BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 868 (Ammiano)
          As Introduced February 21, 2013
          Majority vote 

           JUDICIARY           8-2         APPROPRIATIONS      12-5        
           
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Ayes:|Wieckowski, Alejo, Chau,  |Ayes:|Gatto, Bocanegra,         |
          |     |Dickinson, Garcia,        |     |Bradford,                 |
          |     |Maienschein, Muratsuchi,  |     |Ian Calderon, Campos,     |
          |     |Stone                     |     |Eggman, Gomez, Hall,      |
          |     |                          |     |Ammiano, Pan, Quirk,      |
          |     |                          |     |Weber                     |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Wagner, Gorell            |Nays:|Harkey, Bigelow,          |
          |     |                          |     |Donnelly, Linder, Wagner  |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           SUMMARY  :  Seeks to integrate gender identity, sexual  
          orientation, and cultural competency and sensitivity curriculum  
          relating to providing adequate care to lesbian, gay, bisexual,  
          and transgender (LGBT) youth into existing judicial training  
          programs.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Requires that training programs for judges, referees,  
            commissioners, mediators, and others who perform duties in  
            family law matters include instruction in all aspects of  
            family law, including the effects of gender identity and  
            sexual orientation on family law proceedings.

          2)Requires that training programs for appointed counsel for a  
            child include instruction on cultural competency and  
            sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing  
            adequate care to LGBT youth.

          3)Requires that initial and ongoing training programs to all  
            persons acting as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA)  
            include cultural competency and sensitivity relating to, and  
            best practices for, providing adequate care to LGBT youth.  
           
          FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, cost for the Administrative Office of the Courts  








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          (AOC) to incorporate the required elements into existing  
          training programs will be minor and absorbable.
                                          
           COMMENTS  :  This bill seeks to integrate gender identity, sexual  
          orientation, and cultural competency and sensitivity curriculum  
          relating to providing adequate care to LGBT youth into existing  
          judicial training programs.  This bill is designed to provide  
          court professionals with the education and training needed to  
          better understand the intricately different cultural impacts  
          LGBT youth experience.  

          The author states that "LGBT youth are disproportionately  
          targeted for harassment and discrimination in the child welfare  
          system.  This abuse is perpetrated not only by youth peers, but  
          in some cases by facility staff, and other service providers  
          [including] foster parents, relative caregivers, and the courts.  
           By providing judges, court appointed [youth counsel] and CASAs  
          with training specific to LGBT youth and guidance on proper  
          measures the courts should take to ensure a supportive and safe  
          environment, we can reduce the discrimination that some LGBT  
          foster youth experience and impose outcomes for these youth."

          According to information provided by the author, there is a  
          disproportionate amount of LGBT youth in foster care because of  
          the additional discrimination and abuse LGBT youth face in their  
          families of origin and in their communities.  While it is  
          impossible to determine the exact number of LGBT youth in the  
          foster care system, recent studies suggest that LGBT youth make  
          up almost 18% of the total foster youth population.  However,  
          the actual percentage may be even higher since many do not  
          disclose their gender identity or sexual orientation for fear of  
          continued discrimination and harassment.  

          Current law, supported previously by the Judicial Council,  
          requires that the Judicial Council implement training programs  
          for judges, referees, commissioners, mediators, and others who  
          perform duties in family law matters that include instruction in  
          all aspects of family law, including the effects of gender on  
          family law proceedings.  This bill requires that the training  
          also include the effects of gender identity and sexual  
          orientation on family law proceedings.  Additionally, training  
          conducted by the Judicial Council for appointed counsel for a  
          child who is not represented by counsel in juvenile dependency  
          proceedings, under the bill, would be required to include a  








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          curriculum that also includes instruction on cultural competency  
          and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing  
          adequate care to LGBT youth.  Likewise, initial and ongoing  
          training required for persons acting as a CASA covers various  
          topics, including but not limited to child development, under  
          the bill, would be required to include a curriculum that also  
          includes instruction on cultural competency and sensitivity  
          relating to, and best practices for, providing adequate care to  
          LGBT youth.  
           
           California's Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits  
          discrimination or harassment on the basis of, including but not  
          limited to, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender  
          expression.  Additionally, under the Foster Care  
          Anti-Discrimination Act of 2003, for example, all foster youth  
          in California have the right to have fair and equal access to  
          all available child welfare services, placement, care,  
          treatment, and benefits, and to not be subjected to  
          discrimination or harassment on the basis of, including but not  
          limited to, sexual orientation and gender identity.  Because  
          training is crucial to enable service providers to fulfill their  
          responsibilities to provide safe and nondiscriminatory care,  
          placement and services to foster youth, existing law mandates  
          initial and ongoing training for all group home administrators,  
          licensed foster parents, relative or nonrelative extended family  
          member caregivers, and department licensing personnel.  

          Furthermore, this measure is consistent with AB 1856 (Ammiano),  
          Chapter 639, Statutes of 2012, which required the training for  
          administrators of a group home facility, licensed foster  
          parents, and relative or nonrelative extended family member  
          caregivers to also include instruction on cultural competency  
          and sensitivity relating to, and best practices for, providing  
          adequate care to LGBT youth in out-of-home care.  This bill  
          extends these training requirements to judicial employees.  


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Drew Liebert / JUD. / (916) 319-2334 


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