(a) Upon request from a county, the director may waive regulations governing foster care payments or the operation of group homes to enable counties to implement the agreements established pursuant to Section 18987.61. Waivers granted by the director shall be applicable only to services provided under the terms of the agreement and for the duration of the agreement, whichever is earlier, unless the director authorizes an extension of the waiver pursuant to subdivision (f). A waiver shall only be granted when all of the following apply:
(1) The agreement promises to offer a worthwhile test of an innovative approach or to encourage the development of a new service for which there is a recognized need.
(2) The regulatory requirement prevents the implementation of the agreement.
(3) The requesting county proposes to monitor the agreement through performance measures that ensure that the purposes of the waived regulation will be achieved.
(b) The director shall take steps that are necessary to prevent the loss of any substantial amounts of federal funds as a result of the waivers granted under this section. The waiver may specify the extent to which the requesting county shall share in any cost resulting from any loss of federal funding.
(c) The director shall not waive regulations that apply to the health and safety of children served by participating private nonprofit agencies.
(d) The director shall notify the appropriate policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature whenever waivers are granted and when a waiver of regulations was required for the implementation of the county's proposed agreement. The director shall identify the reason why the development of the services outlined by the agreement between the county and the service provider are hindered by the regulations to be waived.
(e) The county or private nonprofit agency shall fund an independent evaluation of the waiver as described in subdivision (f) of Section 18987.61.
(f) The director may grant a county's request to extend the waiver, in increments of three years, based upon a review and analysis of all of the following information:
(1) The results of the report, if required under subdivision (e) of Section 18987.61.
(2) The results of the independent evaluation of the waiver pursuant to subdivision (e) of this section.
(3) Justification for the extension, and verification of continued compliance with this section.
(g) (1) For any waiver approved on or before January 1, 2010, an extension of the waiver for up to an additional three years may be based upon the department's review and analysis of the information required to be submitted in subdivision (f).
(2) If an independent evaluation has not yet been completed, the department may grant an extension based upon its review of available information. However, an independent evaluation shall be required to be completed within one year prior to the end of the waiver.
(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 663, Sec. 9.)