BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 342
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 14, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                      SB 342 (Yee) - As Amended:  May 24, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             Human  
          ServicesVote:7 - 0 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              Yes

           SUMMARY  

          This bill requires mandated visits by county caseworkers to  
          occur in the group home or foster home of the child. This bill  
          would additionally require county caseworkers to advise the  
          foster child that he or she has the right to request a private  
          discussion outside of the group home or foster home. That  
          private discussion would not replace the mandated visit in the  
          group home or foster home. However, the social worker or  
          probation officer would not be required to schedule an  
          additional visit to accommodate the request. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)GF costs likely in excess of $500,000 to the extent the  
            provisions of this bill result in an extended amount of time  
            per visit for certain cases than otherwise would occur under  
            existing law. 

          2)Proposition 30, passed by the voters in November 2012  
            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 are a mandate on local agencies, any increased costs  
            do 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.  









                                                                  SB 342
                                                                  Page  2

           COMMENTS  

           Background and Purpose  . Current state law requires all foster  
          children placed in group homes by county human services  
          departments or county probation departments to be visited at  
          least monthly by a county social worker or probation officer.  
          Each visit must include a private discussion between the foster  
          child and the county social worker or probation officer, and the  
          discussion is not to be held in the presence or immediate  
          vicinity of the group home staff. Similarly, when a county  
          social worker or probation officer makes a regular visit with a  
          child in any licensed, certified, or approved foster home, the  
          visit must include a private discussion between the foster child  
          and the caseworker, and the discussion may not be held in the  
          presence or immediate vicinity of the foster parent or  
          caregiver.

          According to the California Youth Connection, the sponsor of  
          this measure, recent data from DSS demonstrates that  
          approximately 30% of required social worker visits do not occur  
          at the foster home or group home where the child lives.  This  
          has resulted in circumstances where a particular group home or  
          foster home was not visited by a case worker for an extended  
          period of time. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that  
          visits with social workers take place within the home where the  
          child is placed and that the child has an opportunity to speak  
          privately with his or her social worker outside of the home, if  
          necessary. 

          , 


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081