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 6.2. Intensive Foster Care Programs [18358 - 18358.37]
  ( Chapter 6.2 added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1250, Sec. 3. )

18358.
  

The definitions contained in this section shall govern the construction of this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise:

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

(b) “Eligible children” means children who meet both of the following conditions:

(1) Children who are emotionally disturbed, or who have a serious behavioral problem, as evidenced by a history that may include, but is not limited to, the following:

(A) Lying.

(B) Stealing.

(C) Verbal or physical aggression.

(D) Unacceptable sexual behavior.

(E) Attempts at self-harmful behaviors.

(F) Defiant and oppositional behavior.

(2) Children who, as a result of their emotional disturbance or serious behavioral problem, satisfy one or more of the following criteria:

(A) Are placed in a group home with a rate classification level of nine or higher pursuant to Section 11462.

(B) Have been assessed by the child’s county interagency review team or county placing agency as at imminent risk of psychiatric hospitalization or placement in a group home with a rate classification level of nine or higher pursuant to Section 11462.

(C) Were previously in a group home program, except children on probation or otherwise in the custody of the juvenile court for any violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.

(D) Are voluntarily placed in a group home with a rate classification level of 9 or higher pursuant to Section 7572.5 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2009.)

18358.05.
  

(a) The department shall implement intensive treatment foster care programs for eligible children.

(b) (1) The department shall implement the program in any participating county that applies for and receives the department’s approval for an intensive treatment foster care program rate.

(2) Upon application to the department, the county shall do all of the following:

(A) Identify the population of children to be served, including, but not limited to, the rate classification levels from 9 to 14, inclusive, pursuant to subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 18358, that the county has chosen to include.

(B) Certify that participating foster family agencies have the required personnel, administrative support, financial services, and resources to successfully participate in the program.

(C) Project savings or cost neutrality to the state General Fund.

(D) Provide a plan for monitoring the participating foster family agencies for compliance with this chapter.

(3) Each participating foster family agency may, with the approval of the host county, accept placements from counties other than the host county.

(c) No more than a total of 1,000 children who were in, or at imminent risk of being placed in, group homes with rate classification levels of 9 to 11, inclusive, pursuant to Section 11462, may be placed in intensive treatment foster care programs at the same time, from January 1, 2009, to December 31, 2011, inclusive. This limitation does not include children in the Title IV-E waiver demonstration project Counties of Alameda and Los Angeles.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2009.)

18358.10.
  

Each foster family agency participating in this program shall enter into a contract or memorandum of understanding with the county and provide all of the following personnel and administrative and support services:

(a) (1) Special attention to the selection and training of foster parents.

(2) All participating intensive treatment foster care (ITFC) foster parents shall be provided with at least 40 hours of training in the care of emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem before becoming an ITFC parent, and before placement of a child pursuant to this program, 32 hours of ongoing in-service training within the first 12 months after becoming a certified ITFC parent, and 12 hours of ongoing in-service training each year thereafter. Training shall include, but not be limited to, working with abused and neglected children, behavior deescalation techniques, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid. All training shall be completed prior to the child’s placement in the home. In two-parent homes, placement may be made after one parent has completed 40 hours of training, provided that an additional 20 hours of ongoing in-service training are completed within 12 months after becoming an ITFC foster parent, and provided that the second parent has completed 40 hours of training and completes an additional 20 hours of training within the first six months of certification of the foster parent as an ITFC foster parent.

(3) Upon approval of the county interagency review team or the county placing agency, the training requirements specified in paragraph (2) for a participating foster parent in this program may be waived for foster parents with prior experience that includes, but is not limited to, working for at least one year with emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem.

(4) Foster parents shall be provided with all necessary support services.

(b) Caseloads for participating social work case managers that average eight children, except as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 18358.30.

(c) The specific assignment to each certified family home of a trained support counselor with experience in residential treatment.

(1) The support counselor shall have one of the following:

(A) A bachelor’s degree in a social science related field and at least six months of experience in working with emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem.

(B) An associate degree in a social science related field and have at least one year’s experience in working with emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem.

(C) Upon approval of the county interagency review team or the county placing agency, the educational requirements may be waived for support counselors with at least two years of experience working with emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem, and who demonstrate a combination of education, skills, and experience that meets the specific cultural and linguistic needs of the target population.

