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

3/29: AB 1838 Assembly Human Services Hearing

4/6: Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 Hearing: Chafee ETV and Pregnancy Prevention

4/11 - 4/12: Foster Youth Education Summit

4/20: ACR Webinar - Permanency Options for our Older Youth

4/24-4/26: Taking Action Conference 

6/29: San Diego Foster Care Education Summit
AB 12 Question of the Week

Tools You Can Use: New Resource to Assess Inclusivity Among Programs Serving LGBTQ Youth

Lecture Highlights Decline in Teen Pregnancy; Not the Case for Youth in Foster Care

Coalition Requests Congress Invest in Housing Vouchers for Homeless Families and Former Foster Youth

New Report Discusses the Benefits and Challenges of Title IV-E Funding

Report Finds 75% of Children Who Die From Abuse and Neglect are Under 3 Years Old

AB 12 Question of the Week

Q: I am a social worker assisting an 18 year-old in foster care who will graduate from high school this spring and wants to attend community college in the fall. She missed the March 2nd Cal Grant deadline. What does this mean for her? Is she no longer eligible for financial aid? For the answer, follow this link.

Tools You Can Use: New Resource to Assess Inclusivity Among Programs Serving LGBTQ Youth

Research has shown that between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Questioning (LGBTQ) and that youth in foster care disproportionately identify as LGBTQ. Given that, it’s important to ensure programs serving homeless youth and foster youth are thoughtful to the specific needs of this large and often vulnerable population and don’t include unintentional bias in their program design.
To assist in that process, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has developed a tool, the Equal Access Self-Assessment for Shelter and Projects. This useful tool can be used by organizations to assess their own inclusivity and to generate action steps based on their assessment.
The assessment tool covers a wide range of topics, including harassment policies, confidentiality practices, managing and resolving conflict, data collection and facility enhancements. Within each category, an organization has the opportunity to assess its current practice and develop action steps to improve its practice. Additionally, the tool includes a library that defines what compliance in each areas means.
Certain criteria in the tool are more applicable for HUD-funded programs or shelters.  However, most of the criteria are applicable for any program serving young adults and raise a number of interesting topics to consider as we work to establish programs that are inclusive for youth who are LGBTQ. To access the tool, follow this LINK. For a full set of resources developed by HUD to promote inclusivity, follow this LINK.

Lecture Highlights Decline in Teen Pregnancy; Not the Case for Youth in Foster Care

As part of Child Trends’ Kristin Anderson Moore Annual Lecture Series, a December 2015 event featured speakers who discussed the field’s increased reliance on data, and subsequent federal investment in programs proven to be effective in reducing teen pregnancy. As shared in a four-minute clip, compared to children born to older women, children born to teenage girls are more likely to drop out of high school, rely on Medicaid, be teen parents themselves, be raised in single-parent families, to experience abuse and neglect, to enter the foster care system, and to grow up in poverty.
The lecture highlights the vast decline in teen pregnancy in the United States, a figure that has dropped almost every year since 1991, a total of 60%. While this figure drops both in California and nationally, teen pregnancy among youth in foster care remains alarmingly high: a 2014 study found that 26 percent of 17 year-olds in foster care had been pregnant at least once, a rate that is over ten times higher than that for non-foster youth, aged 15-19 in California.
The County Welfare Directors Association of California and the John Burton Foundation are requesting funding from the California State Legislature to establish an opt-in program for counties willing to establish policies and procedures and adopt proven strategies to prevent unplanned pregnancy among foster youth and to protect their reproductive rights. For more information about the budget proposal, download the fact sheet. To add your organization’s name to a support letter going to the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees in April, e-mail

Coalition Requests Congress Invest in Housing Vouchers for Homeless Families and Former Foster Youth

The Children’s Defense Fund is leading a coalition of organizations requesting that the United States Congress invest in New Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) and Family Unification Program (FUP) Vouchers. The request includes an additional $88 million for 10,000 new HCVs for homeless families with children, and $20 million for the FUP to provide 2,500 new vouchers to serve families involved with child welfare and young adults who have left or are leaving foster care.

HCVs provide families a choice to live where they want to, and communities an opportunity to create and develop new long-term affordable housing. The FUP promotes partnerships between local child welfare agencies and public housing authorities to reduce child placement into foster care, promote family reunification, and reduce and prevent homelessness among former foster youth. Children’s Defense Fund submitted a letter to Congress on March 16th outlining this budget request.

New Report Discusses the Benefits and Challenges of Title IV-E Funding

Child Trends  has recently published “An Introduction to Child Welfare Funding, And How States Use It.” The report aims to examine the challenges, successes, and best practices of child welfare financing structures at the state level.

Based on interviews conducted with state level fiscal leaders, the report covers the different forms of funding that are used for child welfare programs, the complex factors that go in to determining how funding gets distributed, and the challenges states face in accessing federal funding to achieve their goals.

The majority of the report is focused on Title IV-E, which is the largest federal funding stream for child welfare activities.  Although Title IV-E provides the majority of federal funding to child welfare programs, those interviewed reported that there were some issues, such as eligibility criteria, that made Title IV-E difficult to access for certain programs and populations in the child welfare system. The report then goes on to discuss the benefits of the Title IV-E waiver and the impact that it has had in overcoming these issues. To read the full report, please click HERE.

Report Finds 75% of Children Who Die From Abuse and Neglect are Under 3 Years Old 

The Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Fatalities has issued its final report, after a two-year process of collecting information and public testimony. The report includes a number of findings and recommendations, including the fact that four to eight children a day, every day, die from abuse and neglect and that very young children are the most at-risk, with 75 percent of children who die are under age three.
The report divides its recommendations into short-term actions that state agencies should do immediately and longer term recommendations to develop a national strategy. Short-term immediate steps recommended include reviewing state policies on screening reports of abuse and neglect to ensure that the children most at risk for fatality receive the appropriate response and undertake a retrospective review of child abuse and neglect fatalities from the previous five years to identify family and systemic circumstances that led to fatalities, among others.
As for developing a national strategy, the Commission recommends elevating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) Children’s Bureau to report directly to the Secretary of HHS and developing and implementing a comprehensive state plan to prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities. To read the full report, follow this LINK.
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