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 4. SERVICES FOR THE CARE OF CHILDREN [16000 - 16545]

  ( Heading of Part 4 amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 429. )

CHAPTER 5. State Child Welfare Services [16500 - 16523.59]

  ( Heading of Chapter 5 amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 978, Sec. 33. )

ARTICLE 2. Resource Family Approval Program [16519.5 - 16519.7]
  ( Article 2 heading added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 118. )

16519.5.
  

(a) The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with county child welfare agencies, foster parent associations, and other interested community parties, shall implement a unified, family friendly, and child-centered resource family approval process to replace the existing multiple processes for licensing foster family homes, certifying foster homes by licensed foster family agencies, approving relatives and nonrelative extended family members as foster care providers, and approving guardians and adoptive families.

(b) (1) Counties shall be selected to participate on a voluntary basis as early implementation counties for the purpose of participating in the initial development of the approval process. Early implementation counties shall be selected according to criteria developed by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California. In selecting the five early implementation counties, the department shall promote diversity among the participating counties in terms of size and geographic location.

(2) Additional counties may participate in the early implementation of the program upon authorization by the department.

(3) The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:

(A) Selecting early implementation counties, based on criteria established by the department in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California.

(B) Establishing timeframes for participating counties to submit an implementation plan, enter into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program, train appropriate staff, and accept applications from resource families.

(C) Entering into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program by counties.

(4) Counties participating in the early implementation of the program shall be responsible for all of the following:

(A) Submitting an implementation plan.

(B) Entering into terms and conditions for early implementation participation in the program.

(C) Consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan.

(D) Training appropriate staff.

(E) Accepting applications from resource families within the timeframes established by the department.

(5) (A) Approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members, licensed foster family homes, or approved adoptive homes that have completed the license or approval process prior to statewide implementation of the program shall not be considered part of the program. The otherwise applicable assessment and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for families and facilities not included in the program.

(B) Upon implementation of the program in a county, that county shall not accept new applications for the licensure of foster family homes, the approval of relative and nonrelative extended family members, or the approval of prospective guardians and adoptive homes.

(6) The department may waive regulations that pose a barrier to the early implementation and operation of this program. The waiver of any regulations by the department pursuant to this section shall apply to only those counties or foster family agencies participating in the early implementation of the program and only for the duration of the program.

(7) This subdivision shall become inoperative on January 1, 2017.

(c) (1) For purposes of this article, “resource family” means an individual or family that has successfully met both the home environment assessment standards and the permanency assessment criteria adopted pursuant to subdivision (d) necessary for providing care for a child placed by a public or private child placement agency by court order, or voluntarily placed by a parent or legal guardian. A resource family shall demonstrate all of the following:

(A) An understanding of the safety, permanence, and well-being needs of children who have been victims of child abuse and neglect, and the capacity and willingness to meet those needs, including the need for protection, and the willingness to make use of support resources offered by the agency, or a support structure in place, or both.

(B) An understanding of children’s needs and development, effective parenting skills or knowledge about parenting, and the capacity to act as a reasonable, prudent parent in day-to-day decisionmaking.

(C) An understanding of the role of the individual or family as a resource family and the capacity to work cooperatively with the agency and other service providers in implementing the child’s case plan.

(D) The financial ability within the household to ensure the stability and financial security of the family. An applicant who will rely on the funding described in subdivision (l) to meet additional household expenses incurred due to the placement of a child shall not, for this reason, be denied approval as a resource family.

(E) An ability and willingness to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences that serves the needs of the child.

(2) For purposes of this article, and unless otherwise specified, references to a “child” shall include a “nonminor dependent” and “nonminor former dependent or ward,” as defined in subdivision (v) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (aa) of Section 11400.

(3) There is no fundamental right to approval as a resource family. Emergency placement of a child pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, or placement with a resource family applicant pursuant to subdivision (e), does not entitle an applicant approval as a resource family.

(4) (A) A resource family shall be considered eligible to provide foster care for children in out-of-home placement and shall be considered approved for adoption and guardianship.

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), a county may approve a resource family to care for a specific child, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(5)  For purposes of this article, “resource family approval” means that the applicant or resource family successfully meets the home environment assessment and permanency assessment standards. This approval is in lieu of a foster family home license issued pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, a certificate of approval issued by a licensed foster family agency, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 1506 of the Health and Safety Code, relative or nonrelative extended family member approval, guardianship approval, and the adoption home study approval.

(6) Approval of a resource family does not guarantee an initial, continued, or adoptive placement of a child with a resource family or with a relative or nonrelative extended family member. Approval of a resource family does not guarantee the establishment of a legal guardianship of a child with a resource family.

(7) (A) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, the county shall, consistent with Sections 1520.3 and 1558.1 of the Health and Safety Code, cease any further review of an application if the applicant has had a previous application denial by the department or a county within the preceding year, or if the applicant has had a previous rescission, revocation, or exemption denial or exemption rescission by the department or a county within the preceding two years.

(B) Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the county may continue to review an application if it has determined that the reasons for the previous denial, rescission, or revocation were due to circumstances and conditions that either have been corrected or are no longer in existence. If an individual was excluded from a resource family home or facility licensed by the department, the county shall cease review of the individual’s application unless the excluded individual has been reinstated pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 16519.6 of this code or pursuant to Section 1569.53, subdivision (h) of Section 1558, subdivision (h) of Section 1569.58, or subdivision (h) of Section 1596.8897, of the Health and Safety Code.

(C) (i) The county may cease any further review of an application if, after written notice to the applicant, the applicant fails to complete an application without good faith effort and within 30 days of the date of the notice, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(ii) Clause (i) does not apply if a child is placed with the applicant pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 16519.5.

(D) The cessation of an application review pursuant to this paragraph shall not constitute a denial of the application for purposes of this section or any other law.

(E) For purposes of this section, the date of a previous denial, rescission, revocation, exemption denial or exemption rescission, or exclusion shall be either of the following:

(i) The effective date of a final decision or order upholding a notice of action or exclusion order.

(ii) The date on the notice of the decision to deny, rescind, revoke, or exclude if the notice was not appealed or otherwise constitutes a final decision.

(8) A resource family shall meet the approval standards set forth in this section, comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section, and comply with other applicable laws in order to maintain approval.

(9) A resource family may be approved by a county child welfare department or a probation department pursuant to this section or by a foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.

(10) A resource family shall not be licensed to operate a residential facility, as defined in Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, a residential care facility for the elderly, as defined in Section 1569.2 of the Health and Safety Code, or a residential care facility for persons with chronic life-threatening illnesses, as defined in Section 1568.01 of the Health and Safety Code, on the same premises used as the residence of the resource family.

