Legislative Achievements

Since 1988, starting with a letter to the governor, our members have been discussing important issues that impact the lives of foster youth. Collectively prioritizing an annual focus, creating strategies, developing legislative language, testifying and educating policymakers, writing letters to the governor, and always keeping youth at the center has resulted in dozens of laws being passed. Check our their success below:

AB 2417 (Ting): Restoring Rights to Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

Assembly Bill 2417 (Ting, Chapter 786, Statutes of 2022) reinstated California’s Juvenile Justice Bill of Rights to help youth in county-based lockup facilities access the rights they already have but may not have access to or knowledge of. This bill would re-enact the Youth Bill Of Rights in all 58

AB 46 (Rivas): CA Youth Empowerment Act

The California Youth Empowerment Commission will serve as a statewide advisory body to the state government and focus on policy development, community engagement, and investment in youth programs. The Commission will be comprised of 13 Californians between the ages of 14 to 25. Commissioners will come from every region of

SB 512 (Min): Supporting Foster Youth in Community College

SB 512 will strengthen the Next Up program by removing barriers to the accessibility by modifying eligibility to enable students who were in foster care after age 13 to participate, creating flexibility around income requirements for students transitioning from full-time employment to school, specifying that existing funds can be used

AB 1061 (Gipson): Placement Stability for Probation-Supervised Youth in Foster Care

This bill includes probation-supervised youth who are in foster care placement to the existing law (Welfare and Institutions Code §16010.7). This bill will require social workers, probation officers, and placing agencies to develop and implement a foster care placement preservation strategy in consultation with a youth’s child and family team.

AB 175 (Gipson): Modernizing the Foster Youth Bill of Rights

This bill modernizes California’s Foster Youth Bill of Rights by adding rights related to culturally competent care, cultural services and activities, case plan and court records, computer technology, and the internet, grooming products regardless of identity or expression, privacy and respect towards LGBTQ status and gender identity, and being placed in

AB 2247 (Gipson): Stability—A Place to Call Home

The intent of the Legislature to prevent children or youth in foster care from experiencing unnecessary or abrupt placement changes that negatively impact their well-being or sense of security. It is the intent of the Legislature to preserve and strengthen the placement of a child or youth whenever possible. It

AB 507 (Rubio): Resource Families: Training Topics

This bill requires a portion of the annual resource family training to support the case plans, goals, and needs of children in the resource family home, if there are any children in the home, in accordance with applicable written directives or regulations, as specified by the department. The bill also

AB 1067 (Gipson): Foster Youth Bill of Rights

Assembly Bill (AB) 1067 helps to specify a more comprehensive list of the rights of foster children, and ensure that all foster youth are fully informed of their rights. Specifically, this bill requires the convening of a working group to recommend updates to the Bill of Rights that explicitly includes

SB 1060 (Leno): Maintaining Relationships for Adopted Siblings

Maintains sibling relationships through the adoption process by elevating the function of the post- adoption contact agreement between siblings and prospective adoptive children prior to adoption finalization. SB 1060 requires the placing agency, in an adoption proceeding, to order the convening of a meeting, attended by a facilitator, siblings, and

AB 260 (Lopez): Support for Parenting Foster Youth

Foster youth with children of their own will now be more likely to stay together due to the passage of AB 260 (Lopez, Chapter 511, Statutes of 2015). This bill protects parenting foster youth from unfair scrutiny by placing restrictions on the types of past information in their case file

SB 342 (Leno): Improving Social Worker Visits

SB 342 (Leno, Chapter 492, Statutes of 2013) ensures foster youth receive the mandated periodic visits from their social worker and/or probation officer at the site of their home placement unless otherwise requested by the youth. Although these professionals were already required by law to visit the youth monthly, exceptions

SB 1099 (Steinberg): Sibling Visitation for Separated Youth

With the signing into law of SB 1099 (Steinberg, Chapter 773, Statutes of 2014), any party can now request a court order for visitation between a youth in foster care and a sibling who is not, as long as that sibling is in the physical custody of a shared biological

AB 12 (Bass and Beall): Extension of Foster Care Services Until Age 21

CYC celebrated the landmark passage of AB 12 (Bass and Beall, Chapter 559, Statutes of 2010). CYC partnered with child welfare advocacy organizations for 2 years to ensure the passage of AB 12. Foster youth now have the option of staying in care until the age of 21 with increased

AB 1393 (Skinner): Priority Housing for Foster Youth on College Campuses

AB 1393 (Skinner, Chapter 391, Statutes of 2009) requires the California Community Colleges and the California State University (CSU), and requests that the University of California (UC), give priority to current and former foster youth for on-campus housing as well as priority for housing that is open the most days in a

