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AB-1979 Foster youth: housing.(2019-2020)



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AB1979:v93#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 1979
CHAPTER 141

An act to amend Section 1505 of the Health and Safety Code, and to amend Sections 11400, 11402.2, 16001, and 16522.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.

[ Approved by Governor  September 25, 2020. Filed with Secretary of State  September 25, 2020. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1979, Friedman. Foster youth: housing.
Existing law requires county agencies that place children in foster care to conduct an evaluation of the county’s placement resources and programs in relation to the needs of children placed in out-of-home care, and requires county placement agencies to specifically examine placements that are out of county and determine the reason the placement was necessary.
This bill would additionally require a county placement agency to conduct an evaluation of the county’s placement resources and programs in relation to the needs of nonminor dependents and to examine its ability to meet the emergency housing needs of nonminor dependents, as specified.
Existing law establishes the supervised independent living placement as an independent supervised setting that is specified in a nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan and in which the nonminor dependent is living independently. Existing law defines a supervised independent living setting to include a supervised independent living placement and a residential housing unit certified by a transitional housing placement provider, as specified.
Existing law, the California Community Care Facilities Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of community care and residential facilities by the State Department of Social Services. A violation of the act is a misdemeanor. Existing law exempts certain facilities from the act.
This bill would expand the definition of a supervised independent living setting to include a transitional living setting approved by a county to support youth who are entering or reentering foster care or transitioning between placements, excluding a youth homelessness prevention center or adult homeless shelter. The bill would exempt that transitional living setting from the act. The bill would also authorize a county, under certain conditions, to elect to certify that a supervised independent living placement meets health and safety standards once every 12 months.
Existing law requires, in order to be licensed as a transitional housing placement provider, an applicant to obtain certification from the county specifying the population that will be served by the facility. Existing law requires the certification to confirm that the program includes specified components.
This bill would authorize a county, in certain circumstances, to continue to approve payment to a transitional housing placement provider for a period of up to 14 days in a calendar month in which a nonminor dependent is absent from the placement and would generally prohibit a transitional housing placement provider from providing a removal notice or filling a nonminor dependent’s place in the program if the county continues to pay the board and care costs for up to 14 days during the nonminor dependent’s absence. The bill would also require the State Department of Social Services to issue guidance encouraging counties to continue to approve payment during temporary absences from the program as a best practice, consistent with federal law, to prevent nonminor dependent housing instability.
By imposing new duties on counties, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 1505 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

