Legislation Pertaining to Children’s Issues and Child Welfare


Federal Legislation:

HR 5147 (2016) Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation or BABIES Act requires that both men’s and women’s restrooms in publicly accessible federal buildings contain baby changing tables.

S 246 (2016) Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children Act creates a commission focused on the well-being of Native children.

Affordable Care Act (2014) Medicaid coverage will be extended for former foster youth until they reach 26, as long as the individual was in foster care and enrolled in Medicaid until the age of 18.

S 524 (2016) Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 Title V, section 503 of this act modifies requirement for plans of safe care for infants born and identified as being affected by substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder by adding requirements for the State to ensure the safety and well-being of infants following the release from the care of health-care providers, to address the health and substance use disorder treatment needs of the infant and affected family or caregiver, and to develop the plans of safe care for infants affected by all substance abuse (not just illegal substance abuse as was the requirement prior to this change).

HR 181 (2015) Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act authorizes grants to develop, improve, or expand comprehensive domestic child trafficking deterrence programs. Legislation aims at curbing sex trafficking crimes and provides funding and services for victims.

HR 4573 (2016) International Megan’s Law requires the notification of foreign governments when a citizen of the United States registered as a sex offender for sexual offense involving a minor is going to be traveling to their country.


California Legislation:

CA SB 2085 Child Welfare Intervention Reform Assemblymember Chris R. Holden  Assembly Bill 2085 will address the over surveillance and overrepresentation of families of color in the child welfare system by reforming mandatory reporting requirements.

SB 586 (2016) Whole Child Model for the California Children’s Services (CCS) program includes important consumer protections to ensure CCS standards are maintained, timely access to care is provided, and an evaluation of the Whole Child Model is done.

CA SJR 28 Immigrant Children Legal Representation ensures that immigrant children are afforded due process under the law in removal proceedings by providing government-funded attorneys, trained in immigration law, to indigent children seeking an immigration remedy against deportation.

CA SCR 140 Foster Care Awareness Month Acknowledges the month of May (2016) as Foster Care Awareness Month.

CA ACR 204 Court Adoption and Permanency Month Designates November (2016) as Court Adoption and Permanency Month. Encourages the courts and their local communities to join in activities to expedite permanency for children.

CA SB 835 State Government This bill would expand the definition to include a human trafficking caseworker who is employed by a homeless services provider that serves homeless children or youth and has completed a minimum of 8 hours of training focused on victims of human trafficking from the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center.

CA AB 1001 Child Abuse: Reporting: Foster Family Agencies Expands the definition of mandated child abuse reporting. Requires the denial of an application for, or suspend or revoke a license for community care facilities including foster care agencies for children for reporting violations. Requires attendance at a related orientation. Imposes other conditions of licensure. Requires posting information on the Department of Social Services Web site.

CA SB 1064 Sexually Exploited Minors Extends the operation of a project, for the purposes of developing a comprehensive, replicative, multidisciplinary model to address the needs and effective treatment of commercially sexually exploited minors, indefinitely in the County of Alameda and Los Angeles. Expands the definition of a commercially sexually exploited minor to include minors who have been adjudicated a dependent of the juvenile court because of being a sexually exploited child. Makes legislative findings and declarations.

CA AB 1067 Foster Children: Rights Requires the State Department of Social Services to convene a working group regarding the specified rights of all minors and nonminors in foster care in order to educate these youth, foster care providers, and others. Provides the group’s duties including recommendations for revising the rights, and developing standardized information regarding the revised rights. Requires providing a written copy of those rights to the child, and documentation of informing the child of his or her rights.

CA SB 1174 Medi-Cal: Children: Prescribing Patterns: Medications Requires specified departments to provide the Medical Board with information regarding Medi-Cal physicians and prescribing patterns of psychotropic medications and related services for children and minors placed in foster care using specified data. Requires such data to be shared pursuant to an agreement. Requires the revision of methodology. Requires reports to the results of the data analysis. Requires psychotropic medication guidelines dissemination. Requires contracts for consulting services.

CA SB 1178 Superintendent of Public Instruction: Child Abuse Requires the Superintendent of Public Instruction to create a poster that notifies children of the appropriate telephone number to call to report child abuse or neglect. Authorizes the superintendent to partner with various entities for purposes of design and content of the poster.

CA AB 1276 Child Witnesses: Human Trafficking Relates to child witnesses and human trafficking. Authorizes a minor of a specified age or younger to testify by contemporaneous examination and cross-examination in another place and out of the presence of the judge, jury, defendant or defendants, and attorneys if the testimony will involve the recitation of the facts of an alleged offense of human trafficking. Relates to transmittal by closed-circuit television.

