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AB-686 Indian children.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/09/2019 09:00 PM
AB686:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  July 09, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 14, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Btecting the essential tribal relations and best interest of an Indian child by promoting practices in accordance with ICWA. Existing law requires a court in all Indian child custody proceedings to, among other things, comply with ICWA.
This bill would require the Judicial Council to establish a rule of court that would authorize the use of telephonic or other remote access by an Indian child’s tribe in proceedings where ICWA apply. The bill would prohibit the charging of a fee for the telephonic or remote access.
Existing law requires counties to implement the resource family approval process and authorizes a federally recognized tribe to approve a home for the purpose of foster or adoptive placement of an Indian child pursuant to ICWA. Existing law generally makes a resource family eligible to provide foster care for any child in out-of-home placement, but authorizes a county and foster family agency to approve a resource family to care for a specific child.
This bill would require, when the tribe does not exercise its right to approve a home for a specific child, the county and foster family agency to apply prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community when approving a resource family for that child. The bill would require the State Department of Social Services to issue all-county letters or similar instruction to provide guidance regarding consistent implementation of that this provision. The bill would also clarify that tribal home approvals that comply with specific requirements are not subject to resource family approval requirements. By requiring counties to provide a higher level of service when approving resource families, this 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: (2) For purposes of this chapter, a “resource family” means an individual or family that has successfully met both the home environment assessment and the permanency assessment criteria, as set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, necessary for providing care for a child placed by a public or private child placement agency by court order, or voluntarily placed by a parent or legal guardian.
(3) There is no fundamental right to approval as a resource family.
(4) (A) A resource family shall be considered eligible to provide foster care for children in out-of-home placement and shall be considered approved for adoption and guardianship.
(B) (i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a foster family agency may approve a resource family to care for a specific child, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(ii) In the case of an Indian child for whom the child’s tribe is not exercising its right to approve a home, the county foster family agency shall apply the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community to resource family approval for that child, as required by subdivision (f) of Section 361.31 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.). The department shall engage in the tribal consultation process and develop regulations to implement this clause. Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement this clause through all-county letters or other similar instruction, and provide guidance to counties regarding provide guidance to foster family agencies regarding consistent implementation of this clause. clause through the issuance of written directives that shall have the same force and effect as regulations, until regulations are adopted.
(5) For purposes of this chapter, “resource family approval” means that the applicant or resource family successfully meets the home environment assessment and permanency assessment standards adopted pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. This approval is in lieu of a certificate of approval issued by a licensed foster family agency pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1506.
(6) Approval of a resource family does not guarantee an initial, continued, or adoptive placement of a child with a resource family. Approval of a resource family does not guarantee the establishment of a legal guardianship of a child with a resource family.
(7) (A) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, a foster family agency shall cease any further review of an application if the applicant has had a previous application denial within the preceding year by the department or county, or if the applicant has had a previous rescission, revocation, or exemption denial or exemption rescission by the department or county within the preceding two years.
(B) If an individual was excluded from a resource family home or facility licensed by the department, a foster family agency shall cease review of the individual’s application unless the excluded individual has been reinstated pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16519.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or Section 1569.53, subdivision (h) of Section 1558, subdivision (h) of Sectiof this section, the date of a previous denial, rescission, revocation, exemption denial or exemption rescission, or exclusion shall be either of the following:
(i) The effective date of a final decision or order upholding a notice of action or exclusion order.
(ii) The date on the notice of the decision to deny, rescind, revoke, or exclude if the notice was not appealed or otherwise constitutes a final decision.
(8) A resource family shall meet the approval standards set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and comply with other applicable federal and state laws in order to maintain approval.
(9) A resource family may be approved by a county child welfare department or probation department pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code or by a foster family agency pursuant to this section.
(10) A resource family shall not be licensed to operate a residential facility, as defined in Section 1502, a residential care facility for the elderly, as defined in Section 1569.2, or a residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illnesses, as defined in Section 1568.01, on the same premises used as the residence of the resource family.
(11) (A) An applicant who withdraws an application prior to its approval or denial may resubmit the application within 12 months of the withdrawal.
(B) This section does not preclude a foster family agency from requiring an applicant to complete an application activity, even if that activity was previously completed.
(b) (1) A foster family agency that approves resource families shall comply with this section.
(2) Notwithstanding any other law, a foster family agency shall require its applicants and resource families to meet the resource family approval standards set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the written directives or regulations adopted thereto, and other applicable laws prior to approval and in order to maintain approval.
(3) A foster family agency shall be responsible for all of the following:
(A) Complying with the applicable provisions of this chapter, the regulations for foster family agencies, the resource family approval standards and requirements set forth in Article 2 (commencing with Section 16519.5) of Chapter 5 of Part 4 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and the applicable written directives or regulations adopted thereto by the department.
(B) Implementing the requirements for the resource family approval and utilizing standardized documentation established by the department.
(C) Ensuring staff have the education, experience, and core competencies necessary to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.
(D) Taking the following actions, as applicable:
(i) (I) Approving or denying resource family applications, including preparing a written report that evaluates the applicant’s capacity to foster, adopt, or provide legal guardianship of a child based on all of the information gathered through the resource family application and assessment processes.
(II) The applicant’s preference to provide a specific level of permanency, including adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a relative, placement with a fit and willing relative, shall not be a basis to deny an application.
(ii) Rescinding approvals of resource families.
(E) Providing to the department a log of resource families that were approved or had approval rescinded during the month by the 10th day of the following month.
(F) (i) Updating resource family approval annually and as necessary to address any changes that have occurred in the resource family’s circumstances, including, but not limited to, moving to a new home location or commencing operation of a family day care home, as defined in Section 1596.78.
