Code Section Group

Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC

DIVISION 9. PUBLIC SOCIAL SERVICES [10000 - 18999.8]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

PART 2. ADMINISTRATION [10500 - 10985]

  ( Part 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

CHAPTER 2. State Department of Social Services [10550 - 10619]

  ( Heading of Chapter 2 amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252. )

ARTICLE 2. Powers and Duties [10600 - 10619]
  ( Article 2 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

10600.
  

It is hereby declared that provision for public social services in this code is a matter of statewide concern. The department is hereby designated as the single state agency with full power to supervise every phase of the administration of public social services, except health care services and medical assistance, for which grants-in-aid are received from the United States government or made by the state in order to secure full compliance with the applicable provisions of state and federal laws.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10600.1.
  

(a) The State Department of Social Services succeeds to and is vested with the duties, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction exercised by the State Department of Health or the State Department of Benefit Payments pursuant to the provisions of this division, except those contained in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 14000), Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 14200), Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 14500), and Chapter 8.7 (commencing with Section 14520) of Part 3, on the date immediately prior to the date this section becomes operative.

(b) The State Department of Social Services also succeeds to and is vested with the duties, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction heretofore exercised by the State Department of Health with respect to its disability determination function performed pursuant to Titles II and XVI of the federal Social Security Act; provided, however, that this paragraph shall not vest in the State Department of Social Services any power or authority over programs for aid or rehabilitation of mentally disordered or developmentally disabled persons administered by the State Department of State Hospitals or the State Department of Developmental Services.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 442, Sec. 20. (SB 1465) Effective September 18, 2014.)

10600.2.
  

The State Department of Social Services shall have possession and control of all records, papers, offices, equipment, supplies, moneys, funds, appropriations, land, and other property real or personal held for the benefit or use of the Director of Health or the Director of Benefit Payments in the performance of his duties, powers, purposes, responsibilities, and jurisdiction that are vested in the State Department of Social Services by Section 10600.1.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10600.3.
  

All officers and employees of the Director of Health or the Director of Benefit Payments who, on the operative date of the statute amending this section at the 1977 portion of the 1977–78 Regular Session of the Legislature, are serving in the state civil service, other than as temporary employees, and engaged in the performance of a function vested in the State Department of Social Services by Section 10600.1 shall be transferred to the State Department of Social Services. The status, positions, and rights of such persons shall not be affected by the transfer and shall be retained by them as officers and employees of the State Department of Social Services pursuant to the State Civil Service Act, except as to positions exempt from civil service.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10601.
  

The department may expend, in accordance with law, all moneys made available for its use or for the administration of any statute administered by it.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

10601.2.
  

(a) The State Department of Social Services shall establish, by April 1, 2003, the California Child and Family Service Review System, in order to review all county child welfare systems. These reviews shall cover child protective services, foster care, adoption, family preservation, family support, and independent living.

(b) Child and family service reviews shall maximize compliance with the federal regulations for the receipt of money from Subtitle E (commencing with Section 470) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 and following) and ensure compliance with state plan requirements set forth in Subtitle B (commencing with Section 421) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 621 and following).

(c) (1) The California Health and Human Services Agency shall convene a workgroup comprised of representatives of the Judicial Council, the State Department of Social Services, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Education, the State Department of Justice, any other state departments or agencies the California Health and Human Services Agency deems necessary, the County Welfare Directors Association, the California State Association of Counties, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the California Youth Connection, and representatives of California tribes, interested child advocacy organizations, researchers, and foster parent organizations. The workgroup shall establish a workplan by which child and family service reviews shall be conducted pursuant to this section, including a process for qualitative peer reviews of case information.

(2) At a minimum, in establishing the workplan, the workgroup shall consider any existing federal program improvement plans entered into by the state pursuant to federal regulations, the outcome indicators to be measured, compliance thresholds for each indicator, timelines for implementation, county review cycles, uniform processes, procedures and review instruments to be used, a corrective action process, and any funding or staffing increases needed to implement the requirements of this section. The agency shall broadly consider collaboration with all entities to allow the adequate exchange of information and coordination of efforts to improve outcomes for foster youth and families.

(d) (1) The California Child and Family Service Review System outcome indicators shall be consistent with the federal child and family service review measures and standards for child and family outcomes and system factors authorized by Subtitle B (commencing with Section 421) and Subtitle E (commencing with Section 470) of Title IV of the federal Social Security Act and the regulations adopted pursuant to those provisions (Parts 1355 to 1357, inclusive, of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations).

(2) During the first review cycle pursuant to this section, each county shall be reviewed according to the outcome indicators established for the California Child and Family Service Review System.

(3) For subsequent reviews, the workgroup shall consider whether to establish additional outcome indicators that support the federal outcomes and any program improvement plan, and promote good health, mental health, behavioral, educational, and other relevant outcomes for children and families in California’s child welfare services system.

(4) The workgroup shall convene as necessary to update the outcome indicators described in paragraph (1).

(e) The State Department of Social Services shall identify and promote the replication of best practices in child welfare service delivery to achieve the measurable outcomes established pursuant to subdivision (d).

(f) The State Department of Social Services shall provide information to the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees and appropriate legislative policy committees annually, beginning with the 2002–03 fiscal year, on all of the following:

(1) The department’s progress in planning for the federal child and family service review to be conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and, upon completion of the federal review, the findings of that review, the state’s response to the findings, and the details of any program improvement plan entered into by the state.

(2) The department’s progress in implementing the California child and family service reviews, including, but not limited to, the timelines for implementation, the process to be used, and any funding or staffing increases needed at the state or local level to implement the requirements of this section.

(3) The findings and recommendations for child welfare system improvements identified in county self-assessments and county system improvement plans, including information on common statutory, regulatory, or fiscal barriers identified as inhibiting system improvements, any recommendations to overcome those barriers, and, as applicable, information regarding the allocation and use of the moneys provided to counties pursuant to subdivision (i).

(g) Effective April 1, 2003, the existing county compliance review system shall be suspended to provide to the State Department of Social Services sufficient lead time to provide training and technical assistance to counties for the preparation necessary to transition to the new child and family service review system.

(h) Beginning January 1, 2004, the department shall commence individual child and family service reviews of California counties. County child welfare systems that do not meet the established compliance thresholds for the outcome measures that are reviewed shall receive technical assistance from teams made up of state and peer-county administrators to assist with implementing best practices to improve their performance and make progress toward meeting established levels of compliance.

(i) (1) To the extent that funds are appropriated in the annual Budget Act to enable counties to implement approaches to improving their performance on the outcome indicators under this section, the department, in consultation with counties, shall establish a process for allocating the funds to counties.

(2) The allocation process shall take into account, at a minimum, the extent to which the proposed funding would be used for activities that are reasonably expected to help the county make progress toward the outcome indicators established pursuant to this section, and the extent to which county funding for the Child Abuse, Prevention and Treatment program is aligned with the outcome indicators.

(3) To the extent possible, a county shall use funds in a manner that enables the county to access additional federal, state, and local funds from other available sources. However, a county’s ability to receive additional matching funds from these sources shall not be a determining factor in the allocation process established pursuant to this subdivision.

(4) The department shall provide information to the appropriate committees of the Legislature on the process established pursuant to this subdivision for allocating funds to counties.