AB 2489 (Leno): Higher Education Support

More foster youth will be prepared for college, and have increased financial resources to attend. California’s 2006-07 budget partially funded components of AB 2489 (Leno) including $8.2 million for expansion of the Foster Youth Services program, a California Department of Education support program for foster youth and $5.7 million for

AB 1412 (Leno): Permanency Planning Involvement for Foster Youth

California acknowledged foster youth’s critical need for permanency and involvement in the development of their permanency plan with the passage of AB 1412 (Leno, Chapter 640, Statutes of 2005).  AB 1412 requires social workers to ask all foster youth, not just those in group homes, about who is important to

AB 1633 (Evans): Extended Foster Care for Youth Who Haven’t Graduated

All foster youth have the chance to finish their high school diploma or equivalency before leaving foster care with the passage of AB 1633 (Evans, Chapter 641, Statutes of 2005). AB 1633 allows foster youth working on a high school equivalency to stay in foster care until the age of

AB 1858 (Steinberg): Reforming Non-Public Schools

Thousands of foster youth attending non-public schools finally have the opportunity to receive a quality education due to the passage of AB 1858 (Steinberg, Chapter 914, Statutes of 2004). Aiming to improve the quality of education provided at non-public schools, AB 1858 requires them to meet the same standards for

AB 490 (Steinberg): Education Support and School Stability

California affirmed its commitment to foster youths’ education with the passage of AB 490 (Steinberg, Chapter 862, Statutes of 2003). This new law improves public school procedures so that foster youth have a better chance to succeed in school by requiring that youth are not forced to change schools unnecessarily,

AB 899 (Liu): Foster Youth Bill of Rights

After several attempts to put the rights of foster youth into California law, CYC realized success in 2001 as the foster youth bill of rights became law.  AB 899 (Liu, Chapter 683, Statutes of 2001) consolidates all of the rights of foster children into a common location in California law.

AB 1979 (Steinberg): Improving the Independent Living Program

AB 1979 (Steinberg, Chapter 271, Statutes of 2002) creates statewide regulations for the Independent Living Program. Through these state regulations, AB 1979 aims to ensure every youth in California will have equal, consistent access to this important program regardless of county.

AB 408 (Steinberg): Permanency for Youth Living in Group Homes

Due to the efforts of CYC and other child advocates, foster youth in group homes now have a greater chance to establish a permanent life-long connection with a caring adult. AB 408 (Steinberg, Chapter 813, Statutes of 2003) requires social workers to ask youth over the age of 10 who

AB 1987 (Steinberg): Maintaining Sibling Connections

On September 29, 2000, Governor Davis signed AB 1987 (Steinberg, Chapter 909, Statutes of 2000),  which requires social workers to include in court reports a section on the child’s sibling relationships and the plans for visitation of siblings.  It also requires social workers to notify children on their caseload of

AB 2876 (Aroner): Participation of Youth in Policy

The department shall promote the participation of young people with experience in foster care in the development of state foster care and child welfare policy. Subject to the availability of funds, the department shall contract with the California Youth Connection to provide technical assistance and outreach to current and former

AB 2877 (Thompson): Extended Medi-Cal for Former Foster Youth

Thanks to CYC and other child advocates, California was one of the first states in the country to take advantage of a new federal program that allows states to extend Medi-Cal for former foster youth until the age of 21.  This law eliminates the re-application process that emancipated youth previously

HR 3443 (Chafee): Foster Care Independence Act

Federal legislation passed in 1999, HR 3443, doubled the amount of money the federal government allocates to states for independent living programs; gives states the option of extending Medi-Cal to age 21; requires states to use some of these funds for former foster youth under age 21; and allows states

AB 427 (Hertzberg): Support for Emancipated Youth

In a groundbreaking moment for the state of California, Governor Davis signed AB 427 (Hertzberg, Chapter 125, Statutes of 2001) creating the Supportive Transitional Emancipation Program (STEP), which allows counties to provide monthly financial support to emancipated foster youth as long as they are attending school or working towards the

SB 933 (Thompson): State Foster Care Ombudsman

California gained its first foster care ombudsman because of the efforts of CYC youth on SB 933 (Thompson, Chapter 311, Statutes of 1998). The ombudsman’s office has a statewide toll free number, 1-877-846-1602, where youth can register complaints or concerns regarding the foster care system.  

AB 2196 (Washington): Post-Adoption Sibling Contact

AB 2196 (Washington, Chapter 1072, Statutes of 1997) was a CYC sponsored bill to increase contact and visitation when siblings are adopted separately.  When a child is going to be adopted, the bill requires the social worker to include a discussion of sibling visitation and contact in the child’s case

AB 1198 (Bates): Transitional Housing Program

AB 1198 (Bates, Chapter 799, Statutes of 1993) created the “in-care” transitional housing option for foster youth 17 years of age or older and in their last year of high school -Transitional Housing Placement Program (THPP). Further modifications were made to THPP in 2001.  Youth live in apartments or houses