(11) (A) An applicant who withdraws an application prior to its approval or denial may resubmit the application within 12 months of the withdrawal.

(B) Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude a county from requiring an applicant to complete an application activity, even if that activity was previously completed.

(d) (1) The department shall adopt standards pertaining to the home environment and permanency assessments of a resource family.

(2) Resource family home environment assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(A) (i) (I) A criminal record clearance of each applicant and all adults residing in, or regularly present in, the home, and not exempted from fingerprinting, as set forth in subdivision (b) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code, utilizing a check of the Child Abuse Central Index pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code, and receipt of a fingerprint-based state and federal criminal offender record information search response. The criminal history information shall include subsequent notifications pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code.

(II) Consideration of any substantiated allegations of child abuse or neglect against the applicant and any other adult residing in, or regularly present in, the home pursuant to Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code.

(III) If the criminal records check indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, home approval shall be denied. If the criminal records check indicates that the person has been convicted of an offense described in subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the home shall not be approved unless a criminal records exemption has been granted pursuant to subclause (IV).

(IV) If the resource family parent, applicant, or any other person specified in subclause (I) has been convicted of a crime other than a minor traffic violation or arrested for an offense specified in subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, except for the civil penalty language, the criminal background check provisions specified in subdivisions (d) through (f) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code shall apply. Exemptions from the criminal records clearance requirements set forth in this section may be granted by the department or the county, if that county has been granted permission by the department to issue criminal records exemptions pursuant to Section 361.4, using the exemption criteria currently used for foster care licensing, as specified in subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(V) If it is determined, on the basis of the fingerprint images and related information submitted to the Department of Justice, that subsequent to obtaining a criminal record clearance or exemption from disqualification, the person has been convicted of, or is awaiting trial for, a sex offense against a minor, or has been convicted for an offense specified in Section 243.4, 273a, 273ab, 273d, 273g, or 368 of the Penal Code, or a felony, the department or county shall notify the resource family to act immediately to remove or bar the person from entering the resource family’s home. The department or county, as applicable, may subsequently grant an exemption from disqualification pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. If the conviction or arrest was for another crime, the resource family shall, upon notification by the department or county, act immediately to either remove or bar the person from entering the resource family’s home, or require the person to seek an exemption from disqualification pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code. The department or county, as applicable, shall determine if the person shall be allowed to remain in the home until a decision on the exemption from disqualification is rendered.

(ii) For public foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized.

(iii) For private foster family agencies approving resource families, the criminal records clearance process set forth in clause (i) shall be utilized, but the Department of Justice shall disseminate a fitness determination resulting from the federal criminal offender record information search.

(B) A home and grounds evaluation to ensure the health and safety of children.

(C) In addition to the foregoing requirements, the resource family home environment assessment standards shall also require the following:

(i) That the applicant demonstrates an understanding of the rights of children in care and the applicant’s responsibility to safeguard those rights.

(ii) That the total number of children residing in the home of a resource family shall be no more than the total number of children the resource family can properly care for, regardless of status, and shall not exceed six children, unless exceptional circumstances that are documented in the foster child’s case file exist to permit a resource family to care for more children, including, but not limited to, the need to place siblings together.

(iii) That the applicant understands the applicant’s responsibilities with respect to acting as a reasonable and prudent parent, and maintaining the least restrictive environment that serves the needs of the child.

(3) The resource family permanency assessment standards shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(A) Caregiver training, as described in subdivisions (g) and (h).

(B) A family evaluation, which shall include, but not be limited to, interviews of an applicant to assess the applicant’s personal history, family dynamic, and need for support or resources, and a risk assessment.

(i) When the applicant is a relative or nonrelative extended family member to an identified child, the family evaluation shall consider the nature of the relationship between the relative or nonrelative extended family member and the child. The relative or nonrelative extended family member’s expressed desire to only care for a specific child or children shall not be a reason to deny the approval.

(ii) A caregiver risk assessment shall include, but not be limited to, physical and mental health, alcohol and other substance use and abuse, family and domestic violence, and the factors listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c).

(iii) A county may review and discuss data contained in the statewide child welfare database with an applicant for purposes of conducting a family evaluation, as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(C) Completion of any other activities that relate to the ability of an applicant or a resource family to achieve permanency with a child.

(4) (A) For a child placed on an emergency basis with a family that has successfully completed the home environmental assessment, the permanency assessment shall be completed within 90 days of the application to become a resource family, unless good cause exists based upon the needs of the child.

(B) If additional time is needed to complete the permanency assessment, the county shall document the extenuating circumstances for the delay and generate a timeframe for the completion of the permanency assessment.

(C) The county shall report to the department, on a quarterly basis, the number of families with emergency placements whose permanency assessment goes beyond 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.

(e) (1) A county may place a child with a resource family applicant who has successfully completed the home environment assessment prior to completion of a permanency assessment only if a compelling reason for the placement exists based on the needs of the child.

(A) The permanency assessment and the written report described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) shall be completed within 90 days of the child’s placement in the home, unless good cause exists.

(B) If additional time is needed to comply with subparagraph (A), the county shall document the extenuating circumstances for the delay and generate a timeframe for the completion of the permanency assessment.

(C) The county shall report to the department, on a quarterly basis, the number of applicants for whom the requirements of subparagraph (A) exceed 90 days and summarize the reasons for these delays.

(2) The home environment, permanency assessments, and the written report described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) shall be completed within 90 days of a child’s placement with a relative or nonrelative extended family member pursuant to Section 309 or 361.45, unless good cause exists.

(3) For any placement made pursuant to this subdivision, AFDC-FC funding shall not be available until approval of the resource family has been completed.

(4) Any child placed pursuant to this subdivision shall be afforded all the rights set forth in Section 16001.9.

(5) This section shall not limit the county’s authority to inspect the home of a resource family applicant as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.

(6) This subdivision does not limit the county’s obligation under law to assess and give placement consideration to relatives and nonrelative extended family members and to place a child pursuant to Section 309, 361.3, or 361.45.

(f) The State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for all of the following:

(1) (A) Until regulations are adopted, administering the program through the issuance of written directives that shall have the same force and effect as regulations. Any directive affecting Article 1 (commencing with Section 700) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 11 of the California Code of Regulations shall be approved by the Department of Justice. The directives shall be exempt from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340)) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(B) Adopting, amending, or repealing, in accordance with Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 11400) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, any reasonable rules, regulations, and standards that may be necessary or proper to carry out the purposes and intent of this article and to enable the department to exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred upon it by this section, consistent with the laws of this state.

(2) Approving and requiring the use of a single standard for resource family approval.

(3) Adopting and requiring the use of standardized documentation for the home environment and permanency assessments of resource families.