1505.
 This chapter does not apply to any of the following:
(a) A health facility, as defined by Section 1250.
(b) A clinic, as defined by Section 1200.
(c) A juvenile placement facility approved by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Division of Juvenile Facilities, or any juvenile hall operated by a county.
(d) A place in which a juvenile is judicially placed pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(e) A child day care facility, as defined in Section 1596.750.
(f) (1) A facility conducted by and for the adherents of any well-recognized church or religious denomination for the purpose of providing facilities for the care or treatment of the sick who depend solely upon prayer or spiritual means for healing in the practice of the religion of the church or denomination.
(2) A private alternative boarding school or private alternative outdoor program, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1502, that uses prayer or spiritual means as a component of its programming or services in addition to behavioral-based services is subject to licensure under this chapter.
(g) A school dormitory or similar facility determined by the department, except a private alternative boarding school or private alternative outdoor program, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1502.
(h) A house, institution, hotel, homeless shelter, or other similar place that supplies board and room only, or room only, or board only, provided that no resident thereof requires any element of care, as determined by the department.
(i) A recovery house or other similar facility that provides group living arrangements for adults recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction and that does not provide care or supervision.
(j) An alcoholism or drug abuse recovery or treatment facility as defined in Section 11834.02.
(k) An arrangement for the receiving and care of persons by a relative or an arrangement for the receiving and care of persons from only one family by a close friend of the parent, guardian, or conservator, if the arrangement is not for financial profit and occurs only occasionally and irregularly, as defined by regulations of the department. For purposes of this chapter, arrangements for the receiving and care of persons by a relative include relatives of the child for the purpose of keeping sibling groups together.
(l) (1) A home of a relative caregiver of children who are placed by a juvenile court, supervised by the county welfare or probation department, and the placement of whom is approved according to subdivision (d) of Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(2) A home of a nonrelative extended family member, as described in Section 362.7 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, providing care to children who are placed by a juvenile court, supervised by the county welfare or probation department, and the placement of whom is approved according to subdivision (d) of Section 309 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(3) On and after January 1, 2012, any supervised independent living placement for nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (w) of Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, who are placed by the juvenile court, supervised by the county welfare department, probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and whose placement is approved pursuant to subdivision (k) of Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(4) A transitional living setting, as described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (x) of Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(5) A Transitional Housing Program-Plus, as defined in subdivision (s) of Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, that serves only eligible former foster youth over 18 years of age who have exited from the foster care system on or after their 18th birthday, and that has obtained certification from the applicable county in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 16522 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(m) A supported living arrangement for individuals with developmental disabilities, as defined in Section 4689 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(n) (1) A family home agency, family home, or family teaching home, as defined in Section 4689.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, that is vendored by the State Department of Developmental Services and that does any of the following:
(A) As a family home approved by a family home agency, provides 24-hour care for one or two adults with developmental disabilities in the residence of the family home provider or providers and the family home provider or providers’ family, and the provider is not licensed by the State Department of Social Services or the State Department of Public Health or certified by a licensee of the State Department of Social Services or the State Department of Public Health.
(B) As a family teaching home approved by a family home agency, provides 24-hour care for a maximum of three adults with developmental disabilities in independent residences, whether contiguous or attached, and the provider is not licensed by the State Department of Social Services or the State Department of Public Health or certified by a licensee of the State Department of Social Services or the State Department of Public Health.
(C) As a family home agency, engages in recruiting, approving, and providing support to family homes.
(2) This subdivision does not establish by implication either a family home agency or family home licensing category.
(o) A facility in which only Indian children who are eligible under the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (Chapter 21 (commencing with Section 1901) of Title 25 of the United States Code) are placed and that is one of the following:
(1) An extended family member of the Indian child, as defined in Section 1903 of Title 25 of the United States Code.
(2) A foster home that is licensed, approved, or specified by the Indian child’s tribe pursuant to Section 1915 of Title 25 of the United States Code.
