Amended in Assembly April 13, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 28, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1879


Introduced by Assembly Member McCarty

February 10, 2016


An act to amend Sections 361.5, 366, 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, 366.3, 706.5, 706.6, 727.2, 727.3, 11400, 16501, and 16501.1 of, and to add Section 371 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to foster youth.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1879, as amended, McCarty. Foster youth: permanency.

Existing law provides that a minor may be removed from the physical custody of his or her parents if there is a substantial danger to the physical health of the child or the child is suffering severe emotional damage and there are no reasonable means to protect the child without removing him or her. Additionally, a minor who is in wardship proceedings may be removed from the physical custody of his or her parents if the court finds that one of several facts is present, including that the parent or guardian has failed to provide proper maintenance, training, and education for the minor. When a minor is removed from the physical custody of his or her parents in dependency or wardship proceedings, existing law generally requires that reunification services be provided to the minor and his or her family. Existing law also provides for periodic status review hearings, at which the court is required to return a minor to the physical custody of his or her parents unless the court makes specified findings.

Existing law requires, if a minor is not returned to the physical custody of his or her parents, the juvenile court to devise a permanency plan, including, among others things, an order that the child be placed for adoption, an order that a legal guardian be appointed, or an order that the child remain in another planned permanent living arrangement if the child is 16 years of age or older. Existing law requires, prior to ordering a dependent child to remain in another planned permanent living arrangement as his or her permanent plan, the court to make a finding that the child is not a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept legal guardianship.

This bill would require the court to order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined, to a child who does not have a permanent plan of adoption and who is not placed with a fit and willing relative, or who is 16 years of age or older and placed in another planned permanent living arrangement. The bill would also authorize the court to order these services for a nonminor dependent in another planned permanent living arrangement. The bill would require the case plan for the child to identify the child-centered specialized permanency services to bebegin delete provided,end deletebegin insert providedend insert and would require the court to review the child-centered specialized permanency services that have been provided to the child, as specified.

The bill would also require, in any case in which the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer to provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or guardians specified mental health treatment information.

By expanding the duties of social workers and probation officers with regard to the provision of child welfare services, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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

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

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(1) As of September 30, 2014, there were 62,545 California
4children living in the foster care system, with 16,561 children, or
5approximately 26 percent, in foster care for over three years, and
69,780 children, or approximately 16 percent, in foster care for over
7five years. Adult outcomes are often poor for the children who
8emancipate from foster care without a permanent family. Within
9two years of exiting the foster care system, approximately 50
10percent of former foster youth will be homeless, in prison,
11victimized, or dead.

12(2) Families committing to adoption or guardianship of children
13in foster care may face challenges unique to the adoption or
14guardianship experience that result from the trauma of the child’s
15adverse childhood experiences. These challenges can create stress
16that puts the adoption or guardianship at risk of disruption and
17potentially results in the child’s reentry into the foster care system.

18(3) Provisions of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and
19Strengthening Families Act (Public Law 113-183) address the need
20to enhance efforts to improve permanency outcomes for older
21children in care by eliminating the use of other planned permanent
22living arrangements as a permanent plan for children under 16
23years of age.

24(4) The new federal law also requires documentation of intensive
25and ongoing efforts to achieve permanence for youth with a case
26plan for another planned permanent living arrangement, and adds
27additional case plan and case plan review system requirements for
28children 16 years of age and older.

29(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to
30improve permanency outcomes and stability for older children in
31foster care by doing the following:

32(1) Improving the stability of adoptive and guardianship families
33by requiring the State Department of Social Services, county
34adoption agencies, county child welfare agencies, and licensed
35adoption agencies to provide potential adoptive families and
36guardians information, in writing, regarding the importance of
37working with mental health providers that have specialized
38adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the
P4    1family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable
2clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an
3adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional.

4(2) Improving permanency outcomes for children in foster care
5by requiring child-centered, specialized permanency services for
6children whose reunification services have been terminated, who
7are not placed with a fit and willing relative, and who are
8considered unlikely to achieve a permanent family.

9

SEC. 2.  

Section 361.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
10amended to read:

11

361.5.  

(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), or when the
12parent has voluntarily relinquished the child and the relinquishment
13has been filed with the State Department of Social Services, or
14upon the establishment of an order of guardianship pursuant to
15 Section 360, or when a court adjudicates a petition under Section
16329 to modify the court’s jurisdiction from delinquency jurisdiction
17to dependency jurisdiction pursuant to subparagraph (A) of
18paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 607.2 and the parents
19or guardian of the ward have had reunification services terminated
20under the delinquency jurisdiction, whenever a child is removed
21from a parent’s or guardian’s custody, the juvenile court shall order
22the social worker to provide child welfare services to the child and
23the child’s mother and statutorily presumed father or guardians.
24Upon a finding and declaration of paternity by the juvenile court
25or proof of a prior declaration of paternity by any court of
26competent jurisdiction, the juvenile court may order services for
27the child and the biological father, if the court determines that the
28services will benefit the child.

29(1) Family reunification services, when provided, shall be
30provided as follows:

31(A) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (C), for a
32child who, on the date of initial removal from the physical custody
33of his or her parent or guardian, was three years of age or older,
34court-ordered services shall be provided beginning with the
35dispositional hearing and ending 12 months after the date the child
36 entered foster care as provided in Section 361.49, unless the child
37is returned to the home of the parent or guardian.

38(B) For a child who, on the date of initial removal from the
39physical custody of his or her parent or guardian, was under three
40years of age, court-ordered services shall be provided for a period
P5    1of six months from the dispositional hearing as provided in
2subdivision (e) of Section 366.21, but no longer than 12 months
3from the date the child entered foster care as provided in Section
4361.49 unless the child is returned to the home of the parent or
5guardian.

6(C) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group
7together in a permanent home should reunification efforts fail, for
8a child in a sibling group whose members were removed from
9parental custody at the same time, and in which one member of
10the sibling group was under three years of age on the date of initial
11removal from the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian,
12court-ordered services for some or all of the sibling group may be
13limited as set forth in subparagraph (B). For the purposes of this
14paragraph, “a sibling group” shall mean two or more children who
15are related to each other as full or half siblings.

16(2) Any motion to terminate court-ordered reunification services
17prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21
18for a child described by subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), or
19prior to the hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section
20366.21 for a child described by subparagraph (B) or (C) of
21paragraph (1), shall be made pursuant to the requirements set forth
22in subdivision (c) of Section 388. A motion to terminate
23court-ordered reunification services shall not be required at the
24hearing set pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 if the
25court finds by clear and convincing evidence one of the following:

26(A) That the child was removed initially under subdivision (g)
27of Section 300 and the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown.

28(B) That the parent has failed to contact and visit the child.

29(C) That the parent has been convicted of a felony indicating
30parental unfitness.

31(3) (A) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of
32paragraph (1), court-ordered services may be extended up to a
33maximum time period not to exceed 18 months after the date the
34child was originally removed from physical custody of his or her
35parent or guardian if it can be shown, at the hearing held pursuant
36to subdivision (f) of Section 366.21, that the permanent plan for
37the child is that he or she will be returned and safely maintained
38in the home within the extended time period. The court shall extend
39the time period only if it finds that there is a substantial probability
40that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her
P6    1parent or guardian within the extended time period or that
2reasonable services have not been provided to the parent or
3guardian. In determining whether court-ordered services may be
4extended, the court shall consider the special circumstances of an
5incarcerated or institutionalized parent or parents, parent or parents
6court-ordered to a residential substance abuse treatment program,
7or a parent who has been arrested and issued an immigration hold,
8detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security,
9or deported to his or her country of origin, including, but not
10limited to, barriers to the parent’s or guardian’s access to services
11and ability to maintain contact with his or her child. The court
12shall also consider, among other factors, good faith efforts that the
13parent or guardian has made to maintain contact with the child. If
14the court extends the time period, the court shall specify the factual
15basis for its conclusion that there is a substantial probability that
16the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her
17parent or guardian within the extended time period. The court also
18shall make findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366 and
19subdivision (e) of Section 358.1.

20(B) When counseling or other treatment services are ordered,
21the parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those
22services, unless the parent’s or guardian’s participation is deemed
23by the court to be inappropriate or potentially detrimental to the
24child, or unless a parent or guardian is incarcerated or detained by
25the United States Department of Homeland Security and the
26corrections facility in which he or she is incarcerated does not
27provide access to the treatment services ordered by the court, or
28 has been deported to his or her country of origin and services
29ordered by the court are not accessible in that country. Physical
30custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the
31applicable time period under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of
32paragraph (1) shall not serve to interrupt the running of the time
33period. If, at the end of the applicable time period, a child cannot
34be safely returned to the care and custody of a parent or guardian
35without court supervision, but the child clearly desires contact with
36the parent or guardian, the court shall take the child’s desire into
37account in devising a permanency plan.

38(C) In cases in which the child was under three years of age on
39the date of the initial removal from the physical custody of his or
40her parent or guardian or is a member of a sibling group as
P7    1 described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1), the court shall
2inform the parent or guardian that the failure of the parent or
3guardian to participate regularly in any court-ordered treatment
4programs or to cooperate or avail himself or herself of services
5provided as part of the child welfare services case plan may result
6in a termination of efforts to reunify the family after six months.
7The court shall inform the parent or guardian of the factors used
8in subdivision (e) of Section 366.21 to determine whether to limit
9services to six months for some or all members of a sibling group
10as described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1).

11(4) (A) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), court-ordered services
12may be extended up to a maximum time period not to exceed 24
13months after the date the child was originally removed from
14physical custody of his or her parent or guardian if it is shown, at
15the hearing held pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 366.22,
16that the permanent plan for the child is that he or she will be
17returned and safely maintained in the home within the extended
18time period. The court shall extend the time period only if it finds
19that it is in the child’s best interest to have the time period extended
20and that there is a substantial probability that the child will be
21returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian
22who is described in subdivision (b) of Section 366.22 within the
23extended time period, or that reasonable services have not been
24provided to the parent or guardian. If the court extends the time
25period, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion
26that there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned
27to the physical custody of his or her parent or guardian within the
28extended time period. The court also shall make findings pursuant
29to subdivision (a) of Section 366 and subdivision (e) of Section
30358.1.

31(B) When counseling or other treatment services are ordered,
32the parent or guardian shall be ordered to participate in those
33services, in order for substantial probability to be found. Physical
34custody of the child by the parents or guardians during the
35applicable time period under subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of
36paragraph (1) shall not serve to interrupt the running of the time
37period. If, at the end of the applicable time period, the child cannot
38be safely returned to the care and custody of a parent or guardian
39without court supervision, but the child clearly desires contact with
P8    1the parent or guardian, the court shall take the child’s desire into
2account in devising a permanency plan.

3 (C) Except in cases in which, pursuant to subdivision (b), the
4court does not order reunification services, the court shall inform
5the parent or parents of Section 366.26 and shall specify that the
6parent’s or parents’ parental rights may be terminated.

7(b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or
8guardian described in this subdivision when the court finds, by
9clear and convincing evidence, any of the following:

10(1) That the whereabouts of the parent or guardian is unknown.
11A finding pursuant to this paragraph shall be supported by an
12affidavit or by proof that a reasonably diligent search has failed
13to locate the parent or guardian. The posting or publication of
14notices is not required in that search.

15(2) That the parent or guardian is suffering from a mental
16disability that is described in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
177820) of Part 4 of Division 12 of the Family Code and that renders
18him or her incapable of utilizing those services.

19(3) That the child or a sibling of the child has been previously
20adjudicated a dependent pursuant to any subdivision of Section
21300 as a result of physical or sexual abuse, that following that
22adjudication the child had been removed from the custody of his
23or her parent or guardian pursuant to Section 361, that the child
24has been returned to the custody of the parent or guardian from
25whom the child had been taken originally, and that the child is
26being removed pursuant to Section 361, due to additional physical
27or sexual abuse.

28(4) That the parent or guardian of the child has caused the death
29of another child through abuse or neglect.

30(5) That the child was brought within the jurisdiction of the
31court under subdivision (e) of Section 300 because of the conduct
32of that parent or guardian.

33(6) That the child has been adjudicated a dependent pursuant
34to any subdivision of Section 300 as a result of severe sexual abuse
35or the infliction of severe physical harm to the child, a sibling, or
36a half sibling by a parent or guardian, as defined in this subdivision,
37and the court makes a factual finding that it would not benefit the
38child to pursue reunification services with the offending parent or
39guardian.

P9    1(A) A finding of severe sexual abuse, for the purposes of this
2subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited to, sexual
3intercourse, or stimulation involving genital-genital, oral-genital,
4anal-genital, or oral-anal contact, whether between the parent or
5guardian and the child or a sibling or half sibling of the child, or
6between the child or a sibling or half sibling of the child and
7another person or animal with the actual or implied consent of the
8parent or guardian; or the penetration or manipulation of the
9child’s, sibling’s, or half sibling’s genital organs or rectum by any
10animate or inanimate object for the sexual gratification of the
11parent or guardian, or for the sexual gratification of another person
12with the actual or implied consent of the parent or guardian.

13 (B) A finding of the infliction of severe physical harm, for the
14purposes of this subdivision, may be based on, but is not limited
15to, deliberate and serious injury inflicted to or on a child’s body
16or the body of a sibling or half sibling of the child by an act or
17omission of the parent or guardian, or of another individual or
18animal with the consent of the parent or guardian; deliberate and
19torturous confinement of the child, sibling, or half sibling in a
20closed space; or any other torturous act or omission that would be
21reasonably understood to cause serious emotional damage.

22(7) That the parent is not receiving reunification services for a
23sibling or a half sibling of the child pursuant to paragraph (3), (5),
24or (6).

25(8) That the child was conceived by means of the commission
26of an offense listed in Section 288 or 288.5 of the Penal Code, or
27by an act committed outside of this state that, if committed in this
28state, would constitute one of those offenses. This paragraph only
29applies to the parent who committed the offense or act.

30(9) That the child has been found to be a child described in
31subdivision (g) of Section 300; that the parent or guardian of the
32child willfully abandoned the child, and the court finds that the
33abandonment itself constituted a serious danger to the child; or
34that the parent or other person having custody of the child
35voluntarily surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to
36Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code. For the purposes
37of this paragraph, “serious danger” means that without the
38intervention of another person or agency, the child would have
39sustained severe or permanent disability, injury, illness, or death.
40For purposes of this paragraph, “willful abandonment” shall not
P10   1be construed as actions taken in good faith by the parent without
2the intent of placing the child in serious danger.

3(10) That the court ordered termination of reunification services
4for any siblings or half siblings of the child because the parent or
5guardian failed to reunify with the sibling or half sibling after the
6sibling or half sibling had been removed from that parent or
7guardian pursuant to Section 361 and that parent or guardian is
8the same parent or guardian described in subdivision (a) and that,
9according to the findings of the court, this parent or guardian has
10not subsequently made a reasonable effort to treat the problems
11that led to removal of the sibling or half sibling of that child from
12that parent or guardian.

13(11) That the parental rights of a parent over any sibling or half
14sibling of the child had been permanently severed, and this parent
15is the same parent described in subdivision (a), and that, according
16to the findings of the court, this parent has not subsequently made
17a reasonable effort to treat the problems that led to removal of the
18sibling or half sibling of that child from the parent.

19(12) That the parent or guardian of the child has been convicted
20of a violent felony, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5
21of the Penal Code.

22(13) That the parent or guardian of the child has a history of
23extensive, abusive, and chronic use of drugs or alcohol and has
24resisted prior court-ordered treatment for this problem during a
25three-year period immediately prior to the filing of the petition
26 that brought that child to the court’s attention, or has failed or
27refused to comply with a program of drug or alcohol treatment
28described in the case plan required by Section 358.1 on at least
29two prior occasions, even though the programs identified were
30available and accessible.

31(14) That the parent or guardian of the child has advised the
32court that he or she is not interested in receiving family
33maintenance or family reunification services or having the child
34returned to or placed in his or her custody and does not wish to
35receive family maintenance or reunification services.

36The parent or guardian shall be represented by counsel and shall
37execute a waiver of services form to be adopted by the Judicial
38Council. The court shall advise the parent or guardian of any right
39to services and of the possible consequences of a waiver of
40services, including the termination of parental rights and placement
P11   1of the child for adoption. The court shall not accept the waiver of
2services unless it states on the record its finding that the parent or
3guardian has knowingly and intelligently waived the right to
4services.

5(15) That the parent or guardian has on one or more occasions
6willfully abducted the child or child’s sibling or half sibling from
7his or her placement and refused to disclose the child’s or child’s
8sibling’s or half sibling’s whereabouts, refused to return physical
9custody of the child or child’s sibling or half sibling to his or her
10placement, or refused to return physical custody of the child or
11child’s sibling or half sibling to the social worker.

12(16) That the parent or guardian has been required by the court
13to be registered on a sex offender registry under the federal Adam
14Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C. Sec.
1516913(a)), as required in Section 106(b)(2)(B)(xvi)(VI) of the
16Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2006 (42 U.S.C.
17Sec. 5106a(2)(B)(xvi)(VI)).

18(c) In deciding whether to order reunification in any case in
19which this section applies, the court shall hold a dispositional
20hearing. The social worker shall prepare a report that discusses
21whether reunification services shall be provided. When it is alleged,
22pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b), that the parent is
23incapable of utilizing services due to mental disability, the court
24shall order reunification services unless competent evidence from
25mental health professionals establishes that, even with the provision
26of services, the parent is unlikely to be capable of adequately caring
27for the child within the time limits specified in subdivision (a).

28(1) The court shall not order reunification for a parent or
29guardian described in paragraph (3), (4), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10),
30(11), (12), (13), (14), (15), or (16) of subdivision (b) unless the
31court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that reunification
32is in the best interest of the child.

33 (2) In addition, the court shall not order reunification in any
34situation described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) unless it
35finds that, based on competent testimony, those services are likely
36to prevent reabuse or continued neglect of the child or that failure
37to try reunification will be detrimental to the child because the
38child is closely and positively attached to that parent. The social
39worker shall investigate the circumstances leading to the removal
40of the child and advise the court whether there are circumstances
P12   1that indicate that reunification is likely to be successful or
2unsuccessful and whether failure to order reunification is likely to
3be detrimental to the child.

4 (3) The failure of the parent to respond to previous services, the
5fact that the child was abused while the parent was under the
6influence of drugs or alcohol, a past history of violent behavior,
7or testimony by a competent professional that the parent’s behavior
8is unlikely to be changed by services are among the factors
9indicating that reunification services are unlikely to be successful.
10The fact that a parent or guardian is no longer living with an
11individual who severely abused the child may be considered in
12deciding that reunification services are likely to be successful,
13provided that the court shall consider any pattern of behavior on
14the part of the parent that has exposed the child to repeated abuse.

15(d) If reunification services are not ordered pursuant to
16paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) and the whereabouts of a parent
17become known within six months of the out-of-home placement
18of the child, the court shall order the social worker to provide
19family reunification services in accordance with this subdivision.

20(e) (1) If the parent or guardian is incarcerated, institutionalized,
21or detained by the United States Department of Homeland Security,
22or has been deported to his or her country of origin, the court shall
23order reasonable services unless the court determines, by clear and
24convincing evidence, those services would be detrimental to the
25child. In determining detriment, the court shall consider the age
26of the child, the degree of parent-child bonding, the length of the
27sentence, the length and nature of the treatment, the nature of the
28crime or illness, the degree of detriment to the child if services are
29not offered and, for children 10 years of age or older, the child’s
30attitude toward the implementation of family reunification services,
31the likelihood of the parent’s discharge from incarceration,
32institutionalization, or detention within the reunification time
33limitations described in subdivision (a), and any other appropriate
34factors. In determining the content of reasonable services, the court
35shall consider the particular barriers to an incarcerated,
36institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s access to those
37court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his
38or her child, and shall document this information in the child’s
39case plan. Reunification services are subject to the applicable time
P13   1limitations imposed in subdivision (a). Services may include, but
2shall not be limited to, all of the following:

3(A) Maintaining contact between the parent and child through
4collect telephone calls.

5(B) Transportation services, when appropriate.

6(C) Visitation services, when appropriate.

7(D) Reasonable services to extended family members or foster
8parents providing care for the child if the services are not
9detrimental to the child.

10An incarcerated or detained parent may be required to attend
11counseling, parenting classes, or vocational training programs as
12part of the reunification service plan if actual access to these
13services is provided. The social worker shall document in the
14child’s case plan the particular barriers to an incarcerated,
15institutionalized, or detained parent’s access to those
16court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his
17or her child.

18(E) Reasonable efforts to assist parents who have been deported
19to contact child welfare authorities in their country of origin, to
20identify any available services that would substantially comply
21with case plan requirements, to document the parents’ participation
22in those services, and to accept reports from local child welfare
23authorities as to the parents’ living situation, progress, and
24participation in services.

25(2) The presiding judge of the juvenile court of each county
26may convene representatives of the county welfare department,
27the sheriff’s department, and other appropriate entities for the
28purpose of developing and entering into protocols for ensuring the
29notification, transportation, and presence of an incarcerated or
30institutionalized parent at all court hearings involving proceedings
31affecting the child pursuant to Section 2625 of the Penal Code.
32The county welfare department shall utilize the prisoner locator
33system developed by the Department of Corrections and
34Rehabilitation to facilitate timely and effective notice of hearings
35for incarcerated parents.

36(3) Notwithstanding any other law, if the incarcerated parent is
37a woman seeking to participate in the community treatment
38program operated by the Department of Corrections and
39Rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 4.8 (commencing with Section
401174) of Title 7 of Part 2 of the Penal Code or Chapter 4
P14   1(commencing with Section 3410) of Title 2 of Part 3 of the Penal
2Code, the court shall determine whether the parent’s participation
3in a program is in the child’s best interest and whether it is suitable
4to meet the needs of the parent and child.

5(f) If the court, pursuant to paragraph (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7),
6(8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), or (16) of subdivision (b)
7or paragraph (1) of subdivision (e), does not order reunification
8services, it shall, at the dispositional hearing, that shall include a
9permanency hearing, determine if a hearing under Section 366.26
10shall be set in order to determine whether adoption, guardianship,
11or continuation in foster care, or, in the case of an Indian child, in
12consultation with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, is
13the most appropriate current plan for the child, and shall consider
14in-state and out-of-state placement options. If the court so
15determines, it shall conduct the hearing pursuant to Section 366.26
16within 120 days after the dispositional hearing. However, the court
17shall not schedule a hearing so long as the other parent is being
18provided reunification services pursuant to subdivision (a). The
19court may continue to permit the parent to visit the child unless it
20finds that visitation would be detrimental to the child.

21(g) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing shall be held
22pursuant to Section 366.26, including, when, in consultation with
23 the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption is recommended, it
24shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county
25adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when
26it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that
27shall include:

28(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents and
29notification of a noncustodial parent in the manner provided for
30in Section 291.

31(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between
32the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her
33extended family since the time of placement. Although the
34extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case
35basis, “extended family” for the purpose of this subparagraph shall
36include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents,
37aunts, and uncles.

38(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental,
39scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

P15   1(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment
2of any identified prospective adoptive parent or guardian, including
3a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent, particularly the
4caretaker, to include a social history, including screening for
5criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse or neglect, the
6capability to meet the child’s needs, and the understanding of the
7legal and financial rights and responsibilities of adoption and
8guardianship. If a proposed guardian is a relative of the minor, the
9assessment shall also consider, but need not be limited to, all of
10the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section 361.3 and in
11Section 361.4. As used in this subparagraph, “relative” means an
12adult who is related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity
13within the fifth degree of kinship, including stepparents,
14stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status is preceded by the words
15“great,” “great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those
16persons even if the marriage was terminated by death or
17dissolution. If the proposed permanent plan is guardianship with
18an approved relative caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under
19the Kin-GAP Program, as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing
20with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative”
21as used in this section has the same meaning as “relative” as
22defined in subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

23(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective
24adoptive parent or guardian, including a prospective tribal
25customary parent, the duration and character of the relationship,
26the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective relative
27guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive parent’s
28strong commitment to caring permanently for the child, the
29motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship, a statement from
30the child concerning placement and the adoption or guardianship,
31and whether the child over 12 years of age has been consulted
32about the proposed relative guardianship arrangements, unless the
33child’s age or physical, emotional, or other condition precludes
34his or her meaningful response, and, if so, a description of the
35condition.

