Legislative Priorities in 2018
SB 1083: Reducing Barriers to Resource Family Approval (Senator Holly J. Mitchell)
Resource Family Approval (RFA), intended to unify and streamline approval standards for all caregivers, took effect statewide in 2017. However, more than a year since its implementation, failure to meet timelines, and lack of accountability and transparency has left families facing long delays in funding and support resulting in financial burdens which discourages recruitment and retention of families stepping up to care for our most vulnerable youth.
SB 1083 will reduce approval burdens on families by requiring child welfare agencies to complete RFA in any application, including situations where a child is placed on an emergency basis, within 90 days. It extends the deadline for existing certified, licensed, or approved families who had a child in their care in 2017 to convert to RFA approval by December 31, 2020. SB 1083 allows resource family applicants who withdraw their application to resume the application at the point it was withdrawn within 12 months of the withdrawal. The bill also ensures a child’s exit to permanency is not delayed by clarifying placements through Voluntary Placement Agreements do not require RFA approval and allowing the months in placement prior to approval to satisfy the durational requirement that exists in our subsidized guardianship program. Addressing these barriers will help ensure children live in and are successful in nurturing and permanent homes.
SB 1083 is scheduled for hearing in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. You can download a sample template (Word Doc) to assist in submitting your own support letter.