(4) Adopting core competencies for county staff to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.

(5) Requiring counties to monitor county-approved resource families, including, but not limited to, both of the following:

(A) Investigating complaints regarding resource families.

(B) Developing and monitoring resource family corrective action plans to correct identified deficiencies and to rescind resource family approval if compliance with corrective action plans is not achieved.

(6) Ongoing oversight and monitoring of county systems and operations including all of the following:

(A) Reviewing the county’s implementation plan and implementation of the program.

(B) Reviewing an adequate number of county-approved resource families in each county to ensure that approval standards are being properly applied. The review shall include case file documentation and may include onsite inspection of individual resource families. The review shall occur on an annual basis and more frequently if the department becomes aware that a county is experiencing a disproportionate number of complaints against individual resource family homes.

(C) Reviewing county reports of serious complaints and incidents involving resource families, as determined necessary by the department. The department may conduct an independent review of the complaint or incident and change the findings depending on the results of its investigation.

(D) Investigating unresolved complaints against counties.

(E) Requiring corrective action of counties that are not in full compliance with this section.

(7) Excluding a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, consistent with the established standard for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61.

(8) Implementing due process procedures, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

(A) Providing a statewide fair hearing process for application denials, rescissions of approval, exclusion actions, or criminal record exemption denials or rescissions by a county or the department.

(B) Providing an excluded individual with due process pursuant to Section 16519.6.

(C) Amending the department’s applicable state hearing procedures and regulations or using the Administrative Procedure Act, when applicable, as necessary for the administration of the program.

(g) Counties shall be responsible for all of the following:

(1) Submitting an implementation plan and consulting with the county probation department in the development of the implementation plan.

(2) Complying with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(3) Implementing the requirements for resource family approval and utilizing standardized documentation established by the department.

(4) Training appropriate staff, including ensuring staff have the education and experience or core competencies necessary to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family.

(5) (A) Taking the following actions, as applicable, for any of the reasons specified in Section 16519.61:

(i) (I) Approving or denying resource family applications, including preparing a written report that evaluates an applicant’s capacity to foster, adopt, and provide legal guardianship of a child based on all of the information gathered through the resource family application and assessment processes.

(II) The applicant’s preference to provide a specific level of permanency, including adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a relative, placement with a fit and willing relative, shall not be a basis to deny an application.

(ii) Rescinding approvals of resource families.

(iii) When applicable, referring a case to the department for an action to exclude a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, consistent with the established standard.

(iv) Issuing a temporary suspension order that suspends the resource family approval prior to a hearing when, in the opinion of the county, urgent action is needed to protect a child from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to health or safety. The county shall serve the resource family with the temporary suspension order and a copy of available discovery in the possession of the county, including, but not limited to, affidavits, declarations, names of witnesses, and other evidence upon which the county relied in issuing the temporary suspension order. The temporary suspension order shall be served upon the resource family with a notice of action, and if the matter is to be heard before the Office of Administrative Hearings, an accusation. The temporary suspension order shall list the effective date on the order.

(v) Granting, denying, or rescinding criminal record exemptions.

(B) Providing a resource family parent, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission with due process pursuant to Section 16519.6.

(C) Notifying the department of any decisions denying an application for resource family approval, rescinding the approval of a resource family, or denying or rescinding a criminal record exemption and, if applicable, notifying the department of the results of an administrative action.

(6) (A) Updating resource family approval annually and as necessary to address any changes that have occurred in the resource family’s circumstances, including, but not limited to, moving to a new home location or commencing operation of a family day care home, as defined in Section 1596.78 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) A county shall conduct an announced inspection of a resource family home during the annual update, and as necessary to address any changes specified in subparagraph (A), in order to ensure that the resource family is conforming to all applicable laws and the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section.

(7) Monitoring resource families through all of the following:

(A) Ensuring that social workers who identify a condition in the home that may not meet the approval standards set forth in subdivision (d) while in the course of a routine visit to children placed with a resource family take appropriate action as needed.

(B) Requiring resource families to meet the approval standards set forth in this section and to comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to this section, other applicable laws, and corrective action plans as necessary to correct identified deficiencies. If corrective action is not completed, as specified in the plan, the county may rescind the resource family approval.

(C) Requiring resource families to report to the county child welfare agency any incidents consistent with the reporting requirements for licensed foster family homes.

(D) Inspecting resource family homes as often as necessary to ensure the quality of care provided.

(8) (A) Investigating all complaints against a resource family and taking action as necessary, including, but not limited to, investigating any incidents reported about a resource family indicating that the approval standard is not being maintained and inspecting the resource family home.

(B) The child’s social worker shall not conduct the investigation into the complaint received concerning a family providing services pursuant to the standards required by subdivision (d). To the extent that adequate resources are available, complaints shall be investigated by a worker who did not conduct the home environment assessment or family evaluation or prepare the written report determining approval of the resource family.

(C) Upon conclusion of the complaint investigation, the final disposition shall be reviewed and approved by a supervising staff member.

(D) The department shall be notified of any serious incidents or serious complaints or any incident that falls within the definition of Section 11165.5 of the Penal Code. If those incidents or complaints result in an investigation, the department shall also be notified as to the status and disposition of that investigation.

(9) Performing corrective action as required by the department.

(10) Assessing county performance in related areas of the California Child and Family Services Review System, and remedying problems identified.

(11) Submitting information and data that the department determines is necessary to study, monitor, and prepare the update specified in paragraph (7) of subdivision (f).

(12) Ensuring resource family applicants and resource families have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to support children in foster care by completing caregiver training. The training should include a curriculum that supports the role of a resource family in parenting vulnerable children and should be ongoing in order to provide resource families with information on trauma-informed practices and requirements and other topics within the foster care system.

(13) Ensuring that a resource family applicant completes a minimum of 12 hours of preapproval caregiver training. The training shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following courses:

(A) An overview of the child protective and probation systems.

(B) The effects of trauma, including grief and loss, and child abuse and neglect, on child development and behavior, and methods to behaviorally support children impacted by that trauma or child abuse and neglect.

(C) Positive discipline and the importance of self-esteem.

(D) Health issues in foster care.

(E) Accessing services and supports to address education needs, physical, mental, and behavioral health, and substance use disorders, including culturally relevant services.

(F) The rights of a child in foster care and the resource family’s responsibility to safeguard those rights, including the right to have fair and equal access to all available services, placement, care, treatment, and benefits, and to not be subjected to discrimination or harassment on the basis of actual or perceived race, ethnic group identification, ancestry, national origin, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical disability, or HIV status.

(G) Cultural needs of children, including instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity, and related best practices for providing adequate care for children or youth across diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, as well as children or youth identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

(H) Basic instruction on existing laws and procedures regarding the safety of foster youth at school.