(ii) A foster family agency shall conduct an announced inspection of a resource family home during the annual update, and as necessary to address any changes specified in clause (i), to ensure that the resource family is conforming to all applicable laws and the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(G) Monitoring resource families through all of the following:
(i) Ensuring that social workers who identify a condition in the home that may not meet the resource family approval standards while in the course of a routine visit to children subsequently placed with a resource family take appropriate action as needed.
(ii) Requiring resource families to meet the approval standards set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and to comply with the written directives or regulations adopted thereto, other applicable laws, and corrective action plans as necessary to correct identified deficiencies. If corrective action is not completed as specified in the plan, the foster family agency or the department may rescind the approval of the resource family or take other administrative action in accordance with applicable law or the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(iii) Requiring resource families to report to the foster family agency any incidents, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(iv) Inspecting resource family homes as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.
(H) Performing corrective action as required by the department.
(I) Submitting information and data that the department determines is necessary to study, monitor, and prepare the report specified in paragraph (6) of subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(J) (i) Ensuring applicants and resource families meet the training requirements, and, if applicable, the specialized training requirements set forth in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(ii) This section does not preclude a foster family agency from requiring training in excess of the requirements in this section.
(4) A foster family agency may cooperatively match a child who is under the care, custody, and control of a county with a resource family for initial placement.
(c) In addition to subdivision (f) of Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:
(1) Requiring foster family agencies to monitor resource families, including, but not limited to, inspecting resource family homes, developing and monitoring resource family corrective action plans to correct identified deficiencies, and rescinding resource family approval if compliance with a corrective action plan is not achieved.
(2) Investigating all complaints regarding a resource family approved by a foster family agency and taking any action it deems necessary. This shall include investigating any incidents reported about a resource family indicating that the approval standard is not being maintained. Complaint investigations shall be conducted in accordance with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. A foster family agency shall not conduct an internal investigation regarding an incident report or complaint against a resource family that interferes with an investigation being conducted by the department.
(3) Rescinding approvals of a resource family approved by a foster family agency.
(4) Excluding a resource family parent or applicant or other individual from presence in any resource family home or licensed community care facility consistent with the established standard, from being a member of the board of directors, an executive director, or an officer of a licensed community care facility, or prohibiting a licensed community care facility from employing the resource family parent or other individual, if appropriate.
(5) Issuing a temporary suspension order that suspends the resource family approval prior to a hearing, when urgent action is needed to protect a child from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety.
(6) Providing a resource family parent, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission with due process pursuant to this chapter and subdivisions (g) to (n), inclusive, of Section 16519.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code if the department has ordered a foster family agency to deny a resource family application or rescind the approval of a resource family, has excluded an individual, has denied or rescinded a criminal record exemption, or has taken other administrative action.
(d) (1) The department may enter and inspect the home of a resource family approved by a foster family agency to secure compliance with the resource family approval standards, investigate a complaint or incident, or ensure the quality of care provided.
(2) Upon a finding of noncompliance, the department may require a foster family agency to deny a resource family application, rescind the approval of a resource family, or take other action the department may deem necessary for the protection of a child placed with the resource family.
(A) If the department requires a foster family agency to deny an application, rescind the approval of a resource family, or take another action, the department shall serve an order of denial or rescission, or another order, that notifies the resource family or applicant and foster family agency of the basis of the department’s action and of the resource family’s or applicant’s right to a hearing.
(B) (i) Except as otherwise specified in this section, a hearing conducted pursuant to this section shall be conducted in accordance with Section 1551.
(ii) Notwithstanding the time for hearings set forth in this chapter, a hearing conducted pursuant to this section shall be held within the timelines specified in subdivisions (f) to (h), inclusive, of Section 16519.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(iii) Consistent with subdivision (h) of Section 16519.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and notwithstanding Section 1550.5, proceedings regarding the temporary suspension of a resource family approval shall not include an interim hearing.
(C) The department’s order of the application denial, rescission of the approval, or another action shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits.
(D) A foster family agency’s failure to comply with the department’s order to deny an application or rescind the approval of a resource family, or another order, by placing or retaining a child in care shall be grounds for disciplining the foster family agency pursuant to Section 1550.
(e) This section and Article 2 (commencing with Section 16519.5) of Chapter 5 of Part 4 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code do not limit the authority of the department to inspect, evaluate, investigate a complaint or incident, or initiate a disciplinary action against a foster family agency pursuant to this chapter or to take any action it may deem necessary for the health and safety of children placed with the foster family agency.
(f) (1) The applicable certification and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for foster homes certified by a foster family agency prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in paragraph (2), until the certification is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to this subdivision.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), a foster family agency shall approve or deny all certified family home applications received on or before December 31, 2016, in accordance with this chapter.
(3) On and after January 1, 2017, a foster family agency shall not accept applications to certify foster homes and shall approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes.
(4) No later than July 1, 2019, each foster family agency shall provide the following information to its certified family homes:
(A) A detailed description of the resource family approval program.
(B) Notification that, in order to care for a foster child, resource family approval is required by December 31, 2020.
(C) Notification that a certificate of approval shall be forfeited by operation of law, as specified in paragraph (8).
(5) The following shall apply to all certified family homes:
(A) A certified family home with an approved adoptive home study, completed prior to January 1, 2018, shall be deemed to be a resource family.
(B) A certified family home that had a child in placement at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(C) A certified family home that provided county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(6) A foster family agency may provide supportive services to all certified family homes with a child in placement to assist with the resource family transition and to minimize placement disruptions.
(7) An individual who is approved as a resource family pursuant to subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (5) shall be fingerprinted pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code upon filing an application for adoption.
(8) All certificates of approval for certified family homes shall be forfeited by operation of law on December 31, 2020, except as provided in this paragraph:
(A) All certified family homes that did not have a child in placement or did not provide county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, shall forfeit the certificate of approval by operation of law on January 1, 2018.
(B) For certified family homes with a pending resource family application on December 31, 2020, the certificate of approval shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family. If approval is denied, forfeiture by operation of law shall occur on the date of completion of any proceedings required by law to ensure due process.