(p) (1) (A) Housing occupied by elderly or disabled persons, or both, that is initially approved and operated under a regulatory agreement pursuant to Section 202 of Public Law 86-372 (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1701q), or Section 811 of Public Law 101-625 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 8013), or that receives mortgage assistance pursuant to Section 236 of Public Law 90-448 (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1715z), or whose mortgage is insured pursuant to Section 221d(3) of Public Law 87-70 (12 U.S.C. Sec. 1715l), where supportive services are made available to residents at their option, as long as the project owner or operator does not contract for or provide the supportive services.
(B) Housing that qualifies for a low-income housing credit pursuant to Section 252 of Public Law 99-514 (26 U.S.C. Sec. 42) or that is subject to the requirements for rental dwellings for low-income families pursuant to Section 8 of Public Law 93-383 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1437f), and that is occupied by elderly or disabled persons, or both, where supportive services are made available to residents at their option, as long as the project owner or operator does not contract for or provide the supportive services.
(2) The project owner or operator to which paragraph (1) applies may coordinate, or help residents gain access to, the supportive services, either directly, or through a service coordinator.
(q) A resource family, as defined in Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, that has been approved by a county child welfare department or probation department.
(r) A home approved by a licensed private adoption agency pursuant to Section 8704.5 of the Family Code, for the placement of a nondependent child who is relinquished for adoption to the adoption agency.
(s) An occasional short-term babysitter, as described in Section 362.04 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(t) An alternative caregiver, except as specified in Section 16501.02 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(u) Except as specified in subdivision (b) of Section 16501.01 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, a respite care provider certified by a county.
(v) Any similar facility determined by the department.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11400.
 For purposes of this article, and Article 6 (commencing with Section 11450), the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC)” means the aid provided on behalf of needy children in foster care under the terms of this division.
(b) “Case plan” means a written document that, at a minimum, specifies the type of home in which the child shall be placed, the safety of that home, and the appropriateness of that home to meet the child’s needs. It shall also include the agency’s plan for ensuring that the child receive proper care and protection in a safe environment, and shall set forth the appropriate services to be provided to the child, the child’s family, and the foster parents, in order to meet the child’s needs while in foster care, and to reunify the child with the child’s family. In addition, the plan shall specify the services that will be provided or steps that will be taken to facilitate an alternate permanent plan if reunification is not possible.
(c) “Certified family home” means an individual or family certified by a licensed foster family agency and issued a certificate of approval by that agency as meeting licensing standards, and used exclusively by that foster family agency for placements.
(d) “Family home” means the family residence of a licensee in which 24-hour care and supervision are provided for children.
(e) “Small family home” means any residential facility, in the licensee’s family residence, which provides 24-hour care for six or fewer foster children who have mental disorders or developmental or physical disabilities and who require special care and supervision as a result of their disabilities.
(f) “Foster care” means the 24-hour out-of-home care provided to children whose own families are unable or unwilling to care for them, and who are in need of temporary or long-term substitute parenting.
(g) “Foster family agency” means a licensed community care facility, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code. Private foster family agencies shall be organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.
(h) “Group home” means a nondetention privately operated residential home, organized and operated on a nonprofit basis only, of any capacity, or a nondetention licensed residential care home operated by the County of San Mateo with a capacity of up to 25 beds, that accepts children in need of care and supervision in a group home, as defined by paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code.
(i) “Periodic review” means review of a child’s status by the juvenile court or by an administrative review panel, that shall include a consideration of the safety of the child, a determination of the continuing need for placement in foster care, evaluation of the goals for the placement and the progress toward meeting these goals, and development of a target date for the child’s return home or establishment of alternative permanent placement.
(j) “Permanency planning hearing” means a hearing conducted by the juvenile court in which the child’s future status, including whether the child shall be returned home or another permanent plan shall be developed, is determined.
(k) “Placement and care” refers to the responsibility for the welfare of a child vested in an agency or organization by virtue of the agency or organization having (1) been delegated care, custody, and control of a child by the juvenile court, (2) taken responsibility, pursuant to a relinquishment or termination of parental rights on a child, (3) taken the responsibility of supervising a child detained by the juvenile court pursuant to Section 319 or 636, or (4) signed a voluntary placement agreement for the child’s placement; or to the responsibility designated to an individual by virtue of the individual being appointed the child’s legal guardian.
(l) “Preplacement preventive services” means services that are designed to help children remain with their families by preventing or eliminating the need for removal.
(m) “Relative” means an adult who is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand” or the spouse of any of these persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution.
(n) “Nonrelative extended family member” means an adult caregiver who has an established familial or mentoring relationship with the child, as described in Section 362.7.