(I) Permanence, well-being, and education needs of children.

(J) Child and adolescent development, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression.

(K) The role of resource families, including working cooperatively with the child welfare or probation agency, the child’s family, and other service providers implementing the case plan.

(L) The role of a resource family on the child and family team as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501.

(M) A resource family’s responsibility to act as a reasonable and prudent parent, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 1522.44 of the Health and Safety Code, and to provide a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and that serves the needs of the child.

(N) An overview of the specialized training identified in subdivision (h).

(O) The information described in subdivision (i) of Section 16521.5. The program may use the curriculum created pursuant to subdivision (h), and described in subdivision (i), of Section 16521.5.

(14) Ensuring resource families complete a minimum of eight hours of caregiver training annually, a portion of which shall be from subparagraph (M) of paragraph (13) and from one or more of the other topics listed in paragraph (13).

(h) In addition to any training required by this section, a county may require a resource family or applicant to receive relevant specialized training for the purpose of preparing the resource family to meet the needs of a particular child in care. This training may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(1) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to commercially sexually exploited children.

(2) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender children.

(3) Understanding the requirements and best practices regarding psychotropic medications, including, but not limited to, court authorization, benefits, uses, side effects, interactions, assistance with self-administration, misuse, documentation, storage, and metabolic monitoring of children prescribed psychotropic medications.

(4) Understanding the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq.), its historical significance, the rights of children covered by the act, and the best interests of Indian children, including the role of the caregiver in supporting culturally appropriate, child-centered practices that respect Native American history, culture, retention of tribal membership, and connection to the tribal community and traditions.

(5) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to nonminor dependents.

(6) Understanding how to use best practices for providing care and supervision to children with special health care needs.

(7) Understanding the different permanency options and the services and benefits associated with the options.

(i) This section shall not preclude a county from requiring training in excess of the requirements in this section.

(j) (1) Resource families who move home locations shall retain their resource family status pending the outcome of the update conducted pursuant to paragraph (6) of subdivision (g).

(2) (A) If a resource family moves from one county to another county, the department, or the county to which a resource family has moved, shall submit a written request to the Department of Justice to transfer the individual’s subsequent arrest notification, as specified in subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) A request to transfer a subsequent arrest notification shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.

(3) Subject to the requirements in paragraph (1), the resource family shall continue to be approved for guardianship and adoption. This subdivision shall not limit a county, foster family agency, or adoption agency from determining that the family is not approved for guardianship or adoption based on changes in the family’s circumstances or family evaluation.

(k) Implementation of the program shall be contingent upon the continued availability of federal Social Security Act Title IV-E (42 U.S.C. Sec. 670) funds for costs associated with placement of children with resource families assessed and approved pursuant to the program.

(l) A child placed with a resource family is eligible for the resource family basic rate, pursuant to Sections 11253.45, 11460, 11461, and 11463, and subdivision (l) of Section 11461.3, at the child’s assessed level of care.

(m) Sharing ratios for nonfederal expenditures for all costs associated with activities related to the approval of relatives and nonrelative extended family members shall be in accordance with Section 10101.

(n) The Department of Justice shall charge fees sufficient to cover the cost of initial or subsequent criminal offender record information and Child Abuse Central Index searches, processing, or responses, as specified in this section.

(o) Except as provided, resource families shall be exempt from both of the following:

(1) Licensure requirements established pursuant to the California Community Care Facilities Act (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code) and all regulations promulgated to implement the act.

(2) Relative and nonrelative extended family member approval requirements as those approval requirements existed prior to January 1, 2017.

(p) (1) Early implementation counties shall be authorized to continue through December 31, 2016. The program shall be implemented by each county on or before January 1, 2017.

 (2) (A) (i) On and after January 1, 2017, a county to which the department has delegated its licensing authority pursuant to Section 1511 of the Health and Safety Code shall approve resource families in lieu of licensing foster family homes.

(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), the existing licensure and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for foster family homes licensed prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in subparagraph (C), until the license is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to Section 1517.1 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) (i) On and after January 1, 2017, a county shall approve resource families in lieu of approving relative and nonrelative extended family members.

(ii) Notwithstanding clause (i), the existing approval and oversight processes shall continue to be administered for relatives and nonrelative extended family members approved prior to January 1, 2017, or as specified in subparagraph (C), until the approval is revoked or forfeited by operation of law pursuant to this section.

(C) Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), a county shall approve or deny all applications for foster family home licenses and requests for relative or nonrelative extended family member approvals received on or before December 31, 2016, in accordance with Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code or provisions providing for the approval of relatives or nonrelative extended family members, as applicable.

(D) On and after January 1, 2017, a county shall not accept applications for foster family home licenses or requests to approve relatives or nonrelative extended family members.

(3) No later than July 1, 2019, each county shall provide the following information to all licensed foster family homes and approved relatives and nonrelative extended family members licensed or approved by the county:

(A) A detailed description of the resource family approval program.

(B) Notification that, in order to care for a foster child, resource family approval is required by December 31, 2020.

(C) Notification that a foster family home license and an approval of a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law, as specified in paragraph (8).

(4) The following shall apply to all licensed foster family homes and approved relative and nonrelative extended family members:

(A) A licensed foster family home or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member with an approved adoptive home study completed prior to January 1, 2018, shall be deemed to be a resource family.

(B) A licensed foster family home or an approved relative or nonrelative extended family member who had a child in placement at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation.

(C) A licensed foster family home that provided county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, may be approved as a resource family on the date of successful completion of a family evaluation.

(5) A county may provide supportive services to all licensed foster family homes, relatives, and nonrelative extended family members with a child in placement to assist with the resource family transition and to minimize placement disruptions.

(6) (A) In order to approve a licensed foster family home or approved relative or nonrelative extended family member as a resource family pursuant to paragraph (4), a county shall submit a written request to the Department of Justice to transfer any subsequent arrest and Child Abuse Central Index notifications, as specified in subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) A request to transfer a subsequent arrest notification shall contain all prescribed data elements and format protocols pursuant to a written agreement between the department and the Department of Justice.

(7) An individual who is a member of a resource family approved pursuant to subparagraph (B) or (C) of paragraph (4) shall be fingerprinted pursuant to Section 8712 of the Family Code upon filing an application for adoption.

(8) All foster family licenses and approvals of relatives and nonrelative extended family members shall be forfeited by operation of law on December 31, 2020, except as provided in this paragraph or Section 1524 of the Health and Safety Code:

(A) All licensed foster family homes that did not have a child in placement or did not provide county-authorized respite services at any time between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017, inclusive, shall forfeit the license by operation of law on January 1, 2018.