(C) A certificate of approval shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family.
(g) A foster family agency may obtain any arrest or conviction records or reports from any law enforcement agency as necessary to the performance of its duties, as provided in this section.
(h) A foster family agency may review and discuss with an applicant the data contained in the statewide child welfare database, and provided to the foster family agency by a county, that is pertinent to conducting a family evaluation, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

SEC. 2.

 Section 224.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

224.2.
 (a) The court, county welfare department, and the probation department have an affirmative and continuing duty to inquire whether a child for whom a petition under Section 300, 601, or 602 may be or has been filed, is or may be an Indian child. The duty to inquire begins with the initial contact, including, but not limited to, asking the party reporting child abuse or neglect whether the party has any information that the child may be an Indian child.
(b) If a child is placed into the temporary custody of a county welfare department pursuant to Section 306 or county probation department pursuant to Section 307, the county welfare department or county probation department has a duty to inquire whether that child is an Indian child. Inquiry includes, but is not limited to, asking the child, parents, legal guardian, Indian custodian, extended family members, others who have an interest in the child, and the party reporting child abuse or neglect, whether the child is, or may be, an Indian child and where the child, the parents, or Indian custodian is domiciled.
(c) At the first appearance in court of each party, the court shall ask each participant present in the hearing whether the participant knows or has reason to know that the child is an Indian child. The court shall instruct the parties to inform the court if they subsequently receive information that provides reason to know the child is an Indian child.
(d) There is reason to know a child involved in a proceeding is an Indian child under any of the following circumstances:
(1) A person having an interest in the child, including the child, an officer of the court, a tribe, an Indian organization, a public or private agency, or a member of the child’s extended family informs the court that the child is an Indian child.
(2) The residence or domicile of the child, the child’s parents, or Indian custodian is on a reservation or in an Alaska Native village.
(3) Any participant in the proceeding, officer of the court, Indian tribe, Indian organization, or agency informs the court that it has discovered information indicating that the child is an Indian child.
(4) The child who is the subject of the proceeding gives the court reason to know that the child is an Indian child.
(5) The court is informed that the child is or has been a ward of a tribal court.
(6) The court is informed that either parent or the child possess an identification card indicating membership or citizenship in an Indian tribe.
(e) If the court, social worker, or probation officer has reason to believe that an Indian child is involved in a proceeding, the court, social worker, or probation officer shall make further inquiry regarding the possible Indian status of the child, and shall make that inquiry as soon as practicable. Further inquiry includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Interviewing the parents, Indian custodian, and extended family members to gather the information required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 224.3.
(2) Contacting the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the State Department of Social Services for assistance in identifying the names and contact information of the tribes in which the child may be a member, or eligible for membership in, and contacting the tribes and any other person that may reasonably be expected to have information regarding the child’s membership status or eligibility.
(3) Contacting the tribe or tribes and any other person that may reasonably be expected to have information regarding the child’s membership, citizenship status, or eligibility. Contact with a tribe shall, at a minimum, include telephone, facsimile, or electronic mail contact to each tribe’s designated agent for receipt of notices under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.). Contact with a tribe shall include sharing information identified by the tribe as necessary for the tribe to make a membership or eligibility determination, as well as information on the current status of the child and the case.
(f) If there is reason to know, as set forth in subdivision (d), that the child is an Indian child, the party seeking foster care placement shall provide notice in accordance with paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) of Section 224.3.
(g) If there is reason to know the child is an Indian child, but the court does not have sufficient evidence to determine that the child is or is not an Indian child, the court shall confirm, by way of a report, declaration, or testimony included in the record that the agency or other party used due diligence to identify and work with all of the tribes of which there is reason to know the child may be a member, or eligible for membership, to verify whether the child is in fact a member or whether a biological parent is a member and the child is eligible for membership.
(h) A determination by an Indian tribe that a child is or is not a member of, or eligible for membership in, that tribe, or testimony attesting to that status by a person authorized by the tribe to provide that determination, shall be conclusive. Information that the child is not enrolled, or is not eligible for enrollment in, the tribe is not determinative of the child’s membership status unless the tribe also confirms in writing that enrollment is a prerequisite for membership under tribal law or custom.
(i) (1) When there is reason to know that the child is an Indian child, the court shall treat the child as an Indian child unless and until the court determines on the record and after review of the report of due diligence as described in subdivision (g), and a review of the copies of notice, return receipts, and tribal responses required pursuant to Section 224.3, that the child does not meet the definition of an Indian child as used in Section 224.1 and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.).
(2) If the court makes a finding that proper and adequate further inquiry and due diligence as required in this section have been conducted and there is no reason to know whether the child is an Indian child, the court may make a finding that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.) does not apply to the proceedings, subject to reversal based on sufficiency of the evidence. The court shall reverse its determination if it subsequently receives information providing reason to believe that the child is an Indian child and order the social worker or probation officer to conduct further inquiry pursuant to Section 224.3.
(j) Notwithstanding a determination that the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 does not apply to the proceedings, if the court, social worker, or probation officer subsequently receives any information required by Section 224.3 that was not previously available or included in the notice issued under Section 224.3, the party seeking placement shall provide the additional information to any tribes entitled to notice under Section 224.3 and to the Secretary of the Interior’s designated agent.
(k) The Judicial Council, by July 1, 2021, shall adopt rules of court to allow for telephonic or other remote appearance options by an Indian child’s tribe in proceedings where the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.) may apply. Telephonic or other computerized remote access for court appearances established under this subdivision shall not be subject to fees.

SEC. 3.

 Section 10553.12 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

10553.12.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a federally recognized tribe is authorized, but not required, to approve a home for the purpose of foster or adoptive placement of an Indian child pursuant to the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1915).
