Many foster children suffer from developmental delays as a result of prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol. California’s regional centers are responsible for connecting foster youth with much needed developmental services. However, because foster youth frequently move between foster homes and lack a parent to advocate on their behalf, their services are often delayed following a move. Research has shown that even the slightest delay in developmental services for these kids can be detrimental to their developmental health.
Current law does not specify timelines for the transfer of a foster youth’s case file when they move between regional center catchment areas, nor does it provide timelines for when services must begin for a foster youth following a move.
AB 1089 implements timelines for regional centers to begin services when a foster child moves between regional center catchment areas. The bill also requires collaboration between the foster child’s county social worker, probation officer (if applicable), and the regional center to ensure that timely services are provided. Specifically the bill states that services for the child must begin no later than 30 days following the child’s move. If all services are not implemented within 30 days, the regional centers must report to the court in writing what steps are being taken to implement all remaining services.