(B) For foster family home licensees and approved relatives or nonrelative extended family members who have a pending resource family application on December 31, 2020, the foster family home license or relative and nonrelative extended family member approval shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family. If approval is denied, forfeiture by operation of law shall occur on the date of completion of any proceedings required by law to ensure due process.

(C) A foster family home license shall be forfeited by operation of law, pursuant to Section 1517.1 of the Health and Safety Code, upon approval as a resource family.

(D) Approval as a relative or nonrelative extended family member shall be forfeited by operation of law upon approval as a resource family.

(q) On and after January 1, 2017, all licensed foster family agencies shall approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes, as set forth in Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.

(r) The department may establish participation conditions, and select and authorize foster family agencies that voluntarily submit implementation plans and revised plans of operation in accordance with requirements established by the department, to approve resource families in lieu of certifying foster homes.

(1) Notwithstanding any other law, a participating foster family agency shall require resource families to meet and maintain the resource family approval standards and requirements set forth in this chapter and in the written directives adopted consistent with the chapter prior to approval and in order to maintain approval.

(2) A participating foster family agency shall implement the resource family approval program pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3) This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of the department to inspect, evaluate, or investigate a complaint or incident, or initiate a disciplinary action against a foster family agency pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 1550) of Chapter 3 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, or to take any action it may deem necessary for the health and safety of children placed with the foster family agency.

(4) The department may adjust the foster family agency AFDC-FC rate pursuant to Section 11463 for implementation of this subdivision.

(5) This subdivision is inoperative on January 1, 2017.

(s) The department or a county is authorized to obtain any arrest or conviction records or reports from any court or law enforcement agency as necessary to the performance of its duties, as provided in this section or subdivision (e) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(t) A resource family approved pursuant to this section shall forfeit its approval concurrent with resource family approval by a foster family agency.

(Amended by Stats. 2019, Ch. 27, Sec. 101. (SB 80) Effective June 27, 2019.)

16519.501.
  

A resource family approval shall be forfeited by operation of law when one of the following occurs:

(a) The resource family surrenders the approval to the county child welfare agency or probation department.

(b) The resource family is convicted of an offense for which the department is prohibited from granting a criminal record exemption pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(c) The sole resource family parent dies.

(d) The resource family abandons the approved home.

(e) The resource family fails to cooperate with an annual update, as described in paragraph (6) of subdivision (g) of Section 16519.5, within 30 days of the date of written notice by the county child welfare agency or probation department.

(f) A resource family approval is forfeited by operation of law as provided in Section 16519.58 of this code or Section 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 910, Sec. 46. (AB 1930) Effective January 1, 2019.)

16519.502.
  

(a) A portion of the annual resource family training shall support the case plans, goals, and needs of children in the resource family home, if there are any children in the home, in accordance with applicable written directives or regulations, as specified by the department.

(b) A county, in its discretion, may require a resource family or applicant to receive one or more hours of relevant specialized training that is in addition to the hours of that training that are required by state law.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 705, Sec. 1. (AB 507) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.51.
  

(a) A person shall not incur civil liability as a result of a county notifying the department of its determination to rescind the approval of a resource family due to any of the following actions by a resource family parent:

(1) Violation of Section 16519.5, the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5, or any applicable law.

(2) Aiding, abetting, or permitting the violation of Section 16519.5, the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5, or any applicable law.

(3) Conduct that poses a risk or threat to the health and safety, protection, or well-being of a child, or the people of the state of California.

(4) The conviction of the applicant or resource family parent at any time before or during his or her approval of a crime described in Section 1522.

(5) Knowingly allowing any child to have illegal drugs, alcohol, or any tobacco product as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 22950.5 of the Business and Professions Code.

(6) Committing an act of child abuse or neglect or an act of violence against another person.

(b) The department or a county shall not incur civil liability for providing each other with information if the communication is for the purpose of aiding in the evaluation of an application for approval of a resource family.

(Repealed and added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 121. (AB 1997) Effective January 1, 2017.)

16519.52.
  

(a) A resource family may install and use delayed egress devices of the time delay type in the home of the resource family.

(b) As used in this section, “delayed egress device” means a device that precludes the use of exits for a predetermined period of time. These devices shall not delay any resident’s departure from the home for longer than 30 seconds.

(c) Within the 30 seconds of delay, a resource family may attempt to redirect a resident who attempts to leave the home.

(d) Any person accepted by a resource family using delayed egress devices in the home shall meet all of the following conditions:

(1) The person shall have a developmental disability, as defined in Section 4512.

(2) The person shall be receiving services and case management from a regional center under the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Services Act (Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500)).

(3) An interdisciplinary team, through the Individual Program Plan (IPP) process pursuant to Section 4646.5, shall have determined that the person lacks hazard awareness or impulse control and requires the level of supervision afforded by a resource family in a home equipped with delayed egress devices, and that, but for this placement, the person would be at risk of admission to, or would have no option but to remain in, a more restrictive state hospital or state developmental center placement.

(e) The home shall be subject to all fire and building codes, regulations, and standards applicable to residential care facilities for the elderly utilizing delayed egress devices, and shall receive approval by the county or city fire department, the local fire prevention district, or the State Fire Marshal for the installed delayed egress devices.

(f) The resource family shall provide training regarding the use and operation of the egress control devices used by any person caring for a resident, protection of residents’ personal rights, lack of hazard awareness and impulse control behavior, and emergency evacuation procedures.

(g) The resource family shall develop a plan of operation that is authorized by the approving county and includes a description of how the home is to be equipped with egress control devices that are consistent with regulations adopted by the State Fire Marshal pursuant to Section 13143 of the Health and Safety Code.

(h) The plan shall include, but shall not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) A description of how the resource family will provide training for persons caring for a resident regarding the use and operation of the egress control devices used in the home.

(2) A description of how the resource family will ensure the protection of the residents’ personal rights consistent with Sections 4502, 4503, and 4504.

(3) A description of how the resource family will manage the person’s lack of hazard awareness and impulse control behavior.

(4) A description of the resource family’s emergency evacuation procedures.

(i) Delayed egress devices shall not substitute for adequate supervision. The capacity of the home shall not exceed six residents.

(j) Emergency fire and earthquake drills shall be conducted at least once every three months, and shall include all persons providing resident care and supervision.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 773, Sec. 112. (AB 403) Effective January 1, 2016.)

16519.53.
  

(a) A resource family shall be authorized to administer emergency medical assistance and injections for severe diabetic hypoglycemia and anaphylactic shock to a foster child in placement in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 1507.25 of the Health and Safety Code.

(b) A resource family shall be authorized to administer subcutaneous injections of other medications, including insulin, as prescribed by a child’s physician, to a foster child in placement in accordance with subdivision (b) of Section 1507.25 of the Health and Safety Code.