(j) (1) Counties shall continue to be responsible for and accountable to the department for child welfare program performance measures, including all of the following:

(A) The outcome and systemic factor measures contained in the federal Department of Health and Human Services Child and Family Services Review Procedures Manual, Appendix B, Index of Outcomes and Systemic Factors, and Associated Items and Data Indicators, issued pursuant to Sections 1355.34(b) and 1355.34(c) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

(B) Information and other requirements necessary for the California Child and Family Service Review System, as required pursuant to this section.

(C) Monthly caseworker visits with a child in care.

(D) Timeliness to begin an investigation of allegations of child abuse or neglect.

(E) 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), other performance measures resulting from new federal mandates or court decrees as specified in an all-county letter issued by the department.

(2) The department shall monitor, on an ongoing basis, county performance on the measures specified in paragraph (1).

(3) At least once every five years, the department shall conduct a comprehensive review of county performance on the measures specified in paragraph (1).

(4) (A) The department shall periodically update the process guides utilized by counties to prepare the self assessments and system improvement plans to promote implementation and evaluation of promising practices and use of data.

(B) The process guides also shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:

(i) County evaluation of demographics for the children and families served and effectiveness of the system improvement activities for these populations.

(ii) A description of the process by which the department and counties shall develop mutually agreed upon performance targets for improvement.

(5) The department, in consultation with counties, shall develop a process for resolving any disputes regarding the establishment of appropriate targets pursuant to the process provided in paragraph (4).

(6) A county shall submit an update to the department, no less than annually, on its progress in achieving improvements from the county’s baseline for the applicable measure. The department may require a county that has not met its performance targets to submit and implement a corrective action plan, as determined by the director.

(k) Beginning in the 2011–12 fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities required under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 71. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

10602.
  

The department shall investigate, examine and make reports upon:

(a) The charitable institutions of the state and of the counties and cities of the state, other than county hospitals and institutions under the jurisdiction of another state department.

(b) The public officers who are in any way responsible for the administration of public funds used for public social services which are administered by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10602.4.
  

The Employment Development Department shall investigate, examine, and make reports upon the public officers who are in any way responsible for the administration of public funds used for services which are administered by the Employment Development Department.

(Added by renumbering Section 10602.5 by Stats. 1977, Ch. 579.)

10603.
  

The department shall advise public officers regarding the administration of public social services by public agencies throughout the state, and shall supervise the administration of state public social services, except health care services and medical assistance, to all persons receiving or eligible to receive such state public social services. It shall also supervise the expenditure of any funds for Indian relief which may be granted to the state by the federal government.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10604.
  

In administering any funds appropriated or made available for disbursement through the counties for welfare purposes, the department shall:

(a) Require as a condition for receiving such grants-in-aid, that the county shall bear that proportion of the total expense of furnishing aid, as is fixed by the law relating to such aid.

(b) Establish regulations not in conflict with the law fixing statewide standards for the administration of all state or federally assisted public social services, except health care services and medical assistance, which define and control the conditions under which such public social services may be granted or refused. All regulations established by the department shall be binding upon the boards of supervisors and the county department.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 429.)

10604.5.
  

(a) (1) Commencing July 1, 1992, the department shall pay only those county welfare department claims for federal or state reimbursement of administration and services under this division which are filed with the department within nine months of the end of the calendar quarter in which the costs are paid. A claim filed after that time may only be paid if the claim falls within the exceptions set forth in federal law. Any claim filed with the department after July 1, 1985, shall be subject to these limitations.

(2) The department may change the nine-month limitation specified in paragraph (1), as deemed necessary by the department to comply with federal changes which affect claiming time limits.

(b) (1) The department may waive the time limit imposed by subdivision (a) if the department determines there was good cause for a county’s failure to file a claim or claims within the time limit.

(2) (A) For purposes of this subdivision, “good cause” means circumstances which are beyond the county’s control, including acts of God and documented action or inaction by the state or federal government.

(B) “Circumstances beyond the county’s control” do not include neglect or failure on the part of the county or any of its offices, officers, or employees.

(C) A county shall request a waiver of the time limit imposed by this section for good cause in accordance with regulations adopted and promulgated by the department.

(3) The department’s authority to waive the time limit under this subdivision shall be subject to the availability of funds and shall not apply to claims submitted beyond 18 months after the end of the calendar quarter in which costs were paid.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 808, Sec. 122. Effective September 28, 2000.)

10604.6.
  

(a) The department shall pay only those assistance claims for federal or state reimbursement under this division that are filed with the department within 18 months after the end of the calendar quarter in which the costs are paid.

(b) Any claim that is filed after the time specified in subdivision (a) may be paid only if an exception under federal law applies to that claim.

(c) The department may change the 18-month time limit specified in subdivision (a), as deemed necessary by the department to comply with federal changes that affect time limits.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, 4th Ex. Sess., Ch. 4, Sec. 12. Effective July 28, 2009.)

10605.
  

(a) If the director believes that a county is substantially failing to comply with any provision of this code or any regulation pertaining to any program administered by the department, and the director determines that formal action may be necessary to secure compliance, he or she shall inform the county welfare director and the board of supervisors of that failure. The notice to the county welfare director and board of supervisors shall be in writing and shall allow the county a specified period of time, not less than 30 days, to correct its failure to comply with the law or regulations. If within the specified period the county does not comply or provide reasonable assurances in writing that it will comply within the additional time as the director may allow, the director may take one or both of the following actions:

(1) Bring an action for injunctive relief to secure immediate compliance.

Any county that is found to be failing to substantially comply with the law or regulations pertaining to any program administered by the department may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make orders or judgments as may be necessary to secure county compliance.

(2) Order the county to appear at a hearing before the director to show cause why the director should not take administrative action to secure compliance. The county shall be given at least 30 days’ notice of the hearing. The director shall consider the case on the record established at the hearing and, within 30 days, shall render proposed findings and a proposed decision on the issues. The proposed findings and decisions shall be submitted to the county, and the county shall have the opportunity to appear within 10 days, at a time and place as may be determined by the director, for the purpose of presenting oral arguments respecting the proposed findings and decisions. Thereupon, the director shall make final findings and issue a final administrative decision.

(b) If the director determines, based on the record established at the hearing pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), that the county is failing to comply with laws or regulations pertaining to any program administered by the department, or if the Department of Human Resources certifies to the director that a county is not in conformity with established merit system standards under Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 19800) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and that administrative sanctions are necessary to secure compliance, the director may invoke either of the following sanctions, except that the sanctions shall not be invoked concurrently:

(1) Except for child welfare services programs, withhold all or part of state and federal funds from the county until the county demonstrates to the director that it has complied.

(2) (A) Assume, temporarily, direct responsibility for the administration of all or part of any or all programs administered by the department in the county until the time as the county provides reasonable written assurances to the director of its intention and ability to comply. During the period of direct state administrative responsibility, the director or his or her authorized representative shall have all of the powers and responsibilities of the county director, except that he or she shall not be subject to the authority of the board of supervisors.

(B) (i) In the event that the director invokes sanctions pursuant to this section, the county shall be responsible for providing any funds as may be necessary for the continued operation of all programs administered by the department in the county. If a county fails or refuses to provide these funds, including a sufficient amount to reimburse any and all costs incurred by the department in directly administering any program in the county, the Controller may deduct an amount certified by the director as necessary for the continued operation of these programs by the department from any state or federal funds payable to the county for any purpose.