(b) An Indian child, as defined by subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 224, that has been removed pursuant to Section 361, from the custody of their parents or Indian custodian may be placed in a tribally approved home pursuant to Section 1915 of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act.
(c) To facilitate the availability of tribally approved homes that have been fully approved in accord with federal law, including completion of required background checks, a tribal agency may request from the Department of Justice federal and state summary criminal history information regarding a prospective foster parent or adoptive parent, an adult who resides or is employed in the home of an applicant, a person who has a familial or intimate relationship with a person living in the home of an applicant, or an employee of the child welfare agency who may have contact with children, in accord with subdivision (m) of Section 11105 of the Penal Code and Child Abuse Central Index Information pursuant to paragraph (8) of subdivision (b) of Section 11170 of the Penal Code.
(d) As used in this section, a “tribal agency” means an entity designated by a federally recognized tribe as authorized to approve homes consistent with the federal Indian Child Welfare Act for the purpose of placement of Indian children, into foster or adoptive care, including the authority to conduct criminal record and child abuse background checks of, and grant exemptions to, individuals who are prospective foster parents or adoptive parents, an adult who resides or is employed in the home of an applicant for approval, a person who has a familial or intimate relationship with a person living in the home of an applicant, or an employee of the tribal agency who may have contact with children.
(e) A county social worker may place an Indian child in a tribally approved home without having to conduct a separate background check, upon certification by the tribal agency of the following:
(1) The tribal agency has completed a criminal record background check in accord with the standards set forth in Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, and a Child Abuse Central Index Check pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code, with respect to each of the individuals described in subdivision (c).
(2) The tribal agency has agreed to report to a county child welfare agency responsible for a child placed in the tribally approved home, within 24 hours of notification to the tribal agency by the Department of Justice, of a subsequent state or federal arrest or disposition notification provided pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code involving an individual associated with the tribally approved home where an Indian child is placed.
(3) If the tribal agency in its certification states that the individual was granted a criminal record exemption, the certification shall specify that the exemption was evaluated in accord with the standards and limitations set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code and was not granted to an individual ineligible for an exemption under that provision.
(f) Tribal home approvals conducted in compliance with this section are not subject to resource family approval requirements.

SEC. 4.

 Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16519.5.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with county child welfare agencies, foster parent associations, and other interested community parties, shall implement a unified, family friendly, and child-centered resource family approval process to replace the existing multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, certifying foster homes by licensed foster family agencies, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving guardians and adoptive families.
(b) (1) Counties shall be selected to participate on a voluntary basis as early implementation counties for the purpose of participating in the initial development of the approval process. Early implementation counties shall be selected according to criteria developed by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California. In selecting the five early implementation counties, the department shall promote diversity among the participating counties in terms of size and geographic location.
(2) Additional counties may participate in the early implementation of the program upon authorization by the department.
(3) The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:
(A) Selecting early implementation counties, based on criteria established by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California.
(B) Establishing timeframes for participating counties to submit an implementation plan, enter into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program, train appropriate staff, and accept applications from resource families.
(C) Entering into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program by counties.
(4) Counties participating in the early implementation of the program shall be responsible for all of the following:
(A) Submitting an implementation plan.
(B) Entering into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program.
(C) Consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan.
(D) Training appropriate staff.
(E) Accepting applications from resource families within the timeframes established by the department.
(5) (A) Approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members, licensed foster family homes, or approved adoptive homes that have completed the license or approval process prior to statewide implementation of the program shall not be considered part of the program. The otherwise applicable assessment and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for families and facilities not included in the program.
(B) Upon implementation of the program in a county, that county shall not accept new applications for the licensure of foster family homes, the approval of relative and nonrelative extended family members, or the approval of prospective guardians and adoptive homes.
(6) The department may waive regulations that pose a barrier to the early implementation and operation of this program. The waiver of any regulations by the department pursuant to this section shall apply to only those counties or foster family agencies participating in the early implementation of the program and only for the duration of the program.
(7) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2017.
(c) (1) For purposes of this article, “resource family” means an individual or family that has successfully met both the home environment assessment standards and the permanency assessment criteria adopted pursuant to subdivision (d) necessary for providing care for a child placed by a public or private child placement agency by court order, or voluntarily placed by a parent or legal guardian. A resource family shall demonstrate all of the following:
(A) An understanding of the safety, permanence, and well-being needs of children who have been victims of child abuse and neglect, and the capacity and willingness to meet those needs, including the need for protection, and the willingness to make use of support resources offered by the agency, or a support structure in place, or both.
(B) An understanding of children’s needs and development, effective parenting skills or knowledge about parenting, and the capacity to act as a reasonable, prudent parent in day-to-day decisionmaking.
(C) An understanding of their role as a resource family and the capacity to work cooperatively with the agency and other service providers in implementing the child’s case plan.
(D) The financial ability within the household to ensure the stability and financial security of the family. An applicant who will rely on the funding described in subdivision (l) to meet additional household expenses incurred due to the placement of a child shall not, for this reason, be denied approval as a resource family.
(E) An ability and willingness to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences that serves the needs of the child.
(2) For purposes of this article, and unless otherwise specified, references to a “child” shall include a “nonminor dependent” and “nonminor former dependent or ward,” as defined in subdivision (v) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (aa) of Section 11400.
(3) There is no fundamental right to approval as a resource family. Emergency placement of a child pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, or placement with a resource family applicant pursuant to subdivision (e), does not entitle an applicant approval as a resource family.
(4) (A) A resource family shall be considered eligible to provide foster care for children in out-of-home placement and shall be considered approved for adoption and guardianship.
(B) (i) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a county may approve a resource family to care for a specific child, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.
(ii) In the case of an Indian child for whom the child’s tribe is not exercising its right to approve a home, the county shall apply the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community to resource family approval for that child, as required by subdivision (f) of Section 361.31 and the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.). The department shall engage in the tribal consultation process and develop regulations to implement this clause. Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the department may implement this clause through all-county letters or other similar instruction, and provide guidance to counties regarding consistent implementation of this clause.