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 773, Sec. 113. (AB 403) Effective January 1, 2016.)

16519.54.
  

Notwithstanding any other law, a resource family shall not be subject to civil penalties imposed pursuant to the Community Care Facilities Act (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code).

(Added by Stats. 2015, Ch. 773, Sec. 114. (AB 403) Effective January 1, 2016.)

16519.55.
  

(a) Subject to subdivision (d), to encourage the recruitment of resource families, to protect their personal privacy, and to preserve the security of confidentiality of the placements with resource families, the names, addresses, and other identifying information of resource families shall be considered personal information for purposes of the Information Practices Act of 1977 (Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 1798) of Title 1.8 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code). This information shall not be disclosed by any state or local agency pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code), except as necessary for administering the resource family approval program, facilitating the placement of children with resource families, and providing names and addresses, upon request, only to bona fide professional foster parent organizations and to professional organizations educating foster parents, including the Foster and Kinship Care Education Program of the California Community Colleges.

(b) The application form signed by a resource family applicant of a county shall be signed with a declaration by the applicant that the information submitted is true, correct, and contains no material omissions of fact to the best knowledge and belief of the applicant. Any person who willfully and knowingly, with the intent to deceive, makes a false statement or fails to disclose a material fact in his or her application is guilty of a misdemeanor.

(c) Before approving a resource family, a county may conduct a reference check of the applicant by contacting the following:

(1) Any foster family agencies that have certified the applicant.

(2) Any state or county licensing offices that have licensed the applicant as a foster family home.

(3) Any counties that have approved the applicant as a relative or nonrelative extended family member.

(4) Any foster family agencies or counties that have approved the applicant as a resource family.

(5) Any state licensing offices that have licensed the applicant as a community care facility, child day care center, or family child care home.

(d) The department, a county, a foster family agency, or a tribe may request information from, or divulge information to, the department, a county, a foster family agency, or a tribe regarding a prospective resource family for the purpose of and as necessary to conduct a reference check to determine whether it is safe and appropriate to approve an applicant to be a resource family.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 122. (AB 1997) Effective January 1, 2017.)

16519.555.
  

(a) The written report evaluating a resource family applicant’s capacity to foster, adopt, and provide legal guardianship of a child based on all of the information gathered through the resource family application and assessment processes, or any update to the written report, completed pursuant to Section 16519.5 of this code or Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code is confidential and may be released only to the following individuals and entities:

(1) The applicant or resource family.

(2) A tribal agency.

(3) The county child welfare agency or county probation department.

(4) The State Department of Social Services.

(5) A licensed foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(6) A county adoption agency, as defined in Section 8513 of the Family Code, or a licensed adoption agency, as defined in Section 8530 of the Family Code.

(7) For the purpose of assessing the appropriateness of a placement or proposed placement pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, a member of the child welfare agency in the sending state.

(b) The written report, or any update to the written report, described in subdivision (a) shall not be further disseminated by the receiving individual or entity to any individual or entity, other than those individuals or agencies authorized to receive the written report pursuant to subdivision (a).

(c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), this section does not limit an applicant or resource family from disseminating those portions of the written report that relate to the applicant or resource family.

(Added by Stats. 2018, Ch. 910, Sec. 47. (AB 1930) Effective January 1, 2019.)

16519.56.
  

(a) (1) A county shall place a resource family on inactive status upon notification by the resource family in accordance with this section and the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(2) For purposes of this section, and notwithstanding Section 16519.5, “inactive status” means a period of time during which a resource family is not eligible to provide foster care for a child and is not subject to an approval update.

(b) The written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5 shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) The method by which a resource family shall notify a county of the following:

(A) A request to be placed on inactive status.

(B) A request to end inactive status.

(2) The actions to be taken by a county to end an inactive status.

(3) Any time limitations on inactive status.

(4) The circumstances under which a county shall conduct inspections of the home of a resource family during a period of inactive status.

(c) A resource family shall maintain all approval standards required by Section 16519.5 upon ending inactive status.

(d) This section does not limit the authority of the department to institute or continue an administrative action against a resource family or any individual residing or regularly present in the home of a resource family during a period of inactive status.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 104. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.57.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, a resource family who has had a child either placed with them pursuant to order of the juvenile court or voluntarily placed with them by the person or persons having legal custody of the child, may give the same legal consent for that child as a parent, except for the following:

(1) Marriage.

(2) Entry into the Armed Forces of the United States.

(3) Medical and dental treatment, except that consent may be given for ordinary medical and dental treatment for the child, including, but not limited to, immunizations, physical examinations, and X-rays.

(4) Educational decisions that are required to be made by a child’s educational rights holder.

(5) If the child is voluntarily placed by the parent or parents, those items as are agreed to in writing by the parties to the placement.

(b) This section does not apply to any situation in which a juvenile court order expressly reserves the right to consent to those activities to the court.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 105. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.58.
  

(a) A resource family approved by a licensed foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 or 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code may transfer their approval to a county upon the successful completion of activities, as specified by the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) The resource family shall complete the following activities:

(A) Submit to the county information necessary to initiate the transfer process on a form specified by the department.

(B) Authorize the county to request that clearances and exemptions issued to the resource family and all adults residing or regularly present in the home be transferred from the department to the county pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(C) Cooperate with the county in conducting an approval update as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(2) The county shall complete the following activities:

(A) With respect to notifications issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 11105.2 of the Penal Code and Section 1522.1 of the Health and Safety Code, submit a request to the Department of Justice as specified in paragraph (4) of subdivision (h) of Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(B) Complete an approval update for the resource family as specified in the written directives or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(i) The county shall request a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code and any updates to the written report regarding the resource family from the licensed foster family agency.

(ii) The licensed foster family agency shall forward a copy of the written report completed pursuant to Section 1517 of the Health and Safety Code and any updates to the written report regarding the resource family to the county within 20 business days of receipt of the request.

(b) Resource family approval by a licensed foster family agency pursuant to Section 1517 or 1517.5 of the Health and Safety Code shall be forfeited by operation of law upon the transfer of the resource family approval to a county in accordance with this section.

(c) A resource family approved pursuant to this section shall comply with the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 and comply with other applicable federal and state laws in order to maintain approval.

(d) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) “Department” means the State Department of Social Services.

(2) “County” means a county child welfare or probation department.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 910, Sec. 48. (AB 1930) Effective January 1, 2019.)

16519.59.
  

(a)  Notwithstanding any other law, contracts or grants awarded for purposes of this article shall be exempt from the personal services contracting requirements of Article 4 (commencing with Section 19130) of Chapter 5 of Part 2 of Division 5 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(b) Notwithstanding any other law, contracts or grants awarded for purposes of this article shall be exempt from the Public Contract Code and the State Contracting Manual, and shall not be subject to the approval of the Department of General Services.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 107. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.6.
  

