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SB-912 California Fostering Connections to Success Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/13/2020 09:00 PM
SB912:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  May 13, 2020
Amended  IN  Senate  March 16, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill
No. 912


Introduced by Senator Beall

February 03, 2020


An act to amend Sections 303, 388, 388.1, 391, 450, 452, 607, 607.2, 11363, 11386, 11400, 11403, 11403.1, 11405, 11464, 16120, and 16501.1, of Section 388 of, and to add Section 11403.07 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster care. care, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 912, as amended, Beall. California Fostering Connections to Success Act.
Existing law, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, revises and expands the scope of various programs relating to the provision of cash assistance and other services to and for the benefit of certain foster and adopted children, and other children who have been placed in out-of-home care, including children who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC), California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) benefits. Among other provisions, the act extends specified foster care benefits to nonminor dependents up to 21 years of age, if specified conditions are met.
Existing law defines a nonminor dependent for these purposes as a foster child who is a current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or who is a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to a voluntary reentry agreement, and in accordance with a transitional independent living case plan who has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court and is not older than 21 years of age.
This bill would require a nonminor dependent who turns 21 years of age or who is no longer able to meet participation requirements during the period of a state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor to continue to receive support as a nonminor dependent until at least 6 months after the date that the state of emergency is terminated.
Existing law authorizes a court to terminate its dependency, transition, or delinquency jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent between the time the nonminor reaches the age of majority and 21 years of age if certain requirements are met.
This bill would prohibit a court from terminating jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent during a period of a state of emergency and until at least 6 months after the date that the state of emergency is terminated unless the nonminor dependent does not wish to remain subject to juvenile jurisdiction during that time period. Under the bill, during the period of a state of emergency, jurisdiction would automatically be modified from delinquency jurisdiction to transition jurisdiction for a ward who has met their rehabilitative goals or who turns 21 years of age as long as the ward had an order for foster care placement on their 18th birthday and is in agreement with remaining under transition jurisdiction.
Existing law requires the court to hold a dispositional hearing for a youth who is under an order for foster care placement and who is 18 years of age if the youth, prior to attaining 18 years of age, was found to be abused or neglected and was made a dependent of the court, the youth has been continuously detained since that time, and the youth has provided informed consent to the dispositional proceeding. Under existing law, for purposes of the definition of nonminor dependent, an order for foster care placement made at a dispositional hearing is treated as though the nonminor attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court.
This bill would require a child who is under an order for foster care placement as stated above and who attains 18 years of age during a period of a state of emergency or within 90 days after the state of emergency is terminated to be treated as though the nonminor attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court.
Existing law authorizes a nonminor who was previously under juvenile court jurisdiction, and who attained 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement and who has not attained 21 years of age, or for whom the court has dismissed dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction but has retained general jurisdiction, to petition the court in the same action in which the child was found to be a dependent or delinquent child of the juvenile court, for a hearing to resume the dependency jurisdiction over a former dependent or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction over a former delinquent ward.
This bill would also allow a nonminor who was alleged to come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court prior to the minor attaining 18 years of age, who was subject to an order for foster care placement at any time after the youth attained 18 years of age, and who has not attained 21 years of age, to petition the court for a hearing to resume the dependency jurisdiction or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction.
This bill would provide that its provisions apply retroactively to March 4, 2020.
By expanding the application of the above county administered programs, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the AFDC-FC program.
This bill would provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.
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.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute.

Existing law, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, revises and expands the scope of various programs relating to the provision of cash assistance and other services to and for the benefit of certain foster and adopted children, and other children who have been placed in out-of-home care, including children who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC), Adoption Assistance Program, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) benefits. Among other provisions, the act extends specified foster care benefits to nonminor dependents up to 21 years of age, if specified conditions are met.

Existing law defines a nonminor dependent for these purposes as a foster child who is a current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or who is a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to a voluntary reentry agreement, and in accordance with a transitional independent living case plan who has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court and is not older than 21 years of age. Existing law defines a nonminor former dependent or ward as a person who meets these criteria who reached 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement, for whom dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction has been terminated, and who is still under the general jurisdiction of the court.

This bill would expand the eligibility of foster care by revising the definition of nonminor dependent and former nonminor dependent to include a foster child who meets the above requirements and was subject to an order for foster care placement at any time after they attained 12 years of age, and is not older than 25 years of age.

