The John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes is dedicated to improving the quality of life for California’s homeless children and developing policy solutions to prevent homelessness.

John Burton Foundation
235 Montgomery, Suite 1142
San Francisco, CA 94104
AB 12 Question of the Week Index

12/6/16: Webinar: Community College Pathway to Success for Youth With Juvenile Justice System Involvement

10/16/17 - 10/17/17: California College Pathways Blueprint for Success Conference
AB 12 Question of the Week

State Issues Joint Letter on Federal & State Data Sharing Requirements Under LCFF

California Reports Largest Numbers of Homeless Unaccompanied Youth in Nation

State Issues Final Regulations to Implement Accountability/State Plan Provisions of ESSA

Evaluation Finds Transitional Living Services Have Positive Impact on Youth

Question of the Week

Q: I work for Child Protective Services and would like to know whether youth in Non-Related Legal Guardianships (NRLG) are eligible for placement in a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP) or in a transitional housing placement (THP+FC).

Also, is there a certain age these youth had to have gone into the guardianship to be eligible for extended benefits? For the answer, follow this LINK.

State Issues Joint Letter on Federal & State Data Sharing Requirements Under LCFF

The California Department of Social Services, California Department of Education and California Department of Justice have issued a letter, “Dear Colleague: Joint Guidance Foster Youth Information-Sharing”. This letter is summarized in a recently released All County Information Notice (ACIN) to inform county child welfare and juvenile probation departments about the sharing of foster youth data between local education agencies (LEA) and child welfare agencies (CWA) under the Local Control and Funding Formula (LCFF).
Under the LCFF, LEAs receive additional funding to serve foster youth students, are accountable for their educational outcomes, and are required to take affirmative steps to ensure foster youth receive appropriate educational supports and services. The letter summarizes federal and state law concerning school officials access to the LCFF Foster Match Information; information that LEAs and CWAs may and must share with one another; and information that may and must be shared with caregivers, even if the caregiver is not the foster child’s educational rights holder.
In addition to other permissions and requirements, the letter indicates that LEAs must share education records with CWAs which may include the number of school transfers, grades, academic proficiency scores, credits earned towards graduation, and individualized education plan. CWAs must notify LEAs when a pupil is placed in a licensed children’s institution, and of any placement changes which may result in school transfers. The CWA caseworker must promptly notify an LEA representative about such placement and school changes and the time of placement.
The ACIN includes a fact sheet for child welfare agency staff, prepared by the California Foster Youth Education Task Force, outlining key points from the letter. To read the ACIN and fact sheet, follow this LINK. To read the Dear Colleague letter, follow this LINK.

California Second Highest in Nation in Rate of Homeless Youth Unsheltered

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued Part 1 of the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. This report provides point-in-time (PIT) estimates of homelessness based on an annual PIT count conducted in January each year.
On a single night in January 2016, 549,928 people were experiencing homelessness in the U.S., a 2.6 percent decrease from last year, attributable to increases in permanent housing options. Included in this count is 35,686 unaccompanied homeless youth under the age of 25 (6.5% of all homeless people). Of these youth, 89 percent were between the ages of 18 and 24, 11 percent were under the age of 18, 53.8 percent were sheltered and 46 percent were unsheltered. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of homeless youth, ages 18 to 24 decreased by three percent.
The report also shares data on parenting youth in the U.S. In January 2016, there were 9,892 homeless parents under the age of 25, the majority of whom were sheltered (94.7%), and with 13,318 homeless children in their custody.
While U.S. Census data has California accounting for just 12 percent of the nation's population, in the January PIT counts, California made up 28 percent of the homeless population in the U.S., and accounted for nearly half (44%) of all unsheltered people.

Likewise, California reported the largest numbers of homeless unaccompanied youth (11,222 people) which represents 31 percent of the national total. Unaccompanied youth make up 9.5 percent of the 118,142 people experiencing homelessness in California. California also has a high rate of unsheltered unaccompanied youth, coming in just second to Nevada at 78 percent or 8,691 youth unsheltered. 
According to this year’s counts, the number of unaccompanied homeless youth in California has increased 7.7 percent since 2015, the first year HUD included unaccompanied youth as a counted subpopulation.

Communities are still improving their methodologies for conducting their PIT counts for youth, and so there is likely an under-reporting on this population. HUD has indicated that the 2017 data will be used as the baseline through which HUD and federal partners will measure future trends in the number of youth experiencing homelessness, as the 2017 data will reflect improved counting methods and implementation. To read the full report or view state- or CoC-level data follow this LINK.

State Issues Final Regulations to Implement Accountability/State Plan Provisions of ESSA

On November 29, the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations to implement the accountability and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
The ESSA, enacted on December 10, 2015, reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and built upon several legislative successes for foster youth, including the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, the Uninterrupted Scholars Act, as well as state efforts to better support the education of children in foster care through increased collaboration between child welfare agencies and education agencies.
These final regulations which take effect January 30, 2017, include new rules related to homelessness and foster care. These regulations cover transportation to school of origin for children in foster care, definitions of homeless status and foster care status for report cards, high school graduation rates for youth experiencing homelessness and youth in foster care, and the consolidation of the McKinney-Vento Act’s Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program into the Consolidated State Plan under ESSA.
The National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth have summarized these regulations, and have a number of ESSA-related information and resources on their website. To read the final regulations, follow this LINK.

Evaluation Finds Transitional Living Services Have Positive Impact on Youth

Youth Villages has released the third report in the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation, testing whether the YVLifeSet model (previously named Transitional Living program) makes a difference in the lives of young people with histories of foster care or juvenile justice custody. YVLifeSet is intended to help young people make a successful transition to adulthood by providing intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and counseling.
This evaluation was conducted in Tennessee, where, in addition to YVLifeSet, services were available through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services’ Post-Custody Services program, and beginning July 2012, through Tennessee’s Extension or Re-Establishment of Foster Care Services via the Federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008.
The Evaluation’s first report provided a detailed description of the VYLifeSet (then Transitional Living program) model and assessed its implementation, and the second report assessed whether the program improved key outcomes during the first year after young people were enrolled in the study across the six domains that it was designed to affect. This third report uses administrative data to assess the program’s impacts in three of the original six domains -- education, employment and earnings and criminal involvement -- during the second year after study enrollment. Overall, the two-year findings are fairly consistent with those found after the first year of follow-up.
Taken together, the one- and two-year results show that participation in YVLifeSet had modest, positive impacts on a broad range of outcomes. The program boosted earnings, increased housing stability and economic well-being, and improved some outcomes related to health and safety. It did not improve outcomes in the areas of education, social support, or criminal involvement. To download the executive summary of the third report, follow this LINK. To download the full third report, follow this LINK.
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