CA Welf & Inst Code Section 16519

The Legislature finds and declares the following:


Safety, permanency, and well-being are crucial for the more than 82,000 California children in foster care, and are paramount to achieving both federal and state child welfare system improvement goals. Foster children need safe homes with permanent connections to family or other caring adults. The current licensing and approval system, which screens families to care for foster children, fails to support these outcomes.


Children in foster care live in a variety of out-of-home care settings: licensed foster family homes, approved relative and nonrelative extended family member homes, foster family agencies, and group homes. All of these placement types, considered facilities under current law, are required to meet the respective health and safety standards in order to be licensed or approved. This has produced administrative inefficiencies and confusion among stakeholders, and has contributed to difficulty in recruiting suitable foster family homes for children in out-of-home care. Increasing the number of available suitable homes will improve the likelihood that the best home will be initially identified to meet a child’s particular needs.


Child safety and well-being are not achieved solely by ensuring that the home the child is placed in is free from physical hazards and that adults living in the home do not have disqualifying criminal convictions or past reports of child abuse. Child safety and well-being are also dependent upon consideration of the resource family’s psychosocial history that includes physical health, mental health, alcohol and substance abuse, family violence or abuse, and experience caring for children.


Research shows that children in out-of-home care placed with relatives and nonrelative extended family members are more stable, more likely to be placed with siblings, and more likely to stay connected to their community and extended family. California statutory and regulatory provisions should maximize the likelihood that a child will initially be placed in the care of a safe relative or nonrelative extended family member who is willing to provide permanent care if reunification cannot be achieved.


Families living in the same neighborhood as a family from which a child has been removed are often best suited to provide for the immediate placement needs of that child.


Families who provide care to children in out-of-home placement are a valuable resource to the people of this state and to the children for whom they provide care.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 16519’s source at ca​.gov