Advokids – Your Legislative Watch Dog
Updated December 2, 2015
Did you know that this legislative session, Advokids is diligently watching proposed legislation that affects California’s foster children?
Go to http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov for more information about these bills. You can also contact your local legislator to urge them to support the bills that will bring about positive changes for foster children in California. Contact information for your local legislators and other information about the legislative process can be found at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html.
The California Senate recently amended the following bill:
- SB-68 Minor Parents – Reunification Services. Advokids sought an important amendment to SB-68, a bill that offers extra time for teenage parents to reunify with their children in foster care. Advokids supported the general intent of the legislation BUT could not support an extension of time for those minor parents who had previously committed severe physical or sexual abuse against another child. Advokids worked quickly to call for the redaction of this provision.
Advokids actively supported the following bills:
Regulation of Psychotropic Medications
- SB-319 Child Welfare Services – Public Health Nursing strengthens California’s Health Care Program for Children in Foster Care (HCPCFC) by giving public health nurses access to the information and authority necessary to monitor thousands of foster children who are currently medicated with psychotropic drugs.
- SB-484 Group Home Oversight requires the identification of group homes suspected of inappropriatelyprescribing psychotropic medications to foster children.
- SB-238 Foster Care – Psychotropic Medication strengthens the responsibilities of judges,county welfare agencies, and others in monitoring the prescription of psychotropic medications to foster children.
- SB-253 Dependent Children – Psychotropic Medication raises the bar for court approval of a doctor’s request to prescribe psychotropic medications to a child in foster care by establishing an increased standard of review, necessitating additional findings of fact, and at times, requiring a second medical opinion on the child’s case.
Representation of Foster Children – Attorney Caseload & Salary
- Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 & Senate Budget Subcommittee No. 5 increases the allocation of money that will go to attorneys who are appointed by a court to represent children in foster care because it will assist in lowering the caseload for dependency attorneys and give them the time and resources necessary for providing adequate representation for California’s foster children.
- SB-316 Minor’s Attorney Caseload prohibits excessive caseloads for court appointed attorneys who represent foster children and non-minor dependents.
Giving Foster Children a Voice
- AB-217 Minor’s Attendance at Court requires the court to inform a child of their right to personally address the court during a hearing about their case.
- AB-1416 Foster Parent Evaluation gives foster youth the opportunity to provide official feedback about the quality of care they received in foster homes and from their caregivers.
Foster Child Education
- AB-379 Education Rights makes the California Department of Education’s Uniform Complaint Procedure (UCP) available to foster youth in order to better enforce compliance with the educational protections and services afforded to children in foster care.
Extending Benefits to Foster Youth who are Aging Out
- AB-592 Juveniles – Proof of Dependency or Wardship authorizes the Department of Social Services to verifyan individual’s status as a former foster youth in order to allow them access to important services such has healthcare, financial aid, and other educational benefits that they may be eligible for.
- SB-12 Education – Amendments to the California Fostering Connections to Success Act amends the California Fostering Connections to Success Act by extending benefits to certain groups of foster youth between the ages of 18 and 21 who were in correctional facilities or on probation.