BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                                  SENATE HUMAN
                               SERVICES COMMITTEE
                          Senator Leland Y. Yee, Chair


          BILL NO:       AB 787                                       
          A
          AUTHOR:        Stone                                        
          B
          VERSION:       March 19, 2013
          HEARING DATE:  June 11, 2013                                
          7
          FISCAL:        No                                           
          8
                                                                      
          7
          CONSULTANT:    Sara Rogers                                 
                                        

                                     SUBJECT
                                         
            Foster Care: California Fostering Connections to Success  
                                      Act

                                     SUMMARY  

          This bill makes technical and clarifying amendments to the  
          California Fostering Connections to Success Act. 

                                     ABSTRACT  

           Existing Law:


           1.Establishes the California Fostering Connections to  
            Success Act, which corresponds with the federal Fostering  
            Connections to Success Act that provided an option for  
            states to receive federal financial participation for  
            nonminor dependents of the juvenile court who satisfy  
            certain conditions.  (AB 12, Beall &Bass, 2010)


          2.Defines "nonminor dependent" as a current or former  
            foster youth who is between the ages of 18 and 21, is in  
            foster care under responsibility of the county welfare  
            department, county probation department, or Indian Tribe,  
                                                         Continued---



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            and is participating in a transitional independent living  
            plan. (WIC 11400 (v))


          3.Defines "nonminor former dependent or ward" as either:


                     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 or;
                     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, as specified, and the juvenile court  
                 dependency or wardship was dismissed following the  
                 establishment of the guardianship. (WIC 11400 (aa))


          1.Defines a "transition dependent" as a minor who is  
            between 17 years and five months of age and 18 years of  
            age, and in foster care, who is subject to the court's  
            transition jurisdiction. (WIC 450)


          2.Provides for the voluntary continuation or reentry into  
            foster care for nonminor dependents who meet general  
            AFDC-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) requirements and when the  
            nonminor youth has signed a voluntary mutual agreement  
            and meets one or more of the following requirements:


                     The nonminor is completing a high school  
                 education or a program leading to an equivalent  
                 credential;


                     The nonminor is enrolled in a postsecondary or  
                 vocational education program;


                     The nonminor is participating in a program or  
                 activity designed to promote, or remove barriers to,  
                 employment;




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                     The nonminor is employed at least 80 hours per  
                 month;


                     The nonminor is incapable of doing any of these  
                 activities due to a medical condition and the  
                 incapacity is supported by regularly updated  
                 information in the case plan of the nonminor  
                 dependent.  (WIC 11403 (b))


          1.Provides that nonminor former dependents are not eligible  
            for re-entry into extended foster care as nonminor  
            dependents of the juvenile court. (WIC 11403 (c))


           This bill:


           1.Clarifies that former nonminor dependents, under the age  
            of 21, who reached permanency through the Kinship  
            Guardianship Assistance Payment Program (Kin-GAP), the  
            Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), or nonrelated legal  
            guardianship (NRLG) but whose guardian, relative or  
            adoptive parent dies before the child reaches age 21 may  
            reenter into extended foster care pursuant to the  
            California Fostering Connections to Success Act.


          2.Permits the juvenile court to order the care, custody,  
            conduct, maintenance and support of a nonminor dependent  
            and permits a probation officer to place a nonminor  
            dependent in any of the following:


                     The approved home of a relative or nonrelative  
                 extended family member.
                     A suitable licensed community care facility.
                     With a foster family agency to be placed in a  
                 licensed foster family home or certified family  
                 home.






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          1.Adds the existing definition of "transition dependent"  
            found in WIC 450 to the list of definitions related to  
            AFDC-Foster Care found in WIC Section 11400.


          2.Exempts a nonrelated legal guardian and a county  
            responsible for the care of a nonminor whose nonrelated  
            legal guardianship was ordered in Probate Court, from  
            case management requirements applicable to AFDC-FC  
            nonrelated legal guardianship.


                                  FISCAL IMPACT  

          The Assembly Appropriations analysis states that costs  
          associated with permitting former nonminor dependents,  
          under the age of 21, whose guardian, adoptive parent or  
          relative dies should be minor and likely offset by  
          administrative savings associated with removing case  
          management requirements for state-only Kin-GAP youth.

