Public Social Services; Aid and Medical Assistance; Computation and Payment of Aid Grants
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure quality care for children who are placed in the continuum of AFDC-FC eligible placement settings.
(b) The State Department of Social Services shall establish, in consultation with county welfare departments and other stakeholders, as appropriate, a working group to develop recommended revisions to the current ratesetting system, services, and programs serving children and families in the continuum of AFDC-FC eligible placement settings including, at a minimum, all programs provided by foster family agencies and group homes including those providing residentially based services, as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 18987.71.
(c) In developing the recommended revisions identified in subdivision (b), the working group shall consider all of the following:
(1) How ratesetting systems for foster care providers, including, at least, foster family agencies and group homes, can better support a continuum of programs and services that promote positive outcomes for children and families. This may include a process for matching the child's strengths and needs to the appropriate placement setting.
(2) How the provision of an integrated, comprehensive set of services including mental health and other critical services for children and youth support the achievement of well-being, permanency, and safety outcomes.
(3) How to ensure the provision of services in a family setting that promotes normal childhood experiences and that serves the needs of the child, including aftercare services, when appropriate.
(4) How to provide outcome-based evaluations of foster care providers or other methods of measuring quality improvement including measures of youth and families' satisfaction with services provided and program effectiveness.
(5) How changes in the licensing, ratesetting, and auditing processes can improve the quality of foster care providers, the quality of services and programs provided, and enhance the oversight of care provided to children, including, but not limited to, accreditation, administrator qualifications, and the reassignment of these responsibilities within the department.
(d) In addition to the considerations in subdivision (c), the workgroup recommendations shall be based on the review and evaluation of the current ratesetting systems, actual cost data, and information from the provider community as well as research on other applicable ratesetting methodologies, evidence-based practices, information developed as a result of pilots approved by the director, and any other relevant information.
(e) (1) The workgroup shall develop the content, format, and data sources for reports to be posted by the department on a public Internet Web site describing the outcomes achieved by providers with foster care rates set by the department.
(2) Commencing January 1, 2017, and at least semiannually after that date, the department shall publish and make available on a public Internet Web site, short-term residential treatment center and foster family agency provider performance indicators.
(f) (1) Recommendations developed pursuant to this section shall include the plan required under subdivision (d) of Section 18987.7. Updates regarding the workgroup's establishment and its progress toward meeting the requirements of this section shall be provided to the Legislature during 2012-13 and 2013-14 budget hearings. The revisions recommended pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (b) shall be submitted in a report to the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature by October 1, 2014.
(2) The requirement for submitting a report pursuant to this subdivision is inoperative on October 1, 2018, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(g) The department shall retain the authority to extend the workgroup after October 1, 2014, to ensure that the objectives of this section are met and to reconvene this workgroup as necessary to address any future recommended changes to the continuum of AFDC-FC eligible placement settings pursuant to this section.
(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 773, Sec. 70.)