(ii) In the event of a state-imposed sanction, the amount of the sanction shall be no greater than the amount of county funds that the county would be required to contribute to fully match the state General Fund allocation for the particular program or programs for which the county is being sanctioned for those programs that are not Public Safety Programs realigned pursuant to 2011 realignment legislation.

(iii) In the event of a state-imposed sanction pursuant to this paragraph for the Public Safety Programs realigned pursuant to 2011 realignment legislation that are administered by the Department of Social Services, the amount of the sanction shall be no greater than the amount of funding originally provided to the county in the 2011–12 fiscal year for the particular program from the Protective Services Subaccount within the Support Services Account of the Local Revenue Fund 2011, as adjusted by the county’s share of the additional incremental funding provided pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 30027.5 of, paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 30027.6 of, paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 30027.7 of, and paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 30027.8 of, the Government Code, the estimated growth funding for the program from the Support Services Growth Subaccount within the Sales and Use Tax Growth Account, and any adjustment to the county allocation pursuant to subdivisions (a) and (b) of Section 30029.5 of the Government Code.

(c) (1) The department is authorized to conduct or have conducted audits and reviews in order to meet its obligations for child welfare programs and to ensure the protection of children and families.

(2) Except for cases in which there is a risk of immediate harm to a minor, the department shall provide the county with at least 30-calendar days’ notice of the department’s intent to perform an audit or review. This notice shall include the intended purpose, scope, and timing of the audit or review.

(3) The county shall have an opportunity to respond to the audit or review and may request an extension of up to 30 calendar days, that shall be granted by the director if there is good cause and unless there is a risk of immediate harm to a minor. The request for extension shall be submitted to the department within 10 business days of receipt of the audit or review notice. The department, in consultation with the California State Association of Counties, shall develop a definition of good cause for the purposes of this section.

(4) Nothing in the notice required by paragraph (2) shall be construed to limit the authority of the department under federal or state law to examine other information or records should that become prudent or necessary during the course of the audit or review.

(5) The county shall be presented with the audit or review findings at the conclusion of the audit or review. The county shall have 10 business days to provide a written response to the audit or review findings. The department shall have 10 business days thereafter to issue a final response to the county’s written response. Both the county response and the department’s written response shall be published as part of the audit or review and made final.

(6) The audit or review shall not result in a fiscal sanction to the county, as defined in subdivision (b).

(7) The department may impose a fiscal disallowance if there is a finding of misappropriation of funding, and the county shall be afforded due process as specified in subdivision (d).

(d) (1) If the audit or review specified in subdivision (c) results in a fiscal disallowance, the county may request a hearing within 30 calendar days of the notice of sanction or finalized audit or review. The hearing request shall be in writing and shall be known as the Statement of Disputed Issues, which shall set forth the issues in dispute, and the county’s contentions as to those issues, including any documentation to support the county’s contentions. The hearing shall take place before a hearing officer designated by the director to examine any disputed audit or review finding.

(A) Following the hearing, the hearing officer shall submit the proposed final audit or review of the findings to the director. The director may take any of the following actions:

(i) Adopt the proposed findings with or without reading the record. The findings shall be final upon adoption by the director.

(ii) Reject the proposed findings and have findings prepared based upon the documentation presented at the hearing.

(iii) Refer the matter back to the hearing officer to receive additional information and prepare new findings.

(B) The final audit or review of the findings shall include the county’s Statement of Disputed Issues, including its accompanying documentation. The final audit or review of the findings shall be subject to judicial review.

(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the department from bringing an action for writ of mandamus or any other action in court as may be appropriate to ensure no interruption in the provision of benefits to any person eligible therefore under federal law, the provisions of this code or the regulations of the department.

(f) (1) Nothing in this section shall be construed as relieving the board of supervisors of the responsibility to provide funds necessary for the continued services required by law.

(2) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as preventing a county from seeking judicial review of action taken by the director pursuant to this section under Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure or, except in cases arising under Sections 10962 and 10963, from seeking injunctive relief when deemed appropriate.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 427, Sec. 116. (AB 1062) Effective January 1, 2014.)

10605.1.
  

(a) If a federal disallowance or other financial penalty is imposed on the state based on the results of the federal Children and Family Services Review pursuant to Section 1320a-2a of Title 42 of the United States Code, the department, in consultation with the California State Association of Counties, shall develop an apportionment of the total counties’ share of the penalty pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (e) of Section 30026.5 of the Government Code to the individual counties whose performance contributed to the failure to meet the federal outcome target upon which the federal disallowance or other financial penalty is based.

(b) The apportionment of the total counties’ share of the penalty to the appropriate individual counties shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) For individual counties subject to a share of the federal disallowance or other financial penalty pursuant to this section that did not expend in the fiscal year upon which the federal disallowance or financial penalty is based an amount equivalent to 90 percent of that which the county would have had to spend in the 2011–12 fiscal year in the absence of 2011 Realignment Legislation to access the augmentation funding pursuant to Section 10609.9, as that section read prior to the enactment of 2011 Realignment Legislation, on services that were previously funded from the General Fund from with Child Welfare Services Allocation prior to the enactment of 2011 Realignment Legislation, an increased share of the federal disallowance or other financial penalty as calculated in paragraph (2). The determination of whether a county expended the amount necessary to be eligible for the allocation pursuant to this subdivision shall be made based on claims for that fiscal year received by the department as of August 1 of the subsequent fiscal year to the fiscal year in which the federal disallowance or financial penalty is based.

(2) For every percentage point below the 90 percent expenditure level pursuant to paragraph (1), the individual county’s share of the federal disallowance or other financial penalty shall be increased by 2 percentage points. Percentages shall be rounded up or down to the nearest full percentage for purposes of this paragraph.

(3) Small counties, defined as those counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer pursuant to demographic information released each year by the Department of Finance, are exempt from the minimum expenditure requirement and the increased share of penalties pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2).

(4) The increased share of federal disallowances or other financial penalties pursuant to paragraph (2) shall not be imposed on any county if the revenues received pursuant to Sections 6051.15 and 6201.15 and allocated to the county’s Protective Services Subaccount within the Support Services Account in the fiscal year upon which the federal disallowance or other financial penalty is based do not equal the maximum level of funds allocated to the county’s Protective Services Subaccount within the Support Services Account in any fiscal year prior to the fiscal year upon which the federal disallowance or other financial penalty is based plus additional amounts if necessary to fully fund foster care assistance and Adoption Assistance Program payments in the fiscal year upon which the federal disallowance or other financial penalty is based.

(5) The director is authorized to waive the additional county share of federal disallowances or other financial penalties.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 36, Sec. 71.5. (SB 1014) Effective June 27, 2012. Operative July 1, 2012, by Sec. 83 of Ch. 36.)

10605.2.
  

If the director believes that a county probation department is substantially failing to comply with any provision of this code or any regulation pertaining to the placement activities required to be performed by the probation department to ensure that the needs of wards in placements whose board and care is funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program are met, and the director determines that formal action may be necessary to secure compliance, he or she shall inform the chief probation officer, the presiding judge of the juvenile court, and the board of supervisors of that failure. The notice to the chief probation officer, the presiding judge of the juvenile court, and board of supervisors shall be in writing and shall allow the county probation department a specified period of time, not less than 30 days, to correct its failure to comply with the law or regulations. If within the specified period the county probation department does not comply or provide reasonable assurances in writing that it will comply within the additional time as the director may allow, the director may take one or both of the following actions:

(a) Bring an action for injunctive relief to secure immediate compliance.

