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

10/5-10/7: CWDA Conference

10/5-10/7: 2016 Strengthening Student Success Conference

10/7, 10/12 & 10/18: Larry Robbin Youth Employment Training Tour

10/11: Policy Briefing on Transition-Age Foster Youth

10/13: Webinar - Financial Aid & Foster Youth, Part 1: Completing the FAFSA

11/8-11/10: EOPS Conference

11/17: Webinar on CalYOUTH Policy & Practice Implications: Physical/Mental Health
AB 12 Question of the Week

Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Barrier to Mental Health Services for Foster Youth

State Issues ACL Clarifying Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights of Foster Youth

Financial Aid Webinar: Getting Beyond 50% Rate of Pell Grant Utilization for Foster Youth

First-Ever Comprehensive Review of Literature on LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care Released

AB 12 Question of the Week

I am the social worker for a Non-Minor Dependent (NMD), age 19. He is currently enrolled in community college, but struggling with mental health issues.

If he stops attending community college will he automatically be ineligible for extended foster care because he is not meeting one of the five participation conditions? For the answer, follow this LINK.

Governor Signs Bill Eliminating Barrier to Mental Health Services for Foster Youth

Last week, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1299 (Ridley-Thomas), which eliminates a key barrier to mental health care for youth who are placed outside of their county of jurisdiction.
According to Young Minds Advocacy, foster youth who are placed “out-of-county” often have the greatest mental health needs, and until now, the least access to services. AB 1299 addresses this issue, which has plagued the children’s mental health system for nearly two decades, leaving as many as 13,000 of the state’s most vulnerable youth without equal access to the mental health care they need.
AB 1299 shifts responsibility for providing or arranging for specialty mental health services under Medi-Cal from the county where a foster youth entered care to the county where the child resides. The law allows for exceptions to the transfer of responsibility in order to assure continuity of care or improve child welfare outcomes. The law also ensures that Medi-Cal funding will follow the child so that any net change in costs to each county will be reimbursed through the regular Realignment process. 

State Issues ACL Clarifying Reproductive and Sexual Health Rights 

The California Department of Social Services has issued All County Letter 16-81, which provides a summary of the reproductive and sexual health rights of youth in foster care. The ACL is a result of two related developments: first, a growing evidence-base about the high level of unplanned pregnancy and child birth among youth in foster care and second, a lawsuit filed by the National Center for Youth Law about Promesa, a Fresno-based group home that was alleged to violate the rights of youth in foster care through a range of practices such as confiscating condoms.
The ACL clarifies that it is the responsibility of the social worker or probation officer to inform the youth of these rights when they enter foster care and at least once every six months after that, at the time of their regularly scheduled meeting. It also clarifies a long-held question as to who is charged with actually providing youth in foster care with medically accurate information about sexual development, reproductive and sexual health care, the prevention of unplanned pregnancies, abstinence, use of birth control, abortion, and the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. The letter clarifies that this is the responsibility of the social worker and probation officer.
In addition to clarifying this responsibility, the ACL lists the ten additional rights of all children and youth in foster care in this area. They include the right to access certain medical services, regardless of age and without the consent of a social worker or foster parent. These services include any form of contraception except sterilization, abortion and the diagnosis and treatment of sexual assault. To read the full ACL, follow this LINK.

Financial Aid Webinar: Getting Beyond 50% Rate of Pell Grant Utilization for Foster Youth

A 2015 report found that just 50% of foster youth attending college in California receive the Pell Grant, despite the fact that virtually 100% are eligible. Failure to complete the FAFSA and inaccurate completion are two key explanations for this.

To improve rates of FAFASA completion, the the John Burton Foundation is hosting a hosting a web seminar next Thursday, October 13 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. This webinar is the first in a series of seven web-based trainings focused on supporting current and former foster youth to and through post-secondary education.
This training will focus on all of the steps and information associated with assisting current and former foster youth with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and applying for financial aid. In the spring, another webinar will be hosted covering on the steps in the financial aid process that occur after submitting the FAFSA.
The October 13 webinar will familiarize attendees with the FAFSA process and break down what typical financial aid award packages for foster youth include, and will provide important tips for helping ensure youth access maximum aid.
To register for this and the other six webinars included in the THP-Plus & THP+FC Post-Secondary Education Training Series, follow this LINK. These webinars will be held the second Thursday of each month from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., with the exception of the month of December.

First-Ever Comprehensive Review of Literature on LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care Released

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new publication, a first-ever comprehensive review of literature related to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in foster care. According to the studies cited in the publication, LGBTQ youth are significantly over represented in foster care and more likely to be placed in a group home.
The publication synthesizes 116 articles related to LGBTQ youth in foster care published between 1992 and 2006. which fall into one of five categories: Best and Promising Practices, Legal and Policy Protections, The Importance of Parental and Family Acceptance, Harassment, Abuse and Negative Treatment and Resulting Risks and Vulnerabilities.
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