(2) Each participating foster family agency shall provide each support counselor with 40 hours of training to include, but not be limited to, working with abused and neglected children, behavior deescalation techniques, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, and developing treatment plans for emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem. All training shall be completed prior to placing a child in a certified family home for which the support counselor is assigned responsibility. An additional 20 hours of ongoing in-service training is required within the first 12 months after becoming an ITFC support counselor.

(3) Each support counselor shall provide support service to the child and the foster family. This service shall include, but not be limited to, structuring a safe environment for the child, collateral contacts, and any administrative or training functions necessary to implement the child’s needs and services plan. The child’s needs and services plan shall ensure that services meet the child’s needs and are appropriate to and consistent with the minimum level of service specified in Section 18358.30. The child’s individual needs and services plan shall be reviewed and approved by the certified foster parents.

(d) Coordination services with local education agencies and the service provider’s nonpublic school, where applicable.

(e) A 24-hour on call administrator who is available to respond to emergency situations.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 2009.)

18358.15.
  

(a) Each foster family agency participating in the program shall develop the child’s needs and services plan, and have it agreed to by the county interagency review team, or county placing agency, and certified foster parents. Each foster family agency participating in the program shall provide the services and supports identified in the needs and services plan which are allowable under California’s foster care program in accordance with Sections 11460 and 11463, and their implementing regulations. Each foster family agency shall also arrange for the services needed by each child and for which the child meets eligibility criteria under applicable publicly funded programs, including, but not limited to, mental health, education, and health services. The foster family agency shall arrange for these services funded by those publicly funded programs to be delivered either by the private nonprofit organization that also operates the foster family agency or by another qualified provider. Children in the ITFC program who meet the public mental health system criteria for mental health services and supports shall have those services and supports funded by the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program pursuant to Section 14718 and other appropriate mental health system sources. This subdivision shall not be construed to change the eligibility criteria for EPSDT benefits or services pursuant to federal law. The services that the foster family agency shall provide or arrange for include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Individualized needs and services plans that ensure continuity and stability in the placement of participating children in certified family homes that meet the needs of eligible children, including children making the transition from institutional placement to noninstitutional placement. The needs and services plan for each child in placement shall describe the specific needs of the child and the appropriate level of services provided to the child pursuant to Section 18358.30.

(2) Education and mental health services for children.

(3) In-home and support services necessary to implement the case plan.

(4) Other necessary services for children in placement, including medical and dental services.

(b) No more than one emotionally disturbed child or child who has a serious behavioral problem shall be placed in a certified ITFC family home unless the participating foster family agency provides the placing or participating county welfare department with a written assessment of the risk and compatibility of placing together two children who are emotionally disturbed or have a serious behavioral problem. More than two children who are emotionally disturbed or have serious behavioral problems who are siblings may be placed together in the same certified family home if the placement is approved by the county interagency review team or the county placing agency of the participating county. However, there shall be no more than a total of five children living in a certified family home with two adults, and there shall be no more than a total of three children living in a certified family home with one adult, except in cases where children living in the home other than those placed pursuant to this chapter are 15 years of age or older.

(c) Any use of physical contact to manage the behavior of a child that is reported to the foster family agency pursuant to Section 18538.25 shall in turn be reported by the foster family agency to the Community Care Licensing Division of the department as a special incident pursuant to Section 80061 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 34, Sec. 249. (SB 1009) Effective June 27, 2012. Operative July 1, 2012, by Sec. 254 of Ch. 34.)

18358.20.
  

In addition to the requirements of Sections 18358.10 and 18358.15, any foster family agency that serves children under this program shall have a contract or memorandum of understanding with the county prior to accepting referrals of children. The contract or memorandum of understanding shall identify how the foster family agency will provide or arrange for the following services and activities:

(a) An effective 24 hours a day, seven days a week social work emergency response service. The plan shall include the criteria for an in-person response and define the timeframe in which in-person response will be made.

(b) Mental health coverage available as needed for mental health emergencies.

(c) Development of a service plan approved by the placing county for each child within one month of placement that thoroughly assesses the unique needs and strengths of the child in the life domains specified in paragraph (1), and identifies the necessary services and supports to improve outcomes.

(1) For purposes of this section, “life domains” means the framework of important aspects of a child’s life to be assessed in the child’s service plan, including, but not limited to, the following:

(A) Safety.

(B) Emotional and psychological well-being.

(C) Behavioral.

(D) Family and living situation.

(E) Social and recreational.

(F) Cultural and spiritual.

(G) Educational and vocational.

(H) Health.

(I) Developmental.

