California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 371


Introduced by Assembly Member Mullin

February 17, 2015


An act to amend Sections 11401 and 11450.16 of, and to repeal and add Sections 11201 and 11250 of, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 371, as introduced, Mullin. CalWORKs Family Unity Act of 2016.

Existing law requires each county to provide cash assistance and other social services to needy families through the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program using federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant program, state, and county funds. Existing law requires aid to be granted to a family with a related child under 18 years of age who has been deprived of parental support or care due to the unemployment, continued absence, death, incapacity, or incarceration of a parent. Existing law also provides, however, that a family receiving aid with a child who is considered to be deprived of parental support or care due to unemployment may continue to receive assistance regardless of the number of hours his or her parent works, if the family does not exceed the applicable gross or net income limits and is otherwise eligible for assistance. Existing law requires families to be grouped into assistance units for purposes of determining eligibility and computing the amount of CalWORKs aid to be paid.

This bill would instead require that aid be granted to a family with a related child who is under 18 years of age if the family meets applicable eligibility requirements, without regard to the absence or employment status of the parent. The bill would prohibit, however, an absent parent from being included in the family’s assistance unit for purposes of determining eligibility or computing the amount of aid to be paid, as specified. To the extent that the bill would expand eligibility for the CalWORKs program, which is administered by counties, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would require the department to issue an all-county letter or similar instructions by March 1, 2016 and to adopt regulations to implement the provisions of the bill by July 1, 2018.

Existing law continuously appropriates moneys from the General Fund to defray a portion of county costs under the CalWORKs program.

This bill would instead provide that the continuous appropriation would not be made for purposes of implementing the bill.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to these statutory provisions.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the
2CalWORKs Family Unity Act of 2015.

3

SEC. 2.  

Section 11201 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
4repealed.

begin delete
5

11201.  

For the purposes of this chapter, the following shall
6apply:

7(a) “Unemployed parent” means a natural or adoptive parent
8with whom the child is living.

9(b) A child for whom a parent is applying for assistance under
10this chapter shall be considered to be deprived of parental support
11or care due to the unemployment of his or her parent or parents
12when the parent has worked less than 100 hours in the preceding
13four weeks and meets the requirements concerning an unemployed
14parent in effect on August 21, 1996, as set forth in Section 233.100
P3    1of Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations except for the
2provisions of subparagraph (i) to (v), inclusive, of paragraph (3)
3of subsection (a) of that section.

4(c) A family receiving aid under this chapter with a child who
5is considered to be deprived of parental support or care due to
6unemployment may continue to receive assistance regardless of
7the number of hours his or her parent works provided the family
8does not exceed the applicable gross or net income limits and is
9otherwise eligible for assistance.

end delete
10

SEC. 3.  

Section 11201 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
11Code
, to read:

12

11201.  

For purposes of this chapter, “parent” means a natural
13or adoptive parent with whom an eligible child is living.

14

SEC. 4.  

Section 11250 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
15repealed.

begin delete
16

11250.  

Aid, services, or both shall be granted under the
17provisions of this chapter, and subject to the regulations of the
18department, to families with related children under the age of 18
19years, except as provided in Section 11253, in need thereof because
20they have been deprived of parental support or care due to:

21(a) The death, physical or mental incapacity, or incarceration
22of a parent.

23(b) The unemployment of a parent or parents.

24(c) Continued absence of a parent from the home due to divorce,
25separation, desertion, or any other reason, except absence
26occasioned solely by reason of the performance of active duty in
27the uniformed services of the United States. “Continued absence”
28exists when the nature of the absence is such as either to interrupt
29or to terminate the parent’s functioning as a provider of
30maintenance, physical care, or guidance for the child, and the
31known or indefinite duration of the absence precludes counting
32on the parent’s performance of the function of planning for the
33present support or care of the child. If these conditions exist, the
34parent may be absent for any reason, and may have left only
35recently or some time previously.

end delete
36

SEC. 5.  

Section 11250 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
37Code
, to read:

38

11250.  

Aid, services, or both shall be granted under this
39chapter, and subject to the regulations of the department, to families
40with related children under 18 years of age, except as provided in
P4    1Section 11253, in need thereof, if the family meets the eligibility
2requirements specified in this chapter.

3

SEC. 6.  

Section 11401 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
4amended to read:

5

11401.  

Aid in the form of AFDC-FC shall be provided under
6this chapter on behalf of any child under 18 years of age, and, on
7and after January 1, 2012, to any nonminor dependent who meets
8the conditions of any of the following subdivisions:

9(a) The child has been relinquished, for purposes of adoption,
10to a licensed adoption agency, or the department, or the parental
11rights of either or both of his or her parents have been terminated
12after an action under the Family Code has been brought by a
13licensed adoption agency or the department, provided that the
14licensed adoption agency or the department, if responsible for
15placement and care, provides to those children all services as
16required by the department to children in foster care.

