be completed no more than six months prior to the child’s 18th birthday. The assessment shall be documented and maintained in the child’s file with the foster family agency.
(4) A home selected and certified or approved by a foster family agency may be concurrently certified as a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program provider pursuant to Section 1559.110 if the home is both approved and certified by the same private, nonprofit organization that operates both the foster family agency and the Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program.
(b) (1) A foster family agency shall certify to the department that the certified family home has met the department’s licensing standards. A foster family agency may require a certified family home to meet additional standards or be compatible with its treatment approach.
(2) The foster family agency shall issue a certificate of approval to the certified family home upon its determination that it has met the standards established by the department and before the placement of any child in the home. The certificate shall be valid for a period not to exceed one year. The annual recertification shall require a certified family home to complete at least eight hours of structured applicable training or continuing education. At least one hour of training during the first six months following initial certification shall be dedicated to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 11174.1 of the Penal Code.
(3) If the agency determines that the home no longer meets the standards, it shall notify the department and the local placing agency.
(4) This subdivision shall apply to foster family agencies only until December 31, 2019, in accordance with Section 1517.
(c) As used in this chapter, “certified family home” means an individual or family certified by a licensed foster family agency and issued a certificate of approval by that agency as meeting licensing standards, and used exclusively by that foster family agency for placements.
(d) (1) A foster family agency shall not accept applications to certify foster homes and shall instead approve resource families pursuant to Section 1517.
(2) (A) A foster family agency that chooses not to approve resource families shall not recruit any new applicants, but may continue to coordinate with county placing agencies to find homes for foster children with its existing certified family homes, as authorized by the department.
(B) No later than July 1, 2017, a foster family agency described in subparagraph (A) shall, in addition to the notification required in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 1517, notify its certified family homes that, in order to care for foster children after December 31, 2019, a certified family is required to submit an application for resource family approval to the county in which the home is located or to a foster family agency that approves resource families and shall complete the approval process no later than December 31, 2019.
(e) (1) Social work personnel for a foster family agency shall have a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school in social work or social welfare, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department.
(2) Persons who possess a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school in any of the following areas, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department, shall be considered to be qualified to perform social work activities in a foster family agency:
(A) Marriage, family, and child counseling.
(B) Child psychology.
(C) Child development.
(D) Counseling psychology.
(E) Social psychology.
(F) Clinical psychology.
(G) Educational psychology, consistent with the scope of practice as described in Section 4989.14 of the Business and Professions Code.
(H) Education, with emphasis on counseling.
(I) An area that includes the core content areas required for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, as specified in Sections 4999.32 and 4999.33 of the Business and Professions Code.
(J) A subject area that is functionally equivalent to those listed in subparagraphs (A) to (J), inclusive, as set forth by the department.
(f) (1) In addition to the degree specifications in subdivision (e), all of the following coursework and field practice or experience, as defined in departmental regulations, shall be required of all new hires for the position of social work personnel effective January 1, 1995:
(A) At least three semester units of field practice at the master’s level or six months’ full-time equivalent experience in a public or private social service agency setting.
(B) At least nine semester units of coursework related to human development or human behavior, or, within the first year of employment, experience working with children and families as a major responsibility of the position under the supervision of a supervising social worker.
(C) At least three semester units in working with minority populations or six months of experience in working with minority populations or training in cultural competency and working with minority populations within the first six months of employment as a condition of employment.
(D) At least three semester units in child welfare or at least six months of experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting for a nonsupervisory social worker. A supervising social worker shall have two years’ experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting.
(2) (A) Persons who do not meet the requirements specified in subdivision (e) or this subdivision may apply for an exception as provided for in subdivisions (h) and (i).
(B) Exceptions granted by the department prior to January 1, 1995, shall remain in effect.
(3) (A) Persons who are hired as social work personnel on or after January 1, 1995, who do not meet the requirements listed in this subdivision shall be required to successfully meet those requirements in order to be employed as social work personnel in a foster family agency.
(B) Employees who were hired prior to January 1, 1995, shall not be required to meet the requirements of this subdivision in order to remain employed as social work personnel in a foster family agency.
(4) Coursework and field practice or experience completed to fulfill the degree requirements of subdivision (e) may be used to satisfy the requirements of this subdivision.
(g) In addition to the degree specifications in subdivision (e) and the coursework and field practice or experience described in subdivision (f), social work personnel shall meet core competencies to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family, as determined by the department in written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(h) Individuals seeking an exception to the requirements of subdivision (e) or (f) based on completion of equivalent education and experience shall apply to the department by the process established by the department.
(i) The department shall complete the process for the exception to minimum education and experience requirements described in subdivisions (e) and (f) within 30 days of receiving the exception application of social work personnel or supervising social worker qualifications from the foster family agency.
(j) For purposes of this section, “social work personnel” means supervising social workers and nonsupervisory social workers.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1559.110 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1559.110.
