This course will provide participants with an overview of recent child welfare policy changes and additions. It has been a busy year for implementation of new programs, and this course will cover what that means for social workers.

In 2017, California began implementation of Continuum of Care Reform (CCR). The state legislation—comprising AB 403, signed into law in 2015, and AB 1997, signed in 2016—represents a significant shift in child welfare practice. It not only acknowledges, but mandates providing children and youth in care with services and support that address their overall well-being, particularly for those in congregate care.

Concurrent with CCR implementation is the Resource Family Approval (RFA) process for all caregivers—kin and non-kin, regardless of the certifying agency, which standardizes training and assessment requirements, and provides benefits and supports to the family based on the needs of the child.

In addition to CCR, this class will discuss a number of policies addressing child welfare issues such as parity for relative care, recruitment and retention of foster parents, appropriate use of psychotropic drugs, increased access to behavioral health services, and support to improve educational outcomes.

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