CA SB 1336 Dependent Children: Investigation: Relatives Relates to dependent children and placement with relatives. Requires the juvenile court to make a finding as to whether the social worker exercised due diligence in conducting his or her investigation to identify, locate, and notify the child’s relatives.

CA AB 1625 Human Services Provides that for health insurers subject to a specified gross premiums tax rate, prepayments are not required between specified dates. Makes other changes concerning prepayments. Amends laws requiring documents from the juvenile case file for a child who died as a result of abuse or neglect to be released and subject to redaction of certain information upon completion of an investigation and to existing law concerning the Approved Relative Caregiver Funding Option Program. Amends county funding requests.

CA AB 1678 Provision of Incident Reports to Victims Requires state or local law enforcement agencies to provide domestic violence incident reports to a victim of sexual assault, stalking, human trafficking, or abuse of an elder or a dependent adult. Defines victim to include a minor of a specified age or older. Makes technical, nonsubstantive changes.

CA AB 1688 Dependent Children: Out-of-County Placement: Notice Requires the notice served on a parent or guardian concerning the placement of a dependent child outside a county to also be served to the child’s attorney and, if the child is of a specified age or older, on the child, and authorizes the child to object to the placement.

CA AB 1702 Juveniles: Dependent Children: Reunification Services Provides that reunification services need not be provided when the court finds that the parent or guardian knowingly participated in, or permitted, the sexual exploitation of the child, except if the parent or guardian was coerced into consenting to, or participating in, the sexual exploitation of the child. Requires the court, if it does not order reunification services, to make a determination that the parent or guardian participated in, or consented to, the sexual exploitation of the child.

CA AB 1808 Minors: Mental Health Treatment or Counseling Services Authorizes a marriage and family therapist trainee or a clinical counselor trainee to provide certain services to a minor, including mental health treatment or counseling services on an outpatient basis or residential shelter services. Requires such trainees to notify his or her supervisor or an on-call supervisor where the trainee volunteer is employed within a specified time period of treating or counseling a minor. Requires the trainee to notify the supervisor after the treatment or counseling session.

CA AB 1849 Foster Youth: Independent Living: Health Insurance Requires, for a foster youth transition plan, information provided regarding health insurance options to include verification that the youth or non-minor is enrolled in Medi-Cal and a description of the steps that have been or will be taken by the social worker or probation officer to ensure the eligible youth or non-minor is transitioned into the Medi-Cal program upon case closure. Revises the list of information, services, and documents that are required to be provider to the non-minor including a benefits card.

CA AB 1945 Juveniles: Sealing of Records Allows a child welfare agency of a county responsible for the supervision and placement of a minor or non-minor dependent to access a record that has been ordered sealed for the limited purpose of determining an appropriate placement or service. Clarifies a case file that has been covered by or included in an order of a court sealing a record, may only be inspected pursuant to specified provisions of law. Makes conforming changes to the dissemination of certain juvenile records in a specified county.

CA AB 1997 Foster Care Provides that the resource family approval process replaces certification of foster homes by foster family agencies and the approval of guardians. Makes changes concerning certain rates, inspections, criminal records exemptions, false statements, short-term residential therapeutic programs, certain licensing and operation requirements, and permanent placement options. Relates to short-term residential therapeutic programs as licensed facilities providing an integrated program.

CA AB 2015 Public Social Services: 2011 Realignment Report Requires the 2011 realignment of child welfare services, foster care, adoption, and adult protection service programs report to include reported expenditures for counties that are participating and making claims under a specified federal waiver, how these counties are maximizing the utilization of funds, and how close counties are to funding the optimum caseload ratios as recommended.

CA AB 2506 Student Financial Aid: Chafee Grant Awards Establishes the Chafee Educational and Training Voucher program. Makes a new Chafee grant award to a student only if the student attends a qualifying postsecondary educational institution that is eligible for participation in the Cal Grant Program pursuant to a specified provision of the Cal Grant Program enabling act or if the student attends an institution not located in California that satisfies a specified provision of the Cal Grant Program enabling act. Relates to current and former foster youth.

For more information regarding California legislation please visit: http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/2012-child-welfare-enacted-legislation-database.aspx

LGBTQ Youth Focused Legislation in California:

8 Laws to Know Protecting LGBTQ Youth in California (Aug. 2016)

Sara La CroixLegislation