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California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 391

391. (a) The dependency court shall not terminate jurisdiction over a nonminor unless a hearing is conducted pursuant to this section.

(b) At any hearing for a nonminor at which the court is considering termination of the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the county welfare department shall do all of the following:

(1) Ensure that the dependent nonminor is present in court, unless the nonminor does not wish to appear in court, and elects a telephonic appearance, or document reasonable efforts made by the county welfare department to locate the nonminor when the nonminor is not available.

(2) Submit a report describing whether it is in the nonminor s best interests to remain under the court s dependency jurisdiction, which includes a recommended transitional independent living case plan for the nonminor when the report describes continuing dependency jurisdiction as being in the nonminor s best interest.

(3) If the county welfare department recommends termination of the court s dependency jurisdiction, submit documentation of the reasonable efforts made by the department to provide the nonminor with the assistance needed to meet or maintain eligibility as a nonminor dependent, as defined in paragraphs (1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b) of Section 11403.

(4) If the nonminor has indicated that he or she does not want dependency jurisdiction to continue, the report shall address the manner in which the nonminor was advised of his or her options, including the benefits of remaining in foster care, and of his or her right to reenter foster care and to file a petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction prior to attaining 21 years of age.

(c) (1) The court shall continue dependency jurisdiction over a nonminor who meets the definition of a nonminor dependent as described in subdivision (v) of Section 11400 unless the court finds either of the following:

(A) That the nonminor does not wish to remain subject to dependency jurisdiction.

(B) That the nonminor is not participating in a reasonable and appropriate transitional independent living case plan.

(2) In making the findings pursuant to paragraph (1), the court must also find that the nonminor has been informed of his or her options including the benefits of remaining in foster care and the right to reenter foster care by filing a petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction and by completing a voluntary reentry agreement pursuant to subdivision (z) of Section 11400, and has had an opportunity to confer with his or her counsel if counsel has been appointed pursuant to Section 317.

(d) (1) The court may terminate its jurisdiction over a nonminor if the court finds after reasonable and documented efforts the nonminor cannot be located.

(2) When terminating dependency jurisdiction, the court shall maintain general jurisdiction over the nonminor to allow for the filing of a petition to resume dependency jurisdiction under subdivision (e) of Section 388 until the nonminor attains 21 years of age, although no review proceedings shall be required. A nonminor may petition the court pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction at any time before attaining 21 years of age.

(e) The court shall not terminate dependency jurisdiction over a nonminor who has attained 18 years of age until a hearing is conducted pursuant to this section and the department has submitted a report verifying that the following information, documents, and services have been provided to the nonminor, or in the case of a nonminor who, after reasonable efforts by the county welfare department, cannot be located, verifying the efforts made to make the following available to the nonminor:

(1) Written information concerning the nonminor s case, including any known information regarding the nonminor s Indian heritage or tribal connections, if applicable, his or her family history and placement history, any photographs of the nonminor or his or her family in the possession of the county welfare department, other than forensic photographs, the whereabouts of any siblings under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, unless the court determines that sibling contact would jeopardize the safety or welfare of the sibling, directions on how to access the documents the nonminor is entitled to inspect under Section 827, and the date on which the jurisdiction of the juvenile court would be terminated.

(2) The following documents:

(A) Social security card.

(B) Certified copy of his or her birth certificate.

(C) Health and education summary, as described in subdivision (a) of Section 16010.

(D) Driver s license, as described in Section 12500 of the Vehicle Code, or identification card, as described in Section 13000 of the Vehicle Code.

(E) A letter prepared by the county welfare department that includes the following information:

(i) The nonminor s name and date of birth.

(ii) The dates during which the nonminor was within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.

(iii) A statement that the nonminor was a foster youth in compliance with state and federal financial aid documentation requirements.

(F) If applicable, the death certificate of the parent or parents.

(G) If applicable, proof of the nonminor s citizenship or legal residence.

(H) An advance health care directive form.

(I) The Judicial Council form that the nonminor would use to file a petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction.

(J) The written 90-day transition plan prepared pursuant to Section 16501.1.

(3) Assistance in completing an application for Medi-Cal or assistance in obtaining other health insurance.

(4) Referrals to transitional housing, if available, or assistance in securing other housing.

(5) Assistance in obtaining employment or other financial support.

(6) Assistance in applying for admission to college or to a vocational training program or other educational institution and in obtaining financial aid, where appropriate.

(7) Assistance in maintaining relationships with individuals who are important to a nonminor who has been in out-of-home placement for six months or longer from the date the nonminor entered foster care, based on the nonminor s best interests.

(8) For nonminors between 18 and 21 years of age, assistance in accessing the Independent Living Aftercare Program in the nonminor s county of residence, and, upon the nonminor s request, assistance in completing a voluntary reentry agreement for care and placement pursuant to subdivision (z) of Section 11400 and in filing a petition pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 388 to resume dependency jurisdiction.

(9) Written information notifying the child that current or former dependent children who are or have been in foster care are granted a preference for student assistant or internship positions with state agencies pursuant to Section 18220 of the Government Code. The preference shall be granted to applicants up to 26 years of age.

(f) At the hearing closest to and before a dependent minor s 18th birthday and every review hearing thereafter for nonminors, the department shall submit a report describing efforts toward completing the items described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).

(g) The Judicial Council shall develop and implement standards, and develop and adopt appropriate forms necessary to implement this provision.

(h) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2012.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 303, Sec. 569. Effective January 1, 2016.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016