Child Welfare in California: A Snapshot of Legislation

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we’ve just updated child abuse and foster care data on — seems like the perfect time to check in on recently passed and upcoming child welfare legislation.

We’ve noted a few key bills below, and you can find more child welfare legislation passed into law in this report from the County Welfare Directors Association. And, if you know of other bills, please note them here.

Child Welfare Legislation Passed in 2010:

  • AB 12, introduced by Assemblymember Jim Beall (D-San Jose), is the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, which extends foster care to age 21 if the youth is working or enrolled in school full time.
  • AB 743, authored by Assemblymember Anthony Portantino (D-La Canada Flintridge), strengthens state policy to keep siblings together in the foster care system.
  • AB 1933 from Assemblymember Julia Brownley (D-Santa Monica) allows foster children to remain in their school of origin, even if placed with a family in a different area.
  • AB 2322, authored by Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), helps county employees better identify instances of child abuse and neglect, helps social workers fashion plans of action for potentially abused children, and provides strict protection for the privacy of children and their families.

Proposed Child Welfare Legislation for 2011:

  • AB 73, from Assemblymember Feuer, would provide for public access to dependency court proceedings.
  • AB 181, authored by Assemblymember Portantino, would create a mental health bill of rights for foster youth.
  • AB 194, from Assemblymember Beall, would offer priority enrollment for foster youth in post-secondary education.

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