(5) For purposes of this article, “resource family approval” means that the applicant or resource family successfully meets the home environment assessment and permanency assessment standards. This approval is in lieu of a foster family home license issued pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a certificate of approval issued by a licensed foster family agency, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 1506 of the Health and Safety Code, relative or nonrelative extended family member approval, guardianship approval, and the adoption home study approval.
(6) Approval of a resource family does not guarantee an initial, continued, or adoptive placement of a child with a resource family or with a relative or nonrelative extended family member. Approval of a resource family does not guarantee the establishment of a legal guardianship of a child with a resource family.
(7) (A) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, the county shall, consistent with Sections 1520.3 and 1558.1 of the Health and Safety Code, cease any further review of an application if the applicant has had a previous application denial by the department or a county within the preceding year, or if the applicant has had a previous rescission, revocation, or exemption denial or exemption rescission by the department or a county within the preceding two years.
(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the county may continue to review an application if it has determined that the reasons for the previous denial, rescission, or revocation were due to circumstances and conditions that either have been corrected or are no longer in existence. If an individual was excluded from a resource family home or facility licensed by the department, the county shall cease review of the individual’s application unless the excluded individual has been reinstated pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16519.6 of this code or pursuant to Section 1569.53, subdivision (h) of Section 1558, subdivision (h) of Section 1569.58, or subdivision (h) of Section 1596.8897, of the Health and Safety Code.
(C) (i) The county may cease any further review of an application if, after written notice to the applicant, the applicant fails to complete an application without good faith effort and within 30 days of the date of the notice, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.
(ii) Clause (i) does not apply if a child is placed with the applicant pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 16519.5.
(D) The cessation of an application review pursuant to this paragraph shall not constitute a denial of the application for purposes of this section or any other law.
(E) For purposes of this section, the date of a previous denial, rescission, revocation, exemption denial or exemption rescission, or exclusion shall be either of the following:
(i) The effective date of a final decision or order upholding a notice of action or exclusion order.
(ii) The date on the notice of the decision to deny, rescind, revoke, or exclude if the notice was not appealed or otherwise constitutes a final decision.
(8) A resource family shall meet the approval standards set forth in this section, comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section, and comply with other applicable laws in order to maintain approval.
(9) A resource family may be approved by a county child welfare department or a probation department pursuant to this section or by a foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.
(10) A resource family shall not be licensed to operate a residential facility, as defined in Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, a residential care facility for the elderly, as defined in Section 1569.2 of the Health and Safety Code, or a residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illnesses, as defined in Section 1568.01 of the Health and Safety Code, on the same premises used as the residence of the resource family.
(11) (A) An applicant who withdraws an application prior to its approval or denial may resubmit the application within 12 months of the withdrawal.
(B) This paragraph does not preclude a county from requiring an applicant to complete an application activity, even if that activity was previously completed.
(d) (1) The department shall adopt standards pertaining to the home environment and permanency assessments of a resource family.
(2) Resource family home environment assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) (i) (I) A criminal record clearance of each applicant and all adults residing in, or regularly present in, the home, and not exempted from fingerprinting, as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code, utilizing a check of the Child Abuse Central Index pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code, and receipt of a fingerprint-based state and federal criminal offender record information search response. The criminal history information shall include subsequent notifications pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code.
(II) Consideration of any substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect against the applicant and any other adult residing in, or regularly present in, the home pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(III) If the criminal records check indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, home approval shall be denied. If the criminal records check indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the home shall not be approved unless a criminal records exemption has been granted pursuant to subclause (IV).
(IV) If the resource family parent, applicant, or any other person specified in subclause (I) has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation or arrested for an offense specified in subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, except for the civil penalty language, the criminal background check provisions specified in subdivisions (d) through (f) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code shall apply. Exemptions from the criminal records clearance requirements set forth in this section may be granted by the department or the county, if that county has been granted permission by the department to issue criminal records exemptions pursuant to Section 361.4, using the exemption criteria currently used for foster care licensing, as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(V) If it is determined, on the basis of the fingerprint images and related information submitted to the Department of Justice, that subsequent to obtaining a criminal record clearance or exemption from disqualification, the person has been convicted of, or is awaiting trial for, a sex offense against a minor, or has been convicted for an offense specified in Section 243.4, 273a, 273ab, 273d, 273g, or 368 of the Penal Code, or a felony, the department or county shall notify the resource family to act immediately to remove or bar the person from entering the resource family’s home. The department or county, as applicable, may subsequently grant an exemption from disqualification pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. If the conviction or arrest was for another crime, the resource family shall, upon notification by the department or county, act immediately to either remove or bar the person from entering the resource family’s home, or require the person to seek an exemption from disqualification pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. The department or county, as applicable, shall determine if the person shall be allowed to remain in the home until a decision on the exemption from disqualification is rendered.
(ii) For public foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized.
(iii) For private foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized, but the Department of Justice shall disseminate a fitness determination resulting from the federal criminal offender record information search.
(B) A home and grounds evaluation to ensure the health and safety of children.
(C) In addition to the foregoing requirements, the resource family home environment assessment standards shall also require the following:
(i) That the applicant demonstrates an understanding of the rights of children in care and the applicant’s responsibility to safeguard those rights.
(ii) That the total number of children residing in the home of a resource family shall be no more than the total number of children the resource family can properly care for, regardless of status, and shall not exceed six children, unless exceptional circumstances that are documented in the foster child’s case file exist to permit a resource family to care for more children, including, but not limited to, the need to place siblings together.
(iii) That the applicant understands the applicant’s responsibilities with respect to acting as a reasonable and prudent parent, and maintaining the least restrictive environment that serves the needs of the child.
