Recent Legislation

S. 3472

Uninterrupted Scholars Act

        Congress recently passed federal legislation known as the Uninterrupted Scholars Act (USA), which makes it easier for child welfare agencies and social workers to access the educational records of foster youth while also preserving the educational privacy rights to foster youth under federal law. This will ensure that foster youth are immediatley enrolled into school and have access to services needed for academic success.

Assembly Bill 212

California Fostering Connections to Success Act, Urgency Measure

        The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions of 2008 is a federal act that initiated extensive policy changes and provided funding to states for emancipating youth. Participation in the program by states is voluntary. California opted into this program by enacting Assembly Bill 12, or the California Fostering Connections to Success Act. Assembly Bill 212 was signed October 4, 2011 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as an urgency measure and essentially put Assembly Bill 12 into effect immediately.

Assembly Bill 12

California Fostering Connections to Success Act

        On September 30, 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 12, or the California Fostering Connections to Success Act.

        The legislation is a major step in the transformation of the ailing foster care system in California. The law provides much needed support to emancipating foster youth approaching the transition to adulthood by allowing youth to remain in the foster care with financial assistance until the age of 21.

Assembly Bill 167

High School Education for Foster Youth

        Effective January 1, 2010, Assembly Bill 167 amended Section 51225.3 of the California Education Code relating to High School Graduation.

        The bill exempts a foster child who transfers to a new school during the eleventh or twelfth grade from being required to complete coursework requirements adopted by the local school district that exceed the minimum state standards. This law seeks to assist foster youth who face considerable challenges in graduating from high school as a result of multiple placement changes while in the foster care system.

Assembly Bill 743

Keeping Siblings in Foster Care Together

        In an effort to preserve the sibling relationship, and thus maintain the emotional stability of children in foster care, this law requires that absent an emergency, child welfare agencies are to notify the child's attorney of the separation of siblings 10 days before the change occurs. In the event that there is more than one attorney representing the siblings, each attorney must be notified of the planned change.