WHAT IS THE CONTINUUM OF CARE REFORM?
The Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) draws together a series of existing and new reforms to our child welfare services program. CCR is designed out of an understanding that children who must live apart from their biological parents do best when they are cared for in committed nurturing family homes. Continuum of Care Reform, also known as AB 403, provides the statutory and policy framework to ensure services and supports provided to the child or youth and his or her family are tailored toward the ultimate goal of maintaining a stable permanent family. Reliance on congregate care should be limited to short-term, therapeutic interventions, which is just one part of a continuum of care available for children, youth and young adults.
THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF CCR ARE:
- All children deserve to live with a committed, nurturing, and permanent family that prepares youth for a successful transition into adulthood.
- The child, youth and family’s experience, along with, voice is important in assessment, placement, and service planning. A process known as a “child and family team,” which includes the child, youth and family, and their formal and informal support network will be the foundation for ensuring these perspectives are incorporated throughout the duration of the case.
- Children should not have to change placements to get the services and supports they need. Research shows that being placed in foster care is a traumatic experience and in order for home-based placements to be successful, services including behavioral and mental health should be available in a home setting.
- Agencies serving children and youth including child welfare, probation, mental health, education, and other community service providers need to collaborate effectively to surround the child and family with needed services, resources, and supports rather than requiring a child, youth, and caregivers to navigate multiple service providers.
- The goal for all children in foster care is normalcy in development while establishing permanent life-long family relationships. Therefore, children should not remain in a group living environment for long periods of time.