(a) All hearings conducted pursuant to Section 16519.5 shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of this section and the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(b) For resource family hearings held at the department’s State Hearings Division, the procedures set forth in Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 10950) of Part 2 shall apply, except as otherwise provided in this section.

(c) (1) For resource family hearings held at the Office of Administrative Hearings, the procedures set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) shall apply, except as otherwise provided in this article.

(2) For purposes of the administrative action procedures set forth in this article, “agency” shall mean a county or the department according to the authority to take action provided in subdivisions (f) and (g) of Section 16519.5, except that “agency” shall mean the department for purposes of a decision or a posthearing procedure as provided in Sections 11517 to 11522, inclusive, of the Government Code.

(d) Notwithstanding the time to appeal set forth in Section 10951 of this code and Section 1558 of the Health and Safety Code, an applicant for approval or for a criminal record exemption may file a written appeal within 90 days of service of a notice of action, and a resource family, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption rescission may file a written appeal within 25 days of service of a notice of action or exclusion order. Pursuant to Section 1013 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if the notice of action is served by mail, the time to respond shall be extended five days. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impede or extend jurisdiction as set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11370) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).

(e) (1) Notwithstanding Section 10951, a county’s action shall be final, or for matters set before the State Hearings Division, an action shall be subject to dismissal if the resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission does not file an appeal to the notice of action or exclusion order within the prescribed time.

(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), a resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission shall be entitled to a hearing pursuant to Section 16519.5 if he or she files the appeal no more than 30 calendar days after the due date for the appeal, as specified in subdivision (d), and the person provides good cause for the late filing of the appeal. Good cause shall be determined by the department in an administrative review procedure set forth in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5. The department shall not grant a late appeal for good cause if the appeal is filed more than 30 calendar days after the due date for the appeal, as specified in subdivision (d).

(3) For purposes of this subdivision “good cause” means a substantial and compelling reason beyond the party’s control, considering the length of the delay, the diligence of the party filing the appeal, and the potential prejudice to the other party. The inability of a person to understand an adequate and language-compliant notice, in and of itself, shall not constitute good cause.

(4) This section shall not preclude the application of the principles of equity jurisdiction as otherwise provided by law.

(f) Except as provided in subdivisions (g) and (h), and notwithstanding Section 10952, a hearing under this section, notwithstanding any time waiver, shall be held within 90 days following the receipt of a timely appeal for matters to be set before the State Hearings Division or within 90 days following the receipt of a timely notice of defense for matters to be set before the Office of Administrative Hearings, unless a continuance or postponement of the hearing is granted for good cause.

(g) (1) The department may exclude a resource family parent, applicant, or other individual from presence in any resource family home, from employment in, presence in, and contact with clients of any facility licensed by the department or certified or approved by a licensed foster family agency, and from holding the position of member of the board of directors, executive director, or officer of the licensee of any facility licensed by the department, for any of the reasons set forth in Section 16519.61.

(2) The department may issue an exclusion order requiring the immediate removal of an individual if, in the opinion of the department, the action is necessary to protect a child from physical or mental abuse, abandonment, or any other substantial threat to his or her health or safety. If the department has issued an immediate exclusion order, the timelines for the service of an accusation, conducting a hearing, and for a final determination set forth in Section 1558 of the Health and Safety Code shall apply, unless a continuance of the hearing is granted for good cause.

(3) A resource family’s failure to comply with the department’s exclusion order after being notified of the order shall be grounds for taking action against the resource family’s approval pursuant to Section 16519.61.

(4) An exclusion order that was effective prior to the implementation of the resource family approval program and conversion of licensed foster family homes and certified family homes to resource families shall be deemed to exclude the individual from presence in any resource family home.

(5) (A) An exclusion shall be for the remainder of the excluded person’s life, unless otherwise ordered by the department.

(B) Pursuant to Section 11522 of the Government Code, the excluded individual may petition for reinstatement to the department after one year has elapsed from the effective date of an exclusion order that was not appealed or the effective date of a decision and order by the department upholding an exclusion order. The department shall provide the excluded person a copy of Section 11522 of the Government Code with the exclusion order and decision and order.

(6) For purposes of this subdivision, a “facility licensed by the department” means a facility licensed pursuant to Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 1500) of, Chapter 3.01 (commencing with Section 1568.01) of, Chapter 3.2 (commencing with Section 1569) of, Chapter 3.3 (commencing with Section 1570) of, Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 1596.70) of, Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 1596.90) of, or Chapter 3.6 (commencing with Section 1597.30) of, Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code.

(h) If a county or the department has issued a temporary suspension order, the hearing shall be held within 30 days following the receipt of a timely appeal for matters to be set before the State Hearings Division, or within 30 days following the receipt of a timely notice of defense for matters to be set before the Office of Administrative Hearings. The temporary suspension order shall remain in effect until the time the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits. However, the temporary suspension order shall be deemed vacated if the department fails to make a final determination on the merits within 30 days after receipt of the proposed decision by the county or department.

(i) Upon a finding of noncompliance, the department may require a foster family agency to deny a resource family application, rescind the approval of a resource family, or take other action deemed necessary for the protection of a child who is or who may be placed with the resource family. The resource family or applicant shall be afforded the due process provided pursuant to this section.

(1) If the department requires a foster family agency to deny an application or rescind the approval of a resource family, the department shall serve an order of denial or rescission notifying the resource family, applicant, and foster family agency of the basis of the department’s action and of the right to a hearing.

(2) The department’s order of the application denial or rescission of the approval shall remain in effect until the hearing is completed and the department has made a final determination on the merits.

(3) A foster family agency’s failure to comply with the department’s order to deny an application or rescind the approval of a resource family by placing or retaining a child in care shall be grounds for disciplining the foster family agency pursuant to Section 1550 of the Health and Safety Code.

(j) A resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission who files an appeal to a notice of action or exclusion order pursuant to this section shall, as part of the appeal, provide his or her current mailing address. The resource family, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission shall subsequently notify the county, and the excluded individual shall notify the department, in writing of any change in mailing address, until the hearing process has been completed or terminated.

(k) Service by mail of a notice or other writing on a resource family, applicant, excluded individual, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission in a procedure provided herein is effective if served to the last mailing address on file with the county or department. Service of a notice of action shall be by personal service or by first-class mail, and service of an exclusion order shall be by personal service or registered mail. If the last day for performance of any action required herein falls on a holiday, then such period shall be extended to the next day which is not a holiday.

