(a) (1) A foster family agency may use only a certified family home or a resource family that has been certified or approved by that agency or, pursuant to Section 1506.5, a licensed foster family home or a county-approved resource family approved for this use by the county.

(2) A home selected and certified or approved for the reception and care of children by a foster family agency is not subject to Section 1508. A certified family home or a resource family of a foster family agency shall not be licensed as a residential facility.

Terms Used In California Health and Safety Code 1506

  • certified family home: means an individual or family certified by a licensed foster family agency and issued a certificate of approval by that agency as meeting licensing standards, and used exclusively by that foster family agency for placements. See California Health and Safety Code 1506
  • County: includes city and county. See California Health and Safety Code 14
  • department: means State Department of Health Services. See California Health and Safety Code 20
  • Foster family agency: means any public agency or private organization, organized and operated on a nonprofit basis, engaged in any of the following:

    California Health and Safety Code 1502

  • Foster family home: means any residential facility providing 24-hour care for six or fewer foster children that is owned, leased, or rented and is the residence of the foster parent or parents, including their family, in whose care the foster children have been placed. See California Health and Safety Code 1502
  • Guardian: A person legally empowered and charged with the duty of taking care of and managing the property of another person who because of age, intellect, or health, is incapable of managing his (her) own affairs.
  • Residential facility: means any family home, group care facility, or similar facility determined by the department, for 24-hour nonmedical care of persons in need of personal services, supervision, or assistance essential for sustaining the activities of daily living or for the protection of the individual. See California Health and Safety Code 1502
  • social work personnel: means supervising social workers and nonsupervisory social workers. See California Health and Safety Code 1506
  • Transitional housing placement provider: means an organization licensed by the department pursuant to Section 1559. See California Health and Safety Code 1502

(3) A child with a developmental disability who is placed in a certified family home or with a resource family by a foster family agency that is operating under agreement with the regional center responsible for that child may remain in the certified family home or with the resource family after 18 years of age. The determination regarding whether and how long the resident may remain as a resident after 18 years of age shall be made through the agreement of all parties involved, including the resident, the certified parent or resource family, the foster family agency social worker, the resident’s regional center case manager, and the resident’s parent, legal guardian, or conservator, as appropriate. This determination shall include a needs and service plan that contains an assessment of the child’s needs to ensure continued compatibility with the other children in placement. The needs and service plan shall be completed no more than six months prior to the child’s 18th birthday. The assessment shall be documented and maintained in the child’s file with the foster family agency.

(4) (A) A certified family home or resource family of a foster family agency may be concurrently certified as a host family pursuant to Section 1559.110 if the home is certified by the same private, nonprofit organization licensed to operate as a transitional housing placement provider and foster family agency.

(B) Notwithstanding subdivision (c) of Section 1559.110, a host family certified pursuant to subparagraph (A) shall comply with the laws applicable to a certified family home or resource family, as determined by the department, for each participant placed with the host family.

(b) (1) A foster family agency shall certify to the department that the certified family home has met the department’s licensing standards. A foster family agency may require a certified family home to meet additional standards or be compatible with its treatment approach.

(2) The foster family agency shall issue a certificate of approval to the certified family home upon its determination that it has met the standards established by the department and before the placement of any child in the home. The certificate shall be valid for a period not to exceed one year. The annual recertification shall require a certified family home to complete at least eight hours of structured applicable training or continuing education. At least one hour of training during the first six months following initial certification shall be dedicated to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 11174.1 of the Penal Code.

(3) If the agency determines that the home no longer meets the standards, it shall notify the department and the local placing agency.

(4) This subdivision shall apply to foster family agencies only until December 31, 2019, in accordance with Section 1517.

(c) As used in this chapter, “certified family home” means an individual or family certified by a licensed foster family agency and issued a certificate of approval by that agency as meeting licensing standards, and used exclusively by that foster family agency for placements.

(d) (1) A foster family agency shall not accept applications to certify foster homes and shall instead approve resource families pursuant to Section 1517.

(2) (A) A foster family agency that chooses not to approve resource families shall not recruit any new applicants, but may continue to coordinate with county placing agencies to find homes for foster children with its existing certified family homes, as authorized by the department.

