SB 5486 identifies that the goal of the Parents for Parents Program is to increase the permanency and well-being of children in foster care through peer mentoring that increases parental engagement and contributes to family reunification.
The bill defines veteran parent, and delineates the components of the Program (i.e. outreach and support to parents a dependency related hearings; a class that educates parents about the dependency system; ongoing support to help parents overcome barriers to success in completing their case plan; and structured, curriculum based support groups.)
Additionally, the Program would be funded through the Office of Public Defense and administered by a community based organization, with each local program administered by the county superior court or a nonprofit that would serve as the host organization. The lead organization would be responsible for providing ongoing training to the host organizations, statewide program oversight/coordination, and maintaining statewide program information.
Finally, the bill directs a child welfare research entity to conduct an evaluation of the program.
As amended, SSB 5486 changes the term veteran parent to Child Welfare Parent Mentor, adds qualifying language that the evaluation and program would only be required if funds are made available, and removes language directing the evaluation to be conducted by a university based child welfare research entity.
As amended by the Ways and Means Committee: The amendment clarifies language in the underlying bill and states that the parents to parents program and the evaluation of the program are limited to amounts appropriated for those specific purposes.