 (a) (1) The State Department of Social Services shall license transitional housing placement providers pursuant to this chapter. Prior to licensure, a provider shall obtain certification from the applicable county, in accordance with Section 16522.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(2) For purposes of the certification of a program that serves nonminor dependents in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 16522.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, “applicable county” means the county where the administrative office or subadministrative office of a transitional housing placement provider is located, or a primary placing county.
(b) Transitional housing placement providers shall provide supervised transitional housing services to foster children who are at least 16 years of age and not more than 18 years of age, or nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or both.
(c) Transitional housing placement providers shall certify that housing units comply with the health and safety standards set forth in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 1501. Transitional housing shall include any of the following:
(1) Programs in which a participant lives in an apartment, single-family dwelling, or condominium, with one or more adults approved by the provider.
(2) Programs in which a participant lives independently in an apartment, single-family dwelling, or condominium owned, rented, or leased by the provider either with an adult employee of the provider or in a building in which one or more adult employees of the provider either reside or provide supervision.
(3) Programs in which a participant lives independently in an apartment, single-family dwelling, or condominium owned, rented, or leased by a provider under the supervision of the provider if the department provides approval. The housing model described in this paragraph shall not be available to minor foster children.
(d) This section shall not be interpreted to prohibit a transitional housing placement provider from entering into a sublease or a colease with a nonminor dependent.
(e) (1) The department shall adopt regulations to govern transitional housing placement providers licensed pursuant to this section.
(2) The regulations shall be age-appropriate and recognize that nonminor dependents who are about to exit from the foster care system should be subject to fewer restrictions than those who are foster children. At a minimum, the regulations shall provide for all of the following:
(A) Require programs that serve both foster children and nonminor dependents to have separate rules and program design, as appropriate, for these two groups of youth.
(B) Allow nonminor dependents to have the greatest amount of freedom possible in order to prepare them for their transition to adulthood, in accordance with paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 1502.7.
(C) Maintain a program staffing ratio of case manager to client not to exceed a shared average caseload of 1 to 12. A designated lead case manager shall be assigned to each youth. for minor foster children of case manager to client not to exceed 1 to 12.
(D) Maintain a program staffing ratio for nonminor dependents of case manager to client not to exceed a shared average caseload of 1 to 12 with a designated lead case manager assigned to each youth.

(D)

(E) Allow a participant to share a bedroom with any of the following persons:
(i) Another participant approved by the provider pursuant to regulations.
(ii) A participant in Transitional Housing Program-Plus, as defined in subdivision (s) of Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, approved by the provider pursuant to regulations.
(iii) Any nonparticipant roommate approved by the provider pursuant to regulations.
(iv) The participant’s children.
(f) (1) A program manager for a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program shall have a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department.
(2) Persons who possess a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school in any of the following areas, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department, shall be considered to be qualified to perform program manager activities in a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program:
(A) Marriage, family, and child counseling.
(B) Child psychology.
(C) Child development.
(D) Counseling psychology.
(E) Social psychology.
(F) Clinical psychology.
(G) Educational psychology.
(H) Education, with emphasis on counseling.
(I) Social work or social welfare.
(J) An area that includes the core content areas required for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, as specified in Sections 4999.32 and 4999.33 of the Business and Professions Code.
(K) A subject area that is functionally equivalent to those listed in subparagraphs (A) to (J), inclusive, as set forth by the department.
(g) (1) (A) In addition to the degree specifications in subdivision (f), effective January 1, 2018, all new hires for the position of program manager for a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program shall have a minimum of two years’ experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting or specific experience working with transition age youth who are 16 to 24 years of age, inclusive.
(B) Documentation of the completed education and experience requirements shall be maintained in the personnel file.
(C) Persons who do not meet the requirements specified in subdivision (f) or this subdivision may apply for an exception as provided for in subdivision (h).
(D) Exceptions granted by the department prior to January 1, 2018, shall remain in effect.
(2) Employees who were hired prior to January 1, 2018, shall not be required to meet the requirements of this subdivision in order to remain employed as a program manager.
(h) (1) The department may grant exceptions to the requirement for a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department, if the program manager has a baccalaureate degree from an accredited or state-approved graduate school.
(2) The department shall complete the process for the exception to minimum education and experience requirements described in subdivisions (f) and (g) within 30 days of receiving the exception application of a program manager from the provider.
(i) (1) Effective January 1, 2018, all new hires for the position of case manager for a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care program, not including program manager, shall meet either of the following requirements:
(A) A minimum of a baccalaureate degree in a related field specified in subdivision (f).
(B) A minimum of a baccalaureate degree in a nonrelated field and a minimum of two years’ experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting, or specific experience working with transition age youth who are 16 to 24 years of age, inclusive.
(2) Documentation of the completed education and experience requirements shall the be maintained in the personnel file.
(3) Persons who were hired prior to January 1, 2018, shall not be required to meet the requirements of this subdivision in order to remain employed as a case manager.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because 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.