(B) No later than July 1, 2017, a foster family agency described in subparagraph (A) shall, in addition to the notification required in paragraph (4) of subdivision (f) of Section 1517, notify its certified family homes that, in order to care for foster children after December 31, 2019, a certified family is required to submit an application for resource family approval to the county in which the home is located or to a foster family agency that approves resource families and shall complete the approval process no later than December 31, 2019.

(e) (1) Social work personnel for a foster family agency shall have a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school in social work or social welfare, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department.

(2) Persons who possess a master’s degree or higher from an accredited or state-approved graduate school in any of the following areas, or equivalent education and experience, as determined by the department, shall be considered to be qualified to perform social work activities in a foster family agency:

(A) Marriage, family, and child counseling.

(B) Child psychology.

(C) Child development.

(D) Counseling psychology.

(E) Social psychology.

(F) Clinical psychology.

(G) Educational psychology, consistent with the scope of practice as described in Section 4989.14 of the Business and Professions Code.

(H) Education, with emphasis on counseling.

(I) An area that includes the core content areas required for licensure as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, as specified in Sections 4999.32 and 4999.33 of the Business and Professions Code.

(J) A subject area that is functionally equivalent to those listed in subparagraphs (A) to (I), inclusive, as set forth by the department.

(f) (1) In addition to the degree specifications in subdivision (e), all of the following coursework and field practice or experience, as defined in departmental regulations, shall be required of all new hires for the position of social work personnel effective January 1, 1995:

(A) At least three semester units of field practice at the master’s level or six months’ full-time equivalent experience in a public or private social service agency setting.

(B) At least nine semester units of coursework related to human development or human behavior, or, within the first year of employment, experience working with children and families as a major responsibility of the position under the supervision of a supervising social worker.

(C) At least three semester units in working with minority populations or six months of experience in working with minority populations or training in cultural competency and working with minority populations within the first six months of employment as a condition of employment.

(D) At least three semester units in child welfare or at least six months of experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting for a nonsupervisory social worker. A supervising social worker shall have two years’ experience in a public or private child welfare social services setting.

(2) (A) Persons who do not meet the requirements specified in subdivision (e) or this subdivision may apply for an exception as provided for in subdivisions (h) and (i).

(B) Exceptions granted by the department prior to January 1, 1995, shall remain in effect.

(3) (A) Persons who are hired as social work personnel on or after January 1, 1995, who do not meet the requirements listed in this subdivision shall be required to successfully meet those requirements in order to be employed as social work personnel in a foster family agency.

(B) Employees who were hired prior to January 1, 1995, shall not be required to meet the requirements of this subdivision in order to remain employed as social work personnel in a foster family agency.

(4) Coursework and field practice or experience completed to fulfill the degree requirements of subdivision (e) may be used to satisfy the requirements of this subdivision.

(g) (1) In addition to the degree specifications in subdivision (e) and the coursework and field practice or experience described in subdivision (f), social work personnel shall meet core competencies to participate in the assessment and evaluation of an applicant or resource family, as determined by the department in written directives or regulations adopted pursuant to Section 16519.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(2) (A) A resource family home health and safety assessment may be completed by nonsocial work personnel that meet the requirements of subparagraph (C), if the assessment is reviewed and approved by a social worker.

(B) The orientation of potential resource family applicants may be completed by nonsocial work personnel that meet the requirements of subparagraph (C).

(C) Nonsocial work personnel completing an assessment or orientation pursuant to this paragraph shall have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or a similar field, and experience and core competencies necessary to competently participate in the resource family home health and safety assessment or the orientation of an applicant or resource family. The department shall consult with stakeholders to issue guidance that may include exceptions for when nonsocial work personnel have the background and experience to competently complete the assessment or orientation.

(h) Individuals seeking an exception to the requirements of subdivision (e) or (f) based on completion of equivalent education and experience shall apply to the department by the process established by the department.

(i) The department shall complete the process for the exception to minimum education and experience requirements described in subdivisions (e) and (f) within 30 days of receiving the exception application of social work personnel or supervising social worker qualifications from the foster family agency.

(j) For purposes of this section, “social work personnel” means supervising social workers and nonsupervisory social workers.

(Amended by Stats. 2020, Ch. 11, Sec. 6. (AB 79) Effective June 29, 2020.)