To assist some of California’s foster youth, there are more than a dozen proposed pieces of legislation working their way through various state Assembly and Senate committees. Several of the bills are hitting committee hearings this week.
Activities funding >> Assemblyman Dante Acosta (D-Santa Clarita) introduced AB 754, which provides funding to help foster youth cover activities-related expenses. The funding would help cover costs for field trips, purchase caps and gowns for graduation, or help fund other educational activities. “Participating in enrichment activities, including, but not limited to, sports leagues, camps, college preparation courses, arts, music, and formative social experiences, can greatly contribute to a foster youth’s sense of normalcy and increase the likelihood of a successful transition to adulthood,” the text of the bill reads.
Exploited youth >> State Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) introduced SB 767, which would mandate each county create a protocol for child trafficking victims. The bill would give counties extra funding to train foster families that were taking in victims of trafficking. The bill would also create a special court to deal with the situations. “SB 767 provides safe housing and mental health care that’s specifically tailored to the unique type of trauma suffered by children who’ve been used essentially as sex slaves,” Atkins wrote in a guest editorial for the San Diego Connection. The bill is set for a hearing on April 4 at 1:30 p.m. in the Senate Human Services Committee.
Rights >> Assemblyman Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) proposed AB 325, which would make some technical changes to state law on the rights of foster care children. The rights include “the right to live in a safe, healthy, and comfortable home where he or she is treated with respect,” according to the bill’s language. The bill was set to be heard in committee March 10 or soon after.
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Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.