36(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted
37if parental rights are terminated.

38(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs
39(A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child
40will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a
P16   1customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is recommended.
2If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the assessment shall
3include an analysis of both of the following:

4(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be
5detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that
6conclusion.

7(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned
8to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons
9for reaching that conclusion.

10(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship
11over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an
12unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the
13child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal
14of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive
15placement.

16(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative
17caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency
18options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term
19benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing
20legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent
21plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a
22minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided
23for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2
24of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed
25about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement
26pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to
27the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed
28negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

29(h) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a
30guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative
31caregiver and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed,
32the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program as
33provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or
34Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2 of Part
353 of Division 9, as applicable.

36(i) In determining whether reunification services will benefit
37the child pursuant to paragraph (6) or (7) of subdivision (b), the
38court shall consider any information it deems relevant, including
39the following factors:

P17   1(1) The specific act or omission comprising the severe sexual
2abuse or the severe physical harm inflicted on the child or the
3child’s sibling or half sibling.

4(2) The circumstances under which the abuse or harm was
5inflicted on the child or the child’s sibling or half sibling.

6(3) The severity of the emotional trauma suffered by the child
7or the child’s sibling or half sibling.

8(4) Any history of abuse of other children by the offending
9parent or guardian.

10(5) The likelihood that the child may be safely returned to the
11care of the offending parent or guardian within 12 months with no
12continuing supervision.

13(6) Whether or not the child desires to be reunified with the
14offending parent or guardian.

15(j) When the court determines that reunification services will
16not be ordered, it shall order that the child’s caregiver receive the
17child’s birth certificate in accordance with Sections 16010.4 and
1816010.5. Additionally, when the court determines that reunification
19services will not be ordered, it shall order, when appropriate, that
20a child who is 16 years of age or older receive his or her birth
21certificate.

22(k) The court shall read into the record the basis for a finding
23of severe sexual abuse or the infliction of severe physical harm
24under paragraph (6) of subdivision (b), and shall also specify the
25factual findings used to determine that the provision of
26reunification services to the offending parent or guardian would
27not benefit the child.

28

SEC. 3.  

Section 366 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
29amended to read:

30

366.  

(a) (1) The status of every dependent child in foster care
31shall be reviewed periodically as determined by the court but no
32less frequently than once every six months, as calculated from the
33date of the original dispositional hearing, until the hearing
34described in Section 366.26 is completed. The court shall consider
35the safety of the child and shall determine all of the following:

36(A) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
37placement.

38(B) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the case plan
39in making reasonable efforts, or, in the case of a child 16 years of
40age or older with another planned permanent living arrangement,
P18   1the ongoing and intensive efforts, including child-centered
2specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, or,
3in the case of an Indian child, active efforts to return the child to
4a safe home, as described in Section 361.7, and to complete any
5steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child,
6including efforts to maintain relationships between a child who is
710 years of age or older and who has been in an out-of-home
8placement for six months or longer, and individuals other than the
9child’s siblings who are important to the child, consistent with the
10child’s best interests.

11(C) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the
12parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental
13services decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically
14addressed in the court order and may not exceed those necessary
15to protect the child. Whenever the court specifically limits the right
16of the parent or guardian to make educational decisions or
17developmental services decisions for the child, the court shall at
18the same time appoint a responsible adult to make educational
19decisions or developmental services decisions for the child pursuant
20to Section 361.

21(D) (i) Whether the child has other siblings under the court’s
22jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

23(I) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or
24her siblings.

25(II) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling
26relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

27(III) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home,
28why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being
29made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not
30appropriate.

31(IV) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:

32(ia) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.

33(ib) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits
34are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a
35discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what
36needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.

37(ic) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the
38location and length of the visits.

39(id) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.

P19   1(V) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s
2placement and planning for legal permanence.

3(VI) The continuing need to suspend sibling interaction, if
4applicable, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002.

5(ii) The factors the court may consider in making a determination
6regarding the nature of the child’s sibling relationships may
7include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised
8together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared
9significant common experiences or have existing close and strong
10bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with
11his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is
12in the child’s best emotional interests.

13(E) The extent of progress that has been made toward alleviating
14or mitigating the causes necessitating placement in foster care.

15(F) If the review hearing is the last review hearing to be held
16before the child attains 18 years of age, the court shall conduct the
17hearing pursuant to Section 366.31 or 366.32.

18(2) The court shall project a likely date by which the child may
19be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed for
20adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an Indian child,
21legal guardianship, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, if the
22child is 16 years of age or older, in another planned permanent
23living arrangement with the provision of child-centered specialized
24permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.

25(b) Subsequent to the hearing, periodic reviews of each child
26in foster care shall be conducted pursuant to the requirements of
27Sections 366.3 and 16503.

28(c) If the child has been placed out of state, each review
29described in subdivision (a) and any reviews conducted pursuant
30to Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall also address whether the
31out-of-state placement continues to be the most appropriate
32placement selection and in the best interests of the child.

33(d) (1) A review described in subdivision (a) and any reviews
34conducted pursuant to Sections 366.3 and 16503 shall not result
35in a placement of a child outside the United States prior to a judicial
36finding that the placement is in the best interest of the child, except
37as required by federal law or treaty.

38(2) The party or agency requesting placement of the child outside
39the United States shall carry the burden of proof and must show,
P20   1by clear and convincing evidence, that a placement outside the
2United States is in the best interest of the child.

3(3) In determining the best interest of the child, the court shall
4consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

5(A) Placement with a relative.

6(B) Placement of siblings in the same home.

7(C) Amount and nature of any contact between the child and
8the potential guardian or caretaker.

9(D) Physical and medical needs of the dependent child.

10(E) Psychological and emotional needs of the dependent child.

11(F) Social, cultural, and educational needs of the dependent
12child.

13(G) Specific desires of any dependent child who is 12 years of
14age or older.

15(4) If the court finds that a placement outside the United States
16is, by clear and convincing evidence, in the best interest of the
17child, the court may issue an order authorizing the social worker
18or placing agency to make a placement outside the United States.
19A child subject to this subdivision shall not leave the United States
20prior to the issuance of the order described in this paragraph.

21(5) For purposes of this subdivision, “outside the United States”
22shall not include the lands of any federally recognized American
23Indian tribe or Alaskan Natives.

24(6) This section shall not apply to the placement of a dependent
25child with a parent.

26(e) A child may not be placed in an out-of-state group home,
27or remain in an out-of-state group home, unless the group home
28is in compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family Code.

29(f) The status review of every nonminor dependent, as defined
30in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, shall be conducted pursuant
31to the requirements of Sections 366.3, 366.31, or 366.32, and 16503
32until dependency jurisdiction is terminated pursuant to Section
33391.

34

SEC. 4.  

Section 366.21 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
35 is amended to read:

36

366.21.  

(a) Every hearing conducted by the juvenile court
37reviewing the status of a dependent child shall be placed on the
38appearance calendar. The court shall advise all persons present at
39the hearing of the date of the future hearing and of their right to
40be present and represented by counsel.

P21   1(b) Except as provided in Sections 294 and 295, notice of the
2hearing shall be provided pursuant to Section 293.

3(c) At least 10 calendar days prior to the hearing, the social
4worker shall file a supplemental report with the court regarding
5the services provided or offered to the parent or legal guardian to
6enable him or her to assume custody and the efforts made to
7achieve legal permanence for the child if efforts to reunify fail,
8including, but not limited to, efforts to maintain relationships
9between a child who is 10 years of age or older and has been in
10out-of-home placement for six months or longer and individuals
11who are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best
12interests; the progress made; and, where relevant, the prognosis
13for return of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent
14or legal guardian; and shall make his or her recommendation for
15disposition. If the child is a member of a sibling group described
16in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section
17361.5, the report and recommendation may also take into account
18those factors described in subdivision (e) relating to the child’s
19sibling group. If the recommendation is not to return the child to
20a parent or legal guardian, the report shall specify why the return
21of the child would be detrimental to the child. The social worker
22shall provide the parent or legal guardian, counsel for the child,
23and any court-appointed child advocate with a copy of the report,
24including his or her recommendation for disposition, at least 10
25calendar days prior to the hearing. In the case of a child removed
26from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian,
27the social worker shall, at least 10 calendar days prior to the
28hearing, provide a summary of his or her recommendation for
29disposition to any foster parents, relative caregivers, and certified
30foster parents who have been approved for adoption by the State
31Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption
32agency or by a county adoption agency, community care facility,
33or foster family agency having the physical custody of the child.
34The social worker shall include a copy of the Judicial Council
35Caregiver Information Form (JV-290) with the summary of
36recommendations to the child’s foster parents, relative caregivers,
37or foster parents approved for adoption, in the caregiver’s primary
38language when available, along with information on how to file
39the form with the court.

P22   1(d) Prior to any hearing involving a child in the physical custody
2of a community care facility or a foster family agency that may
3result in the return of the child to the physical custody of his or
4her parent or legal guardian, in adoption or the creation of a legal
5guardianship, or, in the case of an Indian child, in consultation
6with the child’s tribe, tribal customary adoption, the facility or
7agency shall file with the court a report, or a Judicial Council
8Caregiver Information Form (JV-290), containing its
9recommendation for disposition. Prior to the hearing involving a
10child in the physical custody of a foster parent, a relative caregiver,
11or a certified foster parent who has been approved for adoption by
12the State Department of Social Services when it is acting as an
13adoption agency or by a county adoption agency, the foster parent,
14relative caregiver, or the certified foster parent who has been
15approved for adoption by the State Department of Social Services
16when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county adoption
17agency, may file with the court a report containing his or her
18recommendation for disposition. The court shall consider the report
19and recommendation filed pursuant to this subdivision prior to
20determining any disposition.

21(e) (1) At the review hearing held six months after the initial
22dispositional hearing, but no later than 12 months after the date
23the child entered foster care as determined in Section 361.49,
24whichever occurs earlier, after considering the admissible and
25relevant evidence, the court shall order the return of the child to
26the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless
27the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return
28of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a
29substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical
30or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have
31the burden of establishing that detriment. At the hearing, the court
32shall consider the criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph
33(1) of subdivision (f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal
34guardian subsequent to the child’s removal to the extent that the
35criminal record is substantially related to the welfare of the child
36or the parent’s or guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control
37regarding his or her child, provided the parent or legal guardian
38agreed to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history
39information as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider
40whether the child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent
P23   1who is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility
2that allows a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The
3fact that the parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse
4treatment facility shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie
5evidence of detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian
6to participate regularly and make substantive progress in
7court-ordered treatment programs shall be prima facie evidence
8that return would be detrimental. In making its determination, the
9court shall review and consider the social worker’s report and
10recommendations and the report and recommendations of any child
11advocate appointed pursuant to Section 356.5; and shall consider
12the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal
13guardian and the extent to which he or she availed himself or
14herself of services provided, taking into account the particular
15barriers to a minor parent or a nonminor dependent parent, or an
16incarcerated, institutionalized, detained, or deported parent’s or
17legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services and ability
18to maintain contact with his or her child.

19(2) Regardless of whether the child is returned to a parent or
20legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its
21conclusion that the return would be detrimental or would not be
22detrimental. The court also shall make appropriate findings
23pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366; and, when relevant,
24shall order any additional services reasonably believed to facilitate
25the return of the child to the custody of his or her parent or legal
26guardian. The court shall also inform the parent or legal guardian
27that if the child cannot be returned home by the 12-month
28permanency hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may
29be instituted. This section does not apply in a case in which,
30pursuant to Section 361.5, the court has ordered that reunification
31services shall not be provided.

32(3) If the child was under three years of age on the date of the
33initial removal, or is a member of a sibling group described in
34subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section
35361.5, and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that
36the parent failed to participate regularly and make substantive
37progress in a court-ordered treatment plan, the court may schedule
38a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days. If, however,
39the court finds there is a substantial probability that the child, who
40was under three years of age on the date of initial removal or is a
P24   1member of a sibling group described in subparagraph (C) of
2paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, may be returned
3to his or her parent or legal guardian within six months or that
4reasonable services have not been provided, the court shall continue
5the case to the 12-month permanency hearing.

6(4) For the purpose of placing and maintaining a sibling group
7together in a permanent home, the court, in making its
8determination to schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26
9for some or all members of a sibling group, as described in
10subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section
11361.5, shall review and consider the social worker’s report and
12recommendations. Factors the report shall address, and the court
13shall consider, may include, but need not be limited to, whether
14the sibling group was removed from parental care as a group, the
15closeness and strength of the sibling bond, the ages of the siblings,
16the appropriateness of maintaining the sibling group together, the
17detriment to the child if sibling ties are not maintained, the
18likelihood of finding a permanent home for the sibling group,
19whether the sibling group is currently placed together in a
20preadoptive home or has a concurrent plan goal of legal
21permanency in the same home, the wishes of each child whose
22age and physical and emotional condition permits a meaningful
23response, and the best interests of each child in the sibling group.
24The court shall specify the factual basis for its finding that it is in
25the best interests of each child to schedule a hearing pursuant to
26Section 366.26 within 120 days for some or all of the members of
27the sibling group.

28(5) If the child was removed initially under subdivision (g) of
29Section 300 and the court finds by clear and convincing evidence
30that the whereabouts of the parent are still unknown, or the parent
31has failed to contact and visit the child, the court may schedule a
32hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days. The court
33shall take into account any particular barriers to a parent’s ability
34to maintain contact with his or her child due to the parent’s
35incarceration, institutionalization, detention by the United States
36Department of Homeland Security, or deportation. If the court
37finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has been
38convicted of a felony indicating parental unfitness, the court may
39schedule a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 within 120 days.

P25   1(6) If the child had been placed under court supervision with a
2previously noncustodial parent pursuant to Section 361.2, the court
3shall determine whether supervision is still necessary. The court
4may terminate supervision and transfer permanent custody to that
5parent, as provided for by paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of
6Section 361.2.

7(7) In all other cases, the court shall direct that any reunification
8services previously ordered shall continue to be offered to the
9parent or legal guardian pursuant to the time periods set forth in
10subdivision (a) of Section 361.5, provided that the court may
11modify the terms and conditions of those services.

12(8) If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal
13guardian, the court shall determine whether reasonable services
14that were designed to aid the parent or legal guardian in
15overcoming the problems that led to the initial removal and the
16continued custody of the child have been provided or offered to
17the parent or legal guardian. The court shall order that those
18services be initiated, continued, or terminated.

19(f) (1) The permanency hearing shall be held no later than 12
20months after the date the child entered foster care, as that date is
21determined pursuant to Section 361.49. At the permanency hearing,
22the court shall determine the permanent plan for the child, which
23shall include a determination of whether the child will be returned
24to the child’s home and, if so, when, within the time limits of
25subdivision (a) of Section 361.5. After considering the relevant
26and admissible evidence, the court shall order the return of the
27child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian
28unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that
29the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would
30create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or
31physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker
32shall have the burden of establishing that detriment.

33(A) At the permanency hearing, the court shall consider the
34criminal history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision
35(f) of Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent
36to the child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is
37substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or
38legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding
39his or her child, provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed
40to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information
P26   1as part of the case plan. The court shall also determine whether
2reasonable services that were designed to aid the parent or legal
3guardian to overcome the problems that led to the initial removal
4and continued custody of the child have been provided or offered
5to the parent or legal guardian.

6(B) The court shall also consider whether the child can be
7returned to the custody of his or her parent who is enrolled in a
8certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent
9child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is
10enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not
11be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The
12failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and
13make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs
14shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental.

15(C) In making its determination, the court shall review and
16consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and the
17report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed
18pursuant to Section 356.5, shall consider the efforts or progress,
19or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent
20to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided,
21taking into account the particular barriers to a minor parent or a
22nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated, institutionalized,
23detained, or deported parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those
24court-mandated services and ability to maintain contact with his
25or her child, and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to
26subdivision (a) of Section 366.

27(D) For each youth 16 years of age and older, the court shall
28also determine whether services have been made available to assist
29him or her in making the transition from foster care to successful
30adulthood.

31(2) Regardless of whether the child is returned to his or her
32parent or legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis
33for its decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal
34guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion
35that the return would be detrimental. The court also shall make a
36finding pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366. If the child is
37not returned to his or her parent or legal guardian, the court shall
38consider, and state for the record, in-state and out-of-state
39placement options. If the child is placed out of the state, the court
P27   1shall make a determination whether the out-of-state placement
2continues to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

3(g) If the time period in which the court-ordered services were
4provided has met or exceeded the time period set forth in
5subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a)
6of Section 361.5, as appropriate, and a child is not returned to the
7custody of a parent or legal guardian at the permanency hearing
8held pursuant to subdivision (f), the court shall do one of the
9following:

10(1) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency
11review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18
12 months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical
13custody of his or her parent or legal guardian. The court shall
14continue the case only if it finds that there is a substantial
15probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody
16of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the
17home within the extended period of time or that reasonable services
18have not been provided to the parent or legal guardian. For the
19purposes of this section, in order to find a substantial probability
20that the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her
21parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the home within
22the extended period of time, the court shall be required to find all
23of the following:

24(A) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and
25regularly contacted and visited with the child.

26(B) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant
27progress in resolving problems that led to the child’s removal from
28the home.

29(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity
30and ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment
31plan and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and
32emotional well-being, and special needs.

33(i) For purposes of this subdivision, the court’s decision to
34continue the case based on a finding or substantial probability that
35the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her
36parent or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining
37that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best
38interests of the child.

39(ii) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if
40the child cannot be returned home by the next permanency review
P28   1hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be instituted.
2The court shall not order that a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26
3be held unless there is clear and convincing evidence that
4reasonable services have been provided or offered to the parent or
5legal guardian.

6(2) Continue the case for up to six months for a permanency
7review hearing, provided that the hearing shall occur within 18
8months of the date the child was originally taken from the physical
9custody of his or her parent or legal guardian, if the parent has
10been arrested and issued an immigration hold, detained by the
11United States Department of Homeland Security, or deported to
12his or her country of origin, and the court determines either that
13there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to
14the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and
15safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time
16or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent
17or legal guardian.

18(3) For purposes of paragraph (2), in order to find a substantial
19probability that the child will be returned to the physical custody
20of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely maintained in the
21home within the extended period of time, the court shall find all
22of the following:

23(A) The parent or legal guardian has consistently and regularly
24contacted and visited with the child, taking into account any
25particular barriers to a parent’s ability to maintain contact with his
26or her child due to the parent’s arrest and receipt of an immigration
27hold, detention by the United States Department of Homeland
28Security, or deportation.

29(B) The parent or legal guardian has made significant progress
30in resolving the problems that led to the child’s removal from the
31home.

32(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity
33or ability both to complete the objectives of his or her treatment
34plan and to provide for the child’s safety, protection, physical and
35emotional well-being, and special needs.

36(4) Order that a hearing be held within 120 days, pursuant to
37Section 366.26, but only if the court does not continue the case to
38the permanency planning review hearing and there is clear and
39convincing evidence that reasonable services have been provided
40or offered to the parents or legal guardians. On and after January
P29   11, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered
2if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor
3dependent is an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is
4recommended as the permanent plan.

5(5) Order that the child remain in foster care with one of the
6permanent plans listed in subparagraph (A), but only if the court
7finds by clear and convincing evidence, based upon the evidence
8already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State
9Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption
10agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling
11reason for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section
12366.26 is not in the best interests of the child because the child is
13not currently a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing
14to accept legal guardianship as of the hearing date. For purposes
15of this section, a recommendation by the State Department of
16Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a
17county adoption agency that adoption is not currently in the best
18interests of the child shall constitute a compelling reason for the
19court’s determination. That recommendation shall be based on the
20present circumstances of the child and shall not preclude a different
21 recommendation at a later date if the child’s circumstances change.
22On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal
23status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold
24a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a
25nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section
2611403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement.

27(A) The court shall make factual findings identifying any
28barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date.
29When the child is under 16 years of age, the court shall order a
30permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption
31in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement
32with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the court
33determines that it will not order a hearing pursuant to Section
34366.26, and the child is not currently placed with a fit and willing
35relative, the court shall order the provision of child-centered
36specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
37When the child is 16 years of age or older, or is a nonminor
38dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time
39of the hearing, the court may order another planned permanent
40living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision
P30   1(i) of Section 16501,begin delete andend deletebegin insert and, if such a permanent plan is ordered,
2shallend insert
order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in
3another planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the
4next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366. If the court
5orders another planned permanent living arrangement for a child
616 years of age or older, the court shall order the provision of
7child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
8Section 11400. If the court orders another planned permanent living
9arrangement for a nonminor dependent, the court may order the
10same services for the nonminor dependent.

11(B) If the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or
12older remain in foster care, the court shall determine whether the
13agency has made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s
14relationships with individuals other than the child’s siblings who
15are important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests,
16and may make any appropriate order to ensure that those
17relationships are maintained.

18(C) If the child is not returned to his or her parent or legal
19guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record, in-state
20and out-of-state options for permanent placement. If the child is
21placed out of the state, the court shall make a determination
22whether the out-of-state placement continues to be appropriate and
23in the best interests of the child.

24(h) In any case in which the court orders that a hearing pursuant
25to Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall also order the termination
26of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian. The court
27shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to visit the
28child pending the hearing unless it finds that visitation would be
29detrimental to the child. The court shall make any other appropriate
30orders to enable the child to maintain relationships with individuals,
31other than the child’s siblings, who are important to the child,
32consistent with the child’s best interests. When the court orders a
33termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian,
34it shall also order that the child’s caregiver receive the child’s birth
35certificate in accordance with Sections 16010.4 and 16010.5.
36Additionally, when the court orders a termination of reunification
37services to the parent or legal guardian, it shall order, when
38appropriate, that a child who is 16 years of age or older receive
39his or her birth certificate.

P31   1(i) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to
2Section 366.26, including, when, in consultation with the child’s
3tribe, tribal customary adoption is recommended, shall be held, it
4shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county
5adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services when
6it is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment that
7shall include:

8(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents or
9legal guardians.

10(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between
11the child and his or her parents or legal guardians and other
12members of his or her extended family since the time of placement.
13Although the extended family of each child shall be reviewed on
14a case-by-case basis, “extended family” for the purpose of this
15subparagraph shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s
16siblings, grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

17(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental,
18scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

19(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment
20of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian,
21including the prospective tribal customary adoptive parent,
22particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including
23screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse
24or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the
25understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities
26of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed guardian is a relative
27of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need not be
28limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of Section
29361.3 and in Section 361.4.

30(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective
31adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of
32the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the
33prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or
34adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for
35the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or guardianship, a
36statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption
37or guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of age,
38has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship
39arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or
P32   1other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if
2so, a description of the condition.

3(F) A description of efforts to be made to identify a prospective
4adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not limited to,
5child-specific recruitment and listing on an adoption exchange
6within the state or out of the state.

7(G) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted
8if parental rights are terminated.

9(H) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs
10(A) to (G), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child
11will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a
12tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is
13recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the
14assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

15(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be
16detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that
17conclusion.

18(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned
19to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons
20for reaching that conclusion.

21(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship
22over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an
23unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the
24child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal
25of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive
26placement.

27(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative
28caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency
29options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term
30benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing
31legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent
32plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a
33minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided
34for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2
35of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed
36about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement
37pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to
38the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed
39negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

P33   1(j) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a
2guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative
3caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently
4dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP
5Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section
611360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as
7applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

8(k) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is
9related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth
10degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all
11relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,”
12“great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons
13even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the
14proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative
15caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program,
16as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385)
17of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this
18section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in
19subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

20(l) For purposes of this section, evidence of any of the following
21 circumstances shall not, in and of itself, be deemed a failure to
22provide or offer reasonable services:

23(1) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible
24to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

25(2) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a
26permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

27(3) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for
28the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with
29services to reunify the family.

30

SEC. 5.  

Section 366.22 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
31 is amended to read:

32

366.22.  