Any county probation department that is found to be failing in a substantial manner to comply with the law or regulations pertaining to placement activities required to be performed by the probation department to ensure that the needs of wards in placement whose board and care is funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program are met, may be enjoined by any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make orders or judgments as may be necessary to secure county probation department compliance.

(b) Order the county probation department to appear at a hearing before the director to show cause why the director should not take administrative action to secure compliance. The hearing shall be conducted pursuant to the rules and regulations of the department.

If the director determines, based on the record established at the hearing, that the county probation department is failing to comply with the provisions of this code or the regulations pertaining to the placement activities required to be performed by the probation department to ensure that the needs of wards in placement funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program are met, or if the State Personnel Board certifies to the director that a county probation department is not in conformity with established merit system standards under Part 2.5 (commencing with Section 19800) of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code, and that administrative sanctions are necessary to secure compliance, the director may invoke either of the following sanctions:

(1) Withhold all or part of state and federal funds from the county probation department until the county probation department demonstrates to the director that it has complied.

(2) Assume, temporarily, direct responsibility for fulfilling the placement activities required by law and regulations to ensure that the needs of the wards in placement funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program are met, until the time as the county probation department provides reasonable assurances to the director of its intention and ability to comply. During the period of direct state administrative responsibility, the director or his or her authorized representative shall have all of the powers and responsibilities of the chief probation officer with regard to placement requirements for wards whose board and care is funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program, except that he or she shall not be subject to the authority of the board of supervisors.

In the event that the director invokes sanctions pursuant to this section, the county probation department shall be responsible for providing any funds as may be necessary for the continued fulfillment of placement activities as required by law and regulation for the placement of wards whose board and care is funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program administered on behalf of the department in the county probation department. If a county probation department fails or refuses to provide these funds, including a sufficient amount to reimburse any and all costs incurred by the department in performing the activities required for the placement of wards whose board and care is funded through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care program in the county probation department, the Controller may deduct an amount certified by the director as necessary for the continued operation of these programs by the department from any state or federal funds payable to the county probation department for any purpose.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing a county probation department from seeking judicial review under Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure of any final decision of the director made after a hearing conducted under this section. This review shall be the exclusive remedy available to the county probation department for review of the director’s decision.

Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing the director from bringing an action for writ of mandamus or any other action in court as may be appropriate to ensure that there is no interruption in the provision of benefits to any person eligible therefor under the provisions of this code or the regulations of the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 728, Sec. 191. (SB 71) Effective January 1, 2013.)

10605.5.
  

(a) (1) The department, in consultation with counties and labor organizations, shall establish, no later than January 1, 2016, a process to receive voluntary disclosures from social workers, if a social worker has reasonable cause to believe that a policy, procedure, or practice, related to the provision of child welfare services by a county child welfare agency, meets any of the following conditions:

(A) Endangers the health or well-being of a child or children.

(B) Is contrary to existing statute or regulation.

(C) Is contrary to public policy.

(2) Notwithstanding any other law, the department shall not disclose to any person or entity the identity of a social worker making a disclosure described in paragraph (1), unless (A) the social worker has consented to the disclosure or (B) there is an immediate risk to the health and safety of a child.

(b) The department shall make available a description of the process established pursuant to subdivision (a) to counties and labor organizations.

(c) For purposes of this section, “county child welfare agency” includes a county welfare department, child welfare department, and any other county agency that employs social workers and is responsible for the placement and supervision of children and youth in foster care, including department social workers contracted by counties to perform direct adoption services.

(d) (1) No later than January 1, 2018, the department shall report to the Legislature only the following information:

(A) The total number of relevant disclosures received from social workers, including the month and year the disclosure was received.

(B) A summary description of both of the following:

(i) The issues raised in the disclosures received from a social worker.

(ii) The actions taken by the department in response to the disclosures.

(2) No later than January 1, 2018, the department shall post on its Internet Web site the information described in paragraph (1).

(3) The report required pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 768, Sec. 2. (AB 1978) Effective January 1, 2015.)

10606.
  

The department shall cause to be published and made available, at no cost to the public, all of its rules and regulations relating to:

(a) The government of the department.

(b) Any form of public assistance for which state aid is granted to the counties or over the administration of which the department has supervision.

The department shall also provide at no cost such subscription service as may be necessary to assure prompt receipt of all additions and amendments to the rules and regulations of the department and digests of decisions compiled under Section 10964.

(Amended by Stats. 1983, Ch. 323, Sec. 109.8. Effective July 1, 1983.)

10606.1.
  

(a) The department and county welfare departments shall have access to computer information maintained in the files of the Employment Development Department pursuant to Sections 1094 and 1095 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.

(b) The county shall access the information maintained in the Employment Development Department pursuant to Sections 1094 and 1095 of the Unemployment Insurance Code to determine if the applicant for, or recipient of, public social services may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits. If the information reveals that the applicant for, or recipient of, public social services may actually be eligible for a specified amount of weekly unemployment insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits, the county may require the applicant or recipient to make an application for unemployment insurance benefits or disability insurance benefits.

(c) Subdivision (b) shall not be construed to require or used as justification for a county to upgrade or change its computer system in order to comply with that subdivision.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 544, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1996.)

10606.2.
  

(a) 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, interpret, or make specific the amendments to this division made by the act that added this section by means of all-county letters or similar instructions from the department until regulations are adopted. The department shall adopt emergency regulations no later than July 1, 2014. The department may readopt any emergency regulation authorized by this section that is the same as or substantially equivalent to an emergency regulation previously adopted under this section.

(b) The initial adoption of emergency regulations pursuant to this section and one readoption of emergency regulations shall be deemed an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare. Initial emergency regulations and the one readoption of emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be exempt from review by the Office of Administrative Law. The initial emergency regulations and the one readoption of emergency regulations authorized by this section shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and each shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days, by which time final regulations may be adopted.

(c) (1) Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, for purposes of child welfare services programs and activities described in Divisions 2 and 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and in Division 13 of the Family Code, the department may, after consultation with counties and other appropriate stakeholders, make rule changes by means of all-county letters of similar instructions from the department pending enactment of state legislation only when necessary to conform to newly enacted federal law and only when both of the following conditions exist:

(A) The newly enacted federal law does not provide for delayed implementation pending state legislation, and existing state law either: (i) is inconsistent with the newly enacted federal law, or (ii) does not address the subject matter associated with the newly enacted federal law.

(B) The rule change is necessary to retain or maximize federal financial participation that is impacted by the newly enacted federal law.

(2) Any all-county letter or similar instruction issued by the department pursuant to this subdivision shall expire 15 months after issuance by the department unless state legislation ratifying the rule changes has been enacted.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 73. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

10607.
  

Where the department causes to be published for public distribution informational pamphlets and related materials relating to public assistance programs administered or supervised by the department, they shall be printed in English and may be printed separately in Spanish, or at the discretion of the department, in English and Spanish, in such numbers as the department may determine.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

10607.5.
  

