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

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Date Published: 09/17/2019 04:00 AM
AB859:v91#DOCUMENT

Enrolled  September 16, 2019
Passed  IN  Senate  September 10, 2019
Passed  IN  Assembly  September 11, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  September 06, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  August 30, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  July 10, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 19, 2019
Amended  IN  Senate  June 18, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  May 16, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 859


Introduced by Assembly Member Maienschein

February 20, 2019


An act to add Section 246.5 to the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to juveniles.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 859, Maienschein. Juveniles: dependency: judicial caseloads.
Existing law requires the juvenile court to appoint counsel for a child or nonminor dependent in dependency proceedings if the child or nonminor dependent is not represented by counsel, unless the court determines that there would be no benefit from the appointment of counsel. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to promulgate rules of court that, among other things, establish caseload standards for appointed counsel.
This bill would require, by January 1, 2021, the State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the Judicial Council, to convene a stakeholder group to make recommendations by January 1, 2022, related to juvenile dependency proceedings.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


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.