The Alliance’s policy team, based in Sacramento, monitors, analyzes, and responds to legislative issues that affect youth in foster care. For current information about pending legislation, sign up for our policy updates. Meanwhile, here is an overview of pending legislation:
SB 1083: Reducing Barriers to Resource Family Approval (Senator Holly J. Mitchell)
Resource Family Approval (RFA), intended to unify and streamline approval standards for all caregivers, took effect statewide in 2017. However, more than a year since its implementation, failure to meet timelines, and lack of accountability and transparency has left families facing long delays in funding and support resulting in financial burdens which discourages recruitment and retention of families stepping up to care for our most vulnerable youth.
SB 1083 will reduce approval burdens on families by requiring child welfare agencies to complete RFA in any application, including situations where a child is placed on an emergency basis, within 90 days. It extends the deadline for existing certified, licensed, or approved families who had a child in their care in 2017 to convert to RFA approval by December 31, 2020. SB 1083 allows resource family applicants who withdraw their application to resume the application at the point it was withdrawn within 12 months of the withdrawal. The bill also ensures a child’s exit to permanency is not delayed by clarifying placements through Voluntary Placement Agreements do not require RFA approval and allowing the months in placement prior to approval to satisfy the durational requirement that exists in our subsidized guardianship program. Addressing these barriers will help ensure children live in and are successful in nurturing and permanent homes.
SB 1083 is scheduled for hearing in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. You can download a sample template (Word Doc) to assist in submitting your own support letter.
AB 2337: Closing the Gap for Vulnerable Transition Age Foster Youth (Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson)
California’s Extended Foster Care program, which took effect in 2012, was intended to provide a safety net for all youth who were in foster care at age 18 up to age 21. Youth should not be excluded from participation in extended foster care benefits due to technicalities and delays in fully adjudicating their case.
AB 2337 will ensure that youth who are ordered into a foster care placement but who do not reach the final adjudication of their case until after age 18 maintain their right to have their case fully adjudicated through appeal.
AB 2337 also ensures that youth who experienced a failed guardianship or adoption have the ability to exercise their existing right to re-enter foster care without first having to convince the county to terminate the Kin-GAP or AAP benefits that their estranged guardian or adoptive parent receives. Tackling these barriers outside the youth’s control will ensure that youth have the ability to enter or re-enter extended foster care and access the supports that they need to successfully transition into adulthood.
AB 2337 is scheduled for hearing in the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Monday, August 6. You can download a sample template (Word Doc) to assist in submitting your own support letter.