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

Now - 5/12/17: CCR Child & Family Teaming Orientations being held throughout the state 

4/13/17: JBAY Webinar - Foster Youth & Financial Aid, Part II: After the FAFSA

5/11/17: JBAY Webinar - Career Technical Education & Other Budding Programs

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

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

Attend Hearing to Protect Foster Youths' Reproductive Rights & Reduce Unintended Pregnancy

Assembly Member Gloria Proposes Bill to Address Growing Numbers of Homeless Youth

Trump's Proposed Budget Bleeds Human Services to Bolster Military Spending

Working With Undocumented Children, Youth & Families? Here's What You Should Know

Question of the Week

Q:  Which community colleges offer housing? I work with transition-aged foster youth who are often interested in attending community college, but struggle to identify housing nearby. Is there a statewide list of community colleges that offer student housing? For the answer, follow this LINK.

Attend Hearing to Protect Foster Youths' Reproductive Rights & Reduce Unintended Pregnancy

Senate Bill 245 (Leyva), the Protecting Foster Youth Act will be heard by the Senate Human Services Committee at a hearing on April 4th. The committee members will vote as to whether SB 245 will continue to move through the Senate.
SB 245 would reduce rates of unintended pregnancy by improving access to comprehensive sexual health education, ensuring the current reproductive rights of foster youth are met, and requiring training for child welfare personnel on reproductive health topics using a statewide curriculum.
John Burton Advocates for Youth, one of the bill’s sponsors is inviting supporters of the bill to attend the hearing and communicate to the committee members why the bill is important. Committee members will be particularly interested in hearing from current and former foster youth.
The Senate Human Services hearing will take place on Tuesday, April 4th at 1:30 p.m. in room 2040 at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. For more information, download an informational flyer or contact Amy Lemley at For more information about SB 245, download a fact sheet, background information or a frequently asked questions document.

Assemblymember Gloria Proposes Bill to Address Growing Numbers of Homeless Youth

Assembly Member Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) has introduced Assembly Bill 1406 to reduce homelessness among youth by establishing the Homeless Youth Advocacy & Housing Program, a pilot program to fund local responses to youth homelessness.
California has the largest population of 16 to 24-year-olds experiencing homelessness in the nation. While the combined local, state and federal investment in child welfare and foster care is $4 billion, just $10 million is available from the State of California to address the complex needs of homeless youth. The number of homeless youth in California has increased by seven percent since 2015, while the number of youth experiencing homelessness nationwide has decreased.
AB 1406 would provide competitive funding from the California Housing & Community Development Department to ten local jurisdictions to provide housing and services to young people experiencing homelessness. The housing and services would be tailored to the needs of the population and may include rapid re-housing, transitional housing, supportive housing, family housing, street outreach, and housing navigation services.
The program’s services would support transition to economic independence and self-sufficiency, and would use evidence-based case management, employment services and care coordination. The funding would also support developing local plans to end youth homelessness.
To submit a letter of support for AB 1406, download the sample letter, add your information and send to To learn more about AB 1406, download a fact sheet or background information.

Trump’s Proposed Budget Bleeds Human Services to Bolster Military Spending

On March 16th, the President released his proposed budget for 2018, which includes only estimates for proposed changes to discretionary programs, which make up less than one-third of the federal budget. The budget omits any figures on entitlement or mandatory spending, interest payments, revenues or deficits. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Trump’s budget provides substantially less detail than “skinny” budgets of the last five administrations going back to Ronald Reagan.
The budget includes dramatic cuts across agencies and departments, in order to cover the President’s proposed $54 billion increase to the defense budget. While the budget includes no line by line actions, it requests $69.0 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a $15.1 billion or 17.9 percent decrease from the current 2017 budget (which is not finalized), and a 23 percent cut from last fully enacted 2016 totals.
According to the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), the proposed $6 billion HHS cuts to health research through the National Institutes of Health are unlikely given its bipartisan popularity, which could mean more cuts in other areas to reach the Administration’s goal. CWLA speculates reductions to key child welfare programs such as Child Welfare Services (Title IV-B), Adoption-Kinship Incentive fund and Education Vouchers for Youth in Foster Care.
The budget requests $40.7 billion in gross discretionary funding for the Department Housing and Urban Development, a $6.2 billion or 13.2 percent decrease from the current 2017 (unfinalized) budget. This proposal would eliminate funding for a number of programs designed to target poverty and homelessness including the Community Development Block Grant Program, Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing, and the Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Also of note are decreases to the Department of Labor, impacting Job Corps for disadvantaged youth and job training and employment service formula grants. Information about cuts related to post-secondary education were included in last week’s newsletter. To read the President’s proposed budget for 2018, follow this LINK. Information about mandatory/entitlement funds, along with the detailed line by line requests will be provided in May.

Working with Undocumented Children, Youth & Families? Here’s What You Should Know

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has developed resources to assist families, youth and educators in knowing the rights of undocumented children and families, deportation defense and preparing for a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
AFT explains that despite the 1982 U.S. Supreme Court case Plyler v. Doe ruling that undocumented children have a constitutional right to a free public K-12 education, the recently increased enforcement measures by the Department of Homeland Security threaten that right for the approximate 2.5 million undocumented youth and the 4.1 million U.S.-born children who live in mixed-status households.  
AFT has developed a Know Your Rights guide and a Deportation Defense guide that includes questions families should address in order to prepare for an immigration raid, what to do if ICE comes to your door and how to create a family immigration raid emergency plan.
It also lists 15 things that educators, school support staff and communities can do to help protect undocumented students and their families such as distributing “know your rights” materials, finding out if there is a local immigration raid rapid response team in your community, partnering with a pro bono attorney or organization to schedule a “know your rights” workshop and providing counseling for students who have had a family member detained by ICE.
AFT has also developed a more detailed guide for educators, school support staff and services providers to help protect and prepare undocumented youth and unaccompanied and refugee children for an ICE raid.
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