(l) In all proceedings conducted in accordance with this section, the burden of proof on the department or county shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

(m) (1) A county or the department may institute or continue an administrative proceeding against a resource family, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission upon any ground provided by this section or Section 16519.61, enter an order denying an application or rescinding the approval of a resource family, exclude an individual, issue a temporary suspension order, or otherwise take disciplinary action against a resource family, applicant, or individual who is the subject of a criminal record exemption denial or rescission notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal, surrender of approval, or denial or rescission of the approval by a foster family agency.

(2) The department may institute or continue an administrative proceeding against an excluded individual upon any ground provided by this section or Section 16519.61, enter an order to exclude an individual, or otherwise take disciplinary action against an excluded individual, notwithstanding any resignation, withdrawal, surrender of approval, or denial or rescission of the approval by a foster family agency.

(n) (1) Notwithstanding Sections 11425.10 and 11425.20 of the Government Code, a proceeding conducted pursuant to this section shall be confidential and not open to the public in order to preserve the confidential information of a child or resource family consistent with the confidentiality requirements in Sections 827, 10850, and 16519.55 of this code, Section 1536 of the Health and Safety Code, and Section 11167.5 of the Penal Code. Notwithstanding this requirement, an administrative law judge may admit persons deemed to have a direct and legitimate interest in the particular case or the work of the court on a case-by-case basis and with any admonishments, limitations, and protective orders as may be necessary to preserve the confidential nature of the proceedings.

(2) Except as otherwise required by law, in any writ of mandate proceeding related to an issue arising out of this article, the name, identifying information, or confidential information of a child as described in Sections 827, 10850, and 16519.55, and Section 11167.5 of the Penal Code, shall not be disclosed in a public document and a protective order shall be issued by the court in order to protect the confidential information of a child.

(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 910, Sec. 49. (AB 1930) Effective January 1, 2019.)

16519.61.
  

A county or the department may deny a resource family application or rescind the approval of a resource family, and the department may exclude an individual from any resource family home, for any of the following reasons:

(a) Violation of Section 16519.5, the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5, or any applicable law.

(b) Aiding, abetting, or permitting the violation of Section 16519.5, the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5, or any applicable law.

(c) Conduct that poses a risk or threat to the health and safety, protection, or well-being of a child, another individual, or the people of the State of California.

(d) The conviction of the resource family applicant, parent, or associated individual at any time before or during his or her approval of a crime described in Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code.

(e) Engaging in acts of financial malfeasance, including, but not limited to, improper use or embezzlement of the money or property of a child, fraudulent appropriation for personal gain of money or property, or willful or negligent failure to provide services.

(f) Any other reason specified in the written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 109. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.62.
  

(a) The out-of-court statements of a child under 12 years of age who is the subject or victim of an allegation at issue constitutes admissible evidence at an administrative hearing conducted pursuant to this article. The out-of-court statement may provide the sole basis for a finding of fact if the proponent of the statement provided the statement to all parties prior to the hearing and the adjudicator finds that the time, content, and circumstances of the statement provide sufficient indicia of reliability. However, the out-of-court statement shall not be admissible if an objecting party establishes that the statement is unreliable because it was the product of fraud, deceit, or undue influence.

(b) This section shall not be construed to limit the right of any party to the administrative hearing to subpoena a witness whose statement is admitted as evidence or to introduce admissible evidence relevant to the weight of the hearsay evidence or the credibility of the hearsay declarant.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 125. (AB 1997) Effective January 1, 2017.)

16519.63.
  

(a) An administrative law judge conducting a hearing pursuant to this article may permit the testimony of a child witness or a similarly vulnerable witness, including, but not limited to, a witness who is intellectually disabled, to be taken outside the presence of the respondent if all of the following conditions exist:

(1) The administrative law judge determines that taking the testimony of the witness outside the presence of the respondent is necessary to ensure truthful testimony.

(2) The witness is likely to be intimidated by the presence of the respondent.

(3) The witness is afraid to testify in front of the respondent.

(b) If the testimony of a witness is taken outside of the presence of the respondent, the county, or the department in an exclusion action, shall provide for the use of one-way closed-circuit television or video so the respondent can observe the witness’ testimony. Nothing in this section shall limit a respondent’s right to cross-examine the witness.

(c) The administrative law judge presiding over a hearing in which testimony is taken pursuant to this section may clear the hearing room of any person in order to protect a witness from intimidation or other harm, taking into account the rights of all persons.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 110. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.64.
  

(a) In any administrative proceeding conducted pursuant to this article in which a child or other minor is the victim in an allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct, evidence of specific instances of the victim’s sexual conduct with individuals other than the alleged perpetrator is subject to all of the following limitations:

(1) The evidence is not discoverable unless it is to be offered at an administrative proceeding to attack the credibility of the victim as provided for in subdivision (b). This paragraph is intended only to limit the scope of discovery and is not intended to affect the methods of discovery authorized by statute.

(2) The evidence is not admissible at the administrative proceeding unless offered to attack the credibility of the victim as provided for in subdivision (b).

(3) Reputation or opinion evidence regarding the sexual behavior of the victim is not admissible for any purpose.

(b) Evidence of specific instances of a victim’s sexual conduct with individuals other than the alleged perpetrator is presumed inadmissible absent an offer of proof establishing its relevance and reliability and that its probative value is not substantially outweighed by the probability that its admission will create substantial danger of undue prejudice or confuse the issues.

(c) As used in this section, “victim” means a person who claims to have been subjected to inappropriate sexual conduct by an alleged perpetrator, including, but not limited to, a person who is an adult at the time of hearing but was under 18 years of age at the time of the alleged inappropriate sexual conduct.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 111. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.65.
  

(a) For matters set before the State Hearings Division, the county or respondent may file a request with the department for a rehearing within 30 days after receiving the decision of the department that is a proposed decision of an administrative law judge adopted by the department as a final decision and order, a final decision rendered by an administrative law judge, or a decision issued by the department. The department shall grant or deny the request no later than the 90th business day after the request is made. The remaining provisions of Section 10960 shall apply to the rehearing request.

(b) If the department grants the request, the rehearing shall be conducted in accordance with Section 16519.6 and following.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 732, Sec. 112. (AB 404) Effective January 1, 2018.)

16519.7.
  

The training requirements of subparagraph (I) of paragraph (13) of subdivision (g) of Section 16519.5 shall include training on the importance of the caregiver’s role in education, educational protections specific to foster youth under state and federal law, and the rights and obligations of caregivers to access and maintain educational and health information, including the requirements under Sections 49069.3, 49076, and 56055 of the Education Code and Section 16010 of this code.

(Added by Stats. 2017, Ch. 829, Sec. 12. (SB 233) Effective January 1, 2018.)

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