AB 1133, as amended, Mitchell. Foster children: special health care needs.
Under existing law, the State Department of Social Services licenses foster families, and the department and each county provide assistance to foster parents of low-income children under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC) program. Existing law requires the department to develop a program, to be administered by the department and county social services departments, for the establishment of foster care homes for children with special health care needs with foster parents trained by health care professionals pursuant to the discharge plan of the facility releasing the child being placed in, or currently in, foster care. Existing law requires each county department of social services to develop a specified plan for foster care placement of children with special health care needs.
This bill would require that, when determining the placement of a foster child who is medically fragile, as defined, priority consideration be given to placement with a foster parent who is an individual nurse provider, as defined, who provides health services under the federal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment program, but that this priority consideration be subordinate to the preference granted to a relative of the child, in accordance with federal law.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the
3(a) There are growing numbers of medically fragile infants
4entering the foster care system.
5(b) Local resources have been, and continue to be, strained to
6the limit in providing services to the expanding number of these
7and other medically fragile foster children.
8(c) These children are harder to place with the typical foster
9parent because of their special needs, and they become forgotten
10members of our society.
11(d) Encouraging trained nurses to be foster parents for medically
12fragile infants and children results in more positive outcomes for
13these placements. The children placed with trained nurses receive
14consistent medical care, and benefit from the home environment
15and the relationship with the foster family.
Section 17739 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
17Code, to read:
(a) When determining the placement of a foster child
19who is medically fragile, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section
201760.2 of the Health and Safety Code, priority consideration shall
21be given to placement with a foster parent who is an individual
P3 1nurse provider, as defined in subdivision (m) of Section 14043.26
2of the Welfare and Institutions Code, who provides health services
3under the federal Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and
4Treatment program (Section 1396d(a)(4)(B) of Title 42 of the
5United States Code).
6(b) The priority consideration described in subdivision (a) shall
7be subordinate to the preference granted to a relative of the child
8under Section 361.3, in accordance with Section 671(a)(19) of
9Title 42 of the United States Code.
10(c) This section does not prohibit a child welfare agency or the
11juvenile court from placing a medically fragile foster child in a
12specialized foster care home with appropriate support services or
13another appropriate placement if it is deemed to be in the best
14interest of the child.