Assembly Bill 129: Dual Status Children

Assembly Bill 129, sponsored by the Judicial Council and passed by the Legislature in 2004, is intended to improve the handling of cases in which delinquency and dependency intersect and to help increase access to appropriate resources and services for children in a holistic and timely manner. California counties may choose to develop a local dual-jurisdiction protocol to designate certain children as having dual status. Counties may also enhance and build on protocols they have already developed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 241.1. The first protocol was adopted by Riverside County in October 2005.

Each county's probation department and child welfare department, in consultation with the presiding judge of its juvenile court, may develop a written protocol permitting a child who meets specified criteria to be designated as both a dependent child and a ward of the juvenile court. The legislation requires the Judicial Council to prepare an evaluation of the implementation of these protocols two years from the time the first case is deemed dual status. All counties that implemented protocols were required to collect basic descriptive data about the cases.

Staff of the Judicial Council, CFCC have provided training on Assembly Bill 129 and dual-jurisdiction issues in California and nationwide, and continue to provide technical assistance to local courts for issues related to AB 129 dual-jurisdiction protocols.

The chart below provides protocols for counties who have implemented them.

  County   Effective Date
 Butte  March 22, 2011

 March 23, 2006

 Del Norte  March 18, 2010 - June 30, 2011
 Los Angeles  October 11, 2011
 Inyo  December 13, 2005
 Modoc  April 4, 2008
 Mono  July 31, 2013
 Orange  November 7, 2014
 Placer  December 14, 2005
 Riverside  October 5, 2005
 San Bernardino
 San Bernardino (Updated)  
 November 30, 2011
 December 27, 2012
 San Diego  August 25, 2015
 San Joaquin  December 19, 2005
 San Mateo
 San Mateo (Updated) 
 April 13, 2007 
 May 1, 2015
 Santa Clara 
 Santa Clara (Updated)
 February 11, 2010
 May 4, 2015
 Siskiyou  February 13, 2008
 Sonoma  September 7, 2006

 Stanislaus (Updated) 

 December 23, 2005
 February 9, 2012

See a Summary of Protocols by County (August 2015)

Assembly Bill 129 Legislation

All County Information Notice No. I-05-06: Dual Status Children (California Department of Social Services)

Dual-Status Children: Protocols for Implementing Assembly Bill 129 – A Report to the California Legislature (2004)  
Assembly Bill 129 allowed counties to develop a local protocol to designate certain children as having dual status, i.e., being both a dependent child and a ward of the juvenile court. AB 129 required the Judicial Council to evaluate the implementation of these protocols and to report its findings to the Legislature within two years of the date that participating counties first deem a child to be a dual-status child.  The report addresses the following questions:

  • How many counties adopted a dual-status protocol? Why did some counties elect to adopt a protocol, while some did not?
  • What are the key features of dual-status protocols?
  • What did the process of developing a dual-status protocol entail?
  • Which aspects of developing and implementing a protocol were successful, and which were more challenging? What facilitated the successes, and what would help overcome the challenges?
  • What would help the county teams optimize the implementation of their dual-status protocols moving forward? 

 Research Update: Dual-Status Children: Protocols for Implementing Assembly Bill 129 (October 2008)

Welfare & Institutions Code §241.1


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