BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          AB 787 (Stone) - Foster care. 
          
          Amended: June 14, 2013          Policy Vote: HS 6-0, JUD 7-0
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: Yes
          Hearing Date: August 30, 2013                           
          Consultant: Jolie Onodera       
          
          SUSPENSE FILE.
          
          
          Bill Summary: AB 787 would make various changes to the  
          California Fostering Connections to Success Act (the Act) to  
          ensure the continued implementation of the Act, as specified.

          Fiscal Impact: 
              Potential minor state costs for extended foster care and  
              adoption assistance benefits for former nonminor dependents  
              (NMDs) whose guardian, relative, or adoptive parent passed  
              away prior to the NMD's 21st birthday. Annual costs would be  
              in the range of $12,000 to $36,000 (General Fund) per case,  
              depending on the placement type.
              Potentially significant ongoing state costs in the hundreds  
              of thousands to millions of dollars (General Fund) for  
              nonminor dependents placed by probation officers into  
              approved placements not currently authorized under existing  
              law. 
              Increased county administrative costs of about $35,000  
              (General Fund) per year for county assessments conducted 90  
              days prior to a youth's 18th birthday. This estimate assumes  
              a 45-minute assessment at a cost of $57 per youth for 600  
              youth turning 18 per year. 
              Ongoing county cost savings of $2.3 million (2011 Local  
              Revenue Fund) for the removal of case management  
              requirements for NMD placements with NRLGs. This estimate  
              assumes an average of 425 NMDs would not require case  
              management services costs of $450 per case per month.

          Background: The California Fostering Connections to Success Act  
          of 2010, enacted by AB 12 (Beall/Bass) Chapter 559/2010,  
          exercised the state option under the federal Fostering  
          Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008  
          (Public Law 110-351) of extending benefits for youth up to age  
          21 in the Foster Care, Adoption Assistance, and Kinship  
          Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) programs. AB 12  






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          aligned the state's existing Kin-GAP program with requirements  
          in order to draw down federal funds and provided for a  
          three-year phase in of extended benefits up to age 21 that was  
          intended to reduce the upfront costs of program expansion.  
          Significant clean-up legislation was pursued through AB 212  
          (Beall) Chapter 459/2011 and AB 1712 (Beall) Chapter 846/2012 to  
          address various issues identified subsequent to implementation  
          of the initial legislation. This bill makes additional changes  
          to ensure the continued successful implementation of the Act.

          Proposed Law: This bill would make the following changes to the  
          Act, as follows:
              Authorizes re-entry into extended foster care and adoption  
              assistance for former NMDs who reached permanency but whose  
              guardian, relative, or adoptive parent passed away prior to  
              the NMD's 21st birthday.
              Revises foster care disposition statute to authorize  
              probation officers to place NMDs into approved transitional  
              services placements.
              Provides a definition of "transition dependent" to allow  
              these youth subject to the court's transition jurisdiction  
              to be eligible for extended foster care benefits.
              Removes state case management requirements prospectively  
              for nonminors placed with nonrelated legal guardians (NRLGs)  
              to align statute with case management requirements under  
              federal Title IV-E eligible NRLG requirements.
              Clarifies the juvenile court's authority and the process  
              required to terminate dependency for a NMD but maintain  
              jurisdiction over the youth as a nonminor.
              Requires counties to assess a youth in a voluntary  
              placement agreement 90 days prior to the youth's 18th  
              birthday to determine whether a petition for foster care  
              should be filed with the court.
              Makes other clarifying and technical changes.

          Related Legislation: AB 985 (Cooley) 2013 would extend  
          eligibility for extended state Kin-GAP benefits to age 21 to  
          youth who attain 18 years of age while receiving federal or  
          state Kin-GAP benefits and who entered the program prior to  
          reaching the age of 16, subject to specified criteria. This bill  
          is currently on this committee's Suspense File.
          
