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SACRAMENTO—The California Legislature has approved AB 1997 by Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) with strong bipartisan support.  The measure, sponsored by the California Department of Social Services, builds upon the 2015 reforms to placement and treatment options for youth in foster care implemented by Stone’s AB 403. 

“I’m honored to advance the effort to reform placement options on the continuum of care spectrum for youth in foster care,” said Stone.  “Building upon major 2015 reforms, this measure takes additional critical steps to help youth access the support they need to return to their families or to find a permanent home if returning to their families is not an option.”

The new reforms to placement processes and option helps ensure that youth in foster care have their day-to-day physical, mental, and emotional needs met; that they have opportunities to grow up in permanent and supportive homes; and that they can grow into self-sufficient, successful adults.  The reform effort also advances California’s long-standing goal to move away from the use of long-term group home care by increasing youth placement in family settings and by transforming existing group home care into places where youth who are not ready to be placed with families can receive short term, intensive treatment.

If signed, the provisions of AB 1997 begin to phase in on January 1, 2017, with some provisions taking effect in later years.

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