Existing law establishes the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, which is permitted to adjudge certain children to be dependents of the court under certain circumstances. Existing law also authorizes the juvenile court to resume jurisdiction over a nonminor who has attained 18 years of age, but not yet attained 21 years of age, and for whom the court has dismissed dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction. Existing law, after the court has resumed jurisdiction over the nonminor, requires the nonminor to be under the placement and care responsibility of the placing agency.

This bill would expand the jurisdiction of the juvenile court by authorizing the juvenile court to assume or resume dependency jurisdiction over a nonminor who has not attained 25 years of age, who was alleged to be under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, but whom the court did not adjudge a dependent or ward of the juvenile court, and who was subject to an order of foster care, at the time the nonminor attained 18 years of age. The bill would also make these nonminors eligible for AFDC-FC benefits and other benefits and services associated with extended foster care.

Existing law establishes the Kin-GAP Program to provide state-funded assistance on behalf of eligible children who are placed in the home of a relative caretaker and establishes the Adoption Assistance Program, which provides financial aid to the adoptive families of special needs children. Under existing law, Kin-GAP payments and Adoption Assistance Program payments are provided on behalf of youth between 18 and 21 years of age if the youth meets specified requirements, including that the youth’s Kin-GAP or Adoption Assistance Program payments began after their 16th birthday.

This bill would expand eligibility for Kin-GAP payments and Adoption Assistance Program payments by making youth between 18 and 25 years of age whose Kin-GAP payments began after their 14th birthday eligible for aid.

The bill would make related conforming changes.

By expanding the application of the above county administered programs, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the AFDC-FC program.

This bill would provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.

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: MAJORITY2/3   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 388 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