(a) (1) When a case has been continued pursuant to
33paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, the
34permanency review hearing shall occur within 18 months after the
35date the child was originally removed from the physical custody
36of his or her parent or legal guardian. After considering the
37admissible and relevant evidence, the court shall order the return
38of the child to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal
39guardian unless the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence,
40that the return of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian
P34   1would create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection,
2or physical or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker
3shall have the burden of establishing that detriment. At the
4permanency review hearing, the court shall consider the criminal
5history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of
6Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the
7child’s removal, to the extent that the criminal record is
8substantially related to the welfare of the child or the parent’s or
9legal guardian’s ability to exercise custody and control regarding
10his or her child, provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed
11to submit fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information
12as part of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the
13child can be returned to the custody of his or her parent who is
14enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows
15a dependent child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the
16parent is enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility
17shall not be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of
18detriment. The failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate
19regularly and make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment
20programs shall be prima facie evidence that return would be
21detrimental. In making its determination, the court shall review
22and consider the social worker’s report and recommendations and
23the report and recommendations of any child advocate appointed
24pursuant to Section 356.5; shall consider the efforts or progress,
25or both, demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent
26to which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided,
27taking into account the particular barriers of a minor parent or a
28nonminor dependent parent, or an incarcerated or institutionalized
29parent’s or legal guardian’s access to those court-mandated services
30and ability to maintain contact with his or her child; and shall make
31appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 366.

32(2) Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or
33legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its
34decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian,
35the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that return
36would be detrimental. If the child is not returned to his or her parent
37or legal guardian, the court shall consider, and state for the record,
38in-state and out-of-state options for the child’s permanent
39placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall
P35   1make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues
2to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

3(3) Unless the conditions in subdivision (b) are met and the
4child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at the permanency
5review hearing, the court shall order that a hearing be held pursuant
6to Section 366.26 in order to determine whether adoption, or, in
7the case of an Indian child, in consultation with the child’s tribe,
8tribal customary adoption, guardianship, or continued placement
9in foster care is the most appropriate plan for the child. On and
10after January 1, 2012, a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall
11not be ordered if the child is a nonminor dependent, unless the
12nonminor dependent is an Indian child, and tribal customary
13adoption is recommended as the permanent plan. However, if the
14court finds by clear and convincing evidence, based on the evidence
15already presented to it, including a recommendation by the State
16Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption
17agency or by a county adoption agency, that there is a compelling
18reason, as described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section
19366.21, for determining that a hearing held under Section 366.26
20is not in the best interests of the child because the child is currently
21not a proper subject for adoption and has no one willing to accept
22legal guardianship as of the hearing date, the court may, only under
23these circumstances, order that the child remain in foster care with
24a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary
25adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or
26placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the
27court determines it will not order a hearing pursuant to Section
28366.26, and the child is not currently placed with a fit and willing
29relative, the court shall order the provision of child-centered
30specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If
31the child is 16 years of age or older or is a nonminor dependent,
32and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the
33hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living
34arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of
35Section 16501, and order that the appropriateness of the child’s
36continuation in another planned permanent living arrangement be
37assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3.
38If the court orders another planned permanent living arrangement
39for a child 16 years of age or older, the court shall order the
40provision of child-centered specialized permanency services, as
P36   1defined in Section 11400. The court shall make factual findings
2identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the
3hearing date. On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor
4dependent’s legal status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling
5reason not to hold a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court
6may order that a nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible
7pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a planned, permanent living
8 arrangement and may order the provision of child-centered
9specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If
10the court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain
11in foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has
12made reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with
13individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the
14child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any
15appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained.
16The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of
17the permanency review hearing. The court shall also order
18termination of reunification services to the parent or legal guardian.
19The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal guardian to
20visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be detrimental
21to the child. The court shall determine whether reasonable services
22have been offered or provided to the parent or legal guardian. For
23purposes of this subdivision, evidence of any of the following
24circumstances shall not, in and of themselves, be deemed a failure
25to provide or offer reasonable services:

26(A) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible
27to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

28(B) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a
29permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

30(C) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for
31the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with
32services to reunify the family.

33(b) (1) If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian
34at the permanency review hearing and the court determines by
35clear and convincing evidence that the best interests of the child
36would be met by the provision of additional reunification services
37to a parent or legal guardian who is making significant and
38consistent progress in a court-ordered residential substance abuse
39treatment program, a parent who was either a minor parent or a
40nonminor dependent parent at the time of the initial hearing making
P37   1significant and consistent progress in establishing a safe home for
2the child’s return, or a parent recently discharged from
3incarceration, institutionalization, or the custody of the United
4States Department of Homeland Security and making significant
5and consistent progress in establishing a safe home for the child’s
6return, the court may continue the case for up to six months for a
7subsequent permanency review hearing, provided that the hearing
8shall occur within 24 months of the date the child was originally
9taken from the physical custody of his or her parent or legal
10guardian. The court shall continue the case only if it finds that
11there is a substantial probability that the child will be returned to
12the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and
13safely maintained in the home within the extended period of time
14or that reasonable services have not been provided to the parent
15or legal guardian. For the purposes of this section, in order to find
16a substantial probability that the child will be returned to the
17physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian and safely
18maintained in the home within the extended period of time, the
19court shall be required to find all of the following:

20(A) That the parent or legal guardian has consistently and
21regularly contacted and visited with the child.

22(B) That the parent or legal guardian has made significant and
23consistent progress in the prior 18 months in resolving problems
24that led to the child’s removal from the home.

25(C) The parent or legal guardian has demonstrated the capacity
26and ability both to complete the objectives of his or her substance
27abuse treatment plan as evidenced by reports from a substance
28abuse provider as applicable, or complete a treatment plan
29postdischarge from incarceration, institutionalization, or detention,
30or following deportation to his or her country of origin and his or
31her return to the United States, and to provide for the child’s safety,
32protection, physical and emotional well-being, and special needs.

33(2) For purposes of this subdivision, the court’s decision to
34continue the case based on a finding or substantial probability that
35the child will be returned to the physical custody of his or her
36parent or legal guardian is a compelling reason for determining
37that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is not in the best
38interests of the child.

39(3) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if
40the child cannot be returned home by the subsequent permanency
P38   1review hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 366.26 may be
2instituted. The court shall not order that a hearing pursuant to
3Section 366.26 be held unless there is clear and convincing
4evidence that reasonable services have been provided or offered
5to the parent or legal guardian.

6(c) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to
7Section 366.26, including when a tribal customary adoption is
8recommended, shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising
9the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department
10of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to
11prepare an assessment that shall include:

12(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

13(B) A review of the amount of and nature of any contact between
14the child and his or her parents and other members of his or her
15extended family since the time of placement. Although the
16extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case
17basis, “extended family” for the purposes of this subparagraph
18shall include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings,
19grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

20(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental,
21scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

22(D)  A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment
23of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian,
24particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including
25screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse
26or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the
27understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities
28of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed legal guardian is a
29relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need
30not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of
31Section 361.3 and Section 361.4.

32(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective
33adoptive parent or legal guardian, the duration and character of
34the relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the
35prospective relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or
36adoptive parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for
37the child, the motivation for seeking adoption or legal guardianship,
38a statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption
39or legal guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of
40age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship
P39   1arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or
2other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if
3so, a description of the condition.

4(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted
5if parental rights are terminated.

6(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs
7(A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child
8will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a
9tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is
10recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the
11assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

12(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be
13detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that
14conclusion.

15(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned
16to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons
17for reaching that conclusion.

18(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship
19over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an
20unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the
21child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal
22of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive
23placement.

24(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative
25caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency
26options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term
27benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing
28legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent
29plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a
30minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided
31for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2
32of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed
33about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement
34pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to
35the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed
36negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

37(d) This section shall become operative January 1, 1999. If at
38any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a legal guardianship
39is established for the minor with an approved relative caregiver,
40and juvenile court dependency is subsequently dismissed, the minor
P40   1shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided
2for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or Article 4.7
3(commencing with Section 11385), as applicable, of Chapter 2 of
4Part 3 of Division 9.

5(e) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is
6related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth
7degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all
8relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,”
9“great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons
10even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the
11proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative
12caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program,
13as provided for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385)
14of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this
15section has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in
16subdivision (c) of Section 11391.

17

SEC. 6.  

Section 366.25 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
18 is amended to read:

19

366.25.  

(a) (1) When a case has been continued pursuant to
20subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, the subsequent permanency
21review hearing shall occur within 24 months after the date the
22child was originally removed from the physical custody of his or
23her parent or legal guardian. After considering the relevant and
24admissible evidence, the court shall order the return of the child
25to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless
26the court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the return
27of the child to his or her parent or legal guardian would create a
28substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or physical
29or emotional well-being of the child. The social worker shall have
30the burden of establishing that detriment. At the subsequent
31permanency review hearing, the court shall consider the criminal
32history, obtained pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of
33Section 16504.5, of the parent or legal guardian subsequent to the
34child’s removal to the extent that the criminal record is substantially
35related to the welfare of the child or parent’s or legal guardian’s
36ability to exercise custody and control regarding his or her child
37provided that the parent or legal guardian agreed to submit
38fingerprint images to obtain criminal history information as part
39of the case plan. The court shall also consider whether the child
40can be returned to the custody of a parent who is enrolled in a
P41   1certified substance abuse treatment facility that allows a dependent
2child to reside with his or her parent. The fact that the parent is
3enrolled in a certified substance abuse treatment facility shall not
4be, for that reason alone, prima facie evidence of detriment. The
5failure of the parent or legal guardian to participate regularly and
6make substantive progress in court-ordered treatment programs
7 shall be prima facie evidence that return would be detrimental. In
8making its determination, the court shall review and consider the
9social worker’s report and recommendations and the report and
10recommendations of any child advocate appointed pursuant to
11Section 356.5; shall consider the efforts or progress, or both,
12demonstrated by the parent or legal guardian and the extent to
13which he or she availed himself or herself of services provided;
14and shall make appropriate findings pursuant to subdivision (a) of
15Section 366.

16(2) Whether or not the child is returned to his or her parent or
17legal guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its
18decision. If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian,
19the court shall specify the factual basis for its conclusion that return
20would be detrimental. If the child is not returned to his or her parent
21or legal guardian, the court shall consider and state for the record,
22in-state and out-of-state options for the child’s permanent
23placement. If the child is placed out of the state, the court shall
24make a determination whether the out-of-state placement continues
25to be appropriate and in the best interests of the child.

26(3) If the child is not returned to a parent or legal guardian at
27the subsequent permanency review hearing, the court shall order
28that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 in order to
29determine whether adoption, or, in the case of an Indian child,
30tribal customary adoption, guardianship, or, in the case of a child
3116 years of age or older when no other permanent plan is currently
32appropriate, another planned permanent living arrangement is the
33most appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012,
34a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the
35child is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is
36an Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as
37the permanent plan. However, if the court finds by clear and
38convincing evidence, based on the evidence already presented to
39it, including a recommendation by the State Department of Social
40Services when it is acting as an adoption agency or by a county
P42   1adoption agency, that there is a compelling reason, as described
2in paragraph (5) of subdivision (g) of Section 366.21, for
3determining that a hearing held under Section 366.26 is not in the
4best interest of the child because the child is not currently a proper
5subject for adoption or, in the case of an Indian child, tribal
6customary adoption, and has no one willing to accept legal
7guardianship as of the hearing date, then the court may, only under
8these circumstances, order that the child remain in foster care with
9a permanent plan of return home, adoption, tribal customary
10adoption in the case of an Indian child, legal guardianship, or
11placement with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. If the
12court determines it will not order a hearing pursuant to Section
13366.26, and the child is not currently placed with a fit and willing
14relative, the court shall order the provision of child-centered
15specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If
16the child is 16 years of age or older or is a nonminor dependent,
17and no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the
18hearing, the court may order another planned permanent living
19arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (i) of
20Section 16501,begin delete andend deletebegin insert and, if such a permanent plan is ordered, shallend insert
21 order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in another
22planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the next
23review hearing held pursuant to Section 366. If the court orders
24another planned permanent living arrangement for a child 16 years
25of age or older, the court shall order the provision of child-centered
26specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and
27that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in another
28planned permanent living arrangement be assessed at the next
29review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3. If the court orders
30another planned permanent living arrangement for a nonminor
31dependent, the court may order the same services for the nonminor
32dependent. The court shall make factual findings identifying any
33barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date.
34On and after January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal
35status as an adult is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold
36a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The court may order that a
37nonminor dependent who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section
3811403 remain in a planned, permanent living arrangement. If the
39court orders that a child who is 10 years of age or older remain in
40foster care, the court shall determine whether the agency has made
P42   1reasonable efforts to maintain the child’s relationships with
2individuals other than the child’s siblings who are important to the
3child, consistent with the child’s best interests, and may make any
4appropriate order to ensure that those relationships are maintained.
5The hearing shall be held no later than 120 days from the date of
6the subsequent permanency review hearing. The court shall also
7order termination of reunification services to the parent or legal
8guardian. The court shall continue to permit the parent or legal
9guardian to visit the child unless it finds that visitation would be
10detrimental to the child. The court shall determine whether
11reasonable services have been offered or provided to the parent or
12legal guardian. For purposes of this paragraph, evidence of any of
13the following circumstances shall not, in and of themselves, be
14deemed a failure to provide or offer reasonable services:

15(A) The child has been placed with a foster family that is eligible
16to adopt a child, or has been placed in a preadoptive home.

17(B) The case plan includes services to make and finalize a
18permanent placement for the child if efforts to reunify fail.

19(C) Services to make and finalize a permanent placement for
20the child, if efforts to reunify fail, are provided concurrently with
21services to reunify the family.

22(b) (1) Whenever a court orders that a hearing pursuant to
23Section 366.26 shall be held, it shall direct the agency supervising
24the child and the county adoption agency, or the State Department
25of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to
26prepare an assessment that shall include:

27(A) Current search efforts for an absent parent or parents.

28(B) A review of the amount of, and nature of, any contact
29between the child and his or her parents and other members of his
30or her extended family since the time of placement. Although the
31extended family of each child shall be reviewed on a case-by-case
32basis, “extended family” for the purposes of this paragraph shall
33include, but not be limited to, the child’s siblings, grandparents,
34aunts, and uncles.

35(C) An evaluation of the child’s medical, developmental,
36scholastic, mental, and emotional status.

37(D) A preliminary assessment of the eligibility and commitment
38of any identified prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian,
39including a prospective tribal customary adoptive parent,
40particularly the caretaker, to include a social history including
P44   1screening for criminal records and prior referrals for child abuse
2or neglect, the capability to meet the child’s needs, and the
3understanding of the legal and financial rights and responsibilities
4of adoption and guardianship. If a proposed legal guardian is a
5relative of the minor, the assessment shall also consider, but need
6not be limited to, all of the factors specified in subdivision (a) of
7Section 361.3 and in Section 361.4.

8(E) The relationship of the child to any identified prospective
9adoptive parent or legal guardian, including a prospective tribal
10customary adoptive parent, the duration and character of the
11relationship, the degree of attachment of the child to the prospective
12relative guardian or adoptive parent, the relative’s or adoptive
13parent’s strong commitment to caring permanently for the child,
14the motivation for seeking adoption or legal guardianship, a
15statement from the child concerning placement and the adoption
16or legal guardianship, and whether the child, if over 12 years of
17age, has been consulted about the proposed relative guardianship
18arrangements, unless the child’s age or physical, emotional, or
19other condition precludes his or her meaningful response, and, if
20so, a description of the condition.

21(F) An analysis of the likelihood that the child will be adopted
22if parental rights are terminated.

23(G) In the case of an Indian child, in addition to subparagraphs
24(A) to (F), inclusive, an assessment of the likelihood that the child
25will be adopted, when, in consultation with the child’s tribe, a
26tribal customary adoption, as defined in Section 366.24, is
27recommended. If tribal customary adoption is recommended, the
28assessment shall include an analysis of both of the following:

29(i) Whether tribal customary adoption would or would not be
30detrimental to the Indian child and the reasons for reaching that
31conclusion.

32(ii) Whether the Indian child cannot or should not be returned
33to the home of the Indian parent or Indian custodian and the reasons
34for reaching that conclusion.

35(2) (A) A relative caregiver’s preference for legal guardianship
36over adoption, if it is due to circumstances that do not include an
37unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the
38child, shall not constitute the sole basis for recommending removal
39of the child from the relative caregiver for purposes of adoptive
40placement.

P45   1(B) Regardless of his or her immigration status, a relative
2caregiver shall be given information regarding the permanency
3options of guardianship and adoption, including the long-term
4benefits and consequences of each option, prior to establishing
5legal guardianship or pursuing adoption. If the proposed permanent
6plan is guardianship with an approved relative caregiver for a
7minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program, as provided
8for in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of Chapter 2
9of Part 3 of Division 9, the relative caregiver shall be informed
10about the terms and conditions of the negotiated agreement
11pursuant to Section 11387 and shall agree to its execution prior to
12the hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26. A copy of the executed
13negotiated agreement shall be attached to the assessment.

14(c) If, at any hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26, a
15guardianship is established for the minor with an approved relative
16caregiver, and juvenile court dependency is subsequently
17dismissed, the minor shall be eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP
18Program, as provided for in Article 4.5 (commencing with Section
1911360) or Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), as
20applicable, of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9.

21(d) As used in this section, “relative” means an adult who is
22 related to the minor by blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth
23degree of kinship, including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all
24relatives whose status is preceded by the words “great,”
25“great-great,” or “grand,” or the spouse of any of those persons
26even if the marriage was terminated by death or dissolution. If the
27proposed permanent plan is guardianship with an approved relative
28caregiver for a minor eligible for aid under the Kin-GAP Program,
29as provided in Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385) of
30Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9, “relative” as used in this section
31has the same meaning as “relative” as defined in subdivision (c)
32of Section 11391.

33

SEC. 7.  

Section 366.26 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
34 is amended to read:

35

366.26.  

(a) This section applies to children who are adjudged
36dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to subdivision
37(d) of Section 360. The procedures specified herein are the
38exclusive procedures for conducting these hearings; Part 2
39(commencing with Section 3020) of Division 8 of the Family Code
40is not applicable to these proceedings. Section 8616.5 of the Family
P46   1Code is applicable and available to all dependent children meeting
2the requirements of that section, if the postadoption contact
3agreement has been entered into voluntarily. For children who are
4adjudged dependent children of the juvenile court pursuant to
5subdivision (d) of Section 360, this section and Sections 8604,
68605, 8606, and 8700 of the Family Code and Chapter 5
7(commencing with Section 7660) of Part 3 of Division 12 of the
8Family Code specify the exclusive procedures for permanently
9terminating parental rights with regard to, or establishing legal
10guardianship of, the child while the child is a dependent child of
11the juvenile court.

12(b) At the hearing, which shall be held in juvenile court for all
13children who are dependents of the juvenile court, the court, in
14order to provide stable, permanent homes for these children, shall
15review the report as specified in Section 361.5, 366.21, 366.22, or
16366.25, shall indicate that the court has read and considered it,
17shall receive other evidence that the parties may present, and then
18shall make findings and orders in the following order of preference:

19(1) Terminate the rights of the parent or parents and order that
20 the child be placed for adoption and, upon the filing of a petition
21for adoption in the juvenile court, order that a hearing be set. The
22court shall proceed with the adoption after the appellate rights of
23the natural parents have been exhausted.

24(2) Order, without termination of parental rights, the plan of
25tribal customary adoption, as described in Section 366.24, through
26tribal custom, traditions, or law of the Indian child’s tribe, and
27upon the court affording the tribal customary adoption order full
28faith and credit at the continued selection and implementation
29hearing, order that a hearing be set pursuant to paragraph (2) of
30subdivision (e).

31(3) Appoint a relative or relatives with whom the child is
32currently residing as legal guardian or guardians for the child, and
33order that letters of guardianship issue.

34(4) On making a finding under paragraph (3) of subdivision (c),
35identify adoption or tribal customary adoption as the permanent
36placement goal and order that efforts be made to locate an
37appropriate adoptive family for the child within a period not to
38exceed 180 days.

39(5) Appoint a nonrelative legal guardian for the child and order
40that letters of guardianship issue.

P47   1(6) Order that the child be permanently placed with a fit and
2willing relative, subject to the periodic review of the juvenile court
3under Section 366.3.

4(7) Order that the child remain in foster care, subject to the
5conditions described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (c) and the
6periodic review of the juvenile court under Section 366.3.

7In choosing among the above alternatives the court shall proceed
8pursuant to subdivision (c).

9(c) (1) If the court determines, based on the assessment provided
10as ordered under subdivision (i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b)
11of Section 366.22, or subdivision (b) of Section 366.25, and any
12other relevant evidence, by a clear and convincing standard, that
13it is likely the child will be adopted, the court shall terminate
14parental rights and order the child placed for adoption. The fact
15that the child is not yet placed in a preadoptive home nor with a
16relative or foster family who is prepared to adopt the child, shall
17not constitute a basis for the court to conclude that it is not likely
18the child will be adopted. A finding under subdivision (b) or
19paragraph (1) of subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reunification
20services shall not be offered, under subdivision (e) of Section
21366.21 that the whereabouts of a parent have been unknown for
22six months or that the parent has failed to visit or contact the child
23for six months, or that the parent has been convicted of a felony
24indicating parental unfitness, or, under Section 366.21 or 366.22,
25that the court has continued to remove the child from the custody
26of the parent or guardian and has terminated reunification services,
27shall constitute a sufficient basis for termination of parental rights.
28Under these circumstances, the court shall terminate parental rights
29unless either of the following applies:

30(A) The child is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling
31to adopt the child because of circumstances that do not include an
32unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the
33child, but who is willing and capable of providing the child with
34a stable and permanent environment through legal guardianship,
35and the removal of the child from the custody of his or her relative
36would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. For
37purposes of an Indian child, “relative” shall include an “extended
38family member,” as defined in the federal Indian Child Welfare
39Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. Sec. 1903(2)).

P48   1(B) The court finds a compelling reason for determining that
2termination would be detrimental to the child due to one or more
3of the following circumstances:

4(i) The parents have maintained regular visitation and contact
5with the child and the child would benefit from continuing the
6relationship.

7(ii) A child 12 years of age or older objects to termination of
8parental rights.

9(iii) The child is placed in a residential treatment facility,
10adoption is currently unlikely or undesirable, and continuation of
11parental rights will not prevent finding the child a permanent family
12placement if the parents cannot resume custody when residential
13care is no longer needed. If the court determines that adoption is
14currently unlikely or undesirable, the court shall order
15child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
16Section 11400, and assess progress towards placement in a
17permanent family at the next review hearing held pursuant to
18Section 366.3.

19(iv) The child is living with a foster parent or Indian custodian
20who is unable or unwilling to adopt the child because of
21exceptional circumstances, that do not include an unwillingness
22to accept legal or financial responsibility for the child, but who is
23willing and capable of providing the child with a stable and
24permanent environment and the removal of the child from the
25physical custody of his or her foster parent or Indian custodian
26would be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child. This
27clause does not apply to any child who is either (I) under six years
28of age or (II) a member of a sibling group where at least one child
29is under six years of age and the siblings are, or should be,
30permanently placed together.

31(v) There would be substantial interference with a child’s sibling
32relationship, taking into consideration the nature and extent of the
33relationship, including, but not limited to, whether the child was
34raised with a sibling in the same home, whether the child shared
35significant common experiences or has existing close and strong
36bonds with a sibling, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s
37best interest, including the child’s long-term emotional interest,
38as compared to the benefit of legal permanence through adoption.

P49   1(vi) The child is an Indian child and there is a compelling reason
2for determining that termination of parental rights would not be
3in the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to:

4(I) Termination of parental rights would substantially interfere
5with the child’s connection to his or her tribal community or the
6child’s tribal membership rights.

7(II) The child’s tribe has identified guardianship, foster care
8with a fit and willing relative, tribal customary adoption, or another
9planned permanent living arrangement for the child.

10(III) The child is a nonminor dependent, and the nonminor and
11the nonminor’s tribe have identified tribal customary adoption for
12the nonminor.

13(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B), in the case of tribal
14customary adoptions, Section 366.24 shall apply.

15(D) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would
16be detrimental to the child pursuant to clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv),
17(v), or (vi), it shall state its reasons in writing or on the record.

18(2) The court shall not terminate parental rights if:

19(A) At each hearing at which the court was required to consider
20reasonable efforts or services, the court has found that reasonable
21efforts were not made or that reasonable services were not offered
22or provided.

23(B) In the case of an Indian child:

24(i) At the hearing terminating parental rights, the court has found
25that active efforts were not made as required in Section 361.7.

26(ii) The court does not make a determination at the hearing
27terminating parental rights, supported by evidence beyond a
28reasonable doubt, including testimony of one or more “qualified
29expert witnesses” as defined in Section 224.6, that the continued
30custody of the child by the parent is likely to result in serious
31emotional or physical damage to the child.

32(iii) The court has ordered tribal customary adoption pursuant
33to Section 366.24.

34(3) If the court finds that termination of parental rights would
35not be detrimental to the child pursuant to paragraph (1) and that
36the child has a probability for adoption but is difficult to place for
37adoption and there is no identified or available prospective adoptive
38parent, the court may identify adoption as the permanent placement
39goal and without terminating parental rights, order that efforts be
40made to locate an appropriate adoptive family for the child, within
P50   1the state or out of the state, within a period not to exceed 180 days.
2During this 180-day period, the public agency responsible for
3seeking adoptive parents for each child shall, to the extent possible,
4ask each child who is 10 years of age or older to identify any
5individuals, other than the child’s siblings, who are important to
6the child, in order to identify potential adoptive parents. The public
7agency may ask any other child to provide that information, as
8appropriate. During the 180-day period, the public agency shall,
9to the extent possible, contact other private and public adoption
10agencies regarding the availability of the child for adoption. During
11the 180-day period, the public agency shall conduct the search for
12adoptive parents in the same manner as prescribed for children in
13Sections 8708 and 8709 of the Family Code. At the expiration of
14this period, another hearing shall be held and the court shall
15proceed pursuant to paragraph (1), (2), (3), (5), or (6) of subdivision
16(b). For purposes of this section, a child may only be found to be
17difficult to place for adoption if there is no identified or available
18prospective adoptive parent for the child because of the child’s
19membership in a sibling group, or the presence of a diagnosed
20medical, physical, or mental handicap, or the child is seven years
21of age or more. If the child is found to be difficult to place for
22adoption, the court shall order child-centered specialized
23permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.

24(4) (A) If the court finds that adoption of the child or
25termination of parental rights is not in the best interest of the child,
26because one of the conditions in clause (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (v), or
27(vi) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) or in paragraph (2)
28applies, the court shall order that the present caretakers or other
29appropriate persons shall become legal guardians of the child, or,
30in the case of an Indian child, consider a tribal customary adoption
31pursuant to Section 366.24. Legal guardianship shall be considered
32before continuing the child in foster care under any other permanent
33plan, if it is in the best interests of the child and if a suitable
34guardian can be found. If the child continues in foster care, the
35court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to
36achieving adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an
37Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing
38relative as of the date of the hearing and shall order the agency to
39begin providing child-centered specialized permanency services,
40as defined in Section 11400. A child who is 10 years of age or
P51   1older shall be asked to identify any individuals, other than the
2 child’s siblings, who are important to the child, in order to identify
3potential guardians or, in the case of an Indian child, prospective
4tribal customary adoptive parents. The agency may ask any other
5child to provide that information, as appropriate.

6(B) (i) If the child is living with an approved relative who is
7willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent
8environment, but not willing to become a legal guardian as of the
9hearing date, the court shall order a permanent plan of placement
10with a fit and willing relative, and the child shall not be removed
11from the home if the court finds the removal would be seriously
12detrimental to the emotional well-being of the child because the
13child has substantial psychological ties to the relative caretaker.

14(ii) If the child is living with a nonrelative caregiver who is
15willing and capable of providing a stable and permanent
16 environment but is not willing to become a legal guardian as of
17the hearing date, the court shall order that the child remain in foster
18care with a permanent plan of return home, adoption, legal
19guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing relative, as
20appropriate, and shall order the agency supervising the child and
21the county adoption agency, or the State Department of Social
22Services when it is acting as an adoption agency, to begin providing
23child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
24Section 11400. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or a
25nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate
26at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned
27permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of
28subdivision (i) of Section 16501,begin delete andend deletebegin insert and, if such a permanent
29plan is ordered, shallend insert
order the provision of child-centered
30specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If
31the child is 16 years of age or older, the appropriateness of the
32child’s continuation in a planned permanent living arrangement
33shall be assessed at the next review hearing held pursuant to
34Section 366.3. If the order of another planned permanent living
35arrangement is made for a nonminor dependent, the court may
36order the provision of child-centered specialized permanency
37services, as defined in Section 11400. Regardless of the age of the
38child, the child shall not be removed from the home if the court
39finds the removal would be seriously detrimental to the emotional
P52   1well-being of the child because the child has substantial
2psychological ties to the caregiver.

3(iii) If the child is living in a group home or, on or after January
41, 2017, a short-term residential treatment center, the court shall
5order that the child remain in foster care with a permanent plan of
6return home, adoption, tribal customary adoption in the case of an
7Indian child, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing
8relative, as appropriate. If the child is 16 years of age or older, or
9a nonminor dependent, and no other permanent plan is appropriate
10at the time of the hearing, the court may order another planned
11permanent living arrangement, as described in paragraph (2) of
12subdivision (i) of Section 16501. If the child is 16 yearsbegin insert of ageend insert or
13older, the court shall order the provision of child-centered
14specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and
15order that the appropriateness of the child’s continuation in a
16planned permanent living arrangement be assessed again at the
17next review hearing held pursuant to Section 366.3. If the order
18of another planned permanent living arrangement is made for a
19nonminor dependent, the court may order the provision of
20child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
21Section 11400.

22(C) The court shall also make an order for visitation with the
23parents or guardians unless the court finds by a preponderance of
24the evidence that the visitation would be detrimental to the physical
25or emotional well-being of the child.

26(5) (A) If the court finds that the child should not be placed for
27adoption, that legal guardianship shall not be established, that
28placement with a fit and willing relative is not appropriate as of
29the hearing date, and that there are no suitable foster parents except
30exclusive-use homes available to provide the child with a stable
31and permanent environment, the court may order the care, custody,
32and control of the child transferred from the county welfare
33department to a licensed foster family agency. The court shall
34 consider the written recommendation of the county welfare director
35regarding the suitability of the transfer. The transfer shall be subject
36to further court orders.

37(B) The licensed foster family agency shall place the child in a
38suitable licensed or exclusive-use home that has been certified by
39the agency as meeting licensing standards. The licensed foster
40family agency shall be responsible for supporting the child and
P53   1providing appropriate services to the child, including those services
2ordered by the court. Responsibility for the support of the child
3shall not, in and of itself, create liability on the part of the foster
4family agency to third persons injured by the child. Those children
5whose care, custody, and control are transferred to a foster family
6agency shall not be eligible for foster care maintenance payments
7or child welfare services, except for emergency response services
8pursuant to Section 16504.

9(d) The proceeding for the appointment of a guardian for a child
10who is a dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile
11court. If the court finds pursuant to this section that legal
12guardianship is the appropriate permanent plan, it shall appoint
13the legal guardian and issue letters of guardianship. The assessment
14prepared pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 361.5, subdivision
15(i) of Section 366.21, subdivision (b) of Section 366.22, and
16subdivision (b) of Section 366.25 shall be read and considered by
17the court prior to the appointment, and this shall be reflected in
18the minutes of the court. The person preparing the assessment may
19be called and examined by any party to the proceeding.

20(e) (1) The proceeding for the adoption of a child who is a
21dependent of the juvenile court shall be in the juvenile court if the
22court finds pursuant to this section that adoption is the appropriate
23permanent plan and the petition for adoption is filed in the juvenile
24court. Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, the juvenile court
25shall order that an adoption hearing be set. The court shall proceed
26with the adoption after the appellate rights of the natural parents
27have been exhausted. The full report required by Section 8715 of
28the Family Code shall be read and considered by the court prior
29to the adoption and this shall be reflected in the minutes of the
30court. The person preparing the report may be called and examined
31by any party to the proceeding. It is the intent of the Legislature,
32pursuant to this subdivision, to give potential adoptive parents the
33option of filing in the juvenile court the petition for the adoption
34of a child who is a dependent of the juvenile court. Nothing in this
35section is intended to prevent the filing of a petition for adoption
36in any other court as permitted by law, instead of in the juvenile
37court.

38(2) In the case of an Indian child, if the Indian child’s tribe has
39elected a permanent plan of tribal customary adoption, the court,
40upon receiving the tribal customary adoption order will afford the
P54   1tribal customary adoption order full faith and credit to the same
2extent that the court would afford full faith and credit to the public
3acts, records, judicial proceedings, and judgments of any other
4entity. Upon a determination that the tribal customary adoption
5order may be afforded full faith and credit, consistent with Section
6224.5, the court shall thereafter order a hearing to finalize the
7adoption be set upon the filing of the adoption petition. The
8prospective tribal customary adoptive parents and the child who
9is the subject of the tribal customary adoption petition shall appear
10before the court for the finalization hearing. The court shall
11thereafter issue an order of adoption pursuant to Section 366.24.

12(3) If a child who is the subject of a finalized tribal customary
13adoption shows evidence of a developmental disability or mental
14illness as a result of conditions existing before the tribal customary
15adoption to the extent that the child cannot be relinquished to a
16licensed adoption agency on the grounds that the child is considered
17difficult to place for adoption as pursuant to paragraph (3) of
18subdivision (c) and of which condition the tribal customary
19adoptive parent or parents had no knowledge or notice before the
20entry of the tribal customary adoption order, a petition setting forth
21those facts may be filed by the tribal customary adoptive parent
22or parents with the juvenile court that granted the tribal customary
23adoption petition. If these facts are proved to the satisfaction of
24the juvenile court, it may make an order setting aside the tribal
25customary adoption order. The set-aside petition shall be filed
26within five years of the issuance of the tribal customary adoption
27order. The court clerk shall immediately notify the child’s tribe
28and the department in Sacramento of the petition within 60 days
29after the notice of filing of the petition. The department shall file
30a full report with the court and shall appear before the court for
31the purpose of representing the child. Whenever a final decree of
32tribal customary adoption has been vacated or set aside, the child
33shall be returned to the custody of the county in which the
34proceeding for tribal customary adoption was finalized. The
35biological parent or parents of the child may petition for return of
36custody. The disposition of the child after the court has entered an
37order to set aside a tribal customary adoption shall include
38consultation with the child’s tribe.

P55   1(f) At the beginning of any proceeding pursuant to this section,
2if the child or the parents are not being represented by previously
3retained or appointed counsel, the court shall proceed as follows:

4(1) In accordance with subdivision (c) of Section 317, if a child
5before the court is without counsel, the court shall appoint counsel
6unless the court finds that the child would not benefit from the
7appointment of counsel. The court shall state on the record its
8 reasons for that finding.

9(2) If a parent appears without counsel and is unable to afford
10counsel, the court shall appoint counsel for the parent, unless this
11representation is knowingly and intelligently waived. The same
12counsel shall not be appointed to represent both the child and his
13or her parent. The public defender or private counsel may be
14appointed as counsel for the parent.

15(3) Private counsel appointed under this section shall receive a
16reasonable sum for compensation and expenses, the amount of
17which shall be determined by the court. The amount shall be paid
18by the real parties in interest, other than the child, in any
19proportions the court deems just. However, if the court finds that
20any of the real parties in interest are unable to afford counsel, the
21amount shall be paid out of the general fund of the county.

22(g) The court may continue the proceeding for a period of time
23not to exceed 30 days as necessary to appoint counsel, and to
24enable counsel to become acquainted with the case.

25(h) (1) At all proceedings under this section, the court shall
26consider the wishes of the child and shall act in the best interests
27of the child.

28(2) In accordance with Section 349, the child shall be present
29in court if the child or the child’s counsel so requests or the court
30so orders. If the child is 10 years of age or older and is not present
31at a hearing held pursuant to this section, the court shall determine
32whether the minor was properly notified of his or her right to attend
33 the hearing and inquire as to the reason why the child is not present.

34(3) (A) The testimony of the child may be taken in chambers
35and outside the presence of the child’s parent or parents, if the
36child’s parent or parents are represented by counsel, the counsel
37is present, and any of the following circumstances exists:

38(i) The court determines that testimony in chambers is necessary
39to ensure truthful testimony.

P56   1(ii) The child is likely to be intimidated by a formal courtroom
2setting.

3(iii) The child is afraid to testify in front of his or her parent or
4parents.

5(B) After testimony in chambers, the parent or parents of the
6child may elect to have the court reporter read back the testimony
7or have the testimony summarized by counsel for the parent or
8parents.

9(C) The testimony of a child also may be taken in chambers and
10outside the presence of the guardian or guardians of a child under
11the circumstances specified in this subdivision.

12(i) (1) Any order of the court permanently terminating parental
13rights under this section shall be conclusive and binding upon the
14child, upon the parent or parents, and upon all other persons who
15have been served with citation by publication or otherwise as
16provided in this chapter. After making the order, the juvenile court
17shall have no power to set aside, change, or modify it, except as
18provided in paragraph (2), but nothing in this section shall be
19construed to limit the right to appeal the order.

20(2) A tribal customary adoption order evidencing that the Indian
21child has been the subject of a tribal customary adoption shall be
22afforded full faith and credit and shall have the same force and
23effect as an order of adoption authorized by this section. The rights
24and obligations of the parties as to the matters determined by the
25Indian child’s tribe shall be binding on all parties. A court shall
26not order compliance with the order absent a finding that the party
27seeking the enforcement participated, or attempted to participate,
28in good faith, in family mediation services of the court or dispute
29resolution through the tribe regarding the conflict, prior to the
30filing of the enforcement action.

31(3) A child who has not been adopted after the passage of at
32least three years from the date the court terminated parental rights
33and for whom the court has determined that adoption is no longer
34the permanent plan may petition the juvenile court to reinstate
35parental rights pursuant to the procedure prescribed by Section
36388. The child may file the petition prior to the expiration of this
37three-year period if the State Department of Social Services, county
38adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency that is responsible
39for custody and supervision of the child as described in subdivision
40(j) and the child stipulate that the child is no longer likely to be
P57   1adopted. A child over 12 years of age shall sign the petition in the
2absence of a showing of good cause as to why the child could not
3do so. If it appears that the best interests of the child may be
4promoted by reinstatement of parental rights, the court shall order
5that a hearing be held and shall give prior notice, or cause prior
6notice to be given, to the social worker or probation officer and to
7the child’s attorney of record, or, if there is no attorney of record
8for the child, to the child, and the child’s tribe, if applicable, by
9means prescribed by subdivision (c) of Section 297. The court
10shall order the child or the social worker or probation officer to
11give prior notice of the hearing to the child’s former parent or
12parents whose parental rights were terminated in the manner
13prescribed by subdivision (f) of Section 294 where the
14recommendation is adoption. The juvenile court shall grant the
15petition if it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child
16is no longer likely to be adopted and that reinstatement of parental
17rights is in the child’s best interest. If the court reinstates parental
18rights over a child who is under 12 years of age and for whom the
19new permanent plan will not be reunification with a parent or legal
20guardian, the court shall specify the factual basis for its findings
21that it is in the best interest of the child to reinstate parental rights.
22This subdivision is intended to be retroactive and applies to any
23child who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court at the time
24of the hearing regardless of the date parental rights were terminated.

25(j) If the court, by order or judgment, declares the child free
26from the custody and control of both parents, or one parent if the
27other does not have custody and control, or declares the child
28eligible for tribal customary adoption, the court shall at the same
29time order the child referred to the State Department of Social
30Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency for
31adoptive placement by the agency. However, except in the case
32of a tribal customary adoption where there is no termination of
33 parental rights, a petition for adoption may not be granted until
34the appellate rights of the natural parents have been exhausted.
35The State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency,
36or licensed adoption agency shall be responsible for the custody
37and supervision of the child and shall be entitled to the exclusive
38care and control of the child at all times until a petition for adoption
39or tribal customary adoption is granted, except as specified in
40subdivision (n). With the consent of the agency, the court may
P58   1appoint a guardian of the child, who shall serve until the child is
2adopted.

3(k) Notwithstanding any other law, the application of any person
4who, as a relative caretaker or foster parent, has cared for a
5dependent child for whom the court has approved a permanent
6plan for adoption, or who has been freed for adoption, shall be
7given preference with respect to that child over all other
8applications for adoptive placement if the agency making the
9placement determines that the child has substantial emotional ties
10to the relative caretaker or foster parent and removal from the
11relative caretaker or foster parent would be seriously detrimental
12to the child’s emotional well-being.

13As used in this subdivision, “preference” means that the
14application shall be processed and, if satisfactory, the family study
15shall be completed before the processing of the application of any
16other person for the adoptive placement of the child.

17(l) (1) An order by the court that a hearing pursuant to this
18section be held is not appealable at any time unless all of the
19following apply:

20(A) A petition for extraordinary writ review was filed in a timely
21manner.

22(B) The petition substantively addressed the specific issues to
23be challenged and supported that challenge by an adequate record.

24(C) The petition for extraordinary writ review was summarily
25denied or otherwise not decided on the merits.

26(2) Failure to file a petition for extraordinary writ review within
27the period specified by rule, to substantively address the specific
28issues challenged, or to support that challenge by an adequate
29record shall preclude subsequent review by appeal of the findings
30and orders made pursuant to this section.

31(3) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court, effective
32January 1, 1995, to ensure all of the following:

33(A) A trial court, after issuance of an order directing a hearing
34pursuant to this section be held, shall advise all parties of the
35requirement of filing a petition for extraordinary writ review as
36set forth in this subdivision in order to preserve any right to appeal
37in these issues. This notice shall be made orally to a party if the
38party is present at the time of the making of the order or by
39first-class mail by the clerk of the court to the last known address
40of a party not present at the time of the making of the order.

P59   1(B) The prompt transmittal of the records from the trial court
2to the appellate court.

3(C) That adequate time requirements for counsel and court
4personnel exist to implement the objective of this subdivision.

5(D) That the parent or guardian, or their trial counsel or other
6counsel, is charged with the responsibility of filing a petition for
7extraordinary writ relief pursuant to this subdivision.

8(4) The intent of this subdivision is to do both of the following:

9(A) Make every reasonable attempt to achieve a substantive and
10meritorious review by the appellate court within the time specified
11in Sections 366.21, 366.22, and 366.25 for holding a hearing
12pursuant to this section.

13(B) Encourage the appellate court to determine all writ petitions
14filed pursuant to this subdivision on their merits.

15(5) This subdivision shall only apply to cases in which an order
16to set a hearing pursuant to this section is issued on or after January
171, 1995.

18(m) Except for subdivision (j), this section shall also apply to
19minors adjudged wards pursuant to Section 727.31.

20(n) (1) Notwithstanding Section 8704 of the Family Code or
21any other law, the court, at a hearing held pursuant to this section
22or anytime thereafter, may designate a current caretaker as a
23prospective adoptive parent if the child has lived with the caretaker
24for at least six months, the caretaker currently expresses a
25commitment to adopt the child, and the caretaker has taken at least
26one step to facilitate the adoption process. In determining whether
27to make that designation, the court may take into consideration
28whether the caretaker is listed in the preliminary assessment
29prepared by the county department in accordance with subdivision
30(i) of Section 366.21 as an appropriate person to be considered as
31an adoptive parent for the child and the recommendation of the
32State Department of Social Services, county adoption agency, or
33licensed adoption agency.

34(2) For purposes of this subdivision, steps to facilitate the
35adoption process include, but are not limited to, the following:

36(A) Applying for an adoption home study.

37(B) Cooperating with an adoption home study.

38(C) Being designated by the court or the adoption agency as the
39adoptive family.

40(D) Requesting de facto parent status.

P60   1(E) Signing an adoptive placement agreement.

2(F) Engaging in discussions regarding a postadoption contact
3agreement.

4(G) Working to overcome any impediments that have been
5identified by the State Department of Social Services, county
6adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency.

7(H) Attending classes required of prospective adoptive parents.

8(3) Prior to a change in placement and as soon as possible after
9a decision is made to remove a child from the home of a designated
10prospective adoptive parent, the agency shall notify the court, the
11designated prospective adoptive parent, or the current caretaker,
12if that caretaker would have met the threshold criteria to be
13designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph
14(1) on the date of service of this notice, the child’s attorney, and
15the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the proposal
16in the manner described in Section 16010.6.

17(A) Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever
18is longer, of the date of notification, the child, the child’s attorney,
19or the designated prospective adoptive parent may file a petition
20with the court objecting to the proposal to remove the child, or the
21court, upon its own motion, may set a hearing regarding the
22proposal. The court may, for good cause, extend the filing period.
23A caretaker who would have met the threshold criteria to be
24designated as a prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph
25(1) on the date of service of the notice of proposed removal of the
26child may file, together with the petition under this subparagraph,
27a petition for an order designating the caretaker as a prospective
28adoptive parent for purposes of this subdivision.

29(B) A hearing ordered pursuant to this paragraph shall be held
30as soon as possible and not later than five court days after the
31petition is filed with the court or the court sets a hearing upon its
32own motion, unless the court for good cause is unable to set the
33matter for hearing five court days after the petition is filed, in
34which case the court shall set the matter for hearing as soon as
35possible. At the hearing, the court shall determine whether the
36caretaker has met the threshold criteria to be designated as a
37prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1), and whether
38the proposed removal of the child from the home of the designated
39prospective adoptive parent is in the child’s best interest, and the
40child may not be removed from the home of the designated
P61   1prospective adoptive parent unless the court finds that removal is
2in the child’s best interest. If the court determines that the caretaker
3did not meet the threshold criteria to be designated as a prospective
4adoptive parent on the date of service of the notice of proposed
5removal of the child, the petition objecting to the proposed removal
6filed by the caretaker shall be dismissed. If the caretaker was
7designated as a prospective adoptive parent prior to this hearing,
8the court shall inquire into any progress made by the caretaker
9towards the adoption of the child since the caretaker was designated
10as a prospective adoptive parent.

11(C) A determination by the court that the caretaker is a
12designated prospective adoptive parent pursuant to paragraph (1)
13or subparagraph (B) does not make the caretaker a party to the
14dependency proceeding nor does it confer on the caretaker any
15standing to object to any other action of the department, county
16adoption agency, or licensed adoption agency, unless the caretaker
17has been declared a de facto parent by the court prior to the notice
18of removal served pursuant to paragraph (3).

19(D) If a petition objecting to the proposal to remove the child
20is not filed, and the court, upon its own motion, does not set a
21hearing, the child may be removed from the home of the designated
22prospective adoptive parent without a hearing.

23(4) Notwithstanding paragraph (3), if the State Department of
24Social Services, county adoption agency, or licensed adoption
25agency determines that the child must be removed from the home
26of the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective adoptive
27parent immediately, due to a risk of physical or emotional harm,
28the agency may remove the child from that home and is not
29required to provide notice prior to the removal. However, as soon
30as possible and not longer than two court days after the removal,
31the agency shall notify the court, the caretaker who is or may be
32a designated prospective adoptive parent, the child’s attorney, and
33the child, if the child is 10 years of age or older, of the removal.
34Within five court days or seven calendar days, whichever is longer,
35of the date of notification of the removal, the child, the child’s
36attorney, or the caretaker who is or may be a designated prospective
37adoptive parent may petition for, or the court on its own motion
38may set, a noticed hearing pursuant to paragraph (3). The court
39may, for good cause, extend the filing period.

P62   1(5) Except as provided in subdivision (b) of Section 366.28, an
2order by the court issued after a hearing pursuant to this subdivision
3shall not be appealable.

4(6) Nothing in this section shall preclude a county child
5protective services agency from fully investigating and responding
6to alleged abuse or neglect of a child pursuant to Section 11165.5
7of the Penal Code.

8(7) The Judicial Council shall prepare forms to facilitate the
9filing of the petitions described in this subdivision, which shall
10become effective on January 1, 2006.

11

SEC. 8.  

Section 366.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is
12amended to read:

13

366.3.  

(a) If a juvenile court orders a permanent plan of
14adoption, tribal customary adoption, adoption of a nonminor
15dependent pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31, or legal
16guardianship pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26, the court shall
17retain jurisdiction over the child or nonminor dependent until the
18child or nonminor dependent is adopted or the legal guardianship
19is established, except as provided for in Section 366.29 or, on and
20after January 1, 2012, Section 366.32. The status of the child or
21nonminor dependent shall be reviewed every six months to ensure
22that the adoption or legal guardianship is completed as
23expeditiously as possible. When the adoption of the child or
24nonminor dependent has been granted, or in the case of a tribal
25customary adoption, when the tribal customary adoption order has
26been afforded full faith and credit and the petition for adoption
27has been granted, the court shall terminate its jurisdiction over the
28child or nonminor dependent. Following establishment of a legal
29guardianship, the court may continue jurisdiction over the child
30as a dependent child of the juvenile court or may terminate its
31dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a
32ward of the legal guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4. If,
33however, a relative of the child is appointed the legal guardian of
34the child and the child has been placed with the relative for at least
35six months, the court shall, except if the relative guardian objects,
36or upon a finding of exceptional circumstances, terminate its
37dependency jurisdiction and retain jurisdiction over the child as a
38ward of the guardianship, as authorized by Section 366.4.
39Following a termination of parental rights, the parent or parents
P63   1shall not be a party to, or receive notice of, any subsequent
2proceedings regarding the child.

3(b) (1) If the court has dismissed dependency jurisdiction
4following the establishment of a legal guardianship, or no
5dependency jurisdiction attached because of the granting of a legal
6guardianship pursuant to Section 360, and the legal guardianship
7is subsequently revoked or otherwise terminated, the county
8department of social services or welfare department shall notify
9the juvenile court of this fact. The court may vacate its previous
10order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child.

11(2) Notwithstanding Section 1601 of the Probate Code, the
12proceedings to terminate a legal guardianship that has been granted
13pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26 shall be held either in the
14juvenile court that retains jurisdiction over the guardianship as
15authorized by Section 366.4 or the juvenile court in the county
16where the guardian and child currently reside, based on the best
17interests of the child, unless the termination is due to the
18emancipation or adoption of the child. The juvenile court having
19jurisdiction over the guardianship shall receive notice from the
20court in which the petition is filed within five calendar days of the
21filing. Prior to the hearing on a petition to terminate legal
22guardianship pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall order the
23county department of social services or welfare department having
24jurisdiction or jointly with the county department where the
25guardian and child currently reside to prepare a report, for the
26court’s consideration, that shall include an evaluation of whether
27the child could safely remain in, or be returned to, the legal
28guardian’s home, without terminating the legal guardianship, if
29services were provided to the child or legal guardian. If applicable,
30the report shall also identify recommended family maintenance or
31reunification services to maintain the legal guardianship and set
32forth a plan for providing those services. If the petition to terminate
33legal guardianship is granted, either juvenile court may resume
34dependency jurisdiction over the child, and may order the county
35department of social services or welfare department to develop a
36new permanent plan, which shall be presented to the court within
3760 days of the termination. If no dependency jurisdiction has
38attached, the social worker shall make any investigation he or she
39deems necessary to determine whether the child may be within the
40jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as provided in Section 328.

P64   1(3) Unless the parental rights of the child’s parent or parents
2have been terminated, they shall be notified that the legal
3guardianship has been revoked or terminated and shall be entitled
4to participate in the new permanency planning hearing. The court
5shall try to place the child in another permanent placement. At the
6hearing, the parents may be considered as custodians but the child
7shall not be returned to the parent or parents unless they prove, by
8a preponderance of the evidence, that reunification is the best
9alternative for the child. The court may, if it is in the best interests
10of the child, order that reunification services again be provided to
11the parent or parents.

12(c) If, following the establishment of a legal guardianship, the
13county welfare department becomes aware of changed
14circumstances that indicate adoption or, for an Indian child, tribal
15customary adoption, may be an appropriate plan for the child, the
16department shall so notify the court. The court may vacate its
17previous order dismissing dependency jurisdiction over the child
18and order that a hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26 to
19determine whether adoption or continued legal guardianship is the
20most appropriate plan for the child. The hearing shall be held no
21later than 120 days from the date of the order. If the court orders
22that a hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 366.26, the court
23shall direct the agency supervising the child and the county
24adoption agency, or the State Department of Social Services if it
25is acting as an adoption agency, to prepare an assessment under
26subdivision (b) of Section 366.22.

27(d) If the child or, on and after January 1, 2012, nonminor
28dependent is in a placement other than the home of a legal guardian
29and jurisdiction has not been dismissed, the status of the child shall
30be reviewed at least every six months. The review of the status of
31a child for whom the court has ordered parental rights terminated
32and who has been ordered placed for adoption shall be conducted
33by the court. The review of the status of a child or, on and after
34January 1, 2012, nonminor dependent for whom the court has not
35ordered parental rights terminated and who has not been ordered
36placed for adoption may be conducted by the court or an
37appropriate local agency. The court shall conduct the review under
38the following circumstances:

39(1) Upon the request of the child’s parents or legal guardians.

P65   1(2) Upon the request of the child or, on and after January 1,
22012, nonminor dependent.

3(3) It has been 12 months since a hearing held pursuant to
4Section 366.26 or an order that the child remain in foster care
5pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, 366.25, 366.26, or subdivision
6(h).

7(4) It has been 12 months since a review was conducted by the
8court.

9The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts,
10including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency
11services, as defined in Section 11400, to make and finalize a
12permanent placement for the child have been made.

13(e) Except as provided in subdivision (g), at the review held
14every six months pursuant to subdivision (d), the reviewing body
15shall inquire about the progress being made to provide a permanent
16home for the child, shall consider the safety of the child, and shall
17determine all of the following:

18(1) The continuing necessity for, and appropriateness of, the
19placement.

20(2) The extent to which child-centered specialized permanency
21services, as described Section 11400, have been provided.

22(3) Identification of individuals other than the child’s siblings
23who are important to a child who is 10 years of age or older and
24has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer, and
25actions necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those
26individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest
27of the child. The social worker shall ask every child who is 10
28years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement
29for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the
30child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any
31other child to provide that information, as appropriate. The social
32worker shall make efforts to identify other individuals who are
33important to the child, consistent with the child’s best interests.

34(4) The continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance
35with the permanent plan for the child, including efforts to maintain
36relationships between a child who is 10 years of age or older and
37who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer
38and individuals who are important to the child and efforts to
39identify a prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including,
P66   1but not limited to, child-specific recruitment efforts and listing on
2an adoption exchange.

3(5) The extent of the agency’s compliance with the child welfare
4services case plan in making reasonable efforts either to return the
5child to the safe home of the parent or to complete whatever steps
6are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child,
7including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency
8services, as defined in Section 11400. If the reviewing body
9determines that a second period of reunification services is in the
10child’s best interests, and that there is a significant likelihood of
11the child’s return to a safe home due to changed circumstances of
12the parent, pursuant to subdivision (f), the specific reunification
13services required to effect the child’s return to a safe home shall
14be described.

15(6) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the
16parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental
17services decisions for the child. That limitation shall be specifically
18addressed in the court order and may not exceed what is necessary
19to protect the child. If the court specifically limits the right of the
20parent or guardian to make educational decisions or developmental
21services decisions for the child, the court shall at the same time
22appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions or
23developmental services decisions for the child pursuant to Section
24361.

25(7) The adequacy of services provided to the child. The court
26shall consider the progress in providing the information and
27documents to the child, as described in Section 391. The court
28shall also consider the need for, and progress in providing, the
29assistance and services described in Section 391.

30(8) The extent of progress the parents or legal guardians have
31made toward alleviating or mitigating the causes necessitating
32placement in foster care.

33(9) The likely date by which the child may be returned to, and
34safely maintained in, the home, placed for adoption, legal
35guardianship, placed with a fit and willing relative, or, for an Indian
36child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal
37customary adoption, or, if the child is 16 years of age or older, and
38no other permanent plan is appropriate at the time of the hearing,
39in another planned permanent living arrangement with the provision
P67   1of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
2Section 11400.

3(10) Whether the child has any siblings under the court’s
4jurisdiction, and, if any siblings exist, all of the following:

5(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or
6her siblings.

7(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling
8relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

9(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home,
10why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being
11made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not
12appropriate.

13(D) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:

14(i) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.

15(ii) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits
16are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a
17discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised, and what
18needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.

19(iii) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the
20location and length of the visits.

21(iv) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.

22(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s
23placement and planning for legal permanence.

24The factors the court may consider as indicators of the nature of
25the child’s sibling relationships include, but are not limited to,
26whether the siblings were raised together in the same home,
27whether the siblings have shared significant common experiences
28or have existing close and strong bonds, whether either sibling
29expresses a desire to visit or live with his or her sibling, as
30applicable, and whether ongoing contact is in the child’s best
31emotional interests.

32(11) For a child who is 14 years of age or older, and, effective
33January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the services needed
34to assist the child or nonminor dependent to make the transition
35from foster care to successful adulthood.

36The reviewing body shall determine whether or not reasonable
37 efforts, including the provision of child-centered specialized
38permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to make and
39finalize a permanent placement for the child have been made.

P68   1Each licensed foster family agency shall submit reports for each
2child in its care, custody, and control to the court concerning the
3continuing appropriateness and extent of compliance with the
4child’s permanent plan, the extent of compliance with the case
5plan, and the type and adequacy of services provided to the child.

6(f) Unless their parental rights have been permanently
7terminated, the parent or parents of the child are entitled to receive
8notice of, and participate in, those hearings. It shall be presumed
9that continued care is in the best interests of the child, unless the
10parent or parents prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that
11further efforts at reunification are the best alternative for the child.
12In those cases, the court may order that further reunification
13services to return the child to a safe home environment be provided
14to the parent or parents up to a period of six months, and family
15maintenance services, as needed for an additional six months in
16order to return the child to a safe home environment. On and after
17January 1, 2012, this subdivision shall not apply to the parents of
18a nonminor dependent.

19(g) (1) At the review conducted by the court and held at least
20every six months, regarding a child for whom the court has ordered
21parental rights terminated and who has been ordered placed for
22adoption, or, for an Indian child for whom parental rights are not
23being terminated and a tribal customary adoption is being
24considered, the county welfare department shall prepare and present
25to the court a report describing the following:

26(A) The child’s present placement.

27(B) The child’s current physical, mental, emotional, and
28educational status.

29(C) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive
30parent or guardian, identification of individuals, other than the
31child’s siblings, who are important to the child and actions
32necessary to maintain the child’s relationship with those
33individuals, provided that those relationships are in the best interest
34of the child. The agency shall ask every child who is 10 years of
35age or older to identify any individuals who are important to him
36or her, consistent with the child’s best interest, and may ask any
37child who is younger than 10 years of age to provide that
38information as appropriate. The agency shall make efforts to
39identify other individuals who are important to the child.

P69   1(D) Whether the child has been placed with a prospective
2adoptive parent or parents.

3(E) Whether an adoptive placement agreement has been signed
4and filed.

5(F) If the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive
6parent or parents, the efforts made to identify an appropriate
7prospective adoptive parent or legal guardian, including, but not
8limited to, child-centered specialized permanency services, as
9defined in Section 11400, child-specific recruitment efforts, and
10listing on an adoption exchange.

11(G) Whether the final adoption order should include provisions
12for postadoptive sibling contact pursuant to Section 366.29.

13(H) The progress of the search for an adoptive placement if one
14has not been identified.

15(I) Any impediments to the adoption or the adoptive placement.

16(J) The anticipated date by which the child will be adopted or
17placed in an adoptive home.

18(K) The anticipated date by which an adoptive placement
19agreement will be signed.

20(L) Recommendations for court orders that will assist in the
21placement of the child for adoption or in the finalization of the
22 adoption, including the provision of child-centered specialized
23permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.

24(2) The court shall determine whether or not reasonable efforts
25to make and finalize a permanent placement for the child have
26been made.

27(3) The court shall make appropriate orders to protect the
28stability of the child and to facilitate and expedite the permanent
29placement and adoption of the child.

30(h) (1) At the review held pursuant to subdivision (d) for a child
31in foster care, the court shall consider all permanency planning
32options for the child including whether the child should be returned
33to the home of the parent, placed for adoption, or, for an Indian
34child, in consultation with the child’s tribe, placed for tribal
35customary adoption, or appointed a legal guardian, placed with a
36fit and willing relative, or, if compelling reasons exist for finding
37that none of the foregoing options are in the best interest of the
38child and the child is 16 years of age or older, whether the child
39should be placed in another planned permanent living arrangement
40with the provision of child-centered specialized permanency
P70   1services, as defined in Section 11400. The court shall order that a
2hearing be held pursuant to Section 366.26, unless it determines
3by clear and convincing evidence that there is a compelling reason
4for determining that a hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 is
5not in the best interest of the child because the child is being
6returned to the home of the parent, the child is not currently a
7proper subject for adoption, or no one is willing to accept legal
8guardianship as of the hearing date. If the county adoption agency,
9or the department when it is acting as an adoption agency, has
10determined it is unlikely that the child will be adopted or one of
11the conditions described in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of
12Section 366.26 applies, that fact shall constitute a compelling
13reason for purposes of this subdivision. Only upon that
14determination may the court order that the child remain in foster
15care, without holding a hearing pursuant to Section 366.26. The
16court shall make factual findings identifying any barriers to
17achieving the permanent plan as of the hearing date. On and after
18January 1, 2012, the nonminor dependent’s legal status as an adult
19is in and of itself a compelling reason not to hold a hearing pursuant
20to Section 366.26.

21(2) When the child is 16 years of age or older and in another
22planned permanent living arrangement, the court shall do all of
23the following:

24(A) Ask the child about his or her desired permanency outcome.

25(B) Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the
26hearing date, another planned permanent living arrangement is the
27best permanency plan for the child.

28(C) State for the record the compelling reason or reasons why
29it continues not to be in the best interest of the child to return home,
30be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary adoption in
31the case of an Indian child, be placed with a legal guardian, or be
32placed with a fit and willing relative.

33(3) When the child is 16 years of age or older and is in another
34planned permanent living arrangement, the social study prepared
35for the hearing shall include a description of all of the following:

36(A) The intensive and ongoing efforts, including the provision
37of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
38Section 11400, to return the child to the home of the parent, place
39the child for adoption, or establish a legal guardianship, as
40appropriate.

P71   1(B) The steps taken to do both of the following:

2(i) Ensure that the child’s care provider is following the
3reasonable and prudent parent standard.

4(ii) Determine whether the child has regular, ongoing
5opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate
6activities, including consulting with the child about opportunities
7for the child to participate in those activities.

8(4) When the child is under 16 years of age and has a permanent
9plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement
10with a fit and willing relative, any barriers to achieving the
11permanent plan and the efforts made by the agency address those
12barriers, including the provision of child-centered specialized
13permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.

14(i) If, as authorized by subdivision (h), the court orders a hearing
15pursuant to Section 366.26, the court shall direct the agency
16supervising the child and the county adoption agency, or the State
17Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption
18agency, to prepare an assessment as provided for in subdivision
19(i) of Section 366.21 or subdivision (b) of Section 366.22. A
20hearing held pursuant to Section 366.26 shall be held no later than
21120 days from the date of the 12-month review at which it is
22ordered, and at that hearing the court shall determine whether
23adoption, tribal customary adoption, legal guardianship, placement
24with a fit and willing relative, or, for a child 16 years of age or
25older, another planned permanent living arrangement is the most
26appropriate plan for the child. On and after January 1, 2012, a
27hearing pursuant to Section 366.26 shall not be ordered if the child
28is a nonminor dependent, unless the nonminor dependent is an
29Indian child and tribal customary adoption is recommended as the
30permanent plan. The court may order that a nonminor dependent
31who otherwise is eligible pursuant to Section 11403 remain in a
32planned, permanent living arrangement. At the request of the
33nonminor dependent who has an established relationship with an
34adult determined to be the nonminor dependent’s permanent
35connection, the court may order adoption of the nonminor
36dependent pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 366.31.

37(j) The reviews conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) or (d)
38may be conducted earlier than every six months if the court
39determines that an earlier review is in the best interests of the child
40or as court rules prescribe.

P72   1

SEC. 9.  

Section 371 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
2Code
, to read:

3

371.  

When the court has ordered a dependent child or a ward
4of the juvenile court placed for adoption or has appointed a relative
5or nonrelative legal guardian, the social worker or probation officer
6shall provide the prospective adoptive family or the guardian or
7guardians information, in writing, regarding the importance of
8working with mental health providers that have specialized
9adoption or permanency clinical training and experience if the
10family needs clinical support, and a description of the desirable
11clinical expertise the family should look for when choosing an
12adoption- or permanency-competent mental health professional.

13

SEC. 10.  

Section 706.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
14 is amended to read:

15

706.5.  

(a) If placement in foster care is recommended by the
16probation officer, or where the minor is already in foster care
17placement or pending placement pursuant to an earlier order, the
18social study prepared by the probation officer that is received into
19evidence at disposition pursuant to Section 706 shall include a
20case plan, as described in Section 706.6. If the court elects to hold
21the first status review at the disposition hearing, the social study
22shall also include, but not be limited to, the factual material
23described in subdivision (c).

24(b) If placement in foster care is not recommended by the
25probation officer prior to disposition, but the court orders foster
26care placement, the court shall order the probation officer to prepare
27a case plan, as described in Section 706.6, within 30 days of the
28placement order. The case plan shall be filed with the court.

29(c) At each status review hearing, the social study shall include,
30but not be limited to, an updated case plan as described in Section
31706.6 and the following information:

32(1) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
33placement.

34(2) The extent of the probation department’s compliance with
35the case plan in making reasonable efforts to safely return the
36minor to the minor’s home or to complete whatever steps are
37necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the minor.

38(3) The extent of progress that has been made by the minor and
39parent or guardian toward alleviating or mitigating the causes
40necessitating placement in foster care.

P73   1(4) If the first permanency planning hearing has not yet occurred,
2the social study shall include the likely date by which the minor
3may be returned to and safely maintained in the home or placed
4for adoption, appointed a legal guardian, permanently placed with
5a fit and willing relative, or referred to another planned permanent
6living arrangement.

7(5) Whether the minor has been or will be referred to educational
8services and what services the minor is receiving, including special
9education and related services if the minor has exceptional needs
10as described in Part 30 (commencing with Section 56000) of
11Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code or accommodations
12if the child has disabilities as described in Chapter 16 (commencing
13with Section 701) of Title 29 of the United States Code Annotated.
14The probation officer or child advocate shall solicit comments
15from the appropriate local education agency prior to completion
16of the social study.

17(6) If the parent or guardian is unwilling or unable to participate
18in making an educational or developmental services decision for
19his or her child, or if other circumstances exist that compromise
20the ability of the parent or guardian to make educational or
21developmental services decisions for the child, the probation
22department shall consider whether the right of the parent or
23guardian to make educational or developmental services decisions
24for the minor should be limited. If the study makes that
25recommendation, it shall identify whether there is a responsible
26adult available to make educational or developmental services
27decisions for the minor pursuant to Section 726.

28(7) When the minor is 16 years of age or older and in another
29planned permanent living arrangement, the social study shall
30include a description of all of the following:

31(A) The intensive and ongoing efforts, including child-centered
32specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to
33return the minor to the home of the parent, place the minor for
34adoption, or establish a legal guardianship, as appropriate.

35(B) The steps taken to do both of the following:

36(i) Ensure that the minor’s care provider is following the
37reasonable and prudent parent standard.

38(ii) Determine whether the minor has regular, ongoing
39opportunities to engage in age or developmentally appropriate
P74   1activities, including consulting with the minor about opportunities
2for the minor to participate in the activities.

3(8) When the minor is under 16 years of age and has a permanent
4plan of return home, adoption, legal guardianship, or placement
5with a fit and willing relative, the social study shall include a
6description of any barriers to achieving the permanent plan and
7the efforts made by the agency to address those barriers.

8(d) At each permanency planning hearing, the social study shall
9include, but not be limited to, an updated case plan as described
10in Section 706.6, the factual material described in subdivision (c)
11of this section, and a recommended permanent plan for the minor.

12

SEC. 11.  

Section 706.6 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
13 is amended to read:

14

706.6.  

(a) Services to minors are best provided in a framework
15that integrates service planning and delivery among multiple
16service systems, including the mental health system, using a
17team-based approach, such as a child and family team. A child
18and family team brings together individuals that engage with the
19child or youth and family in assessing, planning, and delivering
20services. Use of a team approach increases efficiency, and thus
21reduces cost, by increasing coordination of formal services and
22integrating the natural and informal supports available to the child
23or youth and family.

24(b) (1) For the purposes of this section, “child and family team”
25has the same meaning as in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of
26Section 16501.

27(2) In its development of the case plan, the probation agency
28shall consider any recommendations of the child and family team,
29as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 16501.
30The agency shall document the rationale for any inconsistencies
31between the case plan and the child and family team
32recommendations.

33(c) A case plan prepared as required by Section 706.5 shall be
34submitted to the court. It shall either be attached to the social study
35or incorporated as a separate section within the social study. The
36case plan shall include, but not be limited to, the following
37information:

38(1) A description of the circumstances that resulted in the minor
39being placed under the supervision of the probation department
40and in foster care.

P75   1(2) Documentation of the preplacement assessment of the
2minor’s and family’s strengths and service needs showing that
3preventive services have been provided, and that reasonable efforts
4to prevent out-of-home placement have been made. The assessment
5shall include the type of placement best equipped to meet those
6needs.

7(3) (A) A description of the type of home or institution in which
8the minor is to be placed, and the reasons for that placement
9decision, including a discussion of the safety and appropriateness
10of the placement, including the recommendations of the child and
11family team, if available.

12(B) An appropriate placement is a placement in the least
13restrictive, most family-like environment that promotes normal
14childhood experiences, in closest proximity to the minor’s home,
15that meets the minor’s best interests and special needs.

16(d) The following shall apply:

17(1) The agency selecting a placement shall consider, in order
18of priority:

19(A) Placement with relatives, nonrelated extended family
20members, and tribal members.

21(B) Foster family homes and certified homes or resource families
22of foster family agencies.

23(C) Treatment and intensive treatment certified homes or
24resource families of foster family agencies, or multidimensional
25treatment foster homes or therapeutic foster care homes.

26(D) Group care placements in the following order:

27(i) Short-term residential treatment centers.

28(ii) Group homes.

29(iii) Community treatment facilities.

30(iv) Out-of-state residential treatment pursuant to Part 5
31(commencing with Section 7900) of Division 12 of the Family
32Code.

33(2) Although the placement options shall be considered in the
34preferential order specified in paragraph (1), the placement of a
35child may be with any of these placement settings in order to ensure
36the selection of a safe placement setting that is in the child’s best
37interests and meets the child’s special needs.

38(3) A minor may be placed into a community care facility
39licensed as a short-term residential treatment center, as defined in
40subdivision (ad) of Section 11400, provided the case plan indicates
P76   1that the placement is for the purposes of providing short-term,
2specialized, and intensive treatment for the minor, the case plan
3specifies the need for, nature of, and anticipated duration of this
4treatment, and the case plan includes transitioning the minor to a
5less restrictive environment and the projected timeline by which
6the minor will be transitioned to a less restrictive environment.

7(e) Effective January 1, 2010, a case plan shall ensure the
8educational stability of the child while in foster care and shall
9include both of the following:

10(1) Assurances that the placement takes into account the
11appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity
12to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.

13(2) An assurance that the placement agency has coordinated
14with appropriate local educational agencies to ensure that the child
15remains in the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of
16placement, or, if remaining in that school is not in the best interests
17of the child, assurances by the placement agency and the local
18educational agency to provide immediate and appropriate
19enrollment in a new school and to provide all of the child’s
20educational records to the new school.

21(f) Specific time-limited goals and related activities designed
22to enable the safe return of the minor to his or her home, or in the
23event that return to his or her home is not possible, activities
24designed to result in permanent placement or emancipation.
25Specific responsibility for carrying out the planned activities shall
26be assigned to one or more of the following:

27(1) The probation department.

28(2) The minor’s parent or parents or legal guardian or guardians,
29as applicable.

30(3) The minor.

31(4) The foster parents or licensed agency providing foster care.

