Gipson Introduces Bill to Enhance Foster Youth Placement Stability
SACRAMENTO, Calif --- Earlier today, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) introduced a bill to preserve and strengthen the process of placing a foster youth in a home and prevent abrupt changes that can harm the child.
Prior to making a change in placement, AB 2247 would require that the social worker or placing agency implement an appropriate plan, including family meetings, restorative justice, and facilitated mediation. If a placement change is necessary, it must occur with prior notice and with procedures to protect the foster youth’s wellbeing.
"Foster youth from across California have made clear that one of the root causes of disruption in their lives is placement instability. Familial disputes should never lead to foster youth being kicked out of their home in the middle of the night, nor should youth be forced to jump from one placement to another because of a lack of communication," said Asm. Gipson. "Foster youth deserve access to services that facilitate stronger bonds with their caregiver. AB 2247 will create a process for social workers, youth, and caregivers to work together and ensure each child is in the best placement possible."
AB 2247 is sponsored by the California Youth Connection (CYC), a youth-led organization celebrating its 30th anniversary. The CYC held a rally at the State Capitol today in celebration of its long-standing advocacy for foster youth.
"This bill will help influence normalcy in a youth’s life," states Erica Hickey, CYC Board Member. "Having a team meeting should be just like having a family talk about issues in the household to strengthen the family because, at the end of the day, it’s about permanency."
Co-authored by Assemblymembers Cooley and Thurmond and Senators Beall and Stone, AB 2247 is currently awaiting assignment by the Assembly Rules Committee.