(o) “Voluntary placement” means an out-of-home placement of a child by (1) the county welfare department, probation department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1, after the parents or guardians have requested the assistance of the county welfare department and have signed a voluntary placement agreement, or (2) the county welfare department licensed public or private adoption agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency, after the parents have requested the assistance of either the county welfare department, the licensed public or private adoption agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency for the purpose of adoption planning, and have signed a voluntary placement agreement.
(p) “Voluntary placement agreement” means a written agreement between either the county welfare department, probation department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1, licensed public or private adoption agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency, and the parents or guardians of a child that specifies, at a minimum, the following:
(1) The legal status of the child.
(2) The rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child, and the agency in which the child is placed.
(q) “Original placement date” means the most recent date on which the court detained a child and ordered an agency to be responsible for supervising the child or the date on which an agency assumed responsibility for a child due to termination of parental rights, relinquishment, or voluntary placement.
(r) (1) “Transitional housing placement provider” means an organization licensed by the State Department of Social Services pursuant to Section 1559.110 of the Health and Safety Code to provide supervised transitional housing services to foster children who are at least 16 years of age. A transitional housing placement provider shall be privately operated and organized on a nonprofit basis.
(2) Prior to licensure, a provider shall obtain certification from the applicable county, in accordance with Section 16522.1.
(s) “Transitional Housing Program-Plus” means a provider certified by the applicable county, in accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 16522, to provide transitional housing services to former foster youth who have exited the foster care system on or after their 18th birthday.
(t) “Whole family foster home” means a resource family, licensed foster family home, approved relative caregiver or nonrelative extended family member’s home, the home of a nonrelated legal guardian whose guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, certified family home, or a host family of a transitional housing placement provider, that provides foster care for a minor or nonminor dependent parent and their child, and is specifically recruited and trained to assist the minor or nonminor dependent parent in developing the skills necessary to provide a safe, stable, and permanent home for the child. The child of the minor or nonminor dependent parent need not be the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Section 300 to qualify for placement in a whole family foster home.
(u) “Mutual agreement” means any of the following:
(1) A written voluntary agreement of consent for continued placement and care in a supervised setting between a minor or, on and after January 1, 2012, a nonminor dependent, and the county welfare services or probation department or tribal agency responsible for the foster care placement, that documents the nonminor’s continued willingness to remain in supervised out-of-home placement under the placement and care of the responsible county, tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that has entered into an agreement with the state pursuant to Section 10553.1, remain under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court as a nonminor dependent, and report any change of circumstances relevant to continued eligibility for foster care payments, and that documents the nonminor’s and social worker’s or probation officer’s agreement to work together to facilitate implementation of the mutually developed supervised placement agreement and transitional independent living case plan.
(2) An agreement, as described in paragraph (1), between a nonminor former dependent or ward in receipt of Kin-GAP payments under Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), and the agency responsible for the Kin-GAP benefits, provided that the nonminor former dependent or ward satisfies the conditions described in Section 11403.01, or one or more of the conditions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403. For purposes of this paragraph and paragraph (3), “nonminor former dependent or ward” has the same meaning as described in subdivision (aa).
(3) An agreement, as described in paragraph (1), between a nonminor former dependent or ward in receipt of AFDC-FC payments under subdivision (e) or (f) of Section 11405 and the agency responsible for the AFDC-FC benefits, provided that the nonminor former dependent or ward described in subdivision (e) of Section 11405 satisfies one or more of the conditions described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and the nonminor described in subdivision (f) of Section 11405 satisfies the secondary school or equivalent training or certificate program conditions described in that subdivision.
(v) “Nonminor dependent” means, on and after January 1, 2012, a foster child, as described in Section 675(8)(B) of Title 42 of the United States Code under the federal Social Security Act who is a current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or who is a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as described in Section 450, and who satisfies all of the following criteria:
(1) The nonminor dependent has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court, and is not more than 19 years of age on or after January 1, 2012, not more than 20 years of age on or after January 1, 2013, or not more than 21 years of age on or after January 1, 2014, and as described in Section 10103.5.
(2) The nonminor dependent is in foster care under the placement and care responsibility of the county welfare department, county probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.
