Last year, California launched a new statewide program for approving individuals to serve as foster caregivers, and the goal was to fix an inefficient, ineffective system.
But since the program has been in place, families have seen huge delays and have not received needed support, causing financial hardship and deterring permanent placements of foster youth.
On Wednesday, Feb. 14, Sen. Holly J. Mitchell announced introduction of Senate Bill 1083 to help fix the program, known as Resource Family Approval, to create a more unified, child-centered and family friendly approval process.
Specifically, SB 1083 by Mitchell, chair of the Senate budget and Fiscal Review Committee, would enact the policy changes needed to remove hurdles to timely placements.
Also announced was the introduction of Assembly Bill 2183 by Asm. Blanca Rubio, which would outline funding for families at the time of placement.
“We need to do a better job of ensuring young people can thrive by placing them in suitable and appropriate foster care homes that serve their best interests,” Mitchell said. “If one believes that our children will be tomorrow’s leaders then we must look through a child-development lens and provide the appropriate resources and policies to get them there.”
Rubio agreed, adding, “Last year’s overhaul of the Continuum of Care Reform was long overdue and critical; however, the unintended consequences need to be addressed immediately. AB 2183 provides support to resource parents and the children in their care, fine-tuning the comprehensive goal of the Continuum Care Reform, by preventing financial hardships from causing further trauma to these children.”
Fixing the RFA program will bring California back on track, improving the lives of foster youth and families, Mitchell said.
Sen. Mitchell is chair of the Senate Budget Committee. A member of the Legislature for more than six years, she represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 30, which includes Culver City and much of Los Angeles.