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

7/27/17: JBAY Webinar - Beyond the Safety Net: Results from a Pilot to Transform Housing Providers into College Success Programs

10/4/17 - 10/6/17: CWDA Conference

10/16/17 - 10/17/17: California College Pathways Blueprint for Success Conference:
Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel

12/19/17 - 12/20/17: Beyond the Bench

JBAY hosted a webinar on accessing the 2017-18 Burton Book Fund

CDSS issued guidance on new requirements regarding Medi-Cal for former foster youth
Question of the Week

New Foster Care Rates Issued, Effective July 1st

State Guidance Issued About Inspecting Placements with Above-Average Law Enforcement Contact

Tis the Season: Register for Upcoming Child Welfare Conferences in California

ABA Issues Publication on What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know about Trauma

As they Say in Hamilton: Take a Break!

Question of the Week

Q: My county is one of the 21 counties that have opted into the THP-Plus 12-month extension for youth enrolled in school. I am working with a youth who entered the program at age 23.

How will the extension work for her? Does she get the full 24 months of eligibility and then an extra 12 months, provided she is enrolled in school? For the answer, follow this LINK.

CDSS Issues New Foster Care Rates, Effective July 1st

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued All County Letter (ACL) 17-75, which provides updated foster care rates for Fiscal Year 2017-18. The new rates reflect a 3.84 percent increase in the California Necessities Index (CNI), and took effect July 1st. 
According to the ACL, the new Basic Level Rate for Resource Families, Foster Family Homes, Relatives, Non-Related Extended Family Members and the Adoption Assistance Program is $923. The Level of Care (LOC) 2 rate is $1,027, the LOC 3 is $1,131 and the LOC 4 is $1,235. The LOC system is one of the changes made by Continuum of Care Reform, introduced in a previous ACL, replacing the age-based system with a four-tiered rate structure based on the child/youth’s needs.
CDSS previously issued ACLs providing the new rate structures for Phase I (effective January 1, 2017) and Phase II (effective December 1, 2017), of the new Home Based Family Care and Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Program. This ACL provides the CNI increases for Foster Family Agency placements made during both phases.
The rate paid on behalf of non-minor dependents (NMDs) living in THP+FC increased to $3,209 for a NMD living in a single site or remote side model, and $2,553 for a NMD living in a host family setting. NMDs living in Supervised Independent Living Placements receive the Basic Level Rate of $923. For the complete list of rates, read the ACL.

State Guidance Issued About Inspecting Placements with Above-Average Law Enforcement Contact

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has released a Provider Information Notice (PIN) to inform group homes, community treatment facilities, transitional housing placement providers, runaway and homeless youth shelters and Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs about inspections currently in progress throughout the state regarding incidents that involve contact with law enforcement.
State Law requires facilities to report to CDSS all incidents concerning a child in the facility that involve contact with law enforcement, and to provide a follow-up report to CDSS within six months. This requirement was established in AB 388 in 2014, authored by Assembly Member Chesbro. 

CDSS is required to conduct a case management inspection of any facility, based on its licensed capacity, that reports an above-average number of law enforcement contacts arising from alleged crimes committed by children residing in the facility.
Recent press coverage identified extremely high rates of law enforcement calls from certain residential facilities in the state. Details about how these inspections are being conducted and what to expect are included in the PIN.

Tis' the Season: Register for Upcoming Child Welfare Conferences in California

With autumn around the corner, it's time to register for the state's main child welfare conferences. The first is organized by the County Welfare Directors Association October 4 to 6 in Sacramento. The conference draws over 850 professionals from around the state and includes a break-out sessions on a wide range of topics including the latest information about commercially sexually exploited children and the intersection between CalFresh and foster care. 

California College Pathways' is hosting the second conference of the season, October 16 to 18 in Los Angeles, Blueprint. This conference focuses on increasing college achievement among foster youth. Community College Chancellor Elroy Ortiz Oakley will be delivering the keynote address and are 30 individual conference sessions

Rounding out the conference season is Beyond the Bench to be held December 18 to 20 in San Diego and organized by the California Courts. This important conference of over 1200 participants is focused court improvement for children and youth in the state's foster care system. The agenda includes over 50 break-out sessions. 

ABA Issues Publication on What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know about Trauma

The American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network released “Trauma: What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know”. This document is intended to provide an overview for child welfare attorneys with knowledge about the impact of trauma, practice tips for incorporating trauma-informed practices into legal representation, and resources to assist in the representation of clients with histories of trauma.
The document also describes how attorneys can practice self-care and become aware of signs and symptoms for Secondary Traumatic Stress. The document does not focus solely on the attorneys whom represent the child as a client, but also looks at ways parents are affected by trauma. The second broader goal of the document is to provide attorneys and stakeholders alike with a list of resources to create a trauma-informed child welfare and family court system. 

As They Say in Hamilton: Take a Break!

On Friday, July 21st the California State Legislature adjourned for its summer recess, which will continue until Monday, August 21st. During this time, there is no official business in the legislature. 

July 21st was the deadline for policy committees to hear and report bills. Once the legislature returns, these bills will be heard in the fiscal committee and if still alive, continue in the process for a vote of the full Senate or Assembly, depending on the origin of the bill.

The legislature has until September 1th for any bill to be passed and October 15th is the last day for he Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature.
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