Monthly Archives: July 2015

Q of the Week: Education Series

AB 490 Applicability to Non-Minor Dependents

Q: I am wondering if AB490, specifically the section requiring a school to provide records to a new school to which a student is transferring, applies to Non Minor Dependents.  We have a 19-year-old NMD, who would like to enroll in a charter school to obtain her high school diploma but is unable to get her records from her former high school. There is some confusion about whether she owes money to them and until this is cleared up they won’t release her records.

A: AB 490 applies to any child who “is the subject of a petition filed under Section 300 or 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code” and therefore does apply to non-minor dependents. The school the student is transferring from must deliver the student’s educational record to the next school within 2 business days. The law further provides that all required records shall be provided to the new school regardless of any outstanding fees, fines, textbooks, or other items or moneys owed to the school last attended (EC § 48853.5(e)(8)(C)).

If a district or school fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of AB 490, advocates should contact the County Office of Education’s Foster Youth Services Coordinator (a list of county contacts is available here). If advocates and liaisons are unable to resolve the issue right away, they should also notify the youth’s attorney. If the matter is not resolved within a few days and the school district fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of AB 490, the child’s attorney can ask the juvenile court to join the school district to court proceedings pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code §§362(a) and 727(a) (i.e. file a Joinder Motion asking the court to order the school district to appear and explain why they failed to provide the child with the services she is entitled to pursuant to the California Education Code).

For additional information about AB 490 click here.

Foster Care Rates for 2015-16

Q: I am working with a Non-Minor Dependent placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP). I understand that each year the SILP rate increases by some factor. Have the new rates for 2015-16 been issued?  What should this young person expect?

A; Yes, the California Department of Social Services has already released the updated foster care rates for 2015-16, an impressive ONE DAY after the start of the fiscal year. The rates have been increased by 2.54 percent to reflect the California Necessities Index, which tracks inflation.

According to the All County Letter, NMDs residing in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) will receive the basic foster care rate of $859 per month. The new rate for THP+FC is $3,007 for single site and remote side housing and $2,393 for host family housing. The infant supplement is not subject to the CNI and remains at $411 per month.

Source: ACL 15-58

Timeline for Homeless Youth in SILP

Q: I am a supervisor of Extended Foster Care in a county child welfare agency.  I am wondering if you can direct me to information regarding Non-Minor Dependents who are placed in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) and become homeless, living temporarily with their biological parents.

I know that funding would not be provided while the NMD is living temporarily at his parents.  However, I am wondering what, if any, timelines apply.  Specifically, is there a time by which the county may terminate jurisdiction because the NMD cannot locate a SILP placement? I would appreciate any direction you can provide.

A: A NMD has a review hearings every 6 months and the court has to review program eligibility, including placement. As long as a the NMD is meeting the eligibility criteria for extended foster care, a recommendation to terminate jurisdiction based on the county agency’s inability to locate appropriate housing is not appropriate and would not meet the requisite burden for a court to terminate jurisdiction. Ultimately, the county agency is responsible for placement of NMDs. The county agency worker must continue to meet with the youth monthly and make efforts to assist the youth in identifying appropriate housing.

In circumstances where the county and the NMD are struggling to identify options, the following suggestions might be helpful: First, determine if the young person is willing to live in a placement other than a SILP, such as THP+FC. If so, refer the youth to a local program.  If there is no placement, the county is obligated to provide a placement for youth, in the same way that the county is obligated to provide a placement for a minor.  One approach that has been used by counties facing this circumstance is to pay for the youth to live a hotel while the youth and social worker are waiting for a THP+FC opening to become available.

If the youth is not willing to live in a placement other than a SILP, the county agency worker must continue to meet with the youth monthly wherever he or she is temporarily located and make efforts to assist the youth in identifying appropriate housing.