Assemblyman Ken Cooley’s Assembly High-Needs Foster Children Placement Bill Goes to the Governor

For immediate release:

RANCHO CORDOVA – Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) announced that his AB 2083 to help the most traumatized children in foster care find placements passed the Legislature today and will now move to the Governor’s desk.

Children and youth in foster care who have experienced severe trauma often have acute service needs that cross over an array of county departments. Absent a coordinated local system of care with strong state support, child protection social workers must navigate siloed funding streams and multiple programs including education, regional centers, and behavioral health, in order to secure services needed by youth and their caregivers. Further, it can be difficult to find practitioners who are trained to deliver trauma-informed services.

AB 2083 requires county-level and state-level memorandums of understanding between agencies directly responsible for the most-traumatized children in foster care in order to better provide placement and services. These MOUs will allow for information sharing between county and state entities regarding a specific child’s needs to help create a dialogue on placement and service options that otherwise might be missed.

“When the Legislature passed the Continuum of Care Reform for foster care, we made a commitment to help address all of a foster youth’s needs as comprehensively as possible,” Cooley said. “Unfortunately, for the most high-needs, and often most-traumatized children, dialogue between county agencies and also state agencies can be lacking and these children fail to find permanent placements. AB 2083 creates a framework for these conversations and will help these youth find the stability and services they need.”

According to the Cathy Senderling-McDonald, Deputy Executive Director of the County Welfare Directors Association, the sponsor of the bill, “The state and local coordination that AB 2083 envisions is exactly what we need to make sure our highest-needs foster youth receive the critical services they need to heal. By working together, we can realize the promise of the Continuum of Care Reform, a statewide effort to ensure every child lives a committed, nurturing, and permanent family.”

AB 2083 passed the Senate with a 39-0 vote and the Assembly with 80-0. It now goes to the Governor’s desk.