Healthy Futures for Foster Youth (2021)
AB 366 (Rubio)
AB 366 improves upon existing laws to strengthen reproductive health equity for youth in California’s foster care by extending the infant supplement payments to expectant foster youth three months before the expected birth of the child, and ensuring foster youth have access to comprehensive sexual health education, rights, and services. AB 366 also creates transparency through additional data reporting.
NCYL’s efforts to strengthen reproductive health equity for youth in California’s foster care have resulted California laws that now require: 1) child welfare case workers ensure foster youth receive the same comprehensive sexual health as all other youth; 2) case workers inform foster youth of the sexual health and education programs and services available to them and remove barriers to access; 3) county social workers, certain foster caregivers, and juvenile judges receive education on how to support the healthy development of youth in care; 4) caregivers support youth decision-making and access to education and care; and 5) the monthly rate paid for parenting minors and nonminor dependents include an infant supplement once a child is born.
AB 366 includes minor changes that are needed to effectively implement and fully realize the vision of these reproductive health equity laws.
- Extends support to expectant young parents: Currently, the infant supplement begins only after the child is born. The time just prior to birth is a critical opportunity to prevent negative health outcomes and support nutrition, parenting and birthing skills, and prepare for the birth and the child. AB 366 instead starts this supplement three months prior to the due date of the child: Currently, the infant supplement begins only after the child is born. The time just prior to birth is a critical opportunity to prevent negative health outcomes and support nutrition, parenting and birthing skills, and prepare for the birth and the child. AB 366 instead starts this supplement three months prior to the due date of the child.
- Requires juvenile judges and attorneys are informed that youth have received information and education on reproductive and sexual health: While state law requires social workers to document in a youth’s case plan that middle and high school age youth have received sexual health education and information about available resources, there is no legal requirement to provide that information to the court, making it difficult for judges, bench officers and attorneys to ensure youth in care receive the information and care envisioned by state law. AB 366 requires county social workers to include in reports to juvenile courts whether youth or nonminor dependents in the foster system have received comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education.
- Creates mechanisms to measure progress: There are no mechanisms that allow the state to measure implementation of training or delivery of services and education, or their impact on foster youth health access and outcomes, such as STI rates, timely prenatal services or contraceptive access, or equitable access to care. AB 366 requires the Department of Social Services to report disaggregated outcome and performance data on reproductive and sexual health outcomes and implementation of training.
NCYL is partnering with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, Black Women for Wellness, California Association of Student Councils, Children’s Law Center of California, John Burton Advocates for Youth. We are proud to be working with the following legislators:
Author: Assembly Member Blanca Rubio
Co-authors: Assembly Member Mike Gipson, Assembly Member Mark Stone, Assembly Member Phil Ting, and Senator Scott Wiener
Show your support! Download a template letter of support here and submit it per the instructions on the template before April 1, 2021