BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                           Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair

                                          SB 119 (Lowenthal)
          
          Hearing Date: 05/26/2011        Amended: 03/21/2011
          Consultant: Jolie Onodera       Policy Vote: Human Services 7-0
          
















































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          BILL SUMMARY: SB 119 would create a new licensing category for 
          emergency youth shelter facilities serving unaccompanied minors 
          who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This bill 
          requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) to adopt 
          regulations for these facilities by January 1, 2013.
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                            Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions         2011-12      2012-13       2013-14     Fund
           
          New licensing category $50        $350        $200      General
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          STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE. 

          This bill would create a new licensing category within the 
          Community Care Licensing (CCL) Division of the DSS for an 
          "emergency youth shelter facility", defined as a group care 
          facility that provides voluntary temporary emergency shelter and 
          case management to minors and emancipated youth under 18 years 
          of age. As proposed to be amended, the definition will be 
          expanded to include youth who are in high school at 18 years of 
          age and are expected to graduate before their 19th birthday.

          Provisions for licensure set forth in the bill require each 
          facility to offer voluntary short-term shelter care and 
          supervision on a 24-hour basis to unaccompanied minors, be owned 
          and operated on a nonprofit basis, and have a maximum capacity 
          of 25 residents.

          The bill requires DSS to adopt regulations for these facilities 
          by January 1, 2013, to include physical environment standards, 
          including staffing and staff training, health and safety 
          requirements, size limitations, health and hygiene of the 
          facility, service provision, and eligibility to access services. 
          In developing the regulations, DSS is required to consult and 
          convene a meeting with interested parties, including 
          representatives of provider organizations that serve homeless or 
          runaway youth, as well as youth who have accessed emergency 
          youth shelter services. 

          There are approximately 40 emergency youth shelter facilities 








          SB 119 (Lowenthal)
          Page 3

          currently operating in California, however, these facilities are 
          not subject to state licensure under existing law. Several 
          facilities operate under group home licenses (some with 
          exemptions for specific components), but have indicated barriers 
          to serving youth seeking voluntary temporary care due to group 
          home standards developed for non-voluntary, long-term 
          placements. 

          In addition, approximately 33 facilities receive federal grant 
          funding through the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act. Although 
          federal law does not require that grantees 

          be licensed, all grantees must be in compliance with their state 
          and local licensing requirements. This has led to inconsistency 
          and misunderstanding regarding the interpretation of this 
          requirement, potentially jeopardizing the receipt of federal 
          funds. This bill would create uniform statewide criteria and 
          would provide clear, consistent guidelines for facilities and 
          regulators to ensure the continued receipt of federal grant 
          funds.

          DSS indicates four limited-term staff would be required to meet 
          with stakeholders, develop regulations for the new facility 
          category, write operational procedures for field staff, train 
          existing and new staff on new requirements and the criteria for 
          approving new applications, assist with policy development, and 
          update the Licensing Information System and Field Automation 
          System. Total staffing costs of approximately $600,000 would be 
          offset to a minor degree by application and licensure renewal 
          fees collected.
           
          To the extent these facilities are able to provide greater 
          access to services for these youth to reduce homelessness, there 
          could be increased state and local costs for increased services. 
          However, depending on the nature of these services, there may be 
          significant savings to the state and counties in costs 
          associated with crime and social services in the future.