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

4/6: Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 Hearing: Chafee ETV, Pregnancy Prevention, & THP-Plus

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

April 6th Assembly Budget Hearing to Consider Several Child Welfare Proposals

Is Extended Foster Care Working in California? Attend LA Briefing to Find Out

Brief Explores Challenges of Aging-Out Foster Youth Accessing SNAP, Highlights Opportunities for Improvement

Recommendations Released for Reducing Teen Pregnancy Among Foster Youth

Report Finds Evidence About Family Finding Inconculsive

AB 12 Question of the Week

Q: I'm a 20 year-old non-minor dependent with a 2 year-old child. I'm filing my taxes and heard that I should apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Can I apply for the EITC as well as my child's father, or just one of us? For the answer, follow this LINK.

April 6th Assembly Budget Hearing to Consider Child Welfare Proposals

On Wednesday, April 6, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 1 on Health and Human Services will convene for a hearing from 3:00 to 5:00  in Room 444 in the State Capitol. Chaired by Assembly Member Tony Thurmond, the Subcommittee will consider a number of budget proposals related to child welfare services and foster care.

Among others being considered is a $3.625 million proposal to expand access to the Chafee Education and Training Voucher, the only source of dedