BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                       SB 1060|
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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  SB 1060
          Author:   Leno (D), et al.
          Amended:  5/31/16  
          Vote:     21 

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  6-0, 4/12/16
           AYES:  Jackson, Moorlach, Hertzberg, Leno, Monning, Wieckowski
           NO VOTE RECORDED:  Anderson

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  5-2, 5/27/16
           AYES:  Lara, Beall, Hill, McGuire, Mendoza
           NOES:  Bates, Nielsen

           SUBJECT:   Postadoption contact:  siblings of dependent  
                     children or wards


          SOURCE:    California Youth Connection

          DIGEST:  This bill requires the county placing agency, to the  
          extent practicable, to convene a meeting with the child, the  
          sibling of the child, the prospective adoptive parent, and a  
          facilitator for the purpose of deciding whether to voluntarily  
          execute a postadoption sibling contact agreement, and requires,  
          at the time of consideration of an adoption petition, the court  
          to inquire into the status of the development of a voluntary  
          postadoption sibling contact agreement. 


          ANALYSIS:  


          Existing law: 








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          1)Requires states to use "reasonable efforts" to place siblings  
            together, unless such placement is contrary to their safety or  
            well-being.  If the siblings are not placed together,  
            visitation between them must occur frequently, unless it is  
            contrary to their safety or well-being.  (42 U.S.C. Sec.  
            671(a).)  


           2)States the intent of the Legislature to ensure that siblings  
            who are removed from the home will be placed in foster care  
            together, unless the placement is contrary to the safety or  
            well-being of any sibling, including requiring the state or  
            county to do the following after parental rights are  
            terminated and the court orders the dependent child to be  
            placed for adoption: 


                 Include in training for prospective adoptive parents  
               information about the importance of maintaining sibling  
               relationships;
                 Provide prospective adoptive parents with information  
               about the child's siblings, as specified; and
                 Encourage the prospective adoptive parents to make a  
               plan for facilitating postadoptive contact between the  
               child and any siblings. (Welf. & Inst. Code Sec. 16002.)


          1)Requires, when the court has ordered removal of a child from  
            the physical custody of a parent, the court to consider  
            whether there are any siblings under the court's jurisdiction,  
            and the appropriateness of maintaining those sibling  
            relationships. (Welf. & Inst. Code Sec. 361.2.)


          2)Requires any order placing a child in foster care to provide  
            for visitation between a child and any siblings, unless the  
            court finds by clear and convincing evidence that sibling  
            interaction is contrary to the safety and well-being of either  
            child.  (Welf. & Inst. Code Sec. 362.1.)


          3)Allows a court to include in a final adoption order a  







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            postadoptive sibling contact agreement. (Welf. & Inst. Code  
            Secs. 366.26 and 366.29.)


          4)Authorizes a parent to terminate a postadoptive sibling  
            contact agreement if it is determined by the parent that  
            sibling contact poses a threat to the health, safety, or  
            well-being of the adopted child.  (Welf. & Inst. Code Sec.  
            366.26.)


          This bill: 


          1)Requires, when parental rights are terminated and the court  
            orders a dependent child or ward to be placed for adoption,  
            the county adoption placing agency, to the extent practicable,  
            to convene a meeting with the child, the sibling of the child,  
            the prospective adoptive parent, and a facilitator for the  
            purpose of deciding whether to voluntarily execute a  
            postadoption sibling contact agreement, as specified.  


          2)Requires, at the time of consideration of an adoption  
            petition, the court to inquire into the status of the  
            development of a voluntary postadoption sibling contact  
            agreement. 


          3)Makes other conforming and technical changes. 


          Background


          In October 2008, Congress passed, and President Bush signed, the  
          Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act  
          (Act) to promote permanent families for children and youth in  
          foster care by providing greater assistance to relative  
          caregivers and improving incentives for adoption.  The Act also  
          extends assistance for foster children to age 21 and improves  
          education and health care for children and youth in foster care.  
           Further, the Act requires states to use "reasonable efforts" to  
          place siblings together, unless such placement is contrary to  







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          their safety or well-being.  If the siblings are not placed  
          together, visitation between them must occur frequently, unless  
          the visitation is contrary to their safety or well-being.  (42  
          U.S.C. Sec. 671(a).)