(3) The nonminor dependent has a transitional independent living case plan pursuant to Section 475(8) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)), as contained in the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351), as described in Section 11403.
(w) “Supervised independent living placement” means, on and after January 1, 2012, an independent supervised setting in which the nonminor dependent is living independently, pursuant to Section 472(c) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 672(c)).
(x) “Supervised independent living setting,” pursuant to Section 472(c) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 672(c)), includes all of the following:
(1) A supervised independent living placement, as defined in subdivision (w), and as specified in a nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living case plan.
(2) A residential housing unit certified by the transitional housing placement provider operating a Transitional Housing Placement program for nonminor dependents, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 16522.1.
(3) A transitional living setting approved by the county to support youth who are entering or reentering foster care or transitioning between placements. The short-term independent living setting shall not include a youth homelessness prevention center or an adult homeless shelter. A transitional living setting approved by the county for purposes of this paragraph is not subject to licensing pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (l) of Section 1505 of the Health and Safety Code.
(y) “Transitional independent living case plan” means, on or after January 1, 2012, a child’s case plan submitted for the last review hearing held before the child reaches 18 years of age or the nonminor dependent’s case plan, updated every six months, that describes the goals and objectives of how the nonminor will make progress in the transition to living independently and assume incremental responsibility for adult decisionmaking, the collaborative efforts between the nonminor and the social worker, probation officer, or Indian tribal placing entity and the supportive services as described in the transitional independent living plan (TILP) to ensure active and meaningful participation in one or more of the eligibility criteria described in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, the nonminor’s appropriate supervised placement setting, and the nonminor’s permanent plan for transition to living independently, which includes maintaining or obtaining permanent connections to caring and committed adults, as set forth in paragraph (16) of subdivision (f) of Section 16501.1.
(z) “Voluntary reentry agreement” means a written voluntary agreement between a former dependent child or ward or a former nonminor dependent, who has had juvenile court jurisdiction terminated pursuant to Section 391, 452, or 607.2, and the county welfare or probation department or tribal placing entity that documents the nonminor’s desire and willingness to reenter foster care, to be placed in a supervised setting under the placement and care responsibility of the placing agency, the nonminor’s desire, willingness, and ability to immediately participate in one or more of the conditions of paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, the nonminor’s agreement to work collaboratively with the placing agency to develop their transitional independent living case plan within 60 days of reentry, the nonminor’s agreement to report any changes of circumstances relevant to continued eligibility for foster care payments, and (1) the nonminor’s agreement to participate in the filing of a petition for juvenile court jurisdiction as a nonminor dependent pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 within 15 judicial days of the signing of the agreement and the placing agency’s efforts and supportive services to assist the nonminor in the reentry process, or (2) if the nonminor meets the definition of a nonminor former dependent or ward, as described in subdivision (aa), the nonminor’s agreement to return to the care and support of their former juvenile court-appointed guardian and meet the eligibility criteria for AFDC-FC pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405.
(aa) “Nonminor former dependent or ward” means, on and after January 1, 2012, either of the following:
(1) A nonminor who reached 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement, and for whom dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction has been terminated, and who is still under the general jurisdiction of the court.
(2) A nonminor who is over 18 years of age and, while a minor, was a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court when the guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, or subdivision (d) of Section 728, and the juvenile court dependency or wardship was dismissed following the establishment of the guardianship.
(ab) “Youth homelessness prevention center” means a type of group home, as defined in paragraph (14) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, that is not an eligible placement option under Sections 319, 361.2, 450, and 727, and that is not eligible for AFDC-FC funding pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 11402 or Section 11462.
(ac) “Transition dependent” is a minor between 17 years and five months and 18 years of age who is subject to the court’s transition jurisdiction under Section 450.
(ad) “Short-term residential therapeutic program” means a nondetention, licensed community care facility, as defined in paragraph (18) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, that provides an integrated program of specialized and intensive care and supervision, services and supports, and treatment for the child or youth, when the child’s or youth’s case plan specifies the need for, nature of, and anticipated duration of this specialized treatment. Short-term residential therapeutic programs shall be organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.
(ae) “Resource family” means an approved caregiver, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 16519.5.
(af) “Core Services” mean services, made available to children, youth, and nonminor dependents either directly or secured through agreement with other agencies, which are trauma informed and culturally relevant as specified in Sections 11462 and 11463.

