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 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS [18000 - 18999.8]

  ( Part 6 added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 1784. )

CHAPTER 14.1. California Families and Children Home Visit Program [18994 - 18994.9]
  ( Chapter 14.1 added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. )

18994.
  

(a) This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the California Families and Children Home Visit Program.

(b) The department shall implement this chapter only to the extent that funds are appropriated for that purpose in the annual Budget Act.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.1.
  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) About 26 percent of California’s children under the age of 18 years live in families with incomes below the federal poverty line, an increase of 56 percent since 1980. Poverty is associated with numerous problems, including low educational performance, poor nutrition, the mistreatment of children, and juvenile delinquency.

(b) State vital statistics data indicate that about 33 percent of California’s children were born out-of-wedlock in 1991, an increase of 61 percent since 1980. Growing up in a single parent household is associated with greater likelihood of living in poverty, higher school dropout rates, higher incidence of teenage pregnancy, and reduced levels of employment.

(c) Research has found that poor parenting practices and family stress can increase the incidence of child behavior problems in children as young as three years of age. These behavioral problems can affect a variety of children’s life outcomes including success in school and incidence of juvenile delinquency.

(d) Over one-fourth of California’s children speak a foreign language.

(e) California’s children are becoming more culturally and ethnically diverse.

(f) Recent findings in the area of brain development research indicate that inadequate parent-child interaction can negatively affect the cognitive development of children.

(g) High quality voluntary home visit programs have been shown to improve a variety of parental and child outcomes. Specifically, these outcomes include reductions in poor birth outcomes, reductions in the mistreatment of children, reductions of and greater spacing between pregnancies, reduced use of welfare, and increased amounts of parental employment. Studies show that low-income, single parents exhibit the largest improvements over the long run from these programs.

(h) Research also shows that home visit programs that address a broad array of family needs are more likely to improve life outcomes for families and children. Examples of improved life outcomes include reductions in the mistreatment of children, increased rates of school completion, reduced incidence of teenage pregnancy, reduced interaction with the juvenile justice system, and improved health.

(i) It is the intent of the Legislature, in enacting this chapter, to establish a high-quality voluntary home visiting program for at-risk families.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.2.
  

(a) “At risk” means families who experience multiple stress factors, and who are more likely than the general population to have adverse health, social, and economic outcomes.

(b) “Home visit” means a strategy of service delivery in which specially trained professional or paraprofessional personnel provide services in the client’s home. These personnel typically make contact with at-risk families during pregnancy or at childbirth and continue contact with the client in the parent’s home for between two and five years with the purpose of providing information and family support services.

(c) “Family support services” means any services intended to improve parent-child interaction, aid families to become more self-sufficient, or reduce family stress. These services include help with goal setting, information about parent-child interaction, information about and help in accessing other health and social services, and development of problem-solving skills.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.3.
  

(a) The Office of Child Abuse Prevention in the State Department of Social Services shall be responsible for award of implementation grants and continued operation of the California Families and Children Home Visit Program.

(b) Office of Child Abuse Prevention’s responsibilities include:

(1) Provision of technical assistance to local home visit programs.

(2) Evaluation and assessment of local programs with the objective of improving program results.

(3) Certification that local programs continue to meet standards determined by the agency to be important for successful positive life outcomes for clients. The Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall, when reviewing grant applications under this chapter, take into consideration geographical and population diversity.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.4.
  

(a) Each county that chooses to participate in the California Families and Children Home Visit Program shall develop and submit to the Office of Child Abuse Prevention a three-year plan for phasing in a home visit program for eligible families.

(b) Each implementation plan shall include:

(1) The method of determining, and a description of the at-risk population served. Counties shall assess local community needs, and make modifications that are consistent with the California Safe and Healthy Families Model Program, or its successor.

(2) A clearly defined mission statement, and specific goals and objectives that are consistent with the mission statement.

(3) A proposed voluntary home visit service delivery model, incorporating the key components and standards of the California Safe and Healthy Families Model Program, or its successor. The essential components and standards of the California Safe and Healthy Families Program Model include:

(A) A comprehensive service array that includes, but is not limited to, systematic assessment, individualized family service planning, intensive home visiting, child health and development monitoring and intervention, center-based activities that serve parents, infants, and older siblings, linkage to health care and other community resources, and an on-going problem solving case coordination.

(B) Services provided by a multidisciplinary team, that includes appropriate supervision to home visitors and other team members, management of the caseload, and ensuring that service quality is maintained.

(C) Caseloads that are balanced in size, not to exceed 25 cases per home visitor, and intensity (service intensity varies with client need).

(D) On-going training and skill development.

(E) An approach to implementation that addresses relationships with existing service systems.

(4) A description of how home visit “best practices” are incorporated into a proposed model.

(5) A description of how the applicant proposes to coordinate and collaborate with other community service providers including community-based organizations, schools, religious organizations, community police, health care districts, and welfare and social service agencies.

(6) Provisions for families participating in the voluntary home visit program, to provide informed consent and to ensure the confidentiality of the records pertaining to the program.