(2) Applicable services and supports associated with each life domain, which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

(A) The child’s need for mental health service interventions.

(B) Individual or group mental health treatment services.

(C) Psychotropic medication and monitoring.

(D) Behavior analysis, positive behavioral interventions, and behavioral modification techniques.

(E) Interventions designed to prevent entry or reentry into the juvenile justice system.

(F) Family reunification services, parent training, or other support services needed to return the child home, or when that is not possible, to establish, reestablish, or reinforce a lifelong relationship with a caring adult.

(G) Family finding services to support and enhance access to lifelong permanent relationships with relative and nonrelative kin.

(H) Targeted life skills training and resources to ensure appropriate access to social and recreational resources and relationships, as needed to support the achievement of important developmental milestones.

(I) Mentoring or developing of positive adult relationships.

(J) Education supports, as needed to maintain and enhance the child’s educational success and stability.

(K) Education liaison services as needed to support the child’s education in the least restrictive environment.

(L) Respite care.

(M) Support counselors.

(N) Case management to ensure appropriate and effective coordination of activities and resources as identified in the needs and services plan.

(d) A system for recruiting, training, and supervising qualified in-home support counselors.

(e) A system of record keeping that documents the delivery of services and supports to each child. This documentation shall be summarized and submitted on an annual basis to the county. Each agency shall report the type and cost of the services delivered.

(f) Written policies and procedures on how the program will be structured to ensure the safety of the child, how suicide attempts, runaways, sexual acting out or, violent and assaultive behavior will be handled, and what will occur to reduce or eliminate future episodes.

(g) Written procedures on frequency of treatment plan review, modifications of treatment plans, and the role of the foster family and the child’s parents in development of the treatment plan.

(h) A process for recruitment, selection and training of foster parents, including respite foster parents. The training curriculum shall include the following areas, at a minimum:

(1) Alternative forms of discipline.

(2) Child growth and development.

(3) Behavior management techniques.

(4) Differential needs and treatment of children.

(5) Behavior deescalation techniques.

(i) Arranging for the provision of respite care services and frequency of respite care.

(j) Social work staffing. Social workers shall have a master’s degree consistent with subdivision (e) of Section 1506 of the Health and Safety Code, and shall have at least one year of experience working with seriously emotionally disturbed children or children who have a serious behavioral problem.

(k) Other staff or contract services to be utilized in service delivery, the tasks and responsibilities of those individuals, and the training they will receive.

(l) An evaluation component that includes quarterly reporting to the department of the following data, by age group. The department shall publish the data annually.

(1) Number of children placed under this chapter.

(2) Number of prior foster care placements for each child prior to entering the ITFC program.

(3) Outcomes for children referred to the program, including:

(A) Percentage of children discharged to a more intensive program.

(B) Percentage of children discharged to a less restrictive program, short of permanency.

(C) Percentage of children who drop down an ITFC level.

(D) Percentage of children discharged to reunification with a parent or guardian.

(E) Percentage of children discharged to adoption.

(F) Percentage of children discharged to kin guardianship.

(G) Percentage of children discharged to other permanent outcome.

(H) Percentage of children hospitalized.

(I) Number of ITFC families in which a child was placed.

(J) Percentage of children continuing in placement.

(m) A plan for surveying placing counties annually to ascertain and report to the department on the following:

(1) Quality of services provided.

(2) Progress toward treatment goals.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 6. Effective January 1, 2009.)

18358.23.
  

In addition to the requirements of paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 18358.05, participating counties shall do all of the following:

(a) Determine the placement of eligible children in intensive treatment foster care programs. All children placed in the programs shall either have a completed level of care assessment indicating a need for services greater than regular foster care or have their placement reviewed by the participating county’s existing interagency review team or county placing agency.

(b) Enter into contracts or memoranda of understanding with participating foster family agencies.

(c) Provide routine case management services.

(d) Monitor the implementation of the case plan for the child.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2009.)

18358.25.
  

(a) Certified foster parents participating under this chapter shall ensure the well-being of emotionally disturbed children or children with a serious behavioral problem under their care. This care includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:

(1) Participation in initial and ongoing in-service training and demonstration pursuant to Section 18358.1 and demonstration of an understanding of and ability to meet the needs of emotionally disturbed children or children with a serious behavioral problem.

(2) Participation in the implementation of the individual case plan and in the development and implementation of the needs and services plan for the child.

(3) Ensuring that the child’s medical and dental needs are met.

