H.B. No. 1912
  relating to the Transitional Living Services Program and the
  Preparation for Adult Living Program for foster children
  transitioning to independent living.
         SECTION 1.  The heading to Section 264.121, Family Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         SECTION 2.  Section 264.121, Family Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsections (a-1), (d),
  (e), and (f) to read as follows:
         (a)  The department shall address the unique challenges
  facing foster children in the conservatorship of the department who
  must transition to independent living by:
               (1)  expanding efforts to improve transition 
  [discharge] planning and increasing the availability of
  transitional family group decision-making to all youth age 14 [16]
  or older in the department's permanent managing conservatorship,
  including enrolling the youth in the Preparation for Adult Living
  Program before the age of 16;
               (2)  coordinating with the Health and Human Services
  Commission to obtain authority, to the extent allowed by federal
  law, the state Medicaid plan, the Title IV-E state plan, and any
  waiver or amendment to either plan, necessary to:
                     (A)  extend foster care eligibility and
  transition services for youth up to age 21 and develop policy to
  permit eligible youth to return to foster care as necessary to
  achieve the goals of the Transitional Living Services [Preparation
  for Adult Living] Program; and
                     (B)  extend Medicaid coverage for foster care
  youth and former foster care youth up to age 21 with a single
  application at the time the youth leaves foster care; and
               (3)  entering into cooperative agreements with the
  Texas Workforce Commission and local workforce development boards
  to further the objectives of the Preparation for Adult Living
  Program.  The department, the Texas Workforce Commission, and the
  local workforce development boards shall ensure that services are
  prioritized and targeted to meet the needs of foster care and former
  foster care children and that such services will include, where
  feasible, referrals for short-term stays for youth needing housing.
         (a-1)  The department shall require a foster care provider to
  provide or assist youth who are age 14 or older in obtaining
  experiential life-skills training to improve their transition to
  independent living.  Experiential life-skills training must be
  tailored to a youth's skills and abilities and may include training
  in practical activities that include grocery shopping, meal
  preparation and cooking, using public transportation, performing
  basic household tasks, and balancing a checkbook.
         (b)  In this section:
               (1)  "Local [local] workforce development board" means
  a local workforce development board created under Chapter 2308,
  Government Code.
               (2)  "Preparation for Adult Living Program" means a
  program administered by the department as a component of the
  Transitional Living Services Program and includes independent
  living skills assessment, short-term financial assistance, basic
  self-help skills, and life-skills development and training
  regarding money management, health and wellness, job skills,
  planning for the future, housing and transportation, and
  interpersonal skills.
               (3)  "Transitional Living Services Program" means a
  program, administered by the department in accordance with
  department rules and state and federal law, for youth who are age 14
  or older but not more than 21 years of age and are currently or were
  formerly in foster care, that assists youth in transitioning from
  foster care to independent living. The program provides
  transitional living services, Preparation for Adult Living Program
  services, and Education and Training Voucher Program services.
         (d)  The department shall allow a youth who is at least 18
  years of age to receive transitional living services, other than
  foster care benefits, while residing with a person who was
  previously designated as a perpetrator of abuse or neglect if the
  department determines that despite the person's prior history the
  person does not pose a threat to the health and safety of the youth.
         (e)  The department shall ensure that each youth acquires a
  certified copy of the youth's birth certificate, a social security
  card or replacement social security card, as appropriate, and a
  personal identification certificate under Chapter 521,
  Transportation Code, on or before the date on which the youth turns
  16 years of age.  The department shall designate one or more
  employees in the Preparation for Adult Living Program as the
  contact person to assist a youth who has not been able to obtain the
  documents described by this subsection in a timely manner from the
  youth's primary caseworker. The department shall ensure that:
               (1)  all youth who are age 16 or older are provided with
  the contact information for the designated employees; and
               (2)  a youth who misplaces a document provided under
  this subsection receives assistance in obtaining a replacement
  document or information on how to obtain a duplicate copy, as
         (f)  The department shall require a person with whom the
  department contracts for transitional living services for foster
  youth to provide or assist youth in obtaining:
               (1)  housing services;
               (2)  job training and employment services;
               (3)  college preparation services;
               (4)  services that will assist youth in obtaining a
  general education development certificate; and
               (5)  any other appropriate transitional living service
  identified by the department.
         SECTION 3.  (a)  To achieve the best possible outcomes for
  foster care youth transitioning to independent living, the
  Department of Family and Protective Services shall:
               (1)  examine and identify, both in this state and in
  other states, the best practices for an individualized approach to
  services for foster care youth transitioning to independent living
  that considers the skills and abilities of each youth and provides
  opportunities for self-determination;
               (2)  establish a transitional living services
  workgroup that includes former foster care youth, providers of
  life-skills and after-care services, court-appointed special
  advocates, and other persons with expertise in the needs of
  transition-age youth to assist the department; and
               (3)  develop a comprehensive transitional living
  services plan to improve the department's Transitional Living
  Services Program that incorporates the best practices identified
  under Subdivision (1) of this subsection and the recommendations of
  the transitional living services workgroup created under
  Subdivision (2) of this subsection and assists the department in:
                     (A)  ensuring that each foster youth who is age 16
  or older receives an individual assessment of the youth's
  developmental needs and future goals to be used to develop an
  individualized transitional living services plan, tailored to the
                     (B)  modifying the Preparation for Adult Living
  Program training curriculum to include online training options and
  a selection of training modules that may be selected to meet the
  needs of an individual youth; and
                     (C)  ensuring that transitional living services
  are appropriate and meet the individual and specialized needs of a
  foster care youth with disabilities.
         (b)  Not later than September 1, 2010, the Department of
  Family and Protective Services shall submit to the legislature a
  report that includes:
               (1)  the transitional living services plan developed
  under Subsection (a) of this section;
               (2)  any recommended statutory changes necessary to
  implement the transitional living services plan; and
               (3)  a request for any additional funding necessary for
  implementation of the transitional living services plan.
         SECTION 4.  If before implementing any provision of this Act
  a state agency determines that a waiver or authorization from a
  federal agency is necessary for implementation of that provision,
  the agency affected by the provision shall request the waiver or
  authorization and may delay implementing that provision until the
  waiver or authorization is granted.
         SECTION 5.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I certify that H.B. No. 1912 was passed by the House on May 1,
  2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 114, Nays 24, 1 present, not
  Chief Clerk of the House   
         I certify that H.B. No. 1912 was passed by the Senate on May
  21, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________