Existing law, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, revises and expands the scope of various programs relating to cash assistance and other services to and for the benefit of certain foster and adopted children, and other children who have been placed in out-of-home care, including children who receive Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care (AFDC-FC), the Adoption Assistance Program, California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs), and Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (Kin-GAP) benefits. Among other provisions, the act extends specified foster care benefits to youth up to 21 years of age, if specified conditions are met.
Existing law defines a nonminor dependent for these purposes as a foster child who is a current dependent child or ward of the juvenile court, or who is a nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to a voluntary reentry agreement, and in accordance with a transitional independent living case plan who has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court and is not older than 21 years of age. Existing law defines a nonminor former dependent or ward as a person who meets these criteria who reached 18 years of age while subject to an order for foster care placement, for whom dependency, delinquency, or transition jurisdiction has been terminated, and who is still under the general jurisdiction of the court.
For purposes of participation in the above-specified programs, existing law allows a juvenile court to assume dependency jurisdiction over a nonminor former dependent who has not attained 21 years of age under specified circumstances, including, among others, the nonminor’s former guardian or adoptive parent no longer provides ongoing support to, and no longer receives benefits on behalf of, the nonminor after the nonminor turns 18 years of age.
This bill would delete the requirement that the former guardian or adoptive parent no longer receive aid on behalf of the nonminor before a juvenile court may resume dependency jurisdiction for purposes of extending foster care benefits. The bill would require the State Department of Social Services to define the term “ongoing support” for the purposes of the provisions described above. The bill would also make changes to the requirement that a nonminor former dependent child or ward be receiving AFDC-FC as one criterion for continued eligibility to receive aid, and would instead only require that he or she be eligible for AFDC-FC. Because the bill would expand the application of the above county-administered programs, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would make other technical, nonsubstantive and conforming changes to related provisions.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.