Public Social Services; Aid and Medical Assistance; Computation and Payment of Aid Grants
(a) Foster care providers shall be paid a per child per month rate in return for the care and supervision of the AFDC-FC child placed with them. The department is designated the single organizational unit whose duty it shall be to administer a state system for establishing rates in the AFDC-FC program. State functions shall be performed by the department or by delegation of the department to county welfare departments or Indian tribes, consortia of tribes, or tribal organizations that have entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1.
(b) "Care and supervision" includes food, clothing, shelter, daily supervision, school supplies, a child's personal incidentals, liability insurance with respect to a child, reasonable travel to the child's home for visitation, and reasonable travel for the child to remain in the school in which he or she is enrolled at the time of placement. Reimbursement for the costs of educational travel, as provided for in this subdivision, shall be made pursuant to procedures determined by the department, in consultation with representatives of county welfare and probation directors, and additional stakeholders, as appropriate.
(1) For a child or youth placed in a short-term residential treatment center or a group home, care and supervision shall also include reasonable administration and operational activities necessary to provide the items listed in this subdivision.
(2) For a child or youth placed in a short-term residential treatment center or a group home, care and supervision may also include reasonable activities performed by social workers employed by the program provider that are not otherwise considered daily supervision or administration activities, but are eligible for federal financial participation under Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act.
(3) The department, in consultation with the California State Foster Parent Association, and other interested stakeholders, shall provide information to the Legislature, no later than January 1, 2017, regarding the availability and cost for liability and property insurance covering acts committed by children in care, and shall make recommendations for any needed program development in this area.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to establish the maximum level of financial participation in out-of-state foster care group home program rates for placements in facilities described in subdivision (g) of Section 11402.
(1) The department shall develop regulations that establish the method for determining the level of financial participation in the rate paid for out-of-state placements in facilities described in subdivision (g) of Section 11402. The department shall consider all of the following methods:
(A) Until December 31, 2016, a standardized system based on the rate classification level of care and services per child per month.
(B) The rate developed for a short-term residential treatment center pursuant to Section 11462.
(C) A system that considers the actual allowable and reasonable costs of care and supervision incurred by the out-of-state program.
(D) A system that considers the rate established by the host state.
(E) Any other appropriate methods as determined by the department.
(2) Reimbursement for the Aid to Families with Dependent Children-Foster Care rate to be paid to an out-of-state program described in subdivision (g) of Section 11402 shall only be paid to programs that have done all of the following:
(A) Submitted a rate application to the department, which shall include, but not be limited to, both of the following:
(i) Commencing January 1, 2017, the equivalent of the mental health certification required in Section 4096.5.
(ii) Commencing January 1, 2017, unless granted an extension from the department pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 11462.04, the national accreditation required in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 11462.
(B) Maintained a level of financial participation that shall not exceed any of the following:
(i) The current fiscal year's standard rate for rate classification level 14 for a group home.
(ii) Commencing January 1, 2017, the current fiscal year's rate for a short-term residential treatment center.
(iii) The rate determined by the ratesetting authority of the state in which the facility is located.
(C) Agreed to comply with information requests, and program and fiscal audits as determined necessary by the department.
(3) Except as specifically provided for in statute, reimbursement for an AFDC-FC rate shall only be paid to a group home or short-term residential treatment center organized and operated on a nonprofit basis.
(d) A foster care provider that accepts payments, following the effective date of this section, based on a rate established under this section, shall not receive rate increases or retroactive payments as the result of litigation challenging rates established prior to the effective date of this section. This shall apply regardless of whether a provider is a party to the litigation or a member of a class covered by the litigation.
(e) Nothing shall preclude a county from using a portion of its county funds to increase rates paid to family homes, foster family agencies, group homes, and short-term residential treatment centers within that county, and to make payments for specialized care increments, clothing allowances, or infant supplements to homes within that county, solely at that county's expense.
(f) Nothing shall preclude a county from providing a supplemental rate to serve commercially sexually exploited foster children to provide for the additional care and supervision needs of these children. To the extent that federal financial participation is available, it is the intent of the Legislature that the federal funding shall be utilized.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 773, Sec. 69.)