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Advocacy

Hillsides provides a voice for the children and families who need it the most. Our blog, written by Joseph M. Costa, Hillsides chief executive officer, discusses and analyzes pressing and newsworthy issues that impact Hillsides and child welfare. Through our many advocacy opportunities, we take a stand to continually create lasting change for at-risk children, youth, and their families.

Below are Hillsides 2015 child welfare priority bills. 

Legislation 

 

AB 1299; Ridley-Thomas SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Establishes protocols and mandates to ensure that children and youth in foster care who are served outside of their counties of jurisdiction are able to access mental health services. 

 

AB 1838Ting VETOED BY GOVERNOR 

Summary: Increases the infant supplement payment provided to parenting foster youth to make it equal to the foster care rate (basically doubles it). 

 

AB 1843Stone SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Prohibits employers from requiring employees to disclose juvenile court actions or custodial detentions. 

 

AB 2442Holden SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Provides a “density bonus” to housing developers that construct developments which include at least 5% of total units to be set aside for transitional foster youth, to increase housing available for that population. 

 

AB 2506Thurmond SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Expands access to Chafee Educational and Training Vouchers to ensure that all eligible students who apply by the deadline receive a grant, while also setting standards at qualifying post-secondary institutions to improve outcomes. 

 

AB 2552Holden DIED IN SENATE 

Summary: Requires counties to provide annual clothing allowances of $240 for approved relative caregivers. 

 

SB 906Beall SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Extends community college priority enrollment for current and former foster youth (set to expire in 2017) and expands definition of qualifying youth. 

 

SB 1056Liu DIED IN SENATE 

Summary: Requires counties to document the steps they are taking and services they are offering to help parents secure appropriate housing in cases where lack of housing is the sole impediment to family reunification. 

 

SB 1060Leno SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Requires courts to convene a child and family team meeting during adoption proceedings for the purposes of developing postadoptive sibling contract agreement to ensure continued connections with siblings. 

 

 

SB 1291Beall SIGNED INTO LAW 

Summary: Requires each Medi-Cal certified mental health plan to annual submit a “foster care mental health service plan” that details the service array, from prevention to crisis services, available to Medi-Cal children and youth under the jurisdiction of juvenile court and their families. 

 

2015 Bills 

 

** In addition to the 2016 bills listed above, the 3 bills below were endorsed by Hillsides last year and are continuing to work their way through the legislative process this year as “two-year” bills.   

 

AB 423; Cooley (D) DIED IN SENATE  

Summary: Makes improvements to the new Approved Relative Caregiver program; provides access for ARC families to supplemental benefits like the infant supplement. 

 

AB 741; Williams (D) VETOED BY GOVERNOR 

Summary: Expands EPSDT services under Medi-Cal to include a range of comprehensive mental health services (crisis intervention, stabilization, residential treatment, rehabilitative mental health, mobile crisis support, etc). 

 

SB 12Beall (D) DIED IN ASSEMBLY 

Summary: Makes youth who had a prior foster care placement but were in the probation system on their 18th birthday eligible for extending foster care benefits up to age 21.  

Budget Requests

  1. $3.625 million to increase the availability of Chafee Education and Training Vouchers for transition age foster youth FUNDED AT $3 MILLION 
  2. $22.4 million to reduce dependence attorney caseloads NOT FUNDED  
  3. $30 million for emergency child care vouchers for foster families NOT FUNDED 
  4. $10 million for pregnancy prevention programs FUNDED AT $4 MILLION 
  5. $25 million for runaway and homeless youth shelters and transitional care NOT FUNDED 
  6. $10 million for housing units for reunifying families involved in the child welfare system FUNDED AT $10 MILLION

 

Family Resource Centers offer numerous community-based programs and services that provide parenting classes, mental health support, and additional crucial resources for vulnerable children and families throughout Los Angeles County, including the San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena. >
Residential Treatment Services provide a safe and stable environment where children and youths, who cannot live at home, suffered trauma, or have severe emotional or behavioral challenges, can thrive. >
Education Center, a therapeutic residential and day school, offers individualized education for students with social-emotional, learning and/or behavior challenges for children in kindergarten through 12th grade. >
Youth Moving On, with support from The Everychild Foundation, provides former foster youth affordable quality housing and numerous support services to help them become responsible, self-sufficient adults. >

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