This bill authorizes an individual who is 22 years of age or older to continue to receive care in a pediatric day health and respite care facility, if the facility receives approval from the department for a Transitional Health Care Needs Optional Service Unit. This bill was signed into law on August 13, 2015.
AAP Positional Letter
April 15, 2015
State Capitol, Rm 4139
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 1147 (Maienschein) Pediatric Day Facilities
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Assemblymember Maienschein,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California, a statewide organization representing 5,000 board-certified pediatricians, strongly supports your proposed legislation AB 1147.
Children born with serious physical and developmental disabilities may, despite having aged chronologically into the legally defined age of adulthood, age, remain developmentally like young children, with no hope of maturing or developing in the way that we think of when we consider how children change. Their parents are courageous in their work advocating for the needs of their children. The children and the family benefit greatly if there are appropriate facilities in the community that can assist them in providing a safe and developmentally appropriate care setting. Their need for this support does not change, even as their children age.
Pediatric Day Health Care Facility centers can skillfully provide needed respite care for these families and a nurturing environment for these special needs children. However, current State of California statutes do not allow these children, after the age of 21, to continue to attend the program. Though their parents want them to continue and though they are truly children in all aspects of their being (except for their age), they are left with few choices. Parents are put in the position of having to “place” their children out of their homes, as adult day care facilities generally will not accept clients with these severe medical and disabling conditions.
A modest change in the law to permit these children to continue to receive these services is urgently needed for those who face these circumstances today, and will continue to benefit families with similar challenges in the future.
AB 1147 would allow allow these families to remain the caretakers for their children, receive respite care, and will help to prevent and ameliorate the undue financial and personal hardships that can come with parenting these beloved and vulnerable special children.
Thank you for your public service and leadership.
Chief Executive Officer
American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: AAP-CA Leadership
Members of Assembly Health Committee