17(b) The child has been removed from the physical custody of
18his or her parent, relative, or guardian as a result of a voluntary
19placement agreement or a judicial determination that continuance
20in the home would be contrary to the child’s welfare and that, if
21the child was placed in foster care, reasonable efforts were made,
22consistent with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of
23Part 4, to prevent or eliminate the need for removal of the child
24from his or her home and to make it possible for the child to return
25to his or her home, and any of the following applies:

26(1) The child has been adjudged a dependent child of the court
27on the grounds that he or she is a person described by Section 300.

28(2) The child has been adjudged a ward of the court on the
29grounds that he or she is a person described by Sections 601 and
30602, or, on or after January 1, 2012, the nonminor is under the
31transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Section
32450.

33(3) The child has been detained under a court order, pursuant
34to Section 319 or 636, that remains in effect.

35(4) The child’s or nonminor’s dependency jurisdiction, or
36transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 450, has resumed
37pursuant to Section 387, or subdivision (a) or (e) of Section 388.

38(c) The child has been voluntarily placed by his or her parent
39or guardian pursuant to Section 11401.1.

40(d) The child is living in the home of a nonrelated legal guardian.

P5    1(e) On and after January 1, 2012, the child is a nonminor
2dependent who is placed pursuant to a mutual agreement as set
3forth in subdivision (u) of Section 11400, under the placement and
4care responsibility of the county child welfare services department,
5an Indian tribe that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section
610553.1, or the county probation department, or the child is a
7nonminor dependent reentering foster care placement pursuant to
8a voluntary agreement, as set forth in subdivision (z) of Section
911400.

10(f) The child has been placed in foster care under the federal
11Indian Child Welfare Act. Sections 11402, 11404, and 11405 shall
12not be construed as limiting payments to Indian children, as defined
13in the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, placed in accordance with
14that act.

15(g) To be eligible for federal financial participation, the
16conditions described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) shall be
17satisfied:

18(1) (A) The child meets the conditions of subdivision (b).

19(B) The child has been deprived of parental support orbegin delete care for
20any of the reasons set forth in Section 11250.end delete
begin insert care for any of the
21reasons set forth in Section 233.90 (c)(1) of title 42 of the code of
22Federal Regulations..end insert

23(C) The child has been removed from the home of a relative as
24defined in Section 233.90(c)(1) of Title 45 of the Code of Federal
25Regulations, as amended.

26(D) The requirements of Sections 671 and 672 of Title 42 of
27the United States Code, as amended, have been met.

28(2) (A) The child meets the requirements of subdivision (h).

29(B) The requirements of Sections 671 and 672 of Title 42 of
30the United States Code, as amended, have been met.

31(C) This paragraph shall be implemented only if federal financial
32participation is available for the children described in this
33paragraph.

34(3) (A) The child has been removed from the custody of his or
35her parent, relative, or guardian as a result of a voluntary placement
36agreement or a judicial determination that continuance in the home
37would be contrary to the child’s welfare and that, if the child was
38placed in foster care, reasonable efforts were made, consistent with
39Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 16500) of Part 4, to prevent
40or eliminate the need for removal of the child from his or her home
P6    1and to make it possible for the child to return to his or her home,
2or the child is a nonminor dependent who satisfies the removal
3criteria in Sectionbegin delete 472(a)(2)(A)(i))end deletebegin insert 472(a)(2)(A)(i)end insert of the federal
4Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 672 (a)(2)(A)(i)) and agrees
5to the placement and care responsibility of the placing agency by
6signing the voluntary reentry agreement, as set forth in subdivision
7(z) of Section 11400, and any of the following applies:

8(i) The child has been adjudged a dependent child of the court
9on the grounds that he or she is a person described by Section 300.

10(ii) The child has been adjudged a ward of the court on the
11grounds that he or she is a person described by Sections 601 and
12602 or, on or after January 1, 2012, the nonminor is under the
13transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court, pursuant to Section
14450.

15(iii) The child has been detained under a court order, pursuant
16to Section 319 or 636, that remains in effect.

17(iv) The child’s or nonminor’s dependency jurisdiction, or
18transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 450, has resumed
19pursuant to Section 387, or subdivision (a) or (e) of Section 388.

20(B) The child has been placed in an eligible foster care
21placement, as set forth in Section 11402.