          Prior to passage of the Act, California was one of the first  
          states to pass legislation promoting sibling visitation for  
          foster children as early as 1999. (See AB 740, Chapter 805,  
          Statutes of 1999.)  Since then California has enacted several  
          additional statutes to expand legal protections for sibling  
          relationships.  Creating another mechanism by which the court  
          may further protect sibling relationships, SB 1099 (Steinberg,  
          Chapter 773, Statutes of 2014) gave dependency courts the  
          authority to order visitation between dependent and  
          non-dependent siblings in specified circumstances.  This bill  
          seeks to further protect sibling relationships by requiring the  
          county, as soon as parental rights are terminated and the court  
          orders the dependent child to be placed for adoption, to convene  
          a meeting with the relevant parties for the purpose of  
          discussing a postadoption sibling contact agreement.  This bill  
          also, at the adoption proceeding, requires the court to inquire  
          into the status of the postadoption sibling contact agreement.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   Yes


          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:


           Team meetings:  Potentially significant increase in state  
            costs (General Fund*) for additional meetings to the extent  
            the meetings consist of child and family team (CFT) members.  
            Estimated costs assuming only 50 percent of the 6,400 annual  
            dependent adoptions require a CFT meeting could cost in the  
            range of $850,000 to over $1.7 million annually based on the  
            average duration of 3.7 hours per CFT meeting and the  
            attendance of one or two local agency representatives. These  
            costs do not include any additional time CFT members may incur  
            to identify and notify non-dependent siblings to coordinate  
            these meetings. Actual costs could be substantially higher to  
            the extent the proportion of dependents with siblings is  







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            higher than assumed above, or more than two CFT members  
            representing local agencies are in attendance at the meeting.   



           Sibling visitation:  Potentially significant increase in state  
            costs (General Fund*) for local agencies to facilitate  
            additional sibling visits for dependent siblings of adopted  
            minors resulting from postadoptive sibling contact agreements.  
            Annual costs would be dependent on numerous factors that are  
            unknown at this time, including but not limited to the number  
            of adopted children with dependent siblings for which  
            postadoptive sibling contact agreements will be ordered, the  
            frequency of visits provided for in the agreements, and the  
            time involved for the social worker to provide for this  
            sibling visitation in each case (distance and duration). 


           Court impact:  Minor workload impact and potentially future  
            cost savings to the extent the CFT meetings result in less  
            time spent during the court hearing on sibling visitation  
            issues.


           Proposition 30*:  Exempts the state from mandate reimbursement  
            for realigned responsibilities for "public safety services"  
            including the provision of child welfare services, however,  
            legislation enacted after September 30, 2012, that has an  
            overall effect of increasing the costs already borne by a  
            local agency for public safety services apply to local  
            agencies only to the extent that the State provides annual  
            funding for the cost increase. The provisions of Proposition  
            30 have not been interpreted through the formal court process  
            to date, however, to the extent the local agency costs  
            resulting from this measure are determined to be applicable  
            under the provisions of Proposition 30 could result in  
            additional costs to the state.


          SUPPORT:   (Verified  5/31/16)


          California Youth Connection (source)
          Alliance for Boys and Men of Color







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          California Alliance of Child and Family Services
          California Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children
          Children Now
          Children's Law Center of California
          Families NOW
          Hillsides
          John Burton Foundation
          National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter 
          Public Counsel


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/31/16)


          None received


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:   According to the California Alliance of  
          Child and Family Services:  

          "Approximately 20 percent of foster youth exit to adoption each  
          year in California.  Every child deserves a permanent family  
          that provides a safe, enriching and loving home, not just for a  
          few months but forever.  When reunification with biological  
          parents is no longer possible, adoption by a relative or a  
          nonrelative family gives our foster youth the chance to grow up  
          in a loving and permanent family.  Findings have found that  
          healthy relationships with an adopted youth's biological  
          siblings are critical to the success of the adoption being  
          permanent.   SB 1060 strengthens the efforts of continued  
          sibling connections by requiring a facilitated meeting to create  
          a post adoption sibling contact agreement before the adoption is  
          finalized between the adoptive parents, the prospective adoptive  
          child/children and the siblings who will not be living together.  
           All parties will be allowed to decide whether to voluntarily  
          enter into this agreement.  This meeting will elevate the  
          importance of sibling relationships within the adoption process  
          and will improve the lives of foster youth"  


          Prepared by:Nichole Rapier / JUD. / (916) 651-4113
          5/31/16 21:31:43









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