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.

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AB 12 Question of the Week Index

6/15: Webinar: The Economic Well-Being of Kin and Non-Kin Caregivers

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

Take Action to Give Foster Youth a Fighting Chance at College

Support Legislation to Ensure Priority Registration for Foster Youth

What is the Evidence Supporting the Use of Relative Caregivers? Find Out!

White House Convenes Technology and Child Welfare Sectors to Solve Pressing Issues

Report Shows Laptops Increase Satisfaction and Decrease Depression Among Foster Youth

AB 12 Question of the Week

Q:  I’m finishing high school and participating in Extended Foster Care. I was told that in order to stay in Extended Foster Care in my county, that just going to school wasn’t enough, and that I had to also be working or participating in an extra-curricular activity to show that I’m motivated and making progress.

I thought going to school fulfilled a participation condition, allowing me to continue in Extended Foster Care as long as I meet all other eligibility requirements? Has something changed? For the answer, follow this LINK

Take Action to Give Foster Youth a Fighting Chance at College

The Chafee Education and Training Voucher is the only source of financial aid dedicated solely to foster youth. Chapin Hall’s Midwest Study tells us that by age 26, just eight percent of foster youth hold a post-secondary degree as compared to nearly half (47%) of the same-age general population. Students who receive the Chafee ETV perform markedly better in school.

A $3.6 M budget proposal to expand the Chafee ETV so that every eligible foster youth would receive a grant, has been included in the Assembly version of the state budget, but not the Senate version. A Budget Conference Committee is appointed to work out differences like these in the budget. In order for the Chafee budget proposal to make back to the Assembly and Senate for a final vote, and ultimately to the Governor’s desk, the proposal must be included in the conference version of the budget.
To support the inclusion of this important proposal in the state budget, call the members of the Conference Committee and ask them to include $3.6 M to expand the Chafee Education and Training Voucher in the state budget, and briefly explain why foster youth need the Chafee and why college is important for foster youth. To hear a personal story and learn more about why foster youth need the Chafee, read an article published yesterday by the Chronicle of Social Change. To learn more about the budget proposal, follow this LINK.

What is the Evidence Supporting the Use of Relative Caregivers? Find Out!

We have an intuitive sense that children living with relatives are better than non-relatives. But what does the evidence say? To find out, attend a web seminar on Wednesday, June 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. hosted by the Step Up Coalition.
The web seminar will include an overview of a new study, The Economic Well-Being of Kin and Non-Kin Caregivers by Dr. Jill Duerr Berrick of the University of California at Berkeley. To learn more follow the web seminar, follow this LINK. To register, follow this LINK.

Support Legislation to Ensure Access to Priority Registration for Foster Youth

Senate Bill 906, which would ensure the availability of priority registration for foster youth, low-income students and students with disabilities in college in California, has passed out of the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 38-0 and is now making its way to the Assembly, where it will be heard in Assembly Higher Education Committee on June 14.
As many are aware, these three categories of students fare much worse than the general population and are less likely to hold a post-secondary education degree by age 26. For foster youth, 8 percent will hold a college degree, 10 percent of low-income students and 29 percent of students with a disability, as compared to half of the population that is not low-income, disabled or in foster care.
SB 906 will ensure priority registration remains available for three important student populations by removing a sunset clause that would have eliminated priority registration on January 1, 2017. The provision also changes priority registration eligibility for foster youth. Currently, foster youth are eligible for priority registration if they were in foster care on or after their 18th birthday and under age 23. Under the new criteria, foster youth would be eligible for priority registration if they were in foster care on or after their 16th birthday, and were under age 26.
You can help by submitting a support letter for SB 906 by the end of day Thursday, June 9th. To download a sample letter, follow this LINK. To read a fact sheet about SB 906, follow this LINK. Please take moment to express your support by sending in a support letter.

White House Convenes Technology and Child Welfare Sectors to Solve Pressing Issues

As part of National Foster Care Month, the White House, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Think of Us hosted the first ever White House Foster Care and Technology Hackathon in late May. This two-day event brought together child welfare leaders, non-profit organizations, philanthropies, attorneys and foster care families and alumni, as well as engineers, technologists and other leaders from the technology sector to highlight ways to improve the foster care system through the use of technology.
The event provided an opportunity for those involved with child welfare to team up with technology experts to “hack” challenges which ranged widely, from integrating more innovative technology into child welfare agencies, preventing homelessness among former foster youth, and making essential documents readily available to foster youth; to helping mothers dealing with substance abuse, recruiting foster families, empowering foster youth with decision-making abilities, protecting child welfare information in the digital age; and preventing unplanned pregnancy among foster youth. Video footage of day one and day two of the Hackathon is available to the public.

Report Shows Laptops Increase Satisfaction and Decrease Depression Among Foster Youth

New research released by iFoster and Foster Care Counts, shows that laptop ownership has a profound impact on teens in the foster care system. A University of Southern California study that surveyed 730 foster youth over a year who were provided with laptops by iFoster, found that in addition to improved grades and class attendance, self-esteem and life satisfaction increase, while depression drops.

Foster youth who received the laptops reported better quality relationships with their biological families, improved feelings of social connectedness and a more positive outlook on life. iFoster also surveyed foster youth in four California counties and found that computer ownership has a positive impact on well-being among foster youth.

The research was conducted with the support of a coalition of foundations, led by the Walter S. Johnson Foundation, to ensure that all teens who have been in foster care in California can own a laptop computer. This public/private collaboration is attempting to address the digital divide facing the child welfare system, utilizing the laptop distribution campaign as one of many strategies. To read a press release on this new research and coalition, follow this LINK.
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