(3) The resource family permanency assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(A) Caregiver training, as described in subdivisions (g) and (h).
(B) A family evaluation, which shall include, but not be limited to, interviews of an applicant to assess the applicant’s personal history, family dynamic, and need for support or resources, and a risk assessment.
(i) When the applicant is a relative or nonrelative extended family member to an identified child, the family evaluation shall consider the nature of the relationship between the relative or nonrelative extended family member and the child. The relative or nonrelative extended family member’s expressed desire to only care for a specific child or children shall not be a reason to deny the approval.
(ii) A caregiver risk assessment shall include, but not be limited to, physical and mental health, alcohol and other substance use and abuse, family and domestic violence, and the factors listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).
(iii) A county may review and discuss data contained in the statewide child welfare database with an applicant for purposes of conducting a family evaluation, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.
(C) Completion of any other activities that relate to the ability of an applicant or a resource family to achieve permanency with a child.
(4) (A) For a child placed on an emergency basis with a family that has successfully completed the home environmental assessment, the permanency assessment shall be completed within 90 days of the application to become a resource family, unless good cause exists based upon the needs of the child.
(B) If additional time is needed to complete the permanency assessment, the county shall document the extenuating circumstances for the delay and generate a timeframe for the completion of the permanency assessment.
(C) The county shall report to the department, on a quarterly basis, the number of families with emergency placements whose permanency assessment goes beyond 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.
(e) (1) A county may place a child with a resource family applicant who has successfully completed the home environment assessment prior to completion of a permanency assessment only if a compelling reason for the placement exists based on the needs of the child.
(A) The permanency assessment and the written report described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) shall be completed within 90 days of the child’s placement in the home, unless good cause exists.
(B) If additional time is needed to comply with subparagraph (A), the county shall document the extenuating circumstances for the delay and generate a timeframe for the completion of the permanency assessment.
(C) The county shall report to the department, on a quarterly basis, the number of applicants for whom the requirements of subparagraph (A) exceed 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.
(2) The home environment, permanency assessments, and the written report described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) shall be completed within 90 days of a child’s placement with a relative or nonrelative extended family member pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, unless good cause exists.
(3) For any placement made pursuant to this subdivision, AFDC-FC funding shall not be available until approval of the resource family has been completed.
(4) Any child placed pursuant to this subdivision shall be afforded all the rights set forth in Section 16001.9.
(5) This section shall not limit the county’s authority to inspect the home of a resource family applicant as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.
(6) This subdivision does not limit the county’s obligation under law to assess and give placement consideration to relatives and nonrelative extended family members and to place a child pursuant to Section 309, 361.3, or 361.45.
(f) The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:
(1) (A) Until regulations are adopted, administering the program through the issuance of written directives that shall have the same force and effect as regulations. Any directive affecting Article 1 (commencing with Section 700) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations shall be approved by the Department of Justice. The directives shall be exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340)) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(B) Adopting, amending, or repealing, in accordance with Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, any reasonable rules, regulations, and standards that may be necessary or proper to carry out the purposes and intent of this article and to enable the department to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred upon it by this section, consistent with the laws of this state.
(2) Approving and requiring the use of a single standard for resource family approval.
(3) Adopting and requiring the use of standardized documentation for the home environment and permanency assessments of resource families.
(4) Adopting core competencies for county staff to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.
(5) Requiring counties to monitor county-approved resource families, including, but not limited to, both of the following:
(A) Investigating complaints regarding resource families.
(B) Developing and monitoring resource family corrective action plans to correct identified deficiencies and to rescind resource family approval if compliance with corrective action plans is not achieved.
(6) Ongoing oversight and monitoring of county systems and operations including all of the following:
(A) Reviewing the county’s implementation plan and implementation of the program.
(B) Reviewing an adequate number of county-approved resource families in each county to ensure that approval standards are being properly applied. The review shall include case file documentation and may include onsite inspection of individual resource families. The review shall occur on an annual basis and more frequently if the department becomes aware that a county is experiencing a disproportionate number of complaints against individual resource family homes.
(C) Reviewing county reports of serious complaints and incidents involving resource families, as determined necessary by the department. The department may conduct an independent review of the complaint or incident and change the findings depending on the results of its investigation.
(D) Investigating unresolved complaints against counties.
(E) Requiring corrective action of counties that are not in full compliance with this section.
(7) Updating the Legislature on the early implementation phase of the program, including the status of implementation, successes, and challenges during the early implementation phase, and relevant available data, including resource family satisfaction.
(8) Excluding a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, consistent with the established standard for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61.
(9) Implementing due process procedures, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) Providing a statewide fair hearing process for application denials, rescissions of approval, exclusion actions, or criminal record exemption denials or rescissions by a county or the department.
(B) Providing an excluded individual with due process pursuant to Section 16519.6.
(C) Amending the department’s applicable state hearing procedures and regulations or using the Administrative Procedure Act, when applicable, as necessary for the administration of the program.
(g) Counties shall be responsible for all of the following:
(1) Submitting an implementation plan and consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan.
(2) Complying with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.
(3) Implementing the requirements for resource family approval and utilizing standardized documentation established by the department.
(4) Training appropriate staff, including ensuring staff have the education and experience or core competencies necessary to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.
(5) (A) Taking the following actions, as applicable, for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61:
(i) (I) Approving or denying resource family applications, including preparing a written report that evaluates an applicant’s capacity to foster, adopt, and provide legal guardianship of a child based on all of the information gathered through the resource family application and assessment processes.
(II) The applicant’s preference to provide a specific level of permanency, including adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a relative, placement with a fit and willing relative, shall not be a basis to deny an application.
(ii) Rescinding approvals of resource families.
(iii) When applicable, referring a case to the department for an action to exclude a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, consistent with the established standard.