32(g) The projected date of completion of the case plan objectives
33and the date services will be terminated.

34(h) (1) Scheduled visits between the minor and his or her family
35and an explanation if no visits are made.

36(2) Whether the child has other siblings, and, if any siblings
37exist, all of the following:

38(A) The nature of the relationship between the child and his or
39her siblings.

P77   1(B) The appropriateness of developing or maintaining the sibling
2relationships pursuant to Section 16002.

3(C) If the siblings are not placed together in the same home,
4why the siblings are not placed together and what efforts are being
5made to place the siblings together, or why those efforts are not
6appropriate.

7(D) If the siblings are not placed together, all of the following:

8(i) The frequency and nature of the visits between the siblings.

9(ii) If there are visits between the siblings, whether the visits
10are supervised or unsupervised. If the visits are supervised, a
11discussion of the reasons why the visits are supervised and what
12needs to be accomplished in order for the visits to be unsupervised.

13(iii) If there are visits between the siblings, a description of the
14location and length of the visits.

15(iv) Any plan to increase visitation between the siblings.

16(E) The impact of the sibling relationships on the child’s
17placement and planning for legal permanence.

18(F) The continuing need to suspend sibling interaction, if
19applicable, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 16002.

20(3) The factors the court may consider in making a determination
21regarding the nature of the child’s sibling relationships may
22include, but are not limited to, whether the siblings were raised
23together in the same home, whether the siblings have shared
24significant common experiences or have existing close and strong
25 bonds, whether either sibling expresses a desire to visit or live with
26his or her sibling, as applicable, and whether ongoing contact is
27in the child’s best emotional interests.

28(i) (1) When placement is made in a foster family home, group
29home, or other child care institution that is either a substantial
30distance from the home of the minor’s parent or legal guardian or
31out of state, the case plan shall specify the reasons why the
32placement is the most appropriate and is in the best interest of the
33minor.

34(2) When an out-of-state group home placement is recommended
35or made, the case plan shall comply with Section 727.1 of this
36code and Section 7911.1 of the Family Code. In addition,
37documentation of the recommendation of the multidisciplinary
38team and the rationale for this particular placement shall be
39included. The case plan shall also address what in-state services
P78   1or facilities were used or considered and why they were not
2recommended.

3(j) If applicable, efforts to make it possible to place siblings
4together, unless it has been determined that placement together is
5not in the best interest of one or more siblings.

6(k) A schedule of visits between the minor and the probation
7officer, including a monthly visitation schedule for those children
8placed in group homes.

9(l) Health and education information about the minor, school
10records, immunizations, known medical problems, and any known
11medications the minor may be taking, names and addresses of the
12minor’s health and educational providers; the minor’s grade level
13performance; assurances that the minor’s placement in foster care
14takes into account proximity to the school in which the minor was
15enrolled at the time of placement; and other relevant health and
16educational information.

17(m) When out-of-home services are used and the goal is
18reunification, the case plan shall describe the services that were
19provided to prevent removal of the minor from the home, those
20services to be provided to assist in reunification and the services
21to be provided concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts
22to reunify fail.

23(n) (1) The updated case plan prepared for a permanency
24planning hearing shall include a recommendation for a permanent
25plan for the minor. The identified permanent plan for a minor under
2616 years of age shall be return home, adoption, legal guardianship,
27or placement with a fit and willing relative. The case plan shall
28identify any barriers to achieving legal permanence and the steps
29the agency will take to address those barriers.

30(2) If, after considering reunification, adoptive placement, legal
31guardianship, or permanent placement with a fit and willing relative
32the probation officer recommends placement in a planned
33permanent living arrangement for a minor 16 years of age or older,
34the case plan shall include documentation of a compelling reason
35or reasons why termination of parental rights is not in the minor’s
36best interest. For purposes of this subdivision, a “compelling
37reason” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision (c) of
38Section 727.3. The case plan shall also identify the intensive and
39ongoing efforts, including the provision of child-centered
40specialized permanency services, as describedbegin insert inend insert Section 11400,
P79   1to return the minor to the home of the parent, place the minor for
2adoption, establish a legal guardianship, or place the minor with
3a fit and willing relative, as appropriate. Efforts shall include the
4use of technology, including social media, to find biological family
5members of the minor.

6(o) Each updated case plan shall include a description of the
7services that have been provided to the minor under the plan and
8an evaluation of the appropriateness and effectiveness of those
9services.

10(p) A statement that the parent or legal guardian and the minor
11have had an opportunity to participate in the development of the
12case plan, to review the case plan, to sign the case plan, and to
13receive a copy of the plan, or an explanation about why the parent,
14legal guardian, or minor was not able to participate or sign the case
15plan.

16(q) For a minor in out-of-home care who is 16 years of age or
17older, a written description of the programs and services, which
18will help the minor prepare for the transition from foster care to
19successful adulthood.

20

SEC. 12.  

Section 727.2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
21 is amended to read:

22

727.2.  

The purpose of this section is to provide a means to
23monitor the safety and well-being of every minor in foster care
24who has been declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to
25Section 601 or 602 and to ensure that everything reasonably
26possible is done to facilitate the safe and early return of the minor
27to his or her home or to establish an alternative permanent plan
28for the minor.

29(a) If the court orders the care, custody, and control of the minor
30to be under the supervision of the probation officer for placement
31pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727, the juvenile court shall
32order the probation department to ensure the provision of
33reunification services to facilitate the safe return of the minor to
34his or her home or the permanent placement of the minor, and to
35address the needs of the minor while in foster care, except as
36provided in subdivision (b).

37(b) Reunification services need not be provided to a parent or
38legal guardian if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence
39that one or more of the following is true:

P80   1(1) Reunification services were previously terminated for that
2parent or guardian, pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25,
3or not offered, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 361.5, in
4reference to the same minor.

5(2) The parent has been convicted of any of the following:

6(A) Murder of another child of the parent.

7(B) Voluntary manslaughter of another child of the parent.

8(C) Aiding or abetting, attempting, conspiring, or soliciting to
9commit that murder or manslaughter described in subparagraph
10(A) or (B).

11(D) A felony assault that results in serious bodily injury to the
12minor or another child of the parent.

13(3) The parental rights of the parent with respect to a sibling
14have been terminated involuntarily, and it is not in the best interest
15of the minor to reunify with his or her parent or legal guardian.

16If no reunification services are offered to the parent or guardian,
17the permanency planning hearing, as described in Section 727.3,
18shall occur within 30 days of the date of the hearing at which the
19decision is made not to offer services.

20(c) The status of every minor declared a ward and ordered to
21be placed in foster care shall be reviewed by the court no less
22frequently than once every six months. The six-month time periods
23shall be calculated from the date the minor entered foster care, as
24defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section 727.4. If the
25court so elects, the court may declare the hearing at which the court
26orders the care, custody, and control of the minor to be under the
27supervision of the probation officer for foster care placement
28pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727 at the first status review
29hearing. It shall be the duty of the probation officer to prepare a
30written social study report including an updated case plan, pursuant
31to subdivision (b) of Section 706.5, and submit the report to the
32court prior to each status review hearing, pursuant to subdivision
33(b) of Section 727.4. The social study report shall include all
34reports the probation officer relied upon in making his or her
35recommendations.

36(d) Prior to any status review hearing involving a minor in the
37physical custody of a community care facility or foster family
38agency, the facility or agency may provide the probation officer
39with a report containing its recommendations. Prior to any status
40review hearing involving the physical custody of a foster parent,
P81   1relative caregiver, preadoptive parent, or legal guardian, that person
2may present to the court a report containing his or her
3recommendations. The court shall consider all reports and
4recommendations filed pursuant to subdivision (c) and pursuant
5to this subdivision.

6(e) At any status review hearing prior to the first permanency
7planning hearing, the court shall consider the safety of the minor
8and make findings and orders which determine the following:

9(1) The continuing necessity for and appropriateness of the
10placement.

11(2) The extent of the probation department’s compliance with
12the case plan in making reasonable efforts, or, in the case of a child
1316 years of age or older with another planned permanent living
14arrangement, the ongoing and intensive efforts, including provision
15of child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
16Section 11400, to safely return the minor to the minor’s home or
17to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent
18 placement of the minor.

19(3) Whether there should be any limitation on the right of the
20parent or guardian to make educational decisions for the minor.
21That limitation shall be specifically addressed in the court order
22and may not exceed what is necessary to protect the minor. If the
23 court specifically limits the right of the parent or guardian to make
24educational decisions for the minor, the court shall at the same
25time appoint a responsible adult to make educational decisions for
26the minor pursuant to Section 726.

27(4) The extent of progress that has been made by the minor and
28parent or guardian toward alleviating or mitigating the causes
29necessitating placement in foster care.

30(5) The likely date by which the minor may be returned to and
31safely maintained in the home or placed for adoption, appointed
32a legal guardian, permanently placed with a fit and willing relative,
33or, if the minor is 16 years of age or older, referred to another
34planned permanent living arrangement with the provision of
35child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
36Section 11400.

37(6) In the case of a minor who has reached 16 years of age, the
38court shall, in addition, determine the services needed to assist the
39minor to make the transition from foster care to successful
40adulthood.

P82   1The court shall make these determinations on a case-by-case
2basis and reference in its written findings the probation officer’s
3report and any other evidence relied upon in reaching its decision.

4(f) At any status review hearing prior to the first permanency
5hearing, after considering the admissible and relevant evidence,
6the court shall order return of the minor to the physical custody of
7his or her parent or legal guardian unless the court finds, by a
8preponderance of evidence, that the return of the minor to his or
9her parent or legal guardian would create a substantial risk of
10detriment to the safety, protection, or physical or emotional
11well-being of the minor. The probation department shall have the
12burden of establishing that detriment. In making its determination,
13the court shall review and consider the social study report,
14recommendations, and the case plan pursuant to subdivision (b)
15of Section 706.5, the report and recommendations of any child
16advocate appointed for the minor in the case, and any other reports
17submitted to the court pursuant to subdivision (d), and shall
18consider the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the minor
19and family and the extent to which the minor availed himself or
20herself of the services provided.

21(g) At all status review hearings subsequent to the first
22permanency planning hearing, the court shall consider the safety
23of the minor and make the findings and orders as described in
24paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, and (6) of subdivision (e). The
25court shall either make a finding that the previously ordered
26permanent plan continues to be appropriate or shall order that a
27new permanent plan be adopted pursuant to subdivision (b) of
28Section 727.3. However, the court shall not order a permanent plan
29of “return to the physical custody of the parent or legal guardian
30after further reunification services are offered,” as described in
31paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 727.3.

32(h) The status review hearings required by subdivision (c) may
33be heard by an administrative review panel, provided that the
34administrative panel meets all of the requirements listed in
35subparagraph (B) of paragraph (7) of subdivision (d) of Section
36727.4.

37(i) (1) On and after January 1, 2012, at any status review hearing
38at which a recommendation to terminate delinquency jurisdiction
39is being considered, or at the status review hearing held closest to
40the ward attaining 18 years of age, but no fewer than 90 days before
P83   1the ward’s 18th birthday, the court shall consider whether to modify
2its jurisdiction pursuant to Section 601 or 602 and assume transition
3jurisdiction over the minor pursuant to Section 450. The probation
4department shall address this issue in its report to the court and
5make a recommendation as to whether transition jurisdiction is
6appropriate for the minor.

7(2) The court shall order the probation department or the minor’s
8attorney to submit an application to the child welfare services
9department pursuant to Section 329 to declare the minor a
10dependent of the court and modify its jurisdiction from delinquency
11to dependency jurisdiction if it finds both of the following:

12(A) The ward does not come within the description set forth in
13Section 450, but jurisdiction as a ward may no longer be required.

14(B) The ward appears to come within the description of Section
15300 and cannot be returned home safely.

16(3) The court shall set a hearing within 20 judicial days of the
17date of its order issued pursuant to paragraph (2) to review the
18decision of the child welfare services department and may either
19affirm the decision not to file a petition pursuant to Section 300
20or order the child welfare services department to file a petition
21pursuant to Section 300.

22(j) On and after January 1, 2012, if a review hearing pursuant
23to this section is the last review hearing to be held before the minor
24attains 18 years of age, the court shall ensure that the minor’s
25transitional independent living case plan includes a plan for the
26minor to meet one or more of the criteria in paragraphs (1) to (5),
27inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, so that the minor
28can become a nonminor dependent, and that the minor has been
29informed of his or her right to decline to become a nonminor
30dependent and to seek termination of the court’s jurisdiction
31pursuant to Section 607.2.

32

SEC. 13.  

Section 727.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
33 is amended to read:

34

727.3.  

The purpose of this section is to provide a means to
35monitor the safety and well-being of every minor in foster care
36who has been declared a ward of the juvenile court pursuant to
37Section 601 or 602 and to ensure that everything reasonably
38possible is done to facilitate the safe and early return of the minor
39to his or her own home or to establish an alternative permanent
40plan for the minor.

P84   1(a) (1) For every minor declared a ward and ordered to be
2placed in foster care, a permanency planning hearing shall be
3conducted within 12 months of the date the minor entered foster
4care, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (d) of Section
5727.4. Subsequent permanency planning hearings shall be
6conducted periodically, but no less frequently than once every 12
7months thereafter during the period of placement. It shall be the
8duty of the probation officer to prepare a written social study report
9including an updated case plan and a recommendation for a
10permanent plan, pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 706.5, and
11submit the report to the court prior to each permanency planning
12hearing, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.4.

13(2) Prior to any permanency planning hearing involving a minor
14in the physical custody of a community care facility or foster family
15agency, the facility or agency may file with the court a report
16containing its recommendations, in addition to the probation
17officer’s social study. Prior to any permanency planning hearing
18involving the physical custody of a foster parent, relative caregiver,
19 preadoptive parent, or legal guardian, that person may present to
20the court a report containing his or her recommendations. The
21court shall consider all reports and recommendations filed pursuant
22to this subdivision.

23(3) If the minor has a continuing involvement with his or her
24parents or legal guardians, the parents or legal guardians shall be
25involved in the planning for a permanent placement. The court
26order placing the minor in a permanent placement shall include a
27specification of the nature and frequency of visiting arrangements
28with the parents or legal guardians.

29(4) At each permanency planning hearing, the court shall order
30a permanent plan for the minor, as described in subdivision (b).
31The court shall also make findings, as described in subdivision (e)
32of Section 727.2. In the case of a minor who has reached 16 years
33of age or older, the court shall, in addition, determine the services
34needed to assist the minor to make the transition from foster care
35to successful adulthood. The court shall make all of these
36determinations on a case-by-case basis and make reference to the
37probation officer’s report, the case plan, or other evidence relied
38upon in making its decisions.

P85   1(5) When the minor is 16 years of age or older, and is in another
2planned permanent living arrangement, the court, at each
3permanency planning hearing, shall do all of the following:

4(A) Ask the minor about his or her desired permanency outcome.

5(B) Review documentation of intensive and ongoing efforts,
6including the provision of child-centered specialized permanency
7services, as defined in Section 11400, to place the child in a
8permanent family.

9(C) Make a judicial determination explaining why, as of the
10hearing date, another planned permanent living arrangement is the
11best permanency plan for the minor.

12(D) State for the record the compelling reason or reasons why
13it continues not to be in the best interest of the minor to return
14home, be placed for adoption, be placed with a legal guardian, or
15be placed with a fit and willing relative.

16(b) At all permanency planning hearings, the court shall
17determine the permanent plan for the minor. The court shall order
18one of the following permanent plans, which are, in order of
19priority:

20(1) Return of the minor to the physical custody of the parent or
21legal guardian. After considering the admissible and relevant
22evidence, the court shall order the return of the minor to the
23physical custody of his or her parent or legal guardian unless:

24(A) Reunification services were not offered, pursuant to
25subdivision (b) of Section 727.2.

26(B) The court finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that
27the return of the minor to his or her parent or legal guardian would
28create a substantial risk of detriment to the safety, protection, or
29physical or emotional well-being of the minor. The probation
30department shall have the burden of establishing that detriment.
31In making its determination, the court shall review and consider
32 the social study report and recommendations pursuant to Section
33706.5, the report and recommendations of any child advocate
34appointed for the minor in the case, and any other reports submitted
35pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), and shall consider
36the efforts or progress, or both, demonstrated by the minor and
37family and the extent to which the minor availed himself or herself
38of the services provided.

39(2) Order that the permanent plan for the minor will be to return
40the minor to the physical custody of the parent or legal guardian,
P86   1order further reunification services to be provided to the minor
2and his or her parent or legal guardian for a period not to exceed
3six months and continue the case for up to six months for a
4subsequent permanency planning hearing, provided that the
5subsequent hearing shall occur within 18 months of the date the
6minor was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her
7parent or legal guardian. The court shall continue the case only if
8it finds that there is a substantial probability that the minor will be
9returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal
10guardian and safely maintained in the home within the extended
11period of time or that reasonable services have not been provided
12to the parent or guardian. For purposes of this section, in order to
13find that there is a substantial probability that the minor will be
14returned to the physical custody of his or her parent or legal
15guardian, the court shall be required to find that the minor and his
16or her parent or legal guardian have demonstrated the capacity and
17ability to complete the objectives of the case plan.

18(A) The court shall inform the parent or legal guardian that if
19the minor cannot be returned home by the next permanency
20planning hearing, a proceeding pursuant to Section 727.31 may
21be initiated.

22(B) The court shall not continue the case for further reunification
23services if it has been 18 months or more since the date the minor
24was originally taken from the physical custody of his or her parent
25or legal guardian.

26(3) Identify adoption as the permanent plan and order that a
27hearing be held within 120 days, pursuant to the procedures
28described in Section 727.31. The court shall only set a hearing
29pursuant to Section 727.31 if there is clear and convincing evidence
30that reasonable services have been provided or offered to the
31parents. When the court sets a hearing pursuant to Section 727.31,
32it shall order that an adoption assessment report be prepared,
33pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 727.31.

34(4) Order a legal guardianship, pursuant to procedures described
35in subdivisions (c) to (f), inclusive, of Section 728.

36(5) Place the minor with a fit and willing relative. “Placement
37with a fit and willing relative” means placing the minor with an
38appropriate approved relative who is willing to provide a permanent
39and stable home for the minor, but is unable or unwilling to become
40the legal guardian. When a minor is placed with a fit and willing
P87   1relative, the court may authorize the relative to provide the same
2legal consent for the minor’s medical, surgical, and dental care,
3and education as the custodial parent of the minor.

4(6) (A) (i) If he or she is 16 years of age or older, place the
5minor in another planned permanent living arrangement. For
6purposes of this section, “planned permanent living arrangement”
7means any permanent living arrangement described in Section
811402 that is ordered by the court for a minor 16 years of age or
9older when there is a compelling reason or reasons to determine
10that it is not in the best interest of the minor to have any permanent
11plan listed in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive. These plans include,
12but are not limited to, placement in a specific, identified foster
13family home, program, or facility on a permanent basis, or
14placement in a transitional housing placement facility. When the
15court places a minor in a planned permanent living arrangement,
16the court shall specify the goal of the placement, which may
17include, but shall not be limited to, return home, emancipation,
18guardianship, or permanent placement with a relative.

19(ii) The court shall only order that the minor remain in a planned
20permanent living arrangement if the court finds by clear and
21convincing evidence, based upon the evidence already presented
22to it that there is a compelling reason, as defined in subdivision
23(c), for determining that a plan of termination of parental rights
24and adoption is not in the best interest of the minor. If the court
25orders that the minor remain in another planned permanent living
26arrangement, the court shall order the provision of child-centered
27permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and that the
28appropriateness of the child’s continuation in a planned permanent
29living arrangement be assessed again at the next permanency
30planning hearing.

31(B) If the minor is under 16 years of age and the court finds by
32clear and convincing evidence, based upon the evidence already
33presented to it, that there is a compelling reason, as defined in
34subdivision (c), for determining that a plan of termination of
35parental rights and adoption is not in the best interest of the minor
36as of the hearing date, the court shall order the minor to remain in
37a foster care placement with a permanent plan of return home,
38 adoption, legal guardianship, or placement with a fit and willing
39relative, as appropriate. The court shall make factual findings
40identifying any barriers to achieving the permanent plan as of the
P88   1hearing date and shall order the provision of child-centered
2specialized permanency services unless the minor is currently
3placed with a fit and willing relative.

4(c) A compelling reason for determining that a plan of
5termination of parental rights and adoption is not in the best interest
6of the minor is any of the following:

7(1) Documentation by the probation department that adoption
8is not currently in the best interest of the minor and is not currently
9an appropriate permanency goal. That documentation may include,
10but is not limited to, documentation that:

11(A) The minor is 12 years of age or older and objects to
12termination of parental rights.

13(B) The minor is 17 years of age or older and specifically
14requests that transition to independent living with the identification
15of a caring adult to serve as a lifelong connection be established
16as his or her permanent plan. On and after January 1, 2012, this
17includes a minor who requests that his or her transitional
18independent living case plan include modification of his or her
19jurisdiction to that of dependency jurisdiction pursuant to
20subdivision (b) of Section 607.2 or subdivision (i) of Section 727.2,
21or to that of transition jurisdiction pursuant to Section 450, in order
22to be eligible as a nonminor dependent for the extended benefits
23pursuant to Section 11403.

24(C) The parent or guardian and the minor have a significant
25bond, but the parent or guardian is unable to care for the minor
26because of an emotional or physical disability, and the minor’s
27caregiver has committed to raising the minor to the age of majority
28and facilitating visitation with the disabled parent or guardian.

29(D) The minor agrees to continued placement in a residential
30treatment facility that provides services specifically designed to
31address the minor’s treatment needs, including child-centered
32specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, and
33the minor’s needs could not be served by a less restrictive
34placement.

35The probation department’s recommendation that adoption is
36not in the best interest of the minor shall be based on the present
37family circumstances of the minor and shall not preclude a different
38recommendation at a later date if the minor’s family circumstances
39change.

P89   1(2) Documentation by the probation department that no grounds
2exist to file for termination of parental rights.

3(3) Documentation by the probation department that the minor
4is an unaccompanied refugee minor, or there are international legal
5obligations or foreign policy reasons that would preclude
6terminating parental rights.

7(4) A finding by the court that the probation department was
8required to make reasonable efforts to reunify the minor with the
9family pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 727.2, and did not
10make those efforts.

11(5) Documentation by the probation department that the minor
12is living with a relative who is unable or unwilling to adopt the
13minor because of exceptional circumstances that do not include
14an unwillingness to accept legal or financial responsibility for the
15minor, but who is willing and capable of providing the minor with
16a stable and permanent home environment, and the removal of the
17minor from the physical custody of his or her relative would be
18detrimental to the minor’s emotional well-being.

19(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the ability
20of a parent to voluntarily relinquish his or her child to the State
21Department of Social Services when it is acting as an adoption
22agency or to a county adoption agency at any time while the minor
23is a ward of the juvenile court if the department or county adoption
24agency is willing to accept the relinquishment.

25(e) Any change in the permanent plan of a minor placed with a
26fit and willing relative or in a planned permanent living
27arrangement shall be made only by order of the court pursuant to
28a Section 778 petition or at a regularly scheduled and noticed status
29review hearing or permanency planning hearing. Any change in
30the permanent plan of a minor placed in a guardianship shall be
31made only by order of the court pursuant to a motion filed in
32accordance with Section 728.

33

SEC. 14.  

Section 11400 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
34 is amended to read:

35

11400.  

For purposes of this article, the following definitions
36shall apply:

37(a) “Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care
38(AFDC-FC)” means the aid provided on behalf of needy children
39in foster care under the terms of this division.

P90   1(b) “Case plan” means a written document that, at a minimum,
2specifies the type of home in which the child shall be placed, the
3safety of that home, and the appropriateness of that home to meet
4the child’s needs. It shall also include the agency’s plan for
5ensuring that the child receive proper care and protection in a safe
6environment, and shall set forth the appropriate services to be
7provided to the child, the child’s family, and the foster parents, in
8order to meet the child’s needs while in foster care, and to reunify
9the child with the child’s family. In addition, the plan shall specify
10the services that will be provided or steps that will be taken to
11facilitate an alternate permanent plan if reunification is not possible.

12(c) “Certified family home” means a family residence certified
13by a licensed foster family agency and issued a certificate of
14approval by that agency as meeting licensing standards, and used
15only by that foster family agency for placements.

