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AB-1996 Foster youth.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 01/27/2020 09:00 PM
AB1996:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1996


Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson

January 27, 2020


An act to add Section 11401.7 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1996, as introduced, Gipson. Foster youth.
Existing law authorizes a minor to be adjudged a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court under specified circumstances. Existing law authorizes the juvenile court to retain jurisdiction over a ward or a dependent child until they attain 21 years of age. Existing law, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act (the act), also authorizes a nonminor who has not yet attained 21 years of age and who exited foster care at or after the age of majority, to petition the court to resume dependency jurisdiction or to assume transition jurisdiction, as described.
This bill would state the Legislature’s intent to support transition-age youth in accessing available supports and services offered through the act and, among other things, that the State Department of Social Services consider stakeholder input on the feasability of collecting additional data to better understand the population currently accessing extended foster care. The bill would require the department to report to the Legislature and stakeholders, during the 2021–22 budget process, a detailed list of current data fields and types of information related to entry into foster care and reentry into extended foster care for youths 16 to 21 years of age, inclusive, collected as a result of calls to county hotlines and a summary of which types of data collection may be implemented in the existing child welfare data system and the types that can be included in subsequent data system updates on specified data collection points.
Existing law provides aid and services to children placed in out-of-home care through various social service programs, including Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC). Under existing law, a nonminor dependent, defined to mean a person between 18 and 21 years of age who is still within the jurisdiction or transitional jurisdiction of the juvenile court under specified placement and care responsibility and who has a transitional independent living case plan, continues to be eligible for AFDC-FC benefits until 21 years of age.
This bill would require a nonminor dependent who is participating in a transitional independent living case plan, and who is not in an approved housing placement for more than 2 consecutive months during the period covered by the transitional independent living case plan as a result of a lack of available housing, to remain eligible for AFDC-FC benefits following the nonminor’s 21st birthday for a period of time equivalent to the lack of approved housing. By imposing a higher level of service on county officials, 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.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to support transition-age youth in accessing available supports and services offered through the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, which provides support to foster care youth as they build skills and transition to independence and self-sufficiency.
(b) It is further the intent of the Legislature to better understand whether older minors, including unaccompanied homeless minors, face systemic differences in accessing foster care and to promote the collection of statewide data to better inform an understanding of the reasons for any differences between older and younger minors who are alleged to be at substantial risk of suffering serious physical harm or illness, as described in Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(c) It is further the intent of the Legislature to better understand whether older minors are reentering foster care due to failed guardianships or adoptions and to promote the collection of statewide data to better inform an understanding of the reasons for any failed guardianships or adoptions and whether they result in older minors reentering foster care or homelessness.
(d) It is further the intent of the Legislature that the State Department of Social Services should consider stakeholder input on the feasibility of collecting additional data to better understand the population currently accessing extended foster care and those older youth and homeless youth whose allegations have been found to be unsubstantiated.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The State Department of Social Services shall report to the Legislature and stakeholders, during the 2021–22 budget process, both of the following:
(1) A detailed list of current data fields and types of information related to entry into foster care and reentry into extended foster care for youths 16 to 21 years of age, inclusive, collected as a result of calls to county hotlines.
(2) A summary of which types of data collection, on an aggregate basis and on a county-by-county basis, may be implemented in the existing child welfare data system and which types of data collection can be included in subsequent data system upgrades on data collection points, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) The number of times that a social worker’s use of the Structured Decision Making (SDM) tool results in an allegation of abuse or neglect being evaluated out prior to an investigation for entry into foster care and the number of times a supervisor overrides the outcome of an SDM tool, resulting in the allegation either being evaluated out or investigated.
(B) A quantitative reason that an allegation of abuse or neglect is not substantiated.
(C) If the minor is homeless as part of a family or individually and unaccompanied.
(D) If the minor whose allegation has been found to be unsubstantiated is referred to other social services.
(E) If the allegation was a self-petition filed pursuant to Section 329 or 331 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the reason for the self-petition, and the outcome of the petition.
(F) The number and types of any prior allegations for minors with substantiated allegations and minors with unsubstantiated allegations.
(G) The number of petitions filed pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code following an adoption or guardianship of a minor, the reason for the filing of the petitions, and the number of petitions substantiated.
(H) The number of voluntary reentry agreements filed pursuant to Section 388 of the Welfare and Institutions Code following an adoption or guardianship of a minor.
(I) If the adoptive parent or guardian continues to receive payment for the minor following the failed adoption or guardianship and the reason.
(b) A report submitted to the Legislature pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11401.7 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

11401.7.
 Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 11403, a nonminor dependent who is participating in a transitional independent living case plan, and who is not in an approved housing placement for more than two consecutive months during the period covered by the transitional independent living case plan as a result of a lack of available housing, shall remain eligible for AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Section 11401 following the nonminor’s 21st birthday for a period of time equivalent to the lack of approved housing.

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.