388.
 (a) (1) Any A parent or other person having an interest in a child who is a dependent child of the juvenile court or a nonminor dependent as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, or the child himself or herself or the nonminor dependent through a properly appointed guardian may, upon grounds of change of circumstance or new evidence, petition the court in the same action in which the child was found to be a dependent child of the juvenile court or in which a guardianship was ordered pursuant to Section 360 for a hearing to change, modify, or set aside any order of court previously made or to terminate the jurisdiction of the court. The petition shall be verified and, if made by a person other than the child or the nonminor dependent shall state the petitioner’s relationship to or interest in the child or the nonminor dependent and shall set forth in concise language any change of circumstance or new evidence that is alleged to require the change of order or termination of jurisdiction.
(2) When any If a party, including a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, petitions the court prior to an order terminating parental rights, to modify the order that reunification services were not needed pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, or to modify any orders related to custody or visitation of the subject child, and the court orders a hearing pursuant to subdivision (d), the court shall modify the order that reunification services were not needed pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, or any orders related to the custody or visitation of the child for whom reunification services were not ordered pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, only if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the proposed change is in the best interests of the child.
(b) (1) Any A person, including a child or a nonminor dependent who is a dependent of the juvenile court, may petition the court to assert a relationship as a sibling related by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent to a child who is, or is the subject of a petition for adjudication as, a dependent of the juvenile court, and may request visitation with the dependent child, placement with or near the dependent child, or consideration when determining or implementing a case plan or permanent plan for the dependent child or make any other request for an order which may be shown to be in the best interest of the dependent child.
(2) A child or nonminor dependent who is a dependent of the juvenile court may petition the court to assert a relationship as a sibling related by blood, adoption, or affinity through a common legal or biological parent to a child who is in the physical custody of a common legal or biological parent, and may request visitation with the nondependent sibling in parental custody.
(3) Pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16002, a request for sibling visitation may be granted unless it is determined by the court that sibling visitation is contrary to the safety and well-being of any of the siblings.
(4) The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to file the petition for a dependent child asserting a sibling relationship pursuant to this subdivision if the court determines that the appointment is necessary for the best interests of the dependent child. The petition shall be verified and shall set forth the following:
(A) Through which parent he or she the dependent child is related to the sibling.
(B) Whether he or she the dependent child is related to the sibling by blood, adoption, or affinity.
(C) The request or order that the petitioner is seeking.
(D) Why that request or order is in the best interest of the dependent child.
(c) (1) Any A party, including a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, may petition the court, prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, or prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, to terminate court-ordered reunification services provided under subdivision (a) of Section 361.5 only if one of the following conditions exists:
(A) It appears that a change of circumstance or new evidence exists that satisfies a condition set forth in subdivision (b) or (e) of Section 361.5 justifying termination of court-ordered reunification services.
(B) The action or inaction of the parent or guardian creates a substantial likelihood that reunification will not occur, including, but not limited to, the parent’s or guardian’s failure to visit the child, or the failure of the parent or guardian to participate regularly and make substantive progress in a court-ordered treatment plan.
(2) In determining whether the parent or guardian has failed to visit the child or participate regularly or make progress in the treatment plan, the court shall consider factors that include but are not limited to, the parent’s or guardian’s incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States Department of Homeland Security, deportation, or participation in a court-ordered residential substance abuse treatment program.
(3) The court shall terminate reunification services during the above-described time periods only upon a finding by a preponderance of evidence that reasonable services have been offered or provided, and upon a finding of clear and convincing evidence that one of the conditions in subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) exists.
(4) Any A party, including a nonminor dependent, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, may petition the court prior to the review hearing set pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 366.31 to terminate the continuation of court-ordered family reunification services for a nonminor dependent who has attained 18 years of age. The court shall terminate family reunification services to the parent or guardian if the nonminor dependent or parent or guardian are not in agreement that the continued provision of court-ordered family reunification services is in the best interests of the nonminor dependent.
(5) If the court terminates reunification services, it shall order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 be held within 120 days. On and after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent. The court may order a nonminor dependent who is otherwise eligible to AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Section 11403 to remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.
(d) If it appears that the best interests of the child or the nonminor dependent may be promoted by the proposed change of order, modification of reunification services, custody, or visitation orders concerning a child for whom reunification services were not ordered pursuant to paragraphs (4), (5), and (6) of subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, recognition of a sibling relationship, termination of jurisdiction, or clear and convincing evidence supports revocation or termination of court-ordered reunification services, the court shall order that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the persons and in the manner prescribed by Section 386, and, in those instances in which the manner of giving notice is not prescribed by those sections, then in the manner the court prescribes.
(e) (1) (A) A nonminor who attained 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement and who has not attained 21 years of age, or as described in Section 10103.5, for whom the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 391, or delinquency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 607.2, or transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 452, but has retained general jurisdiction under subdivision (b) of Section 303, or the county child welfare services, probation department, or tribal placing agency on behalf of the nonminor, may petition the court in the same action in which the child was found to be a dependent or delinquent child of the juvenile court, for a hearing to resume the dependency jurisdiction over a former dependent or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction over a former delinquent ward pursuant to Section 450. The petition shall be filed within the period that the nonminor is of the age described in this paragraph. If the nonminor has completed the voluntary reentry agreement, as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400, with the placing agency, the agency shall file the petition on behalf of the nonminor within 15 judicial days of the date the agreement was signed unless the nonminor elects to file the petition at an earlier date.
(B) The petition may be brought notwithstanding a court order vacating the underlying adjudication pursuant to Section 236.14 of the Penal Code.
(2) (A) The petition to assume or resume jurisdiction may be filed in the juvenile court that retains general jurisdiction under subdivision (b) of Section 303, or the petition may be submitted to the juvenile court in the county where the youth resides and forwarded to the juvenile court that retained general jurisdiction and filed with that court. The juvenile court having general jurisdiction under Section 303 shall receive the petition from the court where the petition was submitted within five court days of its submission, if the petition is filed in the county of residence. The juvenile court that retained general jurisdiction shall order that a hearing be held within 15 judicial days of the date the petition was filed if there is a prima facie showing that the nonminor satisfies the following criteria:
(i) He or she The nonminor was previously under juvenile court jurisdiction, or was alleged to come within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court prior to the nonminor attaining 18 years of age, and was subject to an order for foster care placement when he or she at any time after the nonminor attained 18 years of age, and has not attained 21 years of age.
(ii) He or she The nonminor intends to satisfy at least one of the conditions set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403.
(iii) He or she The nonminor wants assistance either in maintaining or securing appropriate supervised placement, or is in need of immediate placement and agrees to supervised placement pursuant to the voluntary reentry agreement as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400.
(B) Upon ordering a hearing, the court shall give prior notice, or cause prior notice to be given, to the persons and by the means prescribed by Section 386, except that notice to parents or former guardians shall not be provided unless the nonminor requests, in writing on the face of the petition, notice to the parents or former guardians.
(3) The Judicial Council, by January 1, 2012, shall adopt rules of court to allow for telephonic appearances by nonminor former dependents or delinquents in these proceedings, and for telephonic appearances by nonminor dependents in any proceeding in which the nonminor dependent is a party, and he or she the nonminor dependent declines to appear and elects a telephonic appearance.
(4) Prior to the hearing on a petition to resume dependency jurisdiction or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction, the court shall order the county child welfare or probation department to prepare a report for the court addressing whether the nonminor intends to satisfy at least one of the criteria set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 11403. When the recommendation is for the nonminor dependent to be placed in a setting where minor dependents also reside, the results of a background check of the petitioning nonminor conducted pursuant to Section 16504.5, may be used by the placing agency to determine appropriate placement options for the nonminor. The existence of a criminal conviction is not a bar to eligibility for reentry or resumption of dependency jurisdiction or the assumption or resumption of transition jurisdiction over a nonminor.
(5) (A) The court shall resume dependency jurisdiction over a former dependent or assume or resume transition jurisdiction over a former delinquent ward pursuant to Section 450, and order that the nonminor’s placement and care be under the responsibility of the county child welfare services department, the probation department, tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization, if the court finds all of the following:
(i) The nonminor was previously under juvenile court jurisdiction, subject to an order for foster care placement when he or she the nonminor attained 18 years of age.
(ii) The nonminor has not attained 21 years of age.
(iii) Reentry and remaining in foster care are in the nonminor’s best interests.
(iv) The nonminor intends to satisfy, and agrees to satisfy, at least one of the criteria set forth in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and demonstrates his or her their agreement to placement in a supervised setting under the placement and care responsibility of the placing agency and to satisfy the criteria by signing the voluntary reentry agreement as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400.
(B) In no event shall the A court shall not grant a continuance that would cause the hearing to resume dependency jurisdiction or to assume or resume transition jurisdiction to be completed more than 120 days after the date the petition was filed.
(C) The agency made responsible for the nonminor’s placement and care pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall prepare a new transitional independent living case plan within 60 calendar days from the date the nonminor signed the voluntary reentry agreement as described in subdivision (z) of Section 11400 and submit it to the court for the review hearing under Section 366.31, to be held within 70 days of the resumption of dependency jurisdiction or assumption or resumption of transition jurisdiction. In no event shall the review hearing under Section 366.3 be held more than 170 calendar days from the date the nonminor signed the voluntary reentry agreement.
(f) The amendments made to this section by the act adding this subdivision apply retroactively to March 4, 2020.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11403.07 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