(a) In order to better inform the public as to the range of social services available to aid children and their families, and to provide a concise summary of programs caseworkers may access to aid clients, the State Department of Social Services shall prepare a guide to all programs administered by county departments of social services for children and their families, and that are regulated by the State Department of Social Services. This guide shall include brief descriptions of programs and succinct summaries of their eligibility requirements for all programs available on a statewide basis or in at least two counties. The guide shall not exceed five letter-sized pages. It is not the intent of the Legislature that the guide be a comprehensive training manual for social workers. The guide shall, therefore, be written in language tailored for comprehension by the general public. The guide shall be updated on an annual basis.

(b) The State Department of Social Services shall provide one master copy of the guide, prepared pursuant to subdivision (a), to each county department of social services office that serves children and their families. The State Department of Social Services and county social services departments may make copies of the guide available to members of the public upon request on a fee-for-service basis, provided that the fee shall not exceed the cost of duplication and mailing.

(Added by Stats. 1993, Ch. 1231, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1994.)

10608.
  

Copies of all laws relating to any form of public social service for which state aid is granted to counties, and over the administration of which the department has supervision, and of all bulletins and rules and regulations of the department, shall be made available to the public and for public inspection during regular office hours at each county office administering such aid and in each local or regional office of the department.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10609.
  

The department may act as the agent or representative of or cooperate with the federal government in any matters within the scope of the functions of the department, for the administration of federal funds granted to this state or for any other purpose in furtherance of those functions.

The department may cooperate with the federal government, its agencies or instrumentalities, in establishing, extending, and strengthening services for the protection and care of homeless, dependent, and neglected children, and children in danger of becoming delinquent, and may receive and expend all funds made available for such purposes by the federal government to the department, the state, a county, a district, a municipal corporation, or a political subdivision.

Any contract or agreement entered into by the department with the federal government or any agency thereof for the expenditure of any funds in the exercise of any power granted to the department by this section shall be subject to approval by the State Department of Finance.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10609.3.
  

(a) By January 1, 1995, the State Department of Social Services shall complete, in consultation with county Independent Living Program administrators, placement agencies, providers, advocacy groups, and community groups, a comprehensive evaluation of the Independent Living Program established pursuant to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-272) and develop recommendations available to the public on how independent living services could better prepare foster youth for independence and adulthood.

(b) The department shall investigate alternative transition housing models for youth between the ages of 17 and 18 who are in out-of-home placements under the supervision of the county department of social services or county probation department. To the extent federal funds are available and it is in the best interests of the children, the department shall develop and implement a transitional housing model for youth who are preparing for emancipation from foster care.

(c) The department shall also investigate alternative transition models for youth discharged from foster care to live on their own. As part of this investigation, the department shall consider the needs of youth for housing, transportation, health care, access to community resources, employment, and other support services.

(d) The department shall, with the approval of the federal government, amend the foster care state plan, provided for pursuant to Subtitle IV-E (commencing with Section 470) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670, et seq.), and the child welfare services state plan (42 U.S.C. Sec. 622), to permit all eligible children be served by the Independent Living Program up to the age of 21 years.

(e) (1) Counties shall maintain a stipend to supplement and not supplant the Independent Living Program. The stipend may provide for, but not be limited to, assisting youth who have exited the foster care system at or after 18 years of age with the following independent living needs:

(A) Bus passes.

(B) Housing rental deposits and fees.

(C) Housing utility deposits and fees.

(D) Work-related equipment and supplies.

(E) Training-related equipment and supplies.

(F) Education-related equipment and supplies.

(2) Notwithstanding Section 10101, the state shall pay 100 percent of the nonfederal costs associated with the stipend program in paragraph (1), subject to the availability of funding provided in the annual Budget Act.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (2), beginning in the 2011–12 fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 74. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

10609.4.
  

(a) On or before July 1, 2000, the State Department of Social Services, in consultation with county and state representatives, foster youth, and advocates, shall do both of the following:

(1) Develop statewide standards for the implementation and administration of the Independent Living Program established pursuant to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-272).

(2) Define the outcomes for the Independent Living Program and the characteristics of foster youth enrolled in the program for data collection purposes.

(b) Consistent with federal law and reporting requirements, each county department of social services shall submit to the department an annual Independent Living Program report, which shall include the following:

(1) An accounting of federal and state funds expended for implementation of the program. A county shall spend no more than 30 percent of federal Independent Living Program funds on housing. Expenditures shall be related to the specific purposes of the program. It is the intent of the Legislature that the department, in consultation with counties, shall develop a process for reporting that satisfies federal law and reporting requirements. Program purposes may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

(A) Enabling participants to seek a high school diploma or its equivalent or to take part in appropriate vocational training, and providing job readiness training and placement services, or building work experience and marketable skills, or both.

(B) Providing training in daily living skills, budgeting, locating and maintaining housing, and career planning.

(C) Providing for individual and group counseling.

(D) Integrating and coordinating services otherwise available to participants.

(E) Providing each participant with a written transitional independent living plan that will be based on an assessment of his or her needs, that includes information provided by persons who have been identified by the participant as important to the participant in cases in which the participant has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer from the date the participant entered foster care, consistent with the participant’s best interests, and that will be incorporated into his or her case plan.

(F) Providing participants who are within 90 days of attaining 18 years of age, or older as the state may elect under Section 475(8)(B)(iii) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)(B)(iii)), including those former foster care youth receiving Independent Living Program Aftercare Services, the opportunity to complete the exit transition plan as required by paragraph (16) of subdivision (f) of Section 16501.1.

(G) Providing participants with other services and assistance designed to improve independent living.

(H) Convening persons who have been identified by the participant as important to him or her for the purpose of providing information to be included in his or her written transitional independent living plan.

(2) Counties shall ensure timely and accurate data entry into the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) for all youth receiving services pursuant to this section.

(3) Counties shall ensure that eligible foster care youth continue to receive information about, and are provided with an opportunity to complete, the National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) survey, based on an updated process that shall be developed jointly by the department, in consultation with counties to ensure maximum participation in the survey completion and compliance with federal requirements, as follows:

(A) Counties shall provide information to the youth about the NYTD survey within 60 days prior to the date the current or former foster youth is required to be offered the survey.

(B) Within 45 days following the youth in foster care turning 17 years of age, counties shall ensure that each youth has an opportunity to complete the NYTD survey as required by federal law.

(C) Counties shall contact the youth who completed the survey at age 17, in order to request that they complete the followup survey before their 19th and 21st birthdays.

(D) Counties shall provide opportunities for current and former eligible foster youth to take the NYTD survey online at child welfare services and probation offices.

(c) The county department of social services in a county that provides transitional housing placement services pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 11403.2 shall include in its annual Independent Living Program report a description of currently available transitional housing resources in relation to the number of emancipating pregnant or parenting foster youth in the county, and a plan for meeting any unmet transitional housing needs of the emancipating pregnant or parenting foster youth.

(d) In consultation with the department, a county may use different methods and strategies to achieve the standards and outcomes of the Independent Living Program developed pursuant to subdivision (a).

(e) In consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association, the California Youth Connection, and other stakeholders, the department shall develop and adopt emergency regulations, no later than July 1, 2012, in accordance with Section 11346.1 of the Government Code that counties shall be required to meet when administering the Independent Living Program and that are achievable within existing program resources and any federal funds available for case management and case plan review functions for nonminor dependents, as provided for in the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351). The initial adoption of emergency regulations and one readoption of the initial regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, or general welfare. Initial emergency regulations and the first readoption of those regulations shall be exempt from review by the Office of Administrative Law. The initial emergency regulations and the first readoption of those regulations authorized by this subdivision shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and each shall remain in effect for no more than 180 days.