16(d) “Family home” means the family residence of a licensee in
17which 24-hour care and supervision are provided for children.

18(e) “Small family home” means any residential facility, in the
19licensee’s family residence, which provides 24-hour care for six
20or fewer foster children who have mental disorders or
21developmental or physical disabilities and who require special care
22and supervision as a result of their disabilities.

23(f) “Foster care” means the 24-hour out-of-home care provided
24to children whose own families are unable or unwilling to care for
25them, and who are in need of temporary or long-term substitute
26parenting.

27(g) “Foster family agency” means a licensed community care
28facility, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section
291502 of the Health and Safety Code. Private foster family agencies
30shall be organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.

31(h) “Group home” means a nondetention privately operated
32residential home, organized and operated on a nonprofit basis only,
33of any capacity, or a nondetention licensed residential care home
34operated by the County of San Mateo with a capacity of up to 25
35beds, that accepts children in need of care and supervision in a
36group home, as defined by paragraph (13) of subdivision (a) of
37Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code.

38(i) “Periodic review” means review of a child’s status by the
39juvenile court or by an administrative review panel, that shall
40include a consideration of the safety of the child, a determination
P91   1of the continuing need for placement in foster care, evaluation of
2the goals for the placement and the progress toward meeting these
3goals, and development of a target date for the child’s return home
4or establishment of alternative permanent placement.

5(j) “Permanency planning hearing” means a hearing conducted
6by the juvenile court in which the child’s future status, including
7whether the child shall be returned home or another permanent
8plan shall be developed, is determined.

9(k) “Placement and care” refers to the responsibility for the
10welfare of a child vested in an agency or organization by virtue of
11the agency or organization having (1) been delegated care, custody,
12and control of a child by the juvenile court, (2) taken responsibility,
13pursuant to a relinquishment or termination of parental rights on
14a child, (3) taken the responsibility of supervising a child detained
15by the juvenile court pursuant to Section 319 or 636, or (4) signed
16a voluntary placement agreement for the child’s placement; or to
17the responsibility designated to an individual by virtue of his or
18her being appointed the child’s legal guardian.

19(l) “Preplacement preventive services” means services that are
20designed to help children remain with their families by preventing
21or eliminating the need for removal.

22(m) “Relative” means an adult who is related to the child by
23blood, adoption, or affinity within the fifth degree of kinship,
24including stepparents, stepsiblings, and all relatives whose status
25is preceded by the words “great,” “great-great,” or “grand” or the
26spouse of any of these persons even if the marriage was terminated
27by death or dissolution.

28(n) “Nonrelative extended family member” means an adult
29caregiver who has an established familial or mentoring relationship
30with the child, as described in Section 362.7.

31(o) “Voluntary placement” means an out-of-home placement
32of a child by (1) the county welfare department, probation
33department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement
34pursuant to Section 10553.1, after the parents or guardians have
35requested the assistance of the county welfare department and have
36signed a voluntary placementbegin delete agreement;end deletebegin insert agreementend insert or (2) the
37county welfare department licensed public or private adoption
38agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency, after the
39parents have requested the assistance of either the county welfare
40department, the licensed public or private adoption agency, or the
P92   1department acting as an adoption agency for the purpose of
2adoption planning, and have signed a voluntary placement
3agreement.

4(p) “Voluntary placement agreement” means a written agreement
5between either the county welfare department, probation
6department, or Indian tribe that has entered into an agreement
7pursuant to Section 10553.1, licensed public or private adoption
8agency, or the department acting as an adoption agency, and the
9parents or guardians of a child that specifies, at a minimum, the
10following:

11(1) The legal status of the child.

12(2) The rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the
13child, and the agency in which the child is placed.

14(q) “Original placement date” means the most recent date on
15which the court detained a child and ordered an agency to be
16responsible for supervising the child or the date on which an agency
17assumed responsibility for a child due to termination of parental
18rights, relinquishment, or voluntary placement.

19(r) (1) “Transitional housing placement provider” means an
20organization licensed by the State Department of Social Services
21pursuant to Section 1559.110 of the Health and Safety Code, to
22provide transitional housing to foster children at least 16 years of
23age and not more than 18 years of age, and nonminor dependents,
24as defined in subdivision (v). A transitional housing placement
25provider shall be privately operated and organized on a nonprofit
26basis.

27(2) Prior to licensure, a provider shall obtain certification from
28the applicable county, in accordance with Section 16522.1.

29(s) “Transitional Housing Program-Plus” means a provider
30certified by the applicable county, in accordance with subdivision
31(c) of Section 16522, to provide transitional housing services to
32former foster youth who have exited the foster care system on or
33after their 18th birthday.

34(t) “Whole family foster home” means a new or existing family
35home, approved relative caregiver or nonrelative extended family
36member’s home, the home of a nonrelated legal guardian whose
37guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26,
38certified family home, or a host family home placement of a
39transitional housing placement provider, that provides foster care
40for a minor or nonminor dependent parent and his or her child,
P93   1and is specifically recruited and trained to assist the minor or
2nonminor dependent parent in developing the skills necessary to
3provide a safe, stable, and permanent home for his or her child.
4The child of the minor or nonminor dependent parent need not be
5the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Section 300 to qualify
6for placement in a whole family foster home.

7(u) “Mutual agreement” means any of the following:

8(1) A written voluntary agreement of consent for continued
9placement and care in a supervised setting between a minor or, on
10and after January 1, 2012, a nonminor dependent, and the county
11welfare services or probation department or tribal agency
12responsible for the foster care placement, that documents the
13nonminor’s continued willingness to remain in supervised
14out-of-home placement under the placement and care of the
15responsible county, tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal
16organization that has entered into an agreement with the state
17pursuant to Section 10553.1, remain under the jurisdiction of the
18juvenile court as a nonminor dependent, and report any change of
19circumstances relevant to continued eligibility for foster care
20payments, and that documents the nonminor’s and social worker’s
21or probation officer’s agreement to work together to facilitate
22implementation of the mutually developed supervised placement
23agreement and transitional independent living case plan.

24(2) An agreement, as described in paragraph (1), between a
25nonminor former dependent or ward in receipt of Kin-GAP
26payments under Article 4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) or
27Article 4.7 (commencing with Section 11385), and the agency
28responsible for the Kin-GAP benefits, provided that the nonminor
29former dependent or ward satisfies the conditions described in
30Section 11403.01, or one or more of the conditions described in
31paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section
3211403. For purposes of this paragraph and paragraph (3),
33“nonminor former dependent or ward” has the same meaning as
34described in subdivision (aa).

35(3) An agreement, as described in paragraph (1), between a
36nonminor former dependent or ward in receipt of AFDC-FC
37payments under subdivision (e) or (f) of Section 11405 and the
38agency responsible for the AFDC-FC benefits, provided that the
39nonminor former dependent or ward described in subdivision (e)
40of Section 11405 satisfies one or more of the conditions described
P94   1in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section
211403, and the nonminor described in subdivision (f) of Section
311405 satisfies the secondary school or equivalent training or
4certificate program conditions described in that subdivision.

5(v) “Nonminor dependent” means, on and after January 1, 2012,
6a foster child, as described in Section 675(8)(B) of Title 42 of the
7United States Code under the federal Social Security Act who is
8a current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or who is
9a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court,
10as described in Section 450, and who satisfies all of the following
11criteria:

12(1) He or she has attained 18 years of age while under an order
13of foster care placement by the juvenile court, and is not more than
1419 years of age on or after January 1, 2012, not more than 20 years
15of age on or after January 1, 2013, or not more than 21 years of
16age on or after January 1, 2014, and as described in Section
1710103.5.

18(2) He or she is in foster care under the placement and care
19responsibility of the county welfare department, county probation
20department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization
21that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.

22(3) He or she has a transitional independent living case plan
23pursuant to Section 475(8) of the federal Social Security Act (42
24U.S.C. Sec. 675(8)), as contained in the federal Fostering
25Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008
26(Public Law 110-351), as described in Section 11403.

27(w) “Supervised independent living placement” means, on and
28after January 1, 2012, an independent supervised setting, as
29specified in a nonminor dependent’s transitional independent living
30case plan, in which the youth is living independently, pursuant to
31Section 472(c)(2) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.
32Sec. 672(c)(2)).

33(x) “Supervised independent living setting,” pursuant to Section
34472(c)(2) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec.
35672(c)(2)), includes both a supervised independent living
36placement, as defined in subdivision (w), and a residential housing
37unit certified by the transitional housing placement provider
38operating a Transitional Housing Placement-Plus Foster Care
39program, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section
4016522.1.

P95   1(y) “Transitional independent living case plan” means, on or
2after January 1, 2012, a child’s case plan submitted for the last
3review hearing held before he or she reaches 18 years of age or
4the nonminor dependent’s case plan, updated every six months,
5that describes the goals and objectives of how the nonminor will
6make progress in the transition to living independently and assume
7incremental responsibility for adult decisionmaking, the
8collaborative efforts between the nonminor and the social worker,
9probation officer, or Indian tribal placing entity and the supportive
10services as described in the transitional independent living plan
11(TILP) to ensure active and meaningful participation in one or
12more of the eligibility criteria described in paragraphs (1) to (5),
13inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, the nonminor’s
14appropriate supervised placement setting, and the nonminor’s
15permanent plan for transition to living independently, which
16includes maintaining or obtaining permanent connections to caring
17and committed adults, as set forth in paragraphs (16) and (17) of
18subdivision (g) of Section 16501.1.

19(z) “Voluntary reentry agreement” means a written voluntary
20agreement between a former dependent child or ward or a former
21nonminor dependent, who has had juvenile court jurisdiction
22terminated pursuant to Section 391, 452, or 607.2, and the county
23welfare or probation department or tribal placing entity that
24documents the nonminor’s desire and willingness to reenter foster
25care, to be placed in a supervised setting under the placement and
26care responsibility of the placing agency, the nonminor’s desire,
27willingness, and ability to immediately participate in one or more
28of the conditions of paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision
29(b) of Section 11403, the nonminor’s agreement to work
30collaboratively with the placing agency to develop his or her
31transitional independent living case plan within 60 days of reentry,
32the nonminor’s agreement to report any changes of circumstances
33relevant to continued eligibility for foster care payments, and (1)
34the nonminor’s agreement to participate in the filing of a petition
35for juvenile court jurisdiction as a nonminor dependent pursuant
36to subdivision (e) of Section 388 within 15 judicial days of the
37signing of the agreement and the placing agency’s efforts and
38supportive services to assist the nonminor in the reentry process,
39 or (2) if the nonminor meets the definition of a nonminor former
40dependent or ward, as described in subdivision (aa), the nonminor’s
P96   1agreement to return to the care and support of his or her former
2juvenile court-appointed guardian and meet the eligibility criteria
3for AFDC-FC pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 11405.

4(aa) “Nonminor former dependent or ward” means, on and after
5January 1, 2012, either of the following:

6(1) A nonminor who reached 18 years of age while subject to
7an order for foster care placement, and for whom dependency,
8delinquency, or transition jurisdiction has been terminated, and
9who is still under the general jurisdiction of the court.

10(2) A nonminor who is over 18 years of age and, while a minor,
11was a dependent child or ward of the juvenile court when the
12guardianship was established pursuant to Section 360 or 366.26,
13or subdivision (d) of Section 728, and the juvenile court
14dependency or wardship was dismissed following the establishment
15of the guardianship.

16(ab) “Runaway and homeless youth shelter” means a type of
17group home, as defined in paragraph (14) of subdivision (a) of
18Section 1502 of the Health and Safety Code, that is not an eligible
19placement option under Sections 319, 361.2, 450, and 727, and
20that is not eligible for AFDC-FC funding pursuant to subdivision
21(c) of Section 11402 or Section 11462.

22(ac) “Transition dependent” is a minor between 17 years and
23five months and 18 years of age who is subject to the court’s
24transition jurisdiction under Section 450.

25(ad) “Short-term residential treatment center” means a
26nondetention, licensed community care facility, as defined in
27paragraph (18) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health
28and Safety Code, that provides short-term, specialized, and
29intensive treatment for the child or youth, when the child’s or
30youth’s case plan specifies the need for, nature of, and anticipated
31duration of this specialized treatment.

32(ae) “Resource family” means an approved caregiver, as defined
33in subdivision (c) of Section 16519.5.

34(af) “Core Services” mean services, made available to children,
35youth, and nonminor dependents either directly or secured through
36formal agreement with other agencies, which are trauma informed
37and culturally relevant as specified in Sections 11462 and 11463.

38(ag) “Child-centered specialized permanency services” means
39services designed for, and with, the child to address the child’s
40history of trauma, separation, and loss. Those services shall include
P97   1mental health services, as necessary, or other services that are
2needed to ameliorate impairments in significant areas of life
3functioning that may reduce the likelihood of the child achieving
4a permanent family. These services shall utilize family finding and
5engagement, including, but not limited to, using search technology
6and social media to locate family members, and child-specific
7recruitment to assist the child in achieving a permanent family
8through reunification, adoption, legal guardianship, or other
9lifelong connections to caring adults, including at least one adult
10 who will provide a permanent, parent-like relationship for that
11child. These services include services designed to prepare the
12permanent family to meet the child’s needs, set appropriate
13expectations for before and after permanency, and stabilize the
14placement.

15

SEC. 15.  

Section 16501 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
16 is amended to read:

17

16501.  

(a) (1) As used in this chapter, “child welfare services”
18means public social services that are directed toward the
19accomplishment of any or all of the following purposes: protecting
20and promoting the welfare of all children, including disabled,
21homeless, dependent, or neglected children; preventing or
22remedying, or assisting in the solution of problems which may
23result in, the neglect, abuse, exploitation, or delinquency of
24children; preventing the unnecessary separation of children from
25their families by identifying family problems, assisting families
26in resolving their problems, and preventing breakup of the family
27where the prevention of child removal is desirable and possible;
28restoring to their families children who have been removed, by
29the provision of services to the child and the families; identifying
30children to be placed in suitable adoptive homes, in cases where
31restoration to the biological family is not possible or appropriate;
32and ensuring adequate care of children away from their homes, in
33cases where the child cannot be returned home or cannot be placed
34for adoption.

35(2) “Child welfare services” also means services provided on
36behalf of children alleged to be the victims of child abuse, neglect,
37or exploitation. The child welfare services provided on behalf of
38each child represent a continuum of services, including emergency
39response services, family preservation services, family maintenance
40services, family reunification services, and permanent placement
P98   1services, including supportive transition services. The individual
2child’s case plan is the guiding principle in the provision of these
3services. The case plan shall be developed within a maximum of
460 days of the initial removal of the child or of the in-person
5response required under subdivision (f) if the child has not been
6removed from his or her home, or by the date of the dispositional
7hearing pursuant to Section 358, whichever comes first.

8(3) “Child welfare services” are best provided in a framework
9that integrates service planning and delivery among multiple
10service systems, including the mental health system, using a
11team-based approach, such as a child and family team. A child
12and family team brings together individuals that engage with the
13child or youth and family in assessing, planning, and delivering
14services consistent with paragraph (1) of subdivision (d) of Section
1516501.1. Use of a team approach increases efficiency, and thus
16reduces cost, by increasing coordination of formal services and
17integrating the natural and informal supports available to the child
18or youth and family.

19(4) “Child and family team” means a group of individuals who
20are convened by the placing agency and who are engaged through
21a variety of team-based processes to identify the strengths and
22needs of the child or youth and his or her family, and to help
23achieve positive outcomes for safety, permanency, and well-being.

24(A) The activities of the team shall include, but not be limited
25to, both of the following:

26(i) Providing input into the development of a child and family
27plan that is strengths-based, needs-driven, and culturally relevant.

28(ii) Providing input into the placement decision made by the
29placing agency and the services to be provided in order to support
30the child or youth.

31(B)  The child and family team process shall engage the child
32or youth, the child’s family, and other people important to the
33family or to the child or youth in meeting the objectives set forth
34in subparagraph (A). The child and family team shall also include
35representatives who provide formal supports to the child or youth
36and family when appropriate, including, but not limited to, the
37caregiver, the placing agency caseworker, a representative from a
38foster family agency or short-term residential treatment center with
39which a child or youth is placed, a county mental health
40representative, a representative from the regional center when the
P99   1child is eligible for regional center service, and a representative
2of the child’s or youth’s tribe or Indian custodian, as applicable.
3As appropriate, the child and family team also may include other
4formal supports, such as substance use disorder treatment
5professionals and educational professionals, providing services to
6the child or youth and family. For purposes of this definition, the
7child and family team also may include extended family and
8informal support persons, such as friends, coaches, faith-based
9connections, and tribes as identified by the child or youth and
10family. If placement into a short-term residential treatment center
11or a foster family agency that provides treatment services has
12occurred or is being considered, the mental health representative
13is required to be a licensed mental health professional. Any party
14to the child’s case who is represented by an attorney may consult
15with his or her attorney regarding this process. The child or youth
16and his or her family may request specific persons to be included
17on the child and family team. Nothing shall preclude another
18agency serving the child or youth from convening a team in
19collaboration with the placing agency.

20(5) Child welfare services may include, but are not limited to,
21a range of service-funded activities, including case management,
22counseling, emergency shelter care, emergency in-home caretakers,
23temporary in-home caretakers, respite care, therapeutic day
24services, teaching and demonstrating homemakers, parenting
25training, substance abuse testing, and transportation. These
26service-funded activities shall be available to children and their
27families in all phases of the child welfare program in accordance
28with the child’s case plan and departmental regulations. Funding
29for services is limited to the amount appropriated in the annual
30Budget Act and other available county funds.

31(6) Service-funded activities to be provided may be determined
32by each county, based upon individual child and family needs as
33reflected in the service plan.

34(7) As used in this chapter, “emergency shelter care” means
35emergency shelter provided to children who have been removed
36pursuant to Section 300 from their parent or parents or their
37guardian or guardians. The department may establish, by
38regulation, the time periods for which emergency shelter care shall
39be funded. For the purposes of this paragraph, “emergency shelter
40care” may include “transitional shelter care facilities” as defined
P100  1in paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 1502 of the Health
2and Safety Code.

3(b) As used in this chapter, “respite care” means temporary care
4for periods not to exceed 72 hours, and, in order to preserve the
5placement, may be extended up to 14 days in any one month
6pending the development of policies and regulations in consultation
7with county placing agencies and stakeholders. This care may be
8provided to the child’s parents or guardians. This care shall not be
9limited by regulation to care over 24 hours. These services shall
10not be provided for the purpose of routine, ongoing child care.

11(c) The county shall provide child welfare services as needed
12pursuant to an approved service plan and in accordance with
13regulations promulgated, in consultation with the counties, by the
14department. Counties may contract for service-funded activities
15as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). Counties shall not
16contract for needs assessment, client eligibility determination, or
17any other activity as specified by regulations of the State
18Department of Social Services, except as specifically authorized
19in Section 16100.

20(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect duties
21which are delegated to probation officers pursuant to Sections 601
22and 654.

23(e) Any county may utilize volunteer individuals to supplement
24professional child welfare services by providing ancillary support
25services in accordance with regulations adopted by the State
26Department of Social Services.

27(f) As used in this chapter, emergency response services consist
28of a response system providing in-person response, 24 hours a day,
29seven days a week, to reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, as
30required by Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 11164) of
31Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code for the purpose of
32investigation pursuant to Section 11166 of the Penal Code and to
33determine the necessity for providing initial intake services and
34crisis intervention to maintain the child safely in his or her own
35home or to protect the safety of the child. County welfare
36departments shall respond to any report of imminent danger to a
37child immediately and all other reports within 10 calendar days.
38An in-person response is not required when the county welfare
39department, based upon an evaluation of risk, determines that an
40in-person response is not appropriate. This evaluation includes
P101  1collateral, contacts, a review of previous referrals, and other
2relevant information, as indicated.

3(g) As used in this chapter, family maintenance services are
4activities designed to provide in-home protective services to
5prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, for the purposes
6of preventing separation of children from their families.

7(h) As used in this chapter, family reunification services are
8activities designed to provide time-limited foster care services to
9prevent or remedy neglect, abuse, or exploitation, when the child
10cannot safely remain at home, and needs temporary foster care,
11while services are provided to reunite the family.

12(i) (1) As used in this chapter, permanent placement services
13are activities designed to provide an alternate permanent family
14structure for children who because of abuse, neglect, or exploitation
15cannot safely remain at home and who are unlikely to ever return
16home. These services shall be provided on behalf of children for
17whom there has been a judicial determination of a permanent plan
18for adoption, legal guardianship, placement with a fit and willing
19relative, or continued foster care placement, and, as needed to
20achieve a permanent family, shall include child-centered
21specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
22Permanent placement services for nonminor dependents may
23include child-centered specialized permanency services and shall
24include supportive transition services.

25(2) For purposes of this section, “another planned permanent
26living arrangement” means a permanent plan ordered by the court
27for a child 16 years of age or older or a nonminor dependent, when
28there is a compelling reason or reasons to determine that it is not
29in the best interest of the child or nonminor dependent to return
30home, be placed for adoption, be placed for tribal customary
31adoption in the case of an Indian child, or be placed with a fit and
32willing relative. Placement in a group home, or, on and after
33January 1, 2017, a short-term residential treatment facility, shall
34not be the identified permanent plan for any child or nonminor
35dependent.

36(j) As used in this chapter, family preservation services include
37those services specified in Section 16500.5 to avoid or limit
38out-of-home placement of children, and may include those services
39specified in that section to place children in the least restrictive
40environment possible.

P102  1(k) (1) (A) In any county electing to implement this
2subdivision, all county welfare department employees who have
3frequent and routine contact with children shall, by February 1,
41997, and all welfare department employees who are expected to
5have frequent and routine contact with children and who are hired
6on or after January 1, 1996, and all such employees whose duties
7 change after January 1, 1996, to include frequent and routine
8contact with children, shall, if the employees provide services to
9children who are alleged victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation,
10sign a declaration under penalty of perjury regarding any prior
11criminal conviction, and shall provide a set of fingerprints to the
12county welfare director.

13(B) The county welfare director shall secure from the
14Department of Justice a criminal record to determine whether the
15employee has ever been convicted of a crime other than a minor
16traffic violation. The Department of Justice shall deliver the
17criminal record to the county welfare director.

18(C) If it is found that the employee has been convicted of a
19crime, other than a minor traffic violation, the county welfare
20director shall determine whether there is substantial and convincing
21evidence to support a reasonable belief that the employee is of
22good character so as to justify frequent and routine contact with
23children.

24(D) No exemption shall be granted pursuant to subparagraph
25(C) if the person has been convicted of a sex offense against a
26minor, or has been convicted of an offense specified in Section
27220, 243.4, 264.1, 273d, 288, or 289 of the Penal Code, or in
28paragraph (1) of Section 273a of, or subdivision (a) or (b) of
29Section 368 of, the Penal Code, or has been convicted of an offense
30specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5 of the Penal Code.
31The county welfare director shall suspend such a person from any
32duties involving frequent and routine contact with children.

33(E) Notwithstanding subparagraph (D), the county welfare
34director may grant an exemption if the employee or prospective
35employee, who was convicted of a crime against an individual
36specified in paragraph (1) or (7) of subdivision (c) of Section 667.5
37of the Penal Code, has been rehabilitated as provided in Section
384852.03 of the Penal Code and has maintained the conduct required
39in Section 4852.05 of the Penal Code for at least 10 years and has
40the recommendation of the district attorney representing the
P103  1employee’s or prospective employee’s county of residence, or if
2the employee or prospective employee has received a certificate
3of rehabilitation pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section
44852.01) of Title 6 of Part 3 of the Penal Code. In that case, the
5county welfare director may give the employee or prospective
6employee an opportunity to explain the conviction and shall
7consider that explanation in the evaluation of the criminal
8conviction record.

9(F) If no criminal record information has been recorded, the
10county welfare director shall cause a statement of that fact to be
11included in that person’s personnel file.

12(2) For purposes of this subdivision, a conviction means a plea
13or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo
14contendere. Any action that the county welfare director is permitted
15to take following the establishment of a conviction may be taken
16when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction
17has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation
18is made suspending the imposition of sentence, notwithstanding
19a subsequent order pursuant to Sections 1203.4 and 1203.4a of the
20Penal Code permitting the person to withdraw his or her plea of
21guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict
22of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.
23For purposes of this subdivision, the record of a conviction, or a
24copy thereof certified by the clerk of the court or by a judge of the
25court in which the conviction occurred, shall be conclusive
26evidence of the conviction.