(b) To the extent possible, certified foster parents selected under this chapter shall have a background in special education, psychological counseling, nursing, or child development.

(c) (1) All certified foster parents selected to participate in this program shall rent, lease, or own their own homes which shall be certified by the foster family agency.

(2) The home of certified foster parents shall be within reasonably close proximity to the participating foster family agency or a satellite location of the agency, and to the extent possible, close to the child’s family and community.

(d) (1) All certified foster parents shall report any special incident pursuant to Section 80061 of Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations. Additionally, any use of physical contact to manage the behavior of a child shall be reported as a special incident.

(2) Certified foster parents shall report incidents to the participating foster family agency, which shall report the incidents to the Community Care Licensing Division of the department pursuant to Section 18358.15.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2009.)

18358.30.
  

(a) Rates for foster family agency programs participating under this chapter shall be exempt from the current AFDC-FC foster family agency ratesetting system.

(b) Rates for foster family agency programs participating under this chapter shall be set according to the appropriate service and rate level based on the level of services provided to the eligible child and the certified foster family. For an eligible child placed from a group home program, the service and rate level shall not exceed the rate paid for group home placement. For an eligible child assessed by the county interagency review team or county placing agency as at imminent risk of group home placement or psychiatric hospitalization, the appropriate service and rate level for the child shall be determined by the interagency review team or county placing agency at time of placement. In all of the service and rate levels, the foster family agency programs shall:

(1) Provide social work services with average caseloads not to exceed eight children per worker, except that social worker average caseloads for children in Service and Rate Level E shall not exceed 12 children per worker.

(2) Pay an amount not less than two thousand one hundred dollars ($2,100) per child per month to the certified foster parent or parents.

(3) Perform activities necessary for the administration of the programs, including, but not limited to, training, recruitment, certification, and monitoring of the certified foster parents.

(4) (A) (i) Provide a minimum average range of service per month for children in each service and rate level in a participating foster family agency, represented by paid employee hours incurred by the participating foster family agency, by the in-home support counselor to the eligible child and the certified foster parents depending on the needs of the child and according to the following schedule:

Service

In-Home Support

and

Counselor Hours

Rate Level

Per Month

A

98-114 hours

B

81-97 hours

C

64-80 hours

D

47-63 hours

(ii) Children placed at Service and Rate Level E shall receive behavior deescalation and other support services on a flexible, as needed, basis from an in-home support counselor. The foster family agency shall provide one full-time in-home support counselor for every 20 children placed at this level.

(B) (i) For the interim period beginning July 1, 2012, through December 31, 2016, inclusive, only the following modified service and rate levels to support modified in-home support counselor hours per month shall apply:

Service

In-Home Support

and

Counselor Hours

Rate Level

Per Month

Level I

81-114 hours

Level II

47-80 hours

Level III

Less than 47 hours

(ii) Children placed at Service and Rate Level III shall receive behavior deescalation and other support services on a flexible, as needed, basis from an in-home support counselor. The foster family agency shall provide one full-time in-home support counselor for every 20 children placed at this level.

(C) When the interagency review team or county placing agency and the foster family agency agree that alternative services are in the best interests of the child, the foster family agency may provide or arrange for services and supports allowable under California’s foster care program in lieu of in-home support services required by subparagraphs (A) and (B). These services and supports may include, but need not be limited to, activities in the Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care (MTFC) program.

(c) The department or placing county, or both, may review the level of services provided by the foster family agency program. If the level of services actually provided are less than those required by subdivision (b) for the child’s service and rate level, the rate shall be adjusted to reflect the level of service actually provided, and an overpayment may be established and recovered by the department.

(d) (1) On and after July 1, 1998, the standard rate schedule of service and rate levels shall be:

Service

Fiscal Year

and

1998-99

Rate Level

Standard Rate

A

$3,957

B

$3,628

C

$3,290

D

$2,970

E

$2,639

(2) For the interim period beginning July 1, 2012, through December 31, 2016, inclusive, only the following modified service and rate levels to support the modified standard rate schedule shall apply:

Service

and

Rate Level

Standard Rate

Level I

$5,581

Level II

$4,798

Level III

$4,034

(3) (A) On and after July 1, 1999, the standardized schedule of rates shall be adjusted by an amount equal to the California Necessities Index computed pursuant to Section 11453, rounded to the nearest dollar. The resultant amounts shall constitute the new standardized rate schedule, subject to further adjustment pursuant to subparagraph (B), for foster family agency programs participating under this chapter.