(iv) Issuing a temporary suspension order that suspends the resource family approval prior to a hearing when, in the opinion of the county, urgent action is needed to protect a child from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety. The county shall serve the resource family with the temporary suspension order and a copy of available discovery in the possession of the county, including, but not limited to, affidavits, declarations, names of witnesses, and other evidence upon which the county relied in issuing the temporary suspension order. The temporary suspension order shall be served upon the resource family with a notice of action, and if the matter is to be heard before the Office of Administrative Hearings, an accusation. The temporary suspension order shall list the effective date on the order.
(v) Granting, denying, or rescinding criminal record exemptions.
(B) Providing a resource family parent, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission with due process pursuant to Section 16519.6.
(C) Notifying the department of any decisions denying an application for resource family approval, rescinding the approval of a resource family, or denying or rescinding a criminal record exemption and, if applicable, notifying the department of the results of an administrative action.
(6) (A) Updating resource family approval annually and as necessary to address any changes that have occurred in the resource family’s circumstances, including, but not limited to, moving to a new home location or commencing operation of a family day care home, as defined in Section 1596.78 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) A county shall conduct an announced inspection of a resource family home during the annual update, and as necessary to address any changes specified in subparagraph (A), in order to ensure that the resource family is conforming to all applicable laws and the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.
(7) Monitoring resource families through all of the following:
(A) Ensuring that social workers who identify a condition in the home that may not meet the approval standards set forth in subdivision (d) while in the course of a routine visit to children placed with a resource family take appropriate action as needed.
(B) Requiring resource families to meet the approval standards set forth in this section and to comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section, other applicable laws, and corrective action plans as necessary to correct identified deficiencies. If corrective action is not completed, as specified in the plan, the county may rescind the resource family approval.
(C) Requiring resource families to report to the county child welfare agency any incidents consistent with the reporting requirements for licensed foster family homes.
(D) Inspecting resource family homes as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.
(8) (A) Investigating all complaints against a resource family and taking action as necessary, including, but not limited to, investigating any incidents reported about a resource family indicating that the approval standard is not being maintained and inspecting the resource family home.
(B) The child’s social worker shall not conduct the investigation into the complaint received concerning a family providing services pursuant to the standards required by subdivision (d). To the extent that adequate resources are available, complaints shall be investigated by a worker who did not conduct the home environment assessment or family evaluation or prepare the written report determining approval of the resource family.
(C) Upon conclusion of the complaint investigation, the final disposition shall be reviewed and approved by a supervising staff member.
(D) The department shall be notified of any serious incidents or serious complaints or any incident that falls within the definition of Section 11165.5 of the Penal Code. If those incidents or complaints result in an investigation, the department shall also be notified as to the status and disposition of that investigation.
(9) Performing corrective action as required by the department.
(10) Assessing county performance in related areas of the California Child and Family Services Review System, and remedying problems identified.
(11) Submitting information and data that the department determines is necessary to study, monitor, and prepare the update specified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (f).
(12) Ensuring resource family applicants and resource families have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to support children in foster care by completing caregiver training. The training should include a curriculum that supports the role of a resource family in parenting vulnerable children and should be ongoing in order to provide resource families with information on trauma-informed practices and requirements and other topics within the foster care system.
(13) Ensuring that a resource family applicant completes a minimum of 12 hours of preapproval caregiver training. The training shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following courses:
(A) An overview of the child protective and probation systems.
(B) The effects of trauma, including grief and loss, and child abuse and neglect, on child development and behavior, and methods to behaviorally support children impacted by that trauma or child abuse and neglect.
(C) Positive discipline and the importance of self-esteem.
(D) Health issues in foster care.
(E) Accessing services and supports to address education needs, physical, mental, and behavioral health, and substance use disorders, including culturally relevant services.
(F) The rights of a child in foster care and the resource family’s responsibility to safeguard those rights, including the right 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.
(G) Cultural needs of children, including instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity, and related best practices for providing adequate care for children or youth across diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, as well as children or youth identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
(H) Basic instruction on existing laws and procedures regarding the safety of foster youth at school.
(I) Permanence, well-being, and education needs of children.
(J) Child and adolescent development, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.
(K) The role of resource families, including working cooperatively with the child welfare or probation agency, the child’s family, and other service providers implementing the case plan.
(L) The role of a resource family on the child and family team as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501.
(M) A resource family’s responsibility to act as a reasonable and prudent parent, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 1522.44 of the Health and Safety Code, and to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and that serves the needs of the child.
(N) An overview of the specialized training identified in subdivision (h).
(O) The information described in subdivision (i) of Section 16521.5. The program may use the curriculum created pursuant to subdivision (h), and described in subdivision (i), of Section 16521.5.
(14) Ensuring resource families complete a minimum of eight hours of caregiver training annually, a portion of which shall be from subparagraph (M) of paragraph (13) and from one or more of the other topics listed in paragraph (13).
(h) In addition to any training required by this section, a county may require a resource family or applicant to receive relevant specialized training for the purpose of preparing the resource family to meet the needs of a particular child in care. This training may include, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to commercially sexually exploited children.
(2) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.
(3) Understanding the requirements and best practices regarding psychotropic medications, including, but not limited to, court authorization, benefits, uses, side effects, interactions, assistance with self-administration, misuse, documentation, storage, and metabolic monitoring of children prescribed psychotropic medications.
(4) Understanding the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), its historical significance, the rights of children covered by the act, and the best interests of Indian children, including the role of the caregiver in supporting culturally appropriate, child-centered practices that respect Native American history, culture, retention of tribal membership, and connection to the tribal community and traditions.
(5) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to nonminor dependents.
(6) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to children with special health care needs.
(7) Understanding the different permanency options and the services and benefits associated with the options.
(i) This section shall not preclude a county from requiring training in excess of the requirements in this section.
(j) (1) Resource families who move home locations shall retain their resource family status pending the outcome of the update conducted pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision (g).