22(C) The requirements of Sections 671 and 672 of Title 42 of
23the United States Code have been satisfied.

24(D) This paragraph shall be implemented only if federal financial
25participation is available for the children described in this
26paragraph.

27(4) With respect to a nonminor dependent, in addition to meeting
28the conditions specified in paragraph (1), the requirements of
29Section 675(8)(B) of Title 42 of the United States Code have been
30satisfied. With respect to a former nonminor dependent who
31reenters foster care placement by signing the voluntary reentry
32agreement, as set forth in subdivision (z) of Section 11400, the
33requirements for AFDC-FC eligibility of Section 672(a)(3)(A) of
34Title 42 of the United States Code are satisfied based on the
35nonminor’s status as a child-only case, without regard to the
36parents, legal guardians, or others in the assistance unit in the home
37from which the nonminor was originally removed.

38(h) The child meets all of the following conditions:

P7    1(1) The child has been adjudged to be a dependent child or ward
2of the court on the grounds that he or she is a person described in
3 Section 300, 601, or 602.

4(2) The child’s parent also has been adjudged to be a dependent
5child or nonminor dependent of the court on the grounds that he
6or she is a person described by Section 300, 450, 601, or 602 and
7is receiving benefits under this chapter.

8(3) The child is placed in the same licensed or approved foster
9care facility in which his or her parent is placed and the child’s
10parent is receiving reunification services with respect to that child.

11

SEC. 7.  

Section 11450.16 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
12 is amended to read:

13

11450.16.  

(a) For purposes of determining eligibility under
14this chapter, and for computing the amount of aid payment under
15Section 11450, families shall be grouped into assistance units.

16(b) Every assistance unit shall include at least one of the
17following persons:

18(1) One of each of the following:

19(A) An eligible child.

20(B) The caretaker relative of an otherwise eligible child who is
21not receiving aid under Section 11250 because that child is
22receiving benefits under Title XVI of the Social Security Act
23(Subchapter 16 (commencing with Section 1381) of Chapter 7 of
24Title 42 of the United States Code), or Kin-GAP payments under
25Section 11364 or 11387, or foster care payments under Section
2611461.

27(2) A pregnant woman who is eligible for payments under
28subdivision (c) of Section 11450.

29(c) Every assistance unit shall, in addition to the requirements
30of subdivision (b), include the eligible parents of the eligible child
31and the eligible siblings, including half-siblings, of the eligible
32child when those persons reside in the same home as the eligible
33child. This subdivision shall not apply to any convicted offender
34who is permitted to reside at the home of the eligible child as part
35of a court-imposed sentence and who is considered an absent parent
36underbegin delete Section 11250end deletebegin insert subdivision (d)end insert.

begin insert

37(d) A parent shall not be included in the assistance unit if he or
38she is absent from the home due to divorce, separation, desertion,
39or any other reason, if his or her absence interrupts or terminates
40the parent’s functioning as a provider of maintenance, physical
P8    1care, or guidance for the child, and the known or indefinite
2duration of the absence precludes counting on the parent’s
3performance of the function of planning for the present support
4or care of the child. If these conditions exist, the parent may be
5absent for any reason, and may have left only recently or some
6time previously.

end insert
begin delete

7(d)

end delete

8begin insert(e)end insert An assistance unit may, at the option of the family
9comprising the assistance unit, also include the nonparent caretaker
10relative of the eligible child, the spouse of the parent of the eligible
11child, otherwise eligible nonsibling children in the care of the
12caretaker relative of the eligible child, and the alternatively
13sentenced offender parent exempted under subdivision (c).

begin delete

14(e)

end delete

15begin insert(f)end insert If two or more assistance units reside in the same home, they
16shall be combined into one assistance unit when any of the
17following circumstances occurs:

18(1) There is a common caretaker relative for the eligible
19 children.

20(2) One caretaker relative marries another caretaker relative.

21(3) Two caretaker relatives are the parents of an eligible child.

begin delete

22(f)

end delete

23begin insert(g)end insert For purposes of this section, “caretaker relative” means the
24parent or other relative, as defined by regulations adopted by the
25department, who exercises responsibility and control of a child.

26

SEC. 8.  

(a) Notwithstanding the Administrative Procedure
27Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of
28Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the State
29Department of Social Services shall implement this act through
30an all-county letter or similar instructions from the director no later
31than March 1, 2016.

32(b) The department shall adopt regulations as necessary to
33implement this act no later than July 1, 2018.

34

SEC. 9.  

No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the
35Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of
36implementing this act.

37

SEC. 10.  

If the Commission on State Mandates determines
38that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
39to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
P9    1pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
24 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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