Today's Law As Amended

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AB-859 Juveniles: dependency: judicial caseloads.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares both of the following:
(a) When a child is found to be within the dependency jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, the state undertakes a responsibility like no other in government: the responsibility to make all significant parental decisions for a child.
(b) While foster parents and other placements provide daily care for dependent children, every major decision in the lives of these children is made by a judge in a courtroom; whether these children will ever see their siblings again, whether they may be forced to ingest psychotropic medications, where they will live, with whom they will live, and matters regarding their education.

SEC. 2.

 Section 246.5 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

246.5.
 By January 1, 2021, the State Department of Social Services shall, in consultation with the Judicial Council, convene a stakeholder group that includes, but is not limited to, county counsel, nonprofit organizations composed of current or former foster youth, representatives of dependency counsel, and other stakeholders designated by the department, to make recommendations by January 1, 2022, related to juvenile dependency proceedings, with the purpose of improving child and family outcomes in juvenile dependency court and enhancing collaboration between juvenile dependency courts and child welfare services.