John Burton Advocates for Youth is dedicated to improving the quality of life for California’s foster, former foster and homeless youth and developing policy solutions to prevent homelessness.

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

2/9/17: Post-Secondary Education Training Series Webinar - Assisting Foster Youth to Navigate College Matriculation

2/14: SB 12: Increasing Pell Grant Receipt Among Youth in Foster Care

2/23/17: Webinar - Let's Talk THP-Plus Rates: Regional Housing Costs & Serving Parenting Youth

4/18/17 - 4/19/17: California Foster Youth Education Summit: Hyatt Regency in Sacramento

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

Support the Beall Pell Bill - Increasing Access to Financial Aid for Foster Youth

Urge Congress: Hands Off Former Foster Youth Health Coverage

Is Your Community on the Right Track to End Youth Homelessness?

Pro-Kid Policy Agenda Calls for Increased Accountability & Oversight

Question of the Week

Q: I'm working with an 18 year old in guardianship who is no longer being provided support by their guardian, and is without a place to live. She has asked if she can access a Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP).

Is there a way for this youth to re-enter foster care and access a SILP, and will she be eligible to receive her foster care payment directly as her own payee? For the answer, follow this LINK.

Support the Beall Pell Bill - Increasing Access to Financial Aid for Foster Youth

Senate Bill 12, proposed by Senator Jim Beall (D-15) has been referred to the Senate Committee on Education where it will be heard in early March. SB 12 would improve post-secondary educational achievement among foster youth by increasing access to financial aid and campus-based services.
A 2015 study of foster youth attending community college found that just 50 percent received the federal Pell Grant, even though almost all foster youth students qualify. SB 12 would increase the rate of financial aid awards received by foster youth by streamlining the financial aid verification process for foster youth who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and requiring every county child welfare agency to identify a person to assist the foster youth in the financial aid application process.
The bill would increase access to campus-based services by expanding the Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Education Support (CAFYES) Program from the current level of ten community college districts to 20 districts, thereby enabling more foster youth to receive the support they need to succeed.
John Burton Advocates for Youth, the bill’s sponsor, is collecting support letters for SB 12, addressed to the Senate Committee on Education. To download the sample support letter, follow this LINK, and forward your letter to by February 17th. To learn more about SB 12, read the fact sheet or contact Amy Lemley.

Urge Congress: Hands Off Former Foster Youth Health Coverage

First Focus is circulating a sign-on letter for state and national partners, asking Congress not to take Medicaid coverage away from former foster youth.
Under current law, youth in the U.S. who age out of foster care, and were enrolled in Medicaid, are eligible for Medicaid coverage until the age of 26, a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that was drafted as an equitable response to children being allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance policy until age 26.
Legislation is currently being drafted in U.S. House and Senate Committees to repeal and replace the ACA. The sign-on letter aims to ensure that foster youth are not forgotten about in these discussions, and communicate to members of Congress that child welfare advocates are united behind this provision of the ACA.
To read the letter, follow this LINK. To sign on to the letter, which will be sent to the Senate Finance Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, send your name and organization to

Is Your Community on the Right Track to End Youth Homelessness?

The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) has released a guide for communities to help them get a full picture of their response to youth homelessness, and determine whether or not they are reaching their goals.
The guide provides specific criteria and benchmarks for ending unaccompanied youth homelessness, in order to help guide communities as they take action to achieve the goal through a coordinated community response to youth homelessness. A preliminary vision for the coordinated community response is outlined in a previous document, in support of the national goal of ending youth homelessness by 2020.
The five criteria included in the guide range across identification; prevention and diversion strategies; coordinated entry; access to low-barrier crisis housing, permanent or non-time-limited housing options; and resources, plans and system capacity.
The two benchmarks established are "there are very few youth experiencing homelessness at any given time", and "youth experiencing homelessness are swiftly connected to safe and stable housing opportunities and to permanent housing options"; each with specific indicators. To download “Criteria and Benchmarks for Achieving the Goal of Ending Youth Homelessness”, follow this LINK.

Pro-Kid Policy Agenda Calls for Increased Accountability & Oversight

Children Now has released their 2017-18 Pro-Kid Policy Agenda for California, which includes recommendations to state-level policymakers in the areas of education, health and child welfare; with the goal of ensuring that all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
In the child welfare arena, the policy agenda addresses child abuse and neglect prevention; and foster youth placement stability and permanency, health, child care, education and justice.
Recommendations call for policymakers to increase state oversight and accountability to ensure foster youth have timely access to the full continuum of physical, mental and oral health services; and to hold schools accountable for their success under the new Local Control Funding Formula.
Policymakers are also encouraged to incentivize evidence-driven investments and increase oversight of juvenile justice agencies to ensure that foster youth receive the services and supports they need, as opposed to being criminalized and/or incarcerated for their adolescent behavior. To read the full set of recommendations, download the report by following this LINK.
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