SEC. 3.

 Section 11402.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, as amended by Section 57 of Chapter 11 of the Statutes of 2020, is amended to read:

11402.2.
 (a) Recognizing that transitions to independence involve self-initiated changes in placements, it is the intent of the Legislature that regulations developed regarding the approval of the supervised independent living setting, as defined in subdivision (w) of Section 11400, shall ensure continuity of placement and payment while the nonminor dependent is awaiting approval of their new supervised independent living setting, in accordance with paragraph (2) of subdivision (c) of Section 1524 of the Health and Safety Code.
(b) A county may elect to complete an inspection of a supervised independent living placement to ensure that it meets health and safety standards through methods other than an in-person visit, including, but not limited to, videoconferencing and telephone calls that include pictures of the living space, and may, for the 2020–21 fiscal year, temporarily approve the supervised independent living placement pending the submission of required forms by the nonminor dependent, based on the nonminor dependent’s agreement that the forms will be submitted.
(c) A county may elect to certify that a supervised independent living placement meets health and safety standards once every 12 months, as long as the county has no reason to believe that the health and safety conditions of the housing option have changed. This subdivision does not require that individual placements be certified every 12 months if the same youth remains continuously in the placement.

SEC. 4.

 Section 16001 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16001.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services shall provide technical assistance to encourage and facilitate the county placement agency’s evaluation of placement needs and the development of needed placement resources and programs. County placement agencies shall, on a regular basis, conduct an evaluation of the county’s placement resources and programs in relation to the needs of children and nonminor dependents placed in out-of-home care. County placement agencies shall examine the adequacy of existing placement resources and programs and identify the type of additional placement resources and programs needed. The county placement agency shall specifically examine both of the following:
(1) Placements that are out of county and shall determine the reason the placement was necessary, and identify the additional placement resources and programs which need to be developed and available to allow a child to remain within the county and as close as possible to their home.
(2) The county’s ability to meet the emergency housing needs of nonminor dependents in order to ensure that all nonminor dependents have access to immediate housing upon reentering foster care or for periods of transition between placements.
(b) The department shall also support the development and operation of a consortia of county placement agencies on a regional basis for the purpose of developing specialized programs serving a multicounty area.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the reason for each out-of-county and out-of-state placement be included in the Child Welfare Services Case Management System, and that the State Department of Social Services utilize that data to evaluate out-of-county and out-of-state placements and to assist in the identification of resource and placement needs.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that the State Department of Social Services review the out-of-state placement of children to determine the reason for out-of-state placement. The department shall make the information available to the Legislature upon request.

SEC. 5.

