BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          SB 174 (Wolk) - Crisis nurseries:  study
          
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          |Version: April 7, 2015          |Policy Vote: HUMAN S. 5 - 0     |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: No                     |
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          |Hearing Date: April 20, 2015    |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
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          This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. 

          

          Bill  
          Summary:  SB 174 would require the Department of Social Services (DSS)  
          to implement a two-year pilot project in the counties of  
          Sacramento and Yolo for the purpose of evaluating the  
          effectiveness of crisis nurseries in lowering the incidence of  
          child abuse in those counties. This bill would require the DSS  
          to conduct a study based on the pilot and report the results to  
          the Legislature on or before December 31, 2017.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
           Significant costs of about $2.7 million (General Fund) over  
            two years to implement the pilot project for the three crisis  
            nurseries in the counties of Sacramento and Yolo, which would  
            consist of half of the costs to operate the crisis nurseries  
            in the pilot counties. Matching private funds would be  
            required to cover the remaining 50 percent of costs of the  
            pilot project.
           One-time costs to the DSS potentially in excess of $200,000  







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            (General Fund) to administer the pilot, as well as conduct and  
            submit the results of the mandated study. 


          Background:  Existing law provides for the licensure and regulation by the  
          DSS of crisis nurseries. Crisis nurseries are private or public  
          nonprofit corporations that provide short-term, 24-hour  
          nonmedical residential care and supervision for children under  
          six years of age who are voluntarily placed for temporary care  
          by a parent or legal guardian due to a family crisis or  
          stressful situation for no more than 30 days. (Health and Safety  
          Code  1516(a).)

          Existing law authorizes crisis nurseries to provide crisis day  
          services for children under the age of six years at the same  
          site as the crisis residential overnight program. A child may  
          not receive crisis day services at a crisis nursery for more  
          than 14 hours in a day and for no more than 30 calendar days in  
          a six-month period unless the DSS issues an exception.

          Currently, there are five crisis nurseries licensed in  
          California, one each in Concord, Davis, and Nevada City, and two  
          in Sacramento. Since 2009, more than 9,000 children have been  
          served by these nurseries. Average lengths of stay have ranged  
          from eight hours to just over 24 hours, with 44 children staying  
          for the maximum allowable days. No exemptions have been  
          requested for children to stay beyond the 30-day limit.



          Proposed Law:  
           This bill would require the DSS to implement a two-year pilot  
          project in the counties of Sacramento and Yolo for the purpose  
          of evaluating the effectiveness of crisis nurseries in lowering  
          the incidence of child abuse in those counties. This bill  
          conditions implementation of the pilot on voluntary  
          participation by all crisis nurseries in those counties and  
          private funding for one-half of the cost of the project. The  
          pilot project shall consist of both of the following:
                 Requires DSS to conduct a study of the relationship  
               between crisis respite care and incidents of reported child  
               abuse in pilot project counties.
                 Requires DSS to report the results of the study to the  
               Legislature on or before December 31, 2017, as specified.








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          This bill specifies it shall remain in effect only until January  
          1, 2018, unless a later enacted statute is enacted before that  
          date, deletes or extends that date.


          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 578 (Dickinson) 2014 was virtually identical to  
          this measure. This bill was held on the Suspense File of this  
          Committee.
          AB 2228 (Cooley) Chapter 735/2014 revises the regulatory  
          licensing requirements for crisis nurseries including the  
          duration of services provided, licensed capacity, education and  
          training requirements, staff-to-child ratios, and other  
          requirements. 



          Staff  
          Comments:  Based on historical expenditures for crisis nurseries in the  
          counties of Yolo and Sacramento, annual costs to operate the  
          three crisis nurseries is about $2.7 million ($660,000 for Yolo  
          Crisis Nursery and $2 million for Sacramento Crisis Nurseries).  
          A two-year pilot project would cost about $5.4 million, with 50  
          percent coming from private funds, and the remaining $2.7  
          million from the state (General Fund). It is estimated that the  
          revised licensing standards recently enacted under AB 2228 would  
          not have a significant impact on operational costs. 

          The DSS would incur one-time costs potentially in excess of  
          $200,000 (General Fund) to administer the pilot project, as well  
          as conduct, prepare and submit the results of the mandated  
          study.



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