(B) In addition to the adjustment in subparagraph (A), commencing January 1, 2000, the standardized schedule of rates shall be increased by 2.36 percent, rounded to the nearest dollar. The resultant amounts shall constitute the new standardized rate schedule for foster family agency programs participating under this chapter.

(4) (A) Beginning with the 2000–01 fiscal year, the standardized schedule of rates shall be adjusted annually by an amount equal to the California Necessities Index computed pursuant to Section 11453, subject to the availability of funds. The resultant amounts, rounded to the nearest dollar, shall constitute the new standard rate schedule for foster family agency programs participating under this chapter.

(B) Effective October 1, 2009, the rates identified in this subdivision shall be reduced by 10 percent. The resulting amounts shall constitute the new standardized schedule of rates.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraphs (3) and (4), the rate identified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) shall be adjusted on July 1, 2013, and each July 1 thereafter through July 1, 2016, inclusive, by an amount equal to the California Necessities Index computed pursuant to Section 11453.

(e) (1) Rates for foster family agency programs participating under paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) shall not exceed Service and Rate Level A at any time during an eligible child’s placement. An eligible child may be initially placed in a participating intensive foster care program at any one of the five Service and Rate Levels A to E, inclusive, and thereafter placed at any level, either higher or lower, not to exceed a total of six months at any level other than Service and Rate Level E, unless it is determined to be in the best interests of the child by the child’s county interagency review team or county placing agency and the child’s certified foster parents. The child’s county interagency placement review team or county placement agency may, through a formal review of the child’s placement, extend the placement of an eligible child in a service and rate level higher than Service and Rate Level E for additional periods of up to six months each.

(2) Rates for foster family agency programs participating under paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) shall not exceed Service and Rate Level I at any time during an eligible child’s placement. An eligible child may be initially placed in a participating intensive foster care program at any one of the three Service and Rate Levels I to III, inclusive, and thereafter placed at any level, either higher or lower, not to exceed a total of six months at any level other than Service and Rate Level III, unless it is determined to be in the best interests of the child by the child’s county interagency review team or county placing agency, foster family agency, and the child’s certified foster parents. The child’s county interagency placement review team or county placement agency, through a formal review of the child’s placement, may extend the placement of an eligible child in a service and rate level higher than Service and Rate Level III for additional periods of up to six months each.

(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the rate paid to participating foster family agency programs shall decrease as the child’s need for services from the foster family agency decreases. The foster family agency shall notify the placing county and the department of the reduced services and the pilot classification model, and the rate shall be reduced accordingly.

(g) It is the intent of the Legislature to prohibit any duplication of public funding. Therefore, social worker services, payments to certified foster parents, administrative activities, and the services of in-home support counselors that are funded by another public source shall not be counted in determining whether the foster family agency program has met its obligations to provide the items listed in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (b). The department shall work with other potentially affected state departments to ensure that duplication of payment or services does not occur.

(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that the State Department of Social Services and the State Department of Health Care Services, in collaboration with county placing agencies and ITFC providers and other stakeholders, develop and implement an integrated system that provides for the appropriate level of placement and care, support services, and mental health treatment services to foster children served in these programs.

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

(j)  Notwithstanding subdivisions (d) and (e), the department shall implement a new interim rate structure for the period beginning January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2019, inclusive. The rate shall reflect the appropriate level of placement and address the need for specialized health care, support services, and mental health treatment services for foster children served in these programs.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 612, Sec. 130. (AB 1997) Effective January 1, 2017.)

18358.35.
  

Foster family agencies implementing intensive foster care programs shall under no circumstances have any interest in the properties occupied by the certified foster parents.

(Added by Stats. 1990, Ch. 1250, Sec. 3.)

18358.36.
  

In order to provide for continuity of services to children receiving intensive foster care services, the two foster family agencies providing services pursuant to this chapter prior to January 1, 1996, may continue to operate their programs until June 30, 1997, without the certification required by Section 18358.05 and without a contract or memorandum of understanding with counties that have children in placement as of January 1, 1996. By July 1, 1997, these foster family agencies shall meet all the requirements of this chapter, including certification and contract or memorandum of understanding with the placing county or counties.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 832, Sec. 6.5. Effective January 1, 1996.)

18358.37.
  

The department shall develop, in consultation with the counties, providers, and other stakeholders, cost reporting, claiming, and other procedures necessary to maximize federal financial participation.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 486, Sec. 10. Effective January 1, 2009.)

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