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It is the intent of the Legislature to maintain the continuity of the family unit and to support and preserve families headed by minor parents and nonminor dependent parents who are themselves under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court by ensuring that minor parents and nonminor dependent parents and their children are placed together in as family-like a setting as possible, unless it has been determined that placement together poses a risk to the child. It is also the intent of the Legislature to ensure that complete and accurate data on parenting minor and nonminor dependents is collected, and that the State Department of Social Services shall ensure that the following information is publicly available on a quarterly basis by county about parenting minor and nonminor dependents: total number of parenting minor and nonminor dependents in each county, their age, their ethnic group, their placement type, their time in care, the number of children they have, and whether their children are court dependents.
(a) To the greatest extent possible, minor parents and nonminor dependent parents and their children shall be provided with access to existing services for which they may be eligible, that are specifically targeted at supporting, maintaining, and developing both the parent-child bond and the dependent parent's ability to provide a permanent and safe home for the child. Examples of these services may include, but are not limited to, child care, parenting classes, child development classes, and frequent visitation.
(b) Child welfare agencies may provide minor parents and nonminor dependent parents with access to social workers or resource specialists who have received training on the needs of teenage parents and available resources, including, but not limited to, maternal and child health programs, child care, and child development classes. Child welfare agencies are encouraged to update the case plans for pregnant and parenting dependents within 60 calendar days of the date the agency is informed of a pregnancy. When updating the case plan, child welfare agencies may hold a specialized conference to assist pregnant or parenting foster youth and nonminor dependents with planning for healthy parenting and identifying appropriate resources and services, and to inform the case plan. The specialized conference shall include the pregnant or parenting minor or nonminor dependent, family members, and other supportive adults, and the specially trained social worker or resource specialist. The specialized conference may include other individuals, including, but not limited to, a public health nurse, a community health worker, or other personnel with a comprehensive knowledge of available maternal and child resources, including public benefit programs. Participation in the specialized conference shall be voluntary on the part of the foster youth or nonminor dependent and assistance in identifying and accessing resources shall not be dependent on participation in the conference.
(c) The minor parents and nonminor dependent parents shall be given the ability to attend school, complete homework, and participate in age and developmentally appropriate activities unrelated to and separate from parenting.
(d) Child welfare agencies, local educational agencies, and child care resource and referral agencies may make reasonable and coordinated efforts to ensure that minor parents and nonminor dependent parents who have not completed high school have access to school programs that provide onsite or coordinated child care.
(e) Foster care placements for minor parents and nonminor dependent parents and their children shall demonstrate a willingness and ability to provide support and assistance to minor parents and nonminor dependent parents and their children, shall support the preservation of the family unit, and shall refer a minor parent or nonminor dependent parent to preventive services to address any concerns regarding the safety, health, or well-being of the child, and to help prevent, whenever possible, the filing of a petition to declare the child a dependent of the juvenile court pursuant to Section 300.
(f) Contact between the child, the custodial parent, and the noncustodial parent shall be facilitated if that contact is found to be in the best interest of the child.
(g) For the purpose of this section, “child” refers to the child born to the minor parent.
(h) For the purpose of this section, “minor parent” refers to a dependent child who is also a parent.
(i) For the purpose of this section, “nonminor dependent parent” refers to a nonminor dependent, as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400, who also is a parent.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 16002.5 - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ca/welfare-and-institutions-code/wic-sect-16002-5.html
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