Legislation

CHAPTERED/APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR

CA-governor-sealCONDENSED VERSION LEGISLATIVE BILLS 2013/2014

AB 1108, Perea. Sex offenders: foster care homes: prohibitions./

This bill would, subject to exception, prohibit any person who is required to register as a sex offender, based upon the commission of an offense against a minor, from residing, working, or volunteering in specified foster homes or facilities, as provided. The bill would provide that violation of the prohibition is a misdemeanor.

By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

AB 216, Stone. High school graduation requirements: pupils in foster care.

This bill would require a school district to exempt a pupil in foster care who transfers between schools any time after the completion of the pupil’s 2nd year of high school from all coursework and other requirements adopted by the governing board of the school district that are in addition to the statewide coursework requirements for graduation, unless the school district makes a finding that the pupil is reasonably able to complete the school district’s graduation requirements in time to graduate from high school by the end of the pupil’s 4th year of high school. The bill would require a school district that determines that a pupil in foster care is reasonably able to complete the school district’s graduation requirements within the pupil’s 5th year of high school to take specified actions, including permitting the pupil to stay in school for a 5th year to complete the graduation requirements. The bill would allow either the number of credits the pupil has earned to date or the length of the pupil’s school enrollment to be used to determine whether the pupil is in the 3rd or 4th year of high school, whichever would qualify the pupil for the exemption. The bill would require the school district to notify, within 30 calendar days of the transfer, a pupil in foster care who may qualify for the exemption, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, and the pupil’s social worker, of the availability of the exemption and whether the pupil qualifies for the exemption. The bill would require the school district to notify the pupil, and the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, of the effect the waived requirements will have on the pupil’s ability to gain admission to postsecondary educational institutions. The bill would prohibit a school or school district from requiring or requesting that the pupil graduate before the end of his or her 4th year of high school if a pupil is exempted and completes the statewide coursework requirements before the end of his or her 4th year in high school and the pupil is otherwise entitled to remain in attendance at the school, and from requiring or requesting a pupil in foster care to transfer schools in order to qualify the pupil for an exemption. The bill would specify that an eligible pupil shall not be required to accept the exemption or be denied enrollment in or the ability to complete courses for which he or she is otherwise eligible. The bill would prohibit a pupil in foster care, the person holding the right to make educational decisions for the pupil, the pupil’s social worker, or the pupil’s probation officer from requesting a transfer solely to qualify the pupil for an exemption.

By requiring school districts to perform additional duties in complying with the exemption requirement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

AB 787, Stone. Foster care.

This bill would authorize the court to order a nonminor dependent to reside in the home of the parent or former guardian if the court determines the nonminor dependent may safely reside in that home and to terminate or continue jurisdiction, as specified. The bill would require the court to hold periodic hearings for a nonminor dependent residing in that home and would require the social worker or probation officer to file a report describing the services offered to the family and the progress made by the family, as specified. By imposing new duties on social workers and probation officers, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would authorize, on and after January 1, 2014, a nonminor who has not attained 21 years of age to petition a specified court for a hearing to determine whether to assume dependency jurisdiction over him or her if he or she received public assistance after attaining 18 years of age, as specified, and the nonminor’s former guardian or guardians or adoptive parent or parents died after he or she attained 18 years of age, but before he or she attains 21 years of age. The bill would require the juvenile court in which the petition was filed to order a hearing within 15 judicial days of filing if there is a prima facie showing that the nonminor meets certain eligibility criteria. The bill would require the court, prior to the hearing, to order the county child welfare or probation department to prepare a report that addresses the nonminor’s educational or vocational plans, as specified, and recommendations for his or her placement. The bill would authorize the court to assume dependency jurisdiction over a former dependent or ward if, among other things, the nonminor intends and agrees to satisfy certain educational or vocational requirements and signs a voluntary reentry agreement. The bill would require the agency made responsible for the nonminor’s placement and care to prepare a new transitional independent living case plan for the nonminor within 60 calendar days of the date the nonminor signs the voluntary reentry agreement and to submit the plan to the court for review, as specified. By imposing new duties on social workers and probation officers, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would define a “transition dependent” for purposes of these provisions to mean a minor who is between 17 years and 5 months of age and 18 years of age who is subject to the court’s transition jurisdiction and would make other conforming and related changes.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

SB1136, Introduced 2/20/14 Huff/Mitchell

Certain arrests and all convictions, other than minor traffic violations, require an exemption to allow an individual to be employed by an FFA. Individuals convicted of serious violent crimes are not eligible for an exemption. An exemption may be granted by CDSS only when, after reviewing the person’s record, there is substantial and convincing evidence to support a reasonable belief that the person convicted of the crime is of good character to justify issuance of the exemption. Even though child safety is a top priority for all child welfare workers, county welfare agencies are required to place children in “safe homes” with limited information.
Recent accounts of abuse and 4 child deaths within private foster family agencies tragically demonstrate with urgency, the need to change current law.

WHY SB 1136 IS NEEDED

Currently, county child welfare agencies, such as the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), do not have access to a listing of all foster parents and employees who have received a criminal history exemption granted by CDSS. • County child welfare agencies cannot obtain critical information such as the background of criminal history exemption without this statutory change to establish a thorough evaluation prior to placing a child in the FFA Home and monitoring the child’s placement at the FFA and other placements. • SB 1136 would permit CDSS to share criminal history exemption information of foster care providers with county child welfare agencies.
SB 909, Introduced,Pavley. Dependent children: health screenings

Existing law provides that a child may become a dependent child of the juvenile court under certain circumstances, including in cases of abuse and neglect. Existing law authorizes a peace officer, without a warrant, to take a minor into temporary custody when there is reasonable cause to believe the minor comes within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. Under existing law, a social worker is required to acquire the consent of a parent or permission from the court to authorize medical, surgical, dental, or other remedial care to a child who is in temporary custody. Existing law permits, under specified emergency conditions, a licensed physician to provide emergency medical, surgical, or other remedial care to a child in temporary custody without the consent of a parent or permission from the court.

This bill would additionally permit a social worker to authorize an initial medical, dental, and mental health screening of a child in temporary custody, without parental consent or a court order. The bill would also add mental health treatment to the medical and dental care that may be authorized for a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court, who is in temporary custody, or for whom a dependency petition has been filed.