(2) (A) If a resource family moves from one county to another county, the department, or the county to which a resource family has moved, shall submit a written request to the Department of Justice to transfer the individual’s subsequent arrest notification, as specified in subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) A request to transfer a subsequent arrest notification shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.
(3) Subject to the requirements in paragraph (1), the resource family shall continue to be approved for guardianship and adoption. This subdivision shall not limit a county, foster family agency, or adoption agency from determining that the family is not approved for guardianship or adoption based on changes in the family’s circumstances or family evaluation.
(k) Implementation of the program shall be contingent upon the continued availability of federal Social Security Act Title IV-E (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670) funds for costs associated with placement of children with resource families assessed and approved pursuant to the program.
(l) A child placed with a resource family is eligible for the resource family basic rate, pursuant to Sections 11253.45, 11460, 11461, and 11463, and subdivision (l) of Section 11461.3, at the child’s assessed level of care.
(m) Sharing ratios for nonfederal expenditures for all costs associated with activities related to the approval of relatives and nonrelative extended family members shall be in accordance with Section 10101.
(n) The Department of Justice shall charge fees sufficient to cover the cost of initial or subsequent criminal offender record information and Child Abuse Central Index searches, processing, or responses, as specified in this section.
(o) Except as provided, resource families shall be exempt from both of the following:
(1) Licensure requirements established pursuant to the California Community Care Facilities Act (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code) and all regulations promulgated to implement the act.
(2) Relative and nonrelative extended family member approval requirements as those approval requirements existed prior to January 1, 2017.
(p) (1) Early implementation counties shall be authorized to continue through December 31, 2016. The program shall be implemented by each county on or before January 1, 2017.
(2) (A) (i) On and after January 1, 2017, a county to which the department has delegated its licensing authority pursuant to Section 1511 of the Health and Safety Code shall approve resource families in lieu of licensing foster family homes.
(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), the existing licensure and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for foster family homes licensed prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in subparagraph (C), until the license is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to Section 1517.1 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) (i) On and after January 1, 2017, a county shall approve resource families in lieu of approving relative and nonrelative extended family members.
(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), the existing approval and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for relatives and nonrelative extended family members approved prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in subparagraph (C), until the approval is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to this section.
(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), a county shall approve or deny all applications for foster family home licenses and requests for relative or nonrelative extended family member approvals received on or before December 31, 2016, in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code or provisions providing for the approval of relatives or nonrelative extended family members, as applicable.
(D) On and after January 1, 2017, a county shall not accept applications for foster family home licenses or requests to approve relatives or nonrelative extended family members.
(3) No later than July 1, 2019, each county shall provide the following information to all licensed foster family homes and approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members licensed or approved by the county:
(A) A detailed description of the resource family approval program.
(B) Notification that, in order to care for a foster child, resource family approval is required by December 31, 2020.
(C) Notification that a foster family home license and an approval of a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law, as specified in paragraph (8).
(4) The following shall apply to all licensed foster family homes and approved relative and nonrelative extended family members:
(A) A licensed foster family home or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member with an approved adoptive home study completed prior to January 1, 2018, shall be deemed to be a resource family.
(B) A licensed foster family home or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member who had a child in placement at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation.
(C) A licensed foster family home that provided county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation.
(5) A county may provide supportive services to all licensed foster family homes, relatives, and nonrelative extended family members with a child in placement to assist with the resource family transition and to minimize placement disruptions.
(6) (A) In order to approve a licensed foster family home or approved relative or nonrelative extended family member as a resource family pursuant to paragraph (4), a county shall submit a written request to the Department of Justice to transfer any subsequent arrest and Child Abuse Central Index notifications, as specified in subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(B) A request to transfer a subsequent arrest notification shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.
(7) An individual who is a member of a resource family approved pursuant to subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (4) shall be fingerprinted pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code upon filing an application for adoption.
(8) All foster family licenses and approvals of relatives and nonrelative extended family members shall be forfeited by operation of law on December 31, 2020, except as provided in this paragraph or Section 1524 of the Health and Safety Code:
(A) All licensed foster family homes that did not have a child in placement or did not provide county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, shall forfeit the license by operation of law on January 1, 2018.
(B) For foster family home licensees and approved relatives or nonrelative extended family members who have a pending resource family application on December 31, 2020, the foster family home license or relative and nonrelative extended family member approval shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family. If approval is denied, forfeiture by operation of law shall occur on the date of completion of any proceedings required by law to ensure due process.
(C) A foster family home license shall be forfeited by operation of law, pursuant to Section 1517.1 of the Health and Safety Code, upon approval as a resource family.
(D) Approval as a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family.
(q) On and after January 1, 2017, all licensed foster family agencies shall approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes, as set forth in Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.
(r) The department may establish participation conditions, and select and authorize foster family agencies that voluntarily submit implementation plans and revised plans of operation in accordance with requirements established by the department, to approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes.
(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a participating foster family agency shall require resource families to meet and maintain the resource family approval standards and requirements set forth in this chapter and in the written directives adopted consistent with the chapter prior to approval and in order to maintain approval.
(2) A participating foster family agency shall implement the resource family approval program pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of the department to inspect, evaluate, or investigate a complaint or incident, or initiate a disciplinary action against a foster family agency pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 1550) of Chapter 3 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, or to take any action it may deem necessary for the health and safety of children placed with the foster family agency.
(4) The department may adjust the foster family agency AFDC-FC rate pursuant to Section 11463 for implementation of this subdivision.
(5) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2017.
(s) The department or a county is authorized to obtain any arrest or conviction records or reports from any court or law enforcement agency as necessary to the performance of its duties, as provided in this section or subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.
(t) A resource family approved pursuant to this section shall forfeit its approval concurrent with resource family approval by a foster family agency.

SEC. 5.

 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.