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SB 679: Group Homes : Canyon Oaks (2005)


SB 679 (2005) expands the definition of a group home to include a county-operated home.

Under current law, only private, non-profit providers are allowed to operate group homes and receive Department of Social Services foster care funding. SB 679 allows counties to also operate group homes for children who require out-of-home care.

Final Status and Text

SB 679 is no longer active. Its final status was:
Signed into Law

You can read its final text on the Legislature's Bill Information site.

Background Information

Need for the Bill:

Current law permits only private, nonprofit agencies to receive State residential care funds to operate group homes.  California law is more restrictive than Federal law which allows public agencies, as well as not for profit organizations, to receive funds for the operation of group homes serving no more than 25 youth.  This restriction on public agency operation was adopted over 20 years ago in reaction to large publicly operated children’s shelters that were ineffective in treating troubled youth.  Currently both State and Federal law precludes use of residential care funds for the operation of large publicly funded shelter facilities.  SB 679 simply allows counties the option of placing children with either a public agency or a private not for profit group home. 

While there are excellent private not for profit group homes in California, it is the experience of many counties that these private facilities are unable to accept and treat the most emotionally troubled youth.  As a result, many of these youth, who are often also dependents or wards of the court, experience multiple placement failures and may be placed in facilities far from their communities—sometimes even out of state.

SB 679 allows San Mateo County to continue to operate a 12-bed group home for seriously emotionally disturbed children.  In April 2003, the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) approved San Mateo’s Canyon Oaks Youth Center three-year Group Home Waiver Demonstration Project.  In its first program year, the Canyon Oaks group home has exceeded all performance measures.

News & Press Releases about SB 679

09/27/2005 - Governor Signs Simitian Bill Allowing San Mateo County to Serve Emotionally Disturbed Young People