 Section 16522.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

16522.1.
 (a) In order to be licensed as a transitional housing placement provider pursuant to Section 1559.110 of the Health and Safety Code and be eligible for payment of AFDC-FC benefits pursuant to Sections 11403.2 and 11403.3, an applicant shall obtain certification from the applicable county specifying whether the facility will serve foster youth at least 16 years of age and not more than 18 years of age, nonminor dependents, as defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, or both, as follows:
(1) A program serving foster children at least 16 years of age and not more than 18 years of age shall obtain a certification entitled “Transitional Housing Placement program for minor foster children.”
(2) A program serving nonminor dependents at least 18 years of age and not more than 21 years of age shall obtain a certification entitled a “Transitional Housing Placement program for nonminor dependents.”
(b) The certification for the Transitional Housing Placement program for minor foster children shall confirm that the program provides for all of the following:
(1) Admission criteria for participants in the program, including, but not limited to, consideration of the participant’s age, previous placement history, delinquency history, history of drug or alcohol abuse, current strengths, level of education, mental health history, medical history, prospects for successful participation in the program, and work experience. Youth who are wards of the court described in Section 602 and youth receiving psychotropic medications shall be eligible for consideration to participate in the program, and shall not be automatically excluded due to these factors.
(2) The department shall review the admission criteria to ensure that the criteria are sufficient to protect participants and that they do not discriminate on the basis of any characteristic listed or defined in Section 11135 of the Government Code.
(3) Strict employment criteria that include a consideration of the employee’s age, drug or alcohol history, and experience in working with persons in this age group.
(4) A training program designed to educate employees who work directly with participants about the characteristics of persons in this age group placed in long-term care settings, and designed to ensure that these employees are able to adequately supervise and counsel participants and to provide them with training in independent living skills.
(5) A detailed plan for monitoring the placement of persons under the licensee’s care.
(6) A contract between the participant and the licensee that specifically sets out the requirements for each party, and in which the licensee and the participant agree to the requirements of this article.
(7) An allowance to be provided to each participant in the program. In the case of a participant living independently, this allowance shall be sufficient for the participant to purchase food and other necessities.
(8) A system for payment for utilities, telephone, and rent.
(9) Policies regarding all of the following:
(A) Education requirements.
(B) Work expectations.
(C) Savings requirements.
(D) Personal safety.
(E) Visitors, including, but not limited to, visitation by the placement auditor pursuant to paragraph (5).
(F) Emergencies.
(G) Medical problems.
(H) Disciplinary measures.
(I) Childcare.
(J) Pregnancy.
(K) Curfew.
(L) Housing unit cleanliness.
(M) Use of utilities and telephone.
(N) Budgeting.
(O) Care of furnishings.
(P) Decorating of housing units.
(Q) Cars.
(R) Lending or borrowing money.
(S) Unauthorized purchases.
(T) Dating.
(U) Grounds for termination that may include, but shall not be limited to, illegal activities or harboring runaways.
(V) The approval of any nonparticipant roommates.
(10) Housing unit furnishings, and a policy on disposition of the furnishings when the participant completes the program.
(11) Evaluation of the participant’s progress in the program and reporting to the independent living program and to the department regarding that progress.
(12) A linkage to the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 2801 et seq.) program administered in the local area to provide employment training to eligible participants.
(13) Effective January 1, 2013, a program staffing ratio of case manager to participant not to exceed 1 to 12.
(c) The certification for the Transitional Housing Placement program for nonminor dependents shall confirm that the program provides for all of the following:
(1) That the program is needed by the county.
(2) That the transitional housing placement provider is capable of effectively and efficiently operating the program.
(3) That the transitional housing placement provider is willing and able to accept the AFDC-FC-eligible nonminor dependents for placement by the placing agency who need the level of care and services that will be provided by the program.
(4) That the plan of operation is suitable to meet the needs of the identified population.
(5) Maintain a program staffing ratio for nonminor dependents of case manager to participant not to exceed a shared average caseload of 1 to 12, inclusive, with a designated lead case manager assigned to each youth.
(6) That the provider has established a process, which includes the county if the county chooses to participate, to evaluate whether a participant may be placed with a nonparticipant.
(d) (1) A county may continue to approve payment to a transitional housing placement provider for a period of up to 14 days in a calendar month in which the nonminor dependent is absent from the placement if the nonminor dependent provides notice to the transitional housing placement provider that they intend to return to that placement within 14 days or the transitional housing placement provider has reason to believe the nonminor dependent will be returning within 14 days.
(2) If the county continues to pay the board and care costs for up to 14 days during the nonminor dependent’s absence, the transitional housing placement provider shall not provide a removal notice or fill a nonminor dependent’s place in the program.
(3) The State Department of Social Services shall issue guidance encouraging counties to continue to approve payment during temporary absences from the program as a best practice, consistent with federal law, to prevent nonminor dependent housing instability.
(e) For purposes of this section, “applicable county” means the county where the administrative office or subadministrative office of a transitional housing placement provider is located or a primary placing county.

SEC. 6.

 To the extent that this act has an overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a local agency for programs or levels of service mandated by the 2011 Realignment Legislation within the meaning of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California Constitution, it shall apply to local agencies only to the extent that the state provides annual funding for the cost increase. Any new program or higher level of service provided by a local agency pursuant to this act above the level for which funding has been provided shall not require a subvention of funds by the state or otherwise be subject to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.