CA Welf & Inst Code Section 16500.1


It is the intent of the Legislature to use the strengths of families and communities to serve the needs of children who are alleged to be abused or neglected, as described in Section 300, to reduce the necessity for removing these children from their home, to encourage speedy reunification of families when it can be safely accomplished, to locate permanent homes and families for children who cannot return to their biological families, to reduce the number of placements experienced by these children, to ensure that children leaving the foster care system have support within their communities, to improve the quality and homelike nature of out-of-home care, and to foster the educational progress of children in out-of-home care.


In order to achieve the goals specified in subdivision (a), the state shall encourage the development of approaches to child protection that do all of the following:


Allow children to remain in their own schools, in close proximity to their families.


Increase the number and quality of foster families available to serve these children.


Use a team approach to foster care that permits the biological and foster family and the child to be part of that team.


Use team decisionmaking in case planning.


Provide support to foster children and foster families.


Ensure that licensing requirements do not create barriers to recruitment of qualified, high-quality foster homes.


Provide training for foster parents and professional staff on working effectively with families and communities.


Encourage foster parents to serve as mentors and role models for biological parents.


Use community resources, including community-based agencies and volunteer organizations, to assist in developing placements for children and to provide support for children and their families.


Ensure an appropriate array of placement resources for children in need of out-of-home care.


Ensure that no child leaves foster care without a lifelong connection to a committed adult.


Ensure that children are actively involved in the case plan and permanency planning process.


(1)Each county shall provide the department with a disaster response plan describing how county programs assisted under Part B (commencing with Section 620) and Part E (commencing with Section 670) of Subchapter IV of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code (Titles IV-B and IV-E of the Social Security Act) would respond to a disaster. The plan shall set forth procedures describing how each county will perform the following services:


Identify, locate, and continue availability of services for children under state care or supervision who are displaced or adversely affected by a disaster.


Respond, as appropriate, to new child welfare cases in areas adversely affected by a disaster, and provide services in those cases.


Remain in communication with caseworkers and other essential child welfare personnel who are displaced because of a disaster.


Preserve essential program records.


Coordinate services and share information with other counties.


The department shall review its disaster plan with respect to subparagraphs (A) to (E), inclusive, of paragraph (1), and shall revise the plan to clarify the role and responsibilities of the state in the event of a disaster.


The department shall consult with counties to identify opportunities for collaboration between counties, and between the county and the state, in the event of a disaster.


In carrying out the requirements of subdivisions (b) and (c), the department shall do all of the following:


Consider the existing array of program models provided in statute and in practice, including, but not limited to, wraparound services, as defined in Section 18251, children’s systems of care, as provided for in Section 5852, the Oregon Family Unity or Santa Clara County Family Conference models, which include family conferences at key points in the casework process, such as when out-of-home placement or return home is considered, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation Family to Family initiative, which uses team decisionmaking in case planning, community-based placement practices requiring that children be placed in foster care in the communities where they resided prior to placement, and involve foster families as team members in family reunification efforts.


Ensure that emergency response services, family maintenance services, family reunification services, and permanent placement services are coordinated with the implementation of the models described in paragraph (1).


Ensure consistency between child welfare services program regulations and the program models described in paragraph (1).


The department, in conjunction with stakeholders, including, but not limited to, county child welfare services agencies, foster parent and group home associations, the California Youth Connection, and other child advocacy groups, shall review the existing child welfare services program regulations to ensure that these regulations are consistent with the legislative intent specified in subdivision (a). This review shall also determine how to incorporate the best practice guidelines for assessment of children and families receiving child welfare and foster care services, as required by Section 16501.2.


The department shall report to the Legislature on the results of the actions taken under this section on or before January 1, 2002.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 16500.1’s source at ca​.gov