11403.07.
 (a) Notwithstanding subdivision (v) of Section 11400, Section 11403, or any other law, during the period of a state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code), a nonminor dependent who turns 21 years of age or who is no longer able to meet participation requirements shall continue to receive support as a nonminor dependent until at least six months after the date the state of emergency is terminated.
(b) (1) The court shall not terminate jurisdiction over a nonminor dependent pursuant to Section 391, 452, or 607.2 during the period of a state of emergency and until at least six months after the date the state of emergency is terminated unless the nonminor does not wish to remain subject to juvenile court jurisdiction during this time period.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), this subdivision does not extend delinquency jurisdiction pursuant to Section 607 for a person who turns 21 years of age.
(3) Notwithstanding Sections 450 and 607.2, during a period of a state of emergency, jurisdiction shall automatically be modified from delinquency jurisdiction to transition jurisdiction for a ward who has met their rehabilitative goals or who turns 21 years of age as long as the ward had an order for foster care placement on their 18th birthday and is in agreement with remaining under transition jurisdiction.
(c) A child that is under an order for foster care placement pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 319 and who attains 18 years of age during a period of a state of emergency or within 90 days after the state of emergency is terminated shall be treated for purposes of subdivision (v) of Section 11400 as though the nonminor attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court, notwithstanding the requirements of subdivision (d) of Section 358.
(d) This section applies retroactively to March 4, 2020.

SEC. 3.

 No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for the purposes of this act.

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.

SEC. 5.

 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to provide stability and financial support to nonminor dependents who may be adversely affected by the state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor relating to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.