(7) Specified quality assurance and improvement processes.

(8) Projected results by which positive outcomes and the success of the home visit program is to be measured.

(c) The Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall evaluate implementation plans and award implementation grants to selected voluntary home visit programs. In order to ensure that implementation proposals reflect the prevention and early intervention focus of home visits, the Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall develop proposed criteria for awarding implementation grants in accordance with each plan’s addressing of those elements set forth in subdivision (b).

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.5.
  

County programs are eligible for continued funding following an implementation assessment if both of the following are true:

(a) The assessment results in a determination that the county program has been implemented in accordance with the plan, and that the county program has established mechanisms to continue high-quality program operation.

(b) County administrators agree in writing that continued funding is contingent on the program continuing to produce high-quality results.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.55.
  

A grant for operation of a program under this chapter may be awarded to a county that has demonstrated readiness to begin operation of a program or to expand an existing support services program. A grant to operate a program under this chapter shall supplement, and not supplant, existing services and funds.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.6.
  

A planning grant may be awarded under this chapter to a county that has demonstrated a need to implement a program, but which is not ready to implement the program, or that is in need of additional planning to expand existing support services.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.61.
  

Each grantee shall be required to provide matching funds with one dollar ($1) for every two dollars ($2) awarded. The match may be either in cash or through in-kind services or resources with comparable value.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.65.
  

(a) Research and program evaluation shall provide information for the development and implementation of this chapter. The Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall incorporate new research and program evaluation information in order to improve program quality and effectiveness as this information becomes available pursuant to this chapter.

(b) Research and program evaluation shall provide information for the development and implementation of this chapter. The Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall incorporate new research and program evaluation information to improve program quality and effectiveness as this information becomes available pursuant to the program.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.7.
  

The Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall provide administrative oversight for the California Families and Children Home Visit Program.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.72.
  

(a) Of the funds appropriated in the Budget Act of 1998 for purposes of this chapter, not less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) shall be used for research and program evaluation. The Office of Child Abuse Prevention shall maximize its research capacity by using these funds to match foundation or university research and program evaluation grants.

(b) The department shall be responsible for performing an evaluation of the programs under this chapter. In conjunction with participating research entities, the department shall develop a research design methodology that describes data collection, data validation, and research techniques to be used in conducting the program evaluation, and the extent to which related evaluation research will be incorporated. Focus areas to measure whether outcomes for families and children are improved may relate to all or some of the following:

(1) Child well-being.

(2) Child protective services.

(3) Foster care.

(4) Family preservation and self-sufficiency.

(5) Parental or child involvement in the justice system.

(6) School achievement.

(7) Substance abuse.

(8) Parental employment.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.74.
  

Of the funds appropriated for purposes of this chapter, not more than 7.5 percent shall be used for state support staff to facilitate the Office of Child Abuse Prevention’s ability to manage this program, provide for program evaluation oversight, and manage the activities of the task force created pursuant to Section 18994.9.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.8.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that the State Department of Social Services, in consultation with other relevant state officials, seek and use any federal funds that may be available for the purposes of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 1998, Ch. 329, Sec. 41. Effective August 21, 1998.)

18994.9.
  

(a) There is hereby established the California Families and Children Home Visit Program Task Force, which shall be convened by the Office of Child Abuse Prevention.

(b) The membership of the task force shall include, but need not be limited to, all of the following:

(1) The head of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention or his or her designee.

(2) The directors, or designees, of all of the following:

(A) The State Department of Social Services.

(B) The State Department of Public Health.

(C) The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Justice.

(D) The State Department of Education.

(E) The California Emergency Management Agency.

(3) At least two county administrators from counties participating in this program, to be appointed by the director, with the consent of the county.

(4) The manager of this program from the Office of Child Abuse Prevention.

(5) Two legislative representatives, who shall be members of policy committees with jurisdiction over social services issues pertaining to children, with at least one each to be appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules.

(c) The task force shall do both of the following:

(1) Identify permanent funding sources from federal and state programs. Sources from which funding may be integrated for purposes of this chapter may include, but are not limited to, Medi-Cal Targeted Case Management and Administrative Program funds, provided for pursuant to Sections 14132.44 and 14132.47, family preservation funds, private health care providers, including health maintenance organizations and nonprofit hospitals, the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children, federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funds, and Healthy Families Program funds.

(2) Develop recommendations for permanent funding for this chapter, in order that eligible families who choose to participate have access to the program.

(d) Each member of the task force shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed, by his or her employing agency, for actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of his or her duties.

(e) The task force shall be supported by a reasonable amount of staff time, which shall be provided by the agencies represented on the task force, to the extent feasible within an agency’s existing resources. The task force may request data from, and may utilize the technical expertise of, other state agencies.

(f) The task force, under the guidance of the Office of Child Abuse Prevention, shall submit its report to the Legislature not later than November 1, 1999.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 34, Sec. 252. (SB 1009) Effective June 27, 2012.)

WICWelfare and Institutions Code - WIC