AB 12, The California Fostering Connections to Success Act, was signed into law on September 30, 2010. This significant piece of child welfare reform legislation enacted major changes in two areas.
- The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Payment (KinGAP) Program was enhanced to create greater opportunities for foster children to find permanent homes with relatives. Examples of specific changes to the program include the following: the time spent in foster care placement with a relative before establishing guardianship was reduced from 12 to 6 months; KinGAP youth are now eligible for Independent Living Services; youth with disabilities can remain in KinGAP to age 21; KinGAP recipients with special needs are eligible for a rate enhancement; families who move out of state can remain eligible for KinGAP; and siblings of KinGAP recipients become eligible for KinGAP as well. Additionally, the federal government now provides funding for the KinGAP program. These changes became effective on January 1, 2011.
- Eligible foster youth who have not achieved permanency by age 18 will have the option of remaining in care until they turn 21. To be eligible, the young adult must meet the age requirements, sign an agreement to participate, remain under the supervision of the juvenile court, live in a supervised placement, and participate in educational or employment activities, unless they are unable to due to a medical condition. These changes will be implemented on a rolling basis over several years beginning on January 1, 2012.
For more information about AB 12, please click here or visit www.after18ca.org
San Francisco foster parents and foster youth who want to know more about the KinGAP Program or extended foster care should speak to their assigned social worker.