                            BACKGROUND AND DISCUSSION  

          According to the author, California's adoption of AB 12  
          (Beall & Bass), which opted California into the federal  
          Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions  
          Act of 2008 included complex and fundamental improvements  
          to the state's child welfare system. The author notes that  
          at the time of adoption, the legislation amounted to 207  
          pages of statutory changes and that cleanup legislation has  
          been needed since adoption to help ensure its successful  
          implementation. The author states that AB 787 is similarly  
          needed to provide additional clean up identified as  
          necessary by county child welfare and probation  
          departments.  


          California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010


           The California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010  
          (AB 12, Beall & Bass, 2010) established a statutory  
          framework for foster youth who reach adulthood while in  
          foster care, and who meet certain requirements, to  
          voluntarily remain in foster care up to age 21. This  




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          legislation corresponds with the federal Fostering  
          Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008  
          (Public Law 110-351), which provided states with the option  
          to receive federal financial participation under  
          kinship-guardianship benefits and/or foster care for  
          eligible nonminor dependents. Since the passage of AB 12,  
          the Legislature has annually adopted cleanup measures  
          including AB 212 (Beall, 2011) and AB 1712 (Beall, 2012),  
          to clarify and correctly implement the Act.


          Additionally, the federal Act permitted states to receive  
          federal reimbursement for the Kin-GAP program, which serves  
          youth who exit the juvenile dependency system to achieve  
          permanency in the home of a relative caregiver. Under the  
          federal Act, Title IV-E eligible relative legal guardians  
          receive a subsidy that is equal to the basic foster care  
          rate. Prior to the federal Act, this program was state-only  
          funded. Relative legal guardians who are not Title IV-E  
          eligible remain in the state-only program. 


          Under the federal Act, foster youth who move into Kin-GAP  
          are eligible for extended foster care benefits only if the  
          youth was over the age of 16 at the time that a Kin-GAP  
          agreement was negotiated. Similarly, the Adoption  
          Assistance Program (AAP) serving foster youth who become  
          adopted provides a federally funded subsidy for Title IV-E  
          eligible families or a state-funded subsidy for families  
          not eligible for Title IV-E. As is the case for Kin-GAP,  
          youth are eligible for extended foster care benefits only  
          if they entered the AAP program after turning 16.


           


          Need for bill


           Foster youth who turn 18 while in foster care, but who do  
          not sign an extended foster care agreement, or who leave  
          foster care voluntarily, are eligible to return to extended  
          foster care until they reach age 21. This bill would permit  
          a youth who achieved permanency through adoption or  




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          guardianship to return to extended foster care if their  
          nonrelated guardian, relative legal guardian or adoptive  
          parent dies before the youth turns 21 years of age.


          Additionally, probation foster youth who turn 18 while  
          serving their probation are also eligible for extended  
          foster care, subject to the requirements of the program.  
          Existing law specifies numerous placement types for  
          nonminor dependents, however did not make similar statutory  
          changes for probation youth. This has meant that probation  
          departments have faced difficulty placing youth in  
          otherwise appropriate placements such as group homes,  
          licensed family homes, transitional living programs that  
          are available to other nonminor dependents. 


           Prior Legislation


           AB 12 (Beall and Bass) Chapter 559, Statutes of 2010,  
          established the California Fostering Connections to Success  
          Act, which extended transitional foster care services to  
          eligible youth between ages 18 and 21 and required  
          California to seek federal financial participation for the  
          Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (Kin-GAP).


          AB 212 (Beal) Chapter 459, Statutes of 2011, made technical  
          and clarifying changes to the California Fostering  
          Connections to Success Act (AB 12).


          AB 1712 (Beall) Chapter 846, Statutes of 2012, made  
          technical and clarifying changes to the California  
          Fostering Connections to Success Act (AB 12).


                                   PRIOR VOTES


           Assembly Floor:          70-0
          Assembly Appropriations: 17-0
          Assembly Judiciary:      10-0
          Assembly Human Services:   7-0 




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                                    POSITIONS  

          Support:       California Welfare Directors Association  
          (Co-sponsor)
                         California Alliance of Child and Family  
          Services (Co-sponsor)
                         Alliance for Children's Rights     
                         Aspira Net
                         Children's Law Center of California
                         California Coalition for Youth
                         California Police Chiefs Association
                         
          Oppose:   None received

                                   -- END --