27

SEC. 16.  

Section 16501.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code
28 is amended to read:

29

16501.1.  

(a) (1) The Legislature finds and declares that the
30foundation and central unifying tool in child welfare services is
31the case plan.

32(2) The Legislature further finds and declares that a case plan
33ensures that the child receives protection and safe and proper care
34and case management, and that services are provided to the child
35and parents or other caretakers, as appropriate, in order to improve
36conditions in the parent’s home, to facilitate the safe return of the
37child to a safe home or the permanent placement of the child, and
38to address the needs of the child while in foster care.

39(3) The agency shall consider the recommendations of the child
40and family team, as defined in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of
P104  1Section 16501, if any are available. The agency shall document
2the rationale for any inconsistencies between the case plan and the
3child and family team recommendations.

4(b) (1) A case plan shall be based upon the principles of this
5section and the input from the child and family team.

6(2) The case plan shall document that a preplacement assessment
7of the service needs of the child and family, and preplacement
8preventive services, have been provided, and that reasonable efforts
9to prevent out-of-home placement have been made. Preplacement
10services may include intensive mental health services in the home
11or a community setting and the reasonable efforts made to prevent
12out-of-home placement.

13(3) In determining the reasonable services to be offered or
14provided, the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount
15concerns.

16(4) Upon a determination pursuant to paragraph (1) of
17subdivision (e) of Section 361.5 that reasonable services will be
18offered to a parent who is incarcerated in a county jail or state
19prison, detained by the United States Department of Homeland
20Security, or deported to his or her country of origin, the case plan
21shall include information, to the extent possible, about a parent’s
22incarceration in a county jail or the state prison, detention by the
23United States Department of Homeland Security, or deportation
24during the time that a minor child of that parent is involved in
25dependency care.

26(5) Reasonable services shall be offered or provided to make it
27possible for a child to return to a safe home environment, unless,
28pursuant to subdivisions (b) and (e) of Section 361.5, the court
29determines that reunification services shall not be provided.

30(6) If reasonable services are not ordered, or are terminated,
31reasonable efforts shall be made to place the child in a timely
32manner in accordance with the permanent plan and to complete
33all steps necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child.

34(c) If out-of-home placement is used to attain case plan goals,
35the case plan shall consider the recommendations of the child and
36family team.

37(d) (1) The case plan shall include a description of the type of
38home or institution in which the child is to be placed, and the
39reasons for that placement decision. The decision regarding choice
40of placement shall be based upon selection of a safe setting that is
P105  1the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood
2experiences and the most appropriate setting that meets the child’s
3individual needs and is available, in proximity to the parent’s home,
4in proximity to the child’s school, and consistent with the selection
5of the environment best suited to meet the child’s special needs
6and best interests. The selection shall consider, in order of priority,
7placement with relatives, nonrelated extended family members,
8and tribal members; foster family homes, resource families, and
9nontreatment certified homes of foster family agencies; followed
10by treatment and intensive treatment certified homes of foster
11family agencies; or multidimensional treatment foster care homes
12or therapeutic foster care homes; group care placements in the
13order of short-term residential treatment centers, group homes,
14community treatment facilities, and out-of-state residential
15treatment pursuant to Part 5 (commencing with Section 7900) of
16Division 12 of the Family Code.

17(2) If a short-term intensive treatment center placement is
18selected for a child, the case plan shall indicate the needs of the
19child that necessitate this placement, the plan for transitioning the
20child to a less restrictive environment, and the projected timeline
21by which the child will be transitioned to a less restrictive
22environment. This section of the case plan shall be reviewed and
23updated at least semiannually.

24(A) The case plan for placements in a group home, or
25commencing January 1, 2017, in a short-term residential treatment
26center, shall indicate that the county has taken into consideration
27Section 16010.8.

28(B) After January 1, 2017, a child and family team meeting as
29defined in Section 16501 shall be convened by the county placing
30agency for the purpose of identifying the supports and services
31needed to achieve permanency and enable the child or youth to be
32placed in the least restrictive family setting that promotes normal
33childhood experiences.

34(3) On or after January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, as
35defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who is receiving
36AFDC-FC benefits up to 21 years of age pursuant to Section 11403,
37in addition to the above requirements, the selection of the
38placement, including a supervised independent living placement,
39as described in subdivision (w) of Section 11400, shall also be
40based upon the developmental needs of young adults by providing
P106  1opportunities to have incremental responsibilities that prepare a
2nonminor dependent to transition to successful adulthood. If
3admission to, or continuation in, a group home or short-term
4residential treatment center placement is being considered for a
5nonminor dependent, the group home or short-term residential
6treatment center placement approval decision shall include a
7youth-driven, team-based case planning process, as defined by the
8department, in consultation with stakeholders. The case plan shall
9consider the full range of placement options, and shall specify why
10admission to, or continuation in, a group home placement is the
11best alternative available at the time to meet the special needs or
12well-being of the nonminor dependent, and how the placement
13will contribute to the nonminor dependent’s transition to successful
14adulthood. The case plan shall specify the treatment strategies that
15will be used to prepare the nonminor dependent for discharge to
16a less restrictive family setting that promotes normal childhood
17experiences, including a target date for discharge from the group
18home placement. The placement shall be reviewed and updated
19on a regular, periodic basis to ensure that continuation in the group
20home placement remains in the best interests of the nonminor
21dependent and that progress is being made in achieving case plan
22goals leading to successful adulthood. The group home placement
23planning process shall begin as soon as it becomes clear to the
24county welfare department or probation office that a foster child
25in group home placement is likely to remain in group home
26placement on his or her 18th birthday, in order to expedite the
27transition to a less restrictive family setting that promotes normal
28childhood experiences, if he or she becomes a nonminor dependent.
29The case planning process shall include informing the youth of all
30of his or her options, including, but not limited to, admission to
31or continuation in a group home placement and the provision of
32child-centered specialized permanency services, as defined in
33Section 11400. Consideration for continuation of existing group
34home placement for a nonminor dependent under 19 years of age
35may include the need to stay in the same placement in order to
36complete high school. After a nonminor dependent either completes
37high school or attains his or her 19th birthday, whichever is earlier,
38continuation in or admission to a group home placement is
39prohibited unless the nonminor dependent satisfies the conditions
40of paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11403, and group
P106  1home placement functions as a short-term transition to the
2appropriate system of care. Treatment services provided by the
3group home placement to the nonminor dependent to alleviate or
4ameliorate the medical condition, as described in paragraph (5) of
5subdivision (b) of Section 11403, shall not constitute the sole basis
6to disqualify a nonminor dependent from the group home
7 placement.

8(4) In addition to the requirements of paragraphs (1) to (3),
9inclusive, and taking into account other statutory considerations
10regarding placement, the selection of the most appropriate home
11that will meet the child’s special needs and best interests shall also
12promote educational stability by taking into consideration
13proximity to the child’s school of origin, and school attendance
14area, the number of school transfers the child has previously
15experienced, and the child’s school matriculation schedule, in
16addition to other indicators of educational stability that the
17Legislature hereby encourages the State Department of Social
18Services and the State Department of Education to develop.

19(e) A written case plan shall be completed within a maximum
20of 60 days of the initial removal of the child or of the in-person
21response required under subdivision (f) of Section 16501 if the
22child has not been removed from his or her home, or by the date
23of the dispositional hearing pursuant to Section 358, whichever
24occurs first. The case plan shall be updated, as the service needs
25of the child and family dictate. At a minimum, the case plan shall
26be updated in conjunction with each status review hearing
27conducted pursuant to Sections 364, 366, 366.3, and 366.31, and
28the hearing conducted pursuant to Section 366.26, but no less
29frequently than once every six months. Each updated case plan
30shall include a description of the services that have been provided
31to the child under the plan and an evaluation of the appropriateness
32and effectiveness of those services.

33(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that extending the maximum
34time available for preparing a written case plan from 30 to 60 days
35will afford caseworkers time to actively engage families, and to
36solicit and integrate into the case plan the input of the child and
37the child’s family, as well as the input of relatives and other
38interested parties.

39(2) The extension of the maximum time available for preparing
40a written case plan from the 30 to 60 days shall be effective 90
P108  1days after the date that the department gives counties written notice
2that necessary changes have been made to the Child Welfare
3Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) to account for
4the 60-day timeframe for preparing a written case plan.

5(f) The child welfare services case plan shall be comprehensive
6enough to meet the juvenile court dependency proceedings
7requirements pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 300)
8of Chapter 2 of Part 1 of Division 2.

9(g) The case plan shall be developed considering the
10recommendations of the child and family team, as follows:

11(1) The case plan shall be based upon an assessment of the
12circumstances that required child welfare services intervention.
13The child shall be involved in developing the case plan as age and
14developmentally appropriate.

15(2) The case plan shall identify specific goals and the
16appropriateness of the planned services in meeting those goals.

17(3) The case plan shall identify the original allegations of abuse
18or neglect, as defined in Article 2.5 (commencing with Section
1911164) of Chapter 2 of Title 1 of Part 4 of the Penal Code, or the
20conditions cited as the basis for declaring the child a dependent of
21the court pursuant to Section 300, or all of these, and the other
22precipitating incidents that led to child welfare services
23intervention.

24(4) The case plan shall include a description of the schedule of
25the placement agency contacts with the child and the family or
26other caretakers. The frequency of these contacts shall be in
27accordance with regulations adopted by the State Department of
28Social Services. If the child has been placed in foster care out of
29state, the county social worker or probation officer, or a social
30worker or probation officer on the staff of the agency in the state
31in which the child has been placed, shall visit the child in a foster
32family home or the home of a relative, consistent with federal law
33and in accordance with the department’s approved state plan. For
34children in out-of-state group home facilities, visits shall be
35conducted at least monthly, pursuant to Section 16516.5. At least
36once every six months, at the time of a regularly scheduled
37placement agency contact with the foster child, the child’s social
38worker or probation officer shall inform the child of his or her
39rights as a foster child, as specified in Section 16001.9. The social
40worker or probation officer shall provide the information to the
P109  1child in a manner appropriate to the age or developmental level of
2the child.

3(5) (A) When out-of-home services are used, the frequency of
4contact between the natural parents or legal guardians and the child
5shall be specified in the case plan. The frequency of those contacts
6shall reflect overall case goals, and consider other principles
7outlined in this section.

8(B) Information regarding any court-ordered visitation between
9the child and the natural parents or legal guardians, and the terms
10and conditions needed to facilitate the visits while protecting the
11safety of the child, shall be provided to the child’s out-of-home
12caregiver as soon as possible after the court order is made.

13(6) When out-of-home placement is made, the case plan shall
14include provisions for the development and maintenance of sibling
15relationships as specified in subdivisions (b), (c), and (d) of Section
1616002. If appropriate, when siblings who are dependents of the
17juvenile court are not placed together, the social worker for each
18child, if different, shall communicate with each of the other social
19workers and ensure that the child’s siblings are informed of
20significant life events that occur within their extended family.
21Unless it has been determined that it is inappropriate in a particular
22case to keep siblings informed of significant life events that occur
23within the extended family, the social worker shall determine the
24appropriate means and setting for disclosure of this information
25to the child commensurate with the child’s age and emotional
26well-being. These significant life events shall include, but shall
27not be limited to, the following:

28(A) The death of an immediate relative.

29(B) The birth of a sibling.

30(C) Significant changes regarding a dependent child, unless the
31 child objects to the sharing of the information with his or her
32siblings, including changes in placement, major medical or mental
33health diagnoses, treatments, or hospitalizations, arrests, and
34changes in the permanent plan.

35(7) If out-of-home placement is made in a foster family home,
36group home, or other child care institution that is either a
37substantial distance from the home of the child’s parent or out of
38state, the case plan shall specify the reasons why that placement
39is in the best interest of the child. When an out-of-state group home
40placement is recommended or made, the case plan shall, in
P110  1addition, specify compliance with Section 7911.1 of the Family
2Code.

3(8) A case plan shall ensure the educational stability of the child
4while in foster care and shall include both of the following:

5(A) An assurance that the placement takes into account the
6appropriateness of the current educational setting and the proximity
7to the school in which the child is enrolled at the time of placement.

8(B) An assurance that the placement agency has coordinated
9with the person holding the right to make educational decisions
10for the child and appropriate local educational agencies to ensure
11that the child remains in the school in which the child is enrolled
12at the time of placement or, if remaining in that school is not in
13the best interests of the child, assurances by the placement agency
14and the local educational agency to provide immediate and
15appropriate enrollment in a new school and to provide all of the
16child’s educational records to the new school.

17(9) (A) If out-of-home services are used, or if parental rights
18have been terminated and the case plan is placement for adoption,
19the case plan shall include a recommendation regarding the
20appropriateness of unsupervised visitation between the child and
21any of the child’s siblings. This recommendation shall include a
22statement regarding the child’s and the siblings’ willingness to
23participate in unsupervised visitation. If the case plan includes a
24recommendation for unsupervised sibling visitation, the plan shall
25also note that information necessary to accomplish this visitation
26has been provided to the child or to the child’s siblings.

27(B) Information regarding the schedule and frequency of the
28visits between the child and siblings, as well as any court-ordered
29terms and conditions needed to facilitate the visits while protecting
30the safety of the child, shall be provided to the child’s out-of-home
31caregiver as soon as possible after the court order is made.

32(10) If out-of-home services are used and the goal is
33reunification, the case plan shall describe the services to be
34provided to assist in reunification and the services to be provided
35concurrently to achieve legal permanency if efforts to reunify fail.
36The plan shall also consider in-state and out-of-state placements,
37the importance of developing and maintaining sibling relationships
38pursuant to Section 16002, and the desire and willingness of the
39caregiver to provide legal permanency for the child if reunification
40is unsuccessful.

P111  1(11) If out-of-home services are used, the child has been in care
2for at least 12 months, and the goal is not adoptive placement, the
3case plan shall include documentation of the compelling reason
4or reasons why termination of parental rights is not in the child’s
5best interest. A determination completed or updated within the
6past 12 months by the department when it is acting as an adoption
7agency or by a licensed adoption agency that it is unlikely that the
8child will be adopted, or that one of the conditions described in
9paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 366.26 applies, shall
10be deemed a compelling reason.

11(12) (A) Parents and legal guardians shall have an opportunity
12to review the case plan, and to sign it whenever possible, and then
13shall receive a copy of the plan. In a voluntary service or placement
14agreement, the parents or legal guardians shall be required to
15review and sign the case plan. Whenever possible, parents and
16legal guardians shall participate in the development of the case
17plan. Commencing January 1, 2012, for nonminor dependents, as
18defined in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who are receiving
19AFDC-FC or CalWORKs assistance up to 21 years of age pursuant
20to Section 11403, the transitional independent living case plan, as
21set forth in subdivision (y) of Section 11400, shall be developed
22with, and signed by, the nonminor.

23(B) Parents and legal guardians shall be advised that, pursuant
24to Section 1228.1 of the Evidence Code, neither their signature on
25the child welfare services case plan nor their acceptance of any
26services prescribed in the child welfare services case plan shall
27constitute an admission of guilt or be used as evidence against the
28parent or legal guardian in a court of law. However, they shall also
29be advised that the parent’s or guardian’s failure to cooperate,
30except for good cause, in the provision of services specified in the
31child welfare services case plan may be used in any hearing held
32pursuant to Section 366.21, 366.22, or 366.25 of this code as
33evidence.

34(13) A child shall be given a meaningful opportunity to
35participate in the development of the case plan and state his or her
36preference for foster care placement. A child who is 12 years of
37age or older and in a permanent placement shall also be given the
38opportunity to review the case plan, sign the case plan, and receive
39a copy of the case plan.

P112  1(14) The case plan shall be included in the court report and shall
2be considered by the court at the initial hearing and each review
3hearing. Modifications to the case plan made during the period
4between review hearings need not be approved by the court if the
5casework supervisor for that case determines that the modifications
6further the goals of the plan. If out-of-home services are used with
7the goal of family reunification, the case plan shall consider and
8describe the application of subdivision (b) of Section 11203.

9(15) (A) If the case plan has as its goal for the child a permanent
10plan of adoption or legal guardianship, it shall include a statement
11of the child’s wishes regarding their permanent placement plan
12and an assessment of those stated wishes. The agency shall also
13include documentation of the steps the agency is taking to find an
14adoptive family or other permanent living arrangements for the
15child, to place the child with an adoptive family, an appropriate
16 and willing relative, or a legal guardian, and to finalize the adoption
17or legal guardianship. At a minimum, the documentation shall
18include child-specific recruitment efforts, such as the use of state,
19regional, and national adoption exchanges, including electronic
20exchange systems, when the child has been freed for adoption.
21The documentation shall also reflect the provision of child-centered
22specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400.
23Regardless of whether the child has been freed for adoption,
24documentation shall include a description of any barriers to
25achieving legal permanence and the steps the agency will take to
26address those barriers, including the provision of child-centered
27specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400. If
28the plan is for kinship guardianship, the case plan shall document
29how the child meets the kinship guardianship eligibility
30 requirements.

31(B) When the child is 16 years of age or older and is in another
32planned permanent living arrangement, the case plan shall identify
33the intensive and ongoing efforts, including child-centered
34specialized permanency services, as defined in Section 11400, to
35return the child to the home of the parent, place the child for
36adoption, place the child for tribal customary adoption in the case
37of an Indian child, establish a legal guardianship, or place the child
38nonminor dependent with a fit and willing relative, as appropriate.
39Efforts shall include the use of technology, including social media,
40to find biological family members of the child.

P113  1(16) (A) (i) For a child who is 14 or 15 years of age, the case
2plan shall include a written description of the programs and services
3that will help the child, consistent with the child’s best interests,
4to prepare for the transition from foster care to successful
5adulthood. The description may be included in the document
6described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (18).

7(ii) When appropriate, for a child who is 16 years of age or older
8and, commencing January 1, 2012, for a nonminor dependent, the
9case plan shall include the transitional independent living plan
10(TILP), a written description of the programs and services that
11will help the child, consistent with the child’s best interests, to
12prepare for the transition from foster care to successful adulthood,
13and, in addition, whether the youth has an in-progress application
14pending for Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits or
15for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status or other applicable
16application for legal residency and an active dependency case is
17required for that application. When appropriate, for a nonminor
18dependent, the transitional independent living case plan, as
19described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, shall include the
20TILP, a written description of the programs and services that will
21help the nonminor dependent, consistent with his or her best
22interests, to prepare for transition from foster care and assist the
23youth in meeting the eligibility criteria set forth in paragraphs (1)
24to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403. If applicable,
25the case plan shall describe the individualized supervision provided
26in the supervised independent living placement as defined in
27subdivision (w) of Section 11400. The case plan shall be developed
28with the child or nonminor dependent and individuals identified
29as important to the child or nonminor dependent, and shall include
30steps the agency is taking to ensure that the child or nonminor
31dependent achieves permanence, including maintaining or
32obtaining permanent connections to caring and committed adults.

33(B) During the 90-day period prior to the participant attaining
3418 years of age or older as the state may elect under Section
35475(8)(B)(iii) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec.
36675(8)(B)(iii)), whether during that period foster care maintenance
37payments are being made on the child’s behalf or the child is
38receiving benefits or services under Section 477 of the federal
39Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 677), a caseworker or other
40appropriate agency staff or probation officer and other
P114  1representatives of the participant, as appropriate, shall provide the
2youth or nonminor dependent with assistance and support in
3 developing the written 90-day transition plan, that is personalized
4at the direction of the child, information as detailed as the
5participant elects that shall include, but not be limited to, options
6regarding housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities
7for mentors and continuing support services, and workforce
8supports and employment services, a power of attorney for health
9care, and information regarding the advance health care directive
10form.

11(C) For youth 14 years of age or older, the case plan shall
12include documentation that a consumer credit report was requested
13annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at
14no charge to the youth and that any results were provided to the
15youth. For nonminor dependents, the case plan shall include
16documentation that the county assisted the nonminor dependent
17in obtaining his or her reports. The case plan shall include
18documentation of barriers, if any, to obtaining the credit reports.
19If the consumer credit report reveals any accounts, the case plan
20shall detail how the county ensured the youth received assistance
21with interpreting the credit report and resolving any inaccuracies,
22including any referrals made for the assistance.

23(17) For youth 14 years of age or older and nonminor
24dependents, the case plan shall be developed in consultation with
25the youth. At the youth’s option, the consultation may include up
26to two members of the case planning team who are chosen by the
27youth and who are not foster parents of, or caseworkers for, the
28youth. The agency, at any time, may reject an individual selected
29by the youth to be a member of the case planning team if the
30agency has good cause to believe that the individual would not act
31in the youth’s best interest. One individual selected by the youth
32to be a member of the case planning team may be designated to
33be the youth’s adviser and advocate with respect to the application
34of the reasonable and prudent parent standard to the youth, as
35necessary.

36(18) For youth in foster care 14 years of age and older and
37nonminor dependents, the case plan shall include both of the
38following:

39(A) A document that describes the youth’s rights with respect
40to education, health, visitation, and court participation, the right
P115  1to be annually provided with copies of his or her credit reports at
2no cost while in foster care pursuant to Section 10618.6, and the
3right to stay safe and avoid exploitation.

4(B) A signed acknowledgment by the youth that he or she has
5been provided a copy of the document and that the rights described
6in the document have been explained to the youth in an
7age-appropriate manner.

8(19) The case plan for a child or nonminor dependent who is,
9or who is at risk of becoming, the victim of commercial sexual
10exploitation, shall document the services provided to address that
11issue.

12(h) If the court finds, after considering the case plan, that
13unsupervised sibling visitation is appropriate and has been
14consented to, the court shall order that the child or the child’s
15siblings, the child’s current caregiver, and the child’s prospective
16adoptive parents, if applicable, be provided with information
17necessary to accomplish this visitation. This section does not
18 require or prohibit the social worker’s facilitation, transportation,
19or supervision of visits between the child and his or her siblings.

20(i) The case plan documentation on sibling placements required
21under this section shall not require modification of existing case
22plan forms until the Child Welfare Service/Case Management
23System (CWS/CMS) is implemented on a statewide basis.

24(j) When a child is 10 years of age or older and has been in
25out-of-home placement for six months or longer, the case plan
26shall include an identification of individuals, other than the child’s
27siblings, who are important to the child and actions necessary to
28maintain the child’s relationship with those individuals, provided
29that those relationships are in the best interest of the child. The
30social worker or probation officer shall ask every child who is 10
31years of age or older and who has been in out-of-home placement
32for six months or longer to identify individuals other than the
33child’s siblings who are important to the child, and may ask any
34other child to provide that information, or may seek that
35information from the child and family team, as appropriate. The
36social worker or probation officer shall make efforts to identify
37other individuals who are important to the child, consistent with
38the child’s best interests.

P116  1(k) The child’s caregiver shall be provided a copy of a plan
2outlining the child’s needs and services. The nonminor dependent’s
3caregiver shall be provided with a copy of the nonminor’s TILP.

4(l) Each county shall ensure that the total number of visits made
5 by caseworkers on a monthly basis to children in foster care during
6a federal fiscal year is not less than 95 percent of the total number
7of those visits that would occur if each child were visited once
8 every month while in care and that the majority of the visits occur
9in the residence of the child. The county child welfare and
10probation departments shall comply with data reporting
11requirements that the department deems necessary to comply with
12the federal Child and Family Services Improvement Act of 2006
13(Public Law 109-288) and the federal Child and Family Services
14Improvement and Innovation Act of 2011 (Public Law 112-34).

15(m) The implementation and operation of the amendments to
16subdivision (i) enacted at the 2005-06 Regular Session shall be
17subject to appropriation through the budget process and by phase,
18as provided in Section 366.35.

19

SEC. 17.  

To the extent that this act has an overall effect of
20increasing the costs already borne by a local agency for programs
21or levels of service mandated by the 2011 Realignment Legislation
22within the meaning of Section 36 of Article XIII of the California
23Constitution, it shall apply to local agencies only to the extent that
24the state provides annual funding for the cost increase. Any new
25program or higher level of service provided by a local agency
26pursuant to this act above the level for which funding has been
27provided shall not require a subvention of funds by the state nor
28otherwise be subject to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
29Constitution.



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