California’s protection & advocacy system
For legal assistance call 800-776-5746. For all other purposes call 916-504-5800 in Northern CA
or 213-213-8000 in Southern CA. TTY 800-719-5798.
Publication #1021 - Adopted 9/20/2003, Amended 12/5/2014
Children and youth with disabilities, whenever possible, should live with their families with needed services and supports. DRC opposes public policy initiatives that inappropriately place children and youth in out-of-home placements. DRC supports those that increase access to community supports and services, facilitate transition back to home or community based environments and provide access to appropriate services when living out-of-home including while incarcerated or in foster care.
We support laws and policies to develop and expand the availability of creative and flexible service models, such as Wraparounds, and enhance service coordination through means such as Children’s Systems of Care.
State law and policies should ensure:
Any out of home placements should:
In provider-owned or controlled settings, the individual should have:
Children and youth with disabilities should live in California with appropriate services and not be placed in out-of-state placements where they are less able to engage with their family and participate in their community. If a child or youth is currently out-of-state there should be a plan to transition them back to California with appropriate services and supports.
Before an out-of-state placement is made, a comprehensive assessment must be conducted and a determination by the child or youth’s treatment team that his or her needs cannot be met in California including documentation that other less restrictive interventions have been tried such as outpatient therapy, family counseling, case management, family preservation efforts, special education classes, or nonpublic schooling. An out-of-state placement should only be made to a facility that complies with California standards.1 And, be time-limited with a return-to-home transition plan.
Any extension of out-of-state placement must be based on a new, comprehensive assessment of the child or youth’s needs; review of available options; and determination the needs cannot be met in California. Any extension of the out-of-state placement should be time limited with a return-to-home transition plan.
California should develop new and innovative service options so children and youth can stay in their community and provide financial resources to develop and sustain these service options.2 Any new service options should meet the Centers on Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Home and Community Based Services regulations.3
The least restrictive educational environment for children and youth living in out-of-home community placements is a regular, public school classroom with needed supplementary services and supports.
State law and policies should ensure youth with disabilities receive special education and related services to support them regardless of living situation or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems, including youth between the ages of 18 and 21 who are incarcerated in county jails.
Any court-ordered placements should address the child’s educational, health, and mental health related needs.
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LEGISLATION & PUBLIC INFORMATION UNIT
1831 K Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Tel: 916.504.5800 - TTY: 916.719.5798