(f) The department, in consultation with representatives of the Legislature, the County Welfare Directors Association, the Chief Probation Officers of California, the Judicial Council, representatives of tribes, the California Youth Connection, former foster youth, child advocacy organizations, labor organizations, dependency counsel for children, juvenile justice advocacy organizations, foster caregiver organizations, and researchers, shall review and develop modifications needed to the Independent Living Program to also serve the needs of nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, eligible for services pursuant to Section 11403. These modifications shall include the exit transition plan required to be completed within the 90-day period immediately prior to the date the nonminor participant attains the age that would qualify the participant for federal financial participation, as described in Section 11403, pursuant to Section 675(5)(H) of Title 42 of the United States Code. Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, through June 30, 2012, the department shall prepare for implementation of the applicable provisions of this section by publishing all-county letters or similar instructions from the director by October 1, 2011, to be effective January 1, 2012.

(g) Beginning in the 2011–12 fiscal year and for each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities required under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 75. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

10609.45.
  

(a) Subject to subdivision (b), and notwithstanding any other provision of law, services available under the Independent Living Program, established pursuant to the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (Public Law 99-272), shall be provided to an otherwise eligible former dependent child of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 placed with a nonrelated legal guardian, who is receiving permanent placement services pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 16508. In a county operating under a demonstration project pursuant to Section 18260, services available under the Independent Living Program shall be provided to an otherwise eligible former dependent child of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 placed with a nonrelated legal guardian, regardless of whether the child is receiving permanent placement services.

(b) Services provided pursuant to subdivision (a) shall only be provided to an otherwise eligible former dependent child of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 placed with a nonrelated legal guardian, whose guardianship was ordered on or after the child’s eighth birthday.

(Added by Stats. 2010, Ch. 555, Sec. 1. (SB 654) Effective January 1, 2011.)

10609.5.
  

(a) The department shall contract with an appropriate and qualified entity to conduct an evaluation of the adequacy of the current child welfare services budgeting methodology and make recommendations for revising the budgeting methodology, including appropriate caseload levels, supportive services, and preventative services, in order to accurately and adequately fund the system. This evaluation shall, at a minimum, consider the impact of the following factors on the budgeting methodology:

(1) The current state and federal statutory and regulatory environment for child welfare services.

(2) The state of the art advancements and best child welfare practice, such as family conferencing and wraparound services.

(3) The impact of the child welfare services case management system on the workload of workers in the system.

(4) The nature and degree of the problems experienced by families in need of child welfare services, and the service needs of abused and neglected children and their families.

(5) The impact on workload of obtaining timely medical, mental health, educational, and developmental assessments of children in the child welfare system, and coordinating with other systems to meet the children’s needs.

(b) The department shall convene an advisory group that shall include representatives of the County Welfare Directors Association, the California State Association of Counties, child welfare services consumers, children’s advocacy organizations, and child welfare social worker organizations. The advisory group shall do both of the following:

(1) Provide oversight over the process of selecting an entity to conduct an evaluation under subdivision (a).

(2) Provide oversight over, and technical assistance to, the entity selected to conduct the evaluation under subdivision (a).

(Amended by Stats. 2001, Ch. 745, Sec. 239. Effective October 12, 2001.)

10609.6.
  

(a) The department, in consultation with the seven member task force specified in subdivision (b), shall develop a plan to implement the recommendations of the evaluation required by Section 10609.5.

(b) The task force created pursuant to this section shall include all of the following:

(1) The director, or his or her designee.

(2) One representative from each of the following:

(A) The Department of Finance.

(B) The County Welfare Directors Association.

(C) The California State Association of Counties.

(D) Child welfare services consumers.

(E) Children’s advocacy organizations.

(F) Child welfare social worker organizations.

(c) If participation on the task force convened pursuant to this section will cause hardship for the representative of child welfare consumers identified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (b), the department, upon the request of the representative, shall provide reimbursement for travel and other expenses directly related to participation in the task force. Except as provided in this subdivision, no task force member shall receive compensation or any other payment for serving on the task force.

(d) The department shall submit the implementation plan to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature on or before June 30, 2001.

(Added by Stats. 2000, Ch. 108, Sec. 25.5. Effective July 10, 2000.)

10609.7.
  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) The department has convened the Child Welfare Services Stakeholders Group for the purpose of making recommendations to redesign California’s child welfare system to create and sustain a flexible system, comprising public and private partnerships, that provides a comprehensive system of support for families and communities to ensure the well-being of every child.

(2) In the first year of the stakeholders group, there was significant attention brought to the carrying capacity of direct service professionals through the development of an implementation plan of child welfare services workload study pursuant to Section 10609.5.

(3) The stakeholders group has convened a series of working groups, including the Human Resources Workgroup, whose tasks are to develop core strategies and recommendations resulting in a high capacity, competent, satisfied child welfare services workforce able to perform the essential functions of the redesigned child welfare system.

(4) In the second year, the Human Resources Workgroup report found that workload issues have not appreciably declined and that for the child welfare services redesign to be successful, workforce considerations need to be at the forefront of all redesign efforts.

(5) The stakeholders group and its Human Resources Workgroup have entered the third year of the redesign process for the state’s child welfare services.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Human Resources Workgroup of the Child Welfare Services Stakeholders Group include in its next planned report the core strategies needed to establish minimum caseload standards under the redesigned child welfare services system for all service areas.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Human Resources Workgroup also make recommendations for implementing the new caseload standards, including a recommendation that would achieve at least 20 percent of the caseload reductions annually over a specified period of time, as required under the newly recommended standards.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 635, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

10609.8.
  

On an annual basis, at the time of budget hearings, the State Department of Social Services shall provide information to the budget committees of the Legislature comparing the Governor’s proposed statewide budget for the child welfare services program, including the augmentation and hold harmless funds, to the caseload standards recommended by the evaluation required under Section 10609.5, updated for an analysis of cost-of-doing-business increases and to account for the use of child welfare services funding for noncase-carrying activities, based on information supplied by counties, and measured on a statewide basis. The department shall consult with representatives of the County Welfare Directors Association in the development of statewide cost-of-doing-business increases and the average proportion of expenditures on noncase-carrying activities.

(Added by Stats. 2005, Ch. 78, Sec. 21. Effective July 19, 2005.)

10609.9.
  

(a) (1) Funds designated for child welfare services outcome improvements shall be flexible and may be spent on local priorities identified in the county’s system improvement plan, including, but not limited to, any of the following:

(A) Reducing high worker caseloads.

(B) Clerical or paraprofessional support.

(C) Direct services to clients, such as mental health or substance abuse treatment.

(D) Prevention and early intervention services, such as differential response.

(E) Permanency and youth transition practice improvements.

(F) Any other investments to better serve children and families, which may include services to support older youth in foster care, such as mentoring services.

(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that these funds be linked to improved outcomes, and provided to counties on an ongoing basis.

(b) Beginning in the 2011–12 fiscal year, and for each fiscal year thereafter, funding and expenditures for programs and activities under this section shall be in accordance with the requirements provided in Sections 30025 and 30026.5 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 35, Sec. 76. (SB 1013) Effective June 27, 2012.)