          Prior Legislation: AB 12 (Beall/Bass) Chapter 559/2010 enacted  
          the California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010, and  
          authorized the state to exercise the option of extending  







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          benefits in the Foster Care, Kin-GAP, Fed-GAP, and AAP to age 21  
          for youth who meet specified criteria. AB 12 also provided for  
          the alignment of the Kin-GAP program with federal requirements  
          in order to receive federal financial participation.

          AB 212 (Beall) Chapter 459/2011, the follow-up legislation to AB  
          12, made various technical and substantive changes to law in  
          order to ensure the proper implementation of the California  
          Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010.

          AB 1712 (Beall) Chapter 846/2012 expanded the definition of  
          "relative" for purposes of both the federal and state-funded  
          Kin-GAP programs to include guardians who are non-related  
          extended family members, tribal kin, or current caregivers of  
          foster children, as specified, and extended eligibility for  
          non-related legal guardian placements to age 21.

          Staff Comments: Authorizing extended foster care and adoption  
          assistance benefits for former NMDs whose guardian, relative, or  
          adoptive parent passed away prior to the NMD's 21st birthday is  
          estimated to result in minor annual costs in the range of  
          $12,000 to $36,000 (General Fund) per case, depending on the  
          placement type.
              
          By expanding the placement options of probation nonminors to  
          include the extended foster care placement types of supervised  
          independent living placements (SILPs) and transitional housing  
          placement (THP-Plus) placements, the provisions of this bill  
          could result in potentially significant ongoing state costs in  
          the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars (General Fund)  
          for nonminors placed by probation officers into approved  
          placements not currently authorized under existing law.  
          According to the Department of Social Services, the THP-Plus  
          placement average cost per case is $3,000 per month and the SILP  
          placement average cost per case is $835 per month. For every 100  
          nonminor dependents under probation supervision that receive  
          placement and care that otherwise would not have occurred,  
          annual costs could range from $1 million to $3.6 million  
          (General Fund).

          This bill would require counties to assess a youth in a  
          voluntary placement agreement 90 days prior to the youth's 18th  
          birthday to determine whether a petition for foster care should  
          be filed with the court. This activity is estimated to result in  
          increased county administrative costs of about $35,000 (General  







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          Fund) per year for county assessments based on a 45-minute  
          assessment at a cost of $57 per youth for 600 youth turning 18  
          years old per year. 

          Removing the state case management requirements prospectively  
          for nonminors placed with NRLGs to align statute with case  
          management requirements under federal Title IV-E requirements is  
          estimated to result in ongoing county cost savings of $2.3  
          million (2011 Local Revenue Fund). This estimate assumes an  
          average of 425 NMDs would not require case management services  
          at a cost of $450 per case per month.

          Prior to Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12, the state and counties  
          contributed to the non-federal share of foster care and child  
          welfare services expenditures. AB 118 (Committee on Budget)  
          Chapter 40/2011 and ABX1 16 Chapter 13/2011 realigned state  
          funding to the counties through the 2011 Local Revenue Fund  
          (LRF) for various programs, including but not limited to foster  
          care and child welfare services. As a result, beginning in FY  
          2011-12 and for each fiscal year thereafter, non-federal funding  
          and expenditures for foster care and child welfare services  
          activities are funded through the 2011 LRF.

          Proposition 30, passed by the voters in November 2012, among  
          other provisions, eliminated any potential mandate funding  
          liability for any new program or higher level of service  
          provided by counties related to the realigned programs. Although  
          the provisions of this bill create a mandate on local agencies,  
          any increased costs would not appear to be subject to  
          reimbursement by the state. Rather, Proposition 30 specifies  
          that for legislation enacted after September 30, 2012, that has  
          an overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a  
          local agency for realigned programs, the provisions shall apply  
          to local agencies only to the extent that the state provides  
          annual funding for the cost increase. As the ongoing county  
          administrative savings ($2.3 million) may not cover the  
          additional costs associated with the requirements of this bill,  
          the provisions of this bill may apply only to the extent that  
          the state provides annual funding for the cost increase.