10609.95.
  

(a) The State Department of Social Services shall provide guidance on best practices and facilitate an exchange of information and best practices among counties on an annual basis, commencing no later than January 1, 2014, on establishing memoranda of understanding with appropriate foreign consulates for juvenile court cases in which a parent has been arrested and issued an immigration hold, has been detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or has been deported to his or her country of origin. This exchange of information may be accomplished by posting training and other information on the department’s Internet Web site.

(b) The memoranda of understanding shall include, but shall not be limited to, procedures for contacting a foreign consulate at the onset of a juvenile court case, accessing documentation for the child, locating a detained parent, facilitating family reunification once a parent has been deported to his or her country of origin, aiding the safe transfer of a child to the parent’s country of origin, and communicating with relevant departments and services in the parent’s country of origin, including, when appropriate, allowing reports from the foreign child welfare authorities documenting the parent’s living situation and the parent’s participation in service plans in the country of origin that are in compliance with the case plan requirements.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 845, Sec. 16. (SB 1064) Effective January 1, 2013.)

10609.97.
  

(a) The State Department of Social Services shall provide guidance on best practices and facilitate an exchange of information and best practices among counties on an annual basis, commencing no later than January 1, 2014, on assisting a child in a juvenile court case who is eligible for special immigrant juvenile status under Section 1101(a)(27)(J) of Title 8 of the United States Code. This exchange of information may be accomplished by posting training and other information on the department’s Internet Web site.

(b) The guidance shall include procedures for assisting eligible children in applying for special immigrant juvenile status, before the children reach 21 years of age or get married, and applying for T visas, U visas, and Violence Against Women Act self-petitions.

(Added by Stats. 2012, Ch. 845, Sec. 17. (SB 1064) Effective January 1, 2013.)

10610.
  

The department may join associations of social welfare agencies having as their purpose the interchanging or supplying of information relating to the technique of social welfare administration.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10611.
  

All plans for the use of existing buildings or for new buildings, parts of buildings, or additions to or alterations in buildings, for any public institution under the supervision of the department or for any state, city, or county charitable institution (other than county hospitals and institutions under the jurisdiction of another state department) or for any privately operated institution which receives state aid for the care or support of its inmates shall, before their adoption, be submitted to the department for suggestions and approval as to the social requirements of the occupants.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10612.
  

Two months prior to each annual session of the Legislature, the department shall make a full and complete report to the Governor of all its transactions during the preceding year, showing specifically all expenses incurred and moneys paid out by it, with suggestions and recommendations for legislative and executive action.

The department shall include in its report a complete report on its administration of appeals.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784.)

10612.5.
  

(a) The department shall consult with the County Welfare Directors Association of California and any interested county welfare agencies to determine which counties may be involved in the pilot program established pursuant to Section 11166.02 of the Penal Code. The pilot program may operate in up to 10 counties.

(b) The department shall oversee and administer the pilot program through the issuance of written directives that shall have the same force and effect as regulations. 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).

(c) A county that chooses to participate in the pilot program shall hire an evaluator to monitor the implementation of the program in accordance with directives issued by the department pursuant to subdivision (b).

(d) (1) In addition to any requirements set forth by the department under this section, a county that participates in the pilot program shall, in collaboration with the County Welfare Directors Association of California and the department, develop outcome measures to determine the effectiveness of the pilot program of the county during the duration of the pilot program, which may include the following:

(A) The number of reports provided by telephone and any increase or decrease in the usage of telephone reports.

(B) The number of reports provided through the Internet-based reporting system and any increase or decrease in usage of the system.

(C) Any increase or decrease in the number of emergency or nonemergency telephone reports.

(D) Any increase or decrease in the overall number of emergency or nonemergency reports.

(2) A county that participates in the pilot program shall, on or before January 1, 2020, provide information to the Assembly Committee on Human Services and the Senate Committee on Human Services pertaining to the effectiveness of the pilot program based on the outcome measures developed pursuant to this subdivision.

(e) The department may conclude the pilot program on a county-by-county basis prior to January 1, 2021, if the evaluation and monitoring indicate the pilot program is compromising the safety of children.

(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2021, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2021, deletes or extends that date.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 490, Sec. 2. (SB 478) Effective January 1, 2016. Repealed as of January 1, 2021, by its own provisions.)

10613.
  

The functions of the department may include the administration and the supervision of the administration of public social services, except health care services and medical assistance, within this state as an agent of the federal government and acting as a service agency for the federal government in the field of social service and welfare.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10614.
  

(a) The department shall annually submit by September 10 of each year and March 1 of the following year, to the Department of Finance for its approval, all assumptions underlying all estimates related to all of the following:

(1) Average monthly caseload for each of the categorical aid programs.

(2) Average grant for each of the categorical aid programs.

(3) Total estimated expenditures for each of the categorical aid programs.

(4) Savings or costs associated with all regulatory or statutory changes.

(b) The Department of Finance shall approve or modify the assumptions underlying all estimates within 15 working days of their submission. If the Department of Finance does not approve or modify the assumptions by such date, the assumptions as presented by the submitting department shall be deemed to be accepted by the Department of Finance as of that date.

(c) Assumptions shall be released to the legislative fiscal committees immediately following approval or modification by the Department of Finance. The department shall identify those premises to which either of the following apply:

(1) Have been discontinued since the previous estimate was submitted.

(2) Have been placed in the basic cost line of the estimate package.

(d) The department shall submit an estimate of expenditures for each of the categorical aid programs to the Department of Finance by November 1 of each year and April 20 of the following year. Each estimate shall contain a concise statement identifying applicable estimate components, such as caseload, unit cost, implementation date, whether it is a new or continuing premise, and other assumptions necessary to support the estimate. The submittal shall include a projection of the fiscal impact of each of the approved assumptions related to a regulatory, statutory, or policy change; a detailed explanation of any changes to the base estimate projections from the previous estimate; and a projection of the fiscal impact of such change to the base estimate.

(e) (1) The department shall submit to the Department of Finance, as part of the estimates compiled November 1 each year, a brief narrative description of the methodological steps employed in arriving at all of the following:

(A) The basic grant costs for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program and State Supplementary Program.

(B) The basic administrative costs for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program and CalFresh.

(C) All cost estimates for the In-Home Supportive Services program.

(D) Any cost estimate for new regulations or legislation which exceeds 2 percent of the total cost of the affected program.

(2) These methodological discussions shall be forwarded to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the fiscal committees along with the November 1 annual estimates of expenditures. In addition, the department shall, upon request, develop and make available brief written narratives of the steps taken to arrive at specified estimates. Copies of the written narratives, working papers, and data employed in the construction of any estimate used to prepare the Governor’s Budget shall be made available by the State Department of Social Services upon request to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee or the Department of Finance.

(f) In the event that the methodological steps employed in arriving at those estimates in May differ from those used in November of the preceding year, the department shall submit a brief narrative description of the revised methodology to the Department of Finance, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, and the fiscal committees, along with other materials included in the annual May Revision of expenditure estimates.

(g) The estimates of average monthly caseloads, average monthly grants, total estimated expenditures (including administrative expenditures and savings or costs associated with all regulatory or statutory changes), as well as all supporting data provided by the department or developed independently by the Department of Finance, shall be made available to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee immediately following approval by the Department of Finance. These departmental estimates, assumptions, and other supporting data as have been prepared shall, however, be forwarded annually to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee not later than January 10 and May 15 by the department if this information has not been released earlier by the Department of Finance.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 227, Sec. 27. (AB 1400) Effective January 1, 2012.)

10614.5.
  

Upon the request of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, the Department of Finance shall post on its Internet Web site data on monthly caseloads and expenditures for public social services programs supervised by the State Department of Social Services. In addition, this data shall be incorporated into and made an integral part of the budget data system.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 728, Sec. 192. (SB 71) Effective January 1, 2013.)

10615.
  

California’s 58 counties vary greatly in their welfare problems, and therefore they should not be treated alike in the supervision of welfare programs. The Legislature hereby declares its intent that the department examine the extent of state control needed over county operations, with a view toward eliminating excessive rigidity in procedure; the state should differentiate between those counties which need general direction as opposed to tight supervision.

Within these guidelines, the department shall aid county departments in establishing economic, efficient, and effective methods of operation, including, but not limited to, advising and consulting with county departments with regard to the introduction of electronic computer and data processing systems, personnel utilization, office controls, centralized purchasing, centralized warehousing, writing of specifications, and examination of materials and equipment purchased by county departments.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1646.)

10616.
  

The department shall formulate plans for the recruitment, utilization, and training of volunteers to assist in performing services and other duties for the county public social services for the purpose of improving participation in the county public welfare programs. Such plans shall not become effective in a county until approved by a resolution adopted by the board of supervisors.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10617.
  

In fixing rates for out-of-home care in nonmedical facilities authorized to provide care for recipients of public assistance, the department shall establish a rate plan providing a differential in rate allowances related to the differences in the degree of care required by recipients. The rate structure shall reflect differences in accordance with the specific types of services that are rendered by the facility in providing care for recipients.

In establishing the rate structure, the department shall strive to improve and increase the range of services provided by out-of-home facilities in order that recipients may receive the type of care they require at a reasonable cost.

In order to keep people in their own homes whenever possible, the department shall develop an expanded range of home care services that will make it possible for people to remain in their own homes or homes of their own choosing with safety. The department shall give particular attention to the training of homemakers to be employed directly by county departments.

In developing plans for the recruitment and training of homemakers, the department shall give priority to the training and employment of recipients of public assistance. Emphasis shall be given to arranging hours of work and training so that parents with primary responsibility for the care of children can participate in the program, to the extent not in conflict with federal law.

(Amended by Stats. 1977, Ch. 1252.)

10618.
  

Funding of Section 10617 is subject to the provisions of Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 10100) of this division.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1235. Note: Repeal conditions in Sec. 14 of Ch. 1235 failed.)

10618.5.
  

(a) The county welfare department shall send any CalFresh applicant who is determined to be eligible for CalFresh benefits and who does not indicate on his or her application an interest in enrolling in the Medi-Cal program a copy of the notice developed pursuant to subdivision (b).

(b) (1) Each county welfare department shall develop a notice informing individuals identified pursuant to subdivision (a) that they may be entitled to receive Medi-Cal benefits and requesting their permission to use the information in the CalFresh recipient’s case file to make a determination of eligibility for the Medi-Cal program.

(2) The notice shall also include a request for permission to forward the information in the CalFresh recipient’s case file to the Healthy Families Program administrator for eligibility determination if the individual is determined to be eligible to participate in the Medi-Cal program with a share of cost, or is determined to be ineligible for Medi-Cal.

(3) To apply for medical assistance under the Medi-Cal program, the CalFresh recipient shall sign, date, and return the notice requesting that an eligibility determination be made.

(4) Upon receipt of the notice, the county welfare department shall make an eligibility determination by utilizing the information in the CalFresh recipient’s case file or paper application. The Medi-Cal application date shall be the date the notice is received by the county welfare department.

(5) If the CalFresh case file does not include sufficient information to establish Medi-Cal program eligibility, the county welfare department shall request, either orally or in writing, additional information from the CalFresh recipient.

(6) The notice shall be written in culturally and linguistically appropriate language and at an appropriate literacy level. The notice shall include information on the Medi-Cal program and the Healthy Families Program, a telephone number that CalFresh recipients may call for additional information, and a prepaid means of returning the notice to the county welfare department to begin the eligibility determination process.

(c) If an individual identified in subdivision (a) or (b) is determined to be eligible to participate in the Medi-Cal program with a share of cost, or is determined to be ineligible for Medi-Cal, information pertinent to the CalFresh recipient’s eligibility for the Healthy Families Program shall be forwarded by the county welfare department to the Healthy Families Program statewide administrator for immediate processing. If there is insufficient information to establish Healthy Families Program eligibility, the administrator shall request, either orally or in writing, additional information from the CalFresh recipient.

(d) Counties shall include the cost of implementing this section in their annual administrative budget requests to the State Department of Health Care Services.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 227, Sec. 28. (AB 1400) Effective January 1, 2012.)

10618.6.
  

(a) (1) When a child in a foster care placement reaches his or her 14th birthday, and each year thereafter, while the child is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the county welfare department, county probation department, or, if an automated process is available, the State Department of Social Services, shall inquire of each of the three major credit reporting agencies as to whether the child has any consumer credit history.

(2) If the State Department of Social Services makes the inquiry, it shall notify the county welfare department or county probation department in the county having jurisdiction over the child of the results of that inquiry.

(3) Pursuant to the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Public Law 112-34) and the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.), if an inquiry performed pursuant to this subdivision indicates that a child has a consumer credit history with any major credit reporting agency, the responsible county welfare department or county probation department shall request a consumer credit report from that credit reporting agency.

(b) For a nonminor dependent, the county welfare department or county probation department shall assist the young adult, on a yearly basis while the nonminor dependent is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, with requesting the consumer credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, pursuant to the free annual disclosure provision of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. Sec. 1681 et seq.).

(c) The county social worker or county probation officer shall ensure that the child or nonminor dependent receives assistance with interpreting the consumer credit report and resolving any inaccuracies. The assistance may include, but is not limited to, referring the youth to a governmental or nonprofit agency that provides consumer credit services. This section does not require the social worker or probation officer to be the individual providing the direct assistance with interpreting the consumer credit disclosure or resolving the inaccuracies.

(d) Notwithstanding any other law, in order to make an inquiry or to request a consumer credit report for youth pursuant to this section, the county welfare department, county probation department, or, if an automated process is available, the State Department of Social Services may release necessary information to a credit reporting agency.

(e) No later than February 1, 2016, the State Department of Social Services shall provide information to the Assembly Committee on Budget, the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, and the appropriate legislative policy committees regarding the implementation of this section, including, but not limited to, any state and county barriers to obtaining credit reports as required by the federal Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act (Public Law 112-34).

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 425, Sec. 20. (SB 794) Effective January 1, 2016.)

10619.
  

A public agency shall, in implementing programs affected by the act adding this section to the Welfare and Institutions Code, perform program functions exclusively through the use of merit civil service employees of the public agency, except to the extent permitted by provisions of state and federal law governing the affected program that were in effect on August 21, 1996.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 270, Sec. 35. Effective August 11, 1997. Operative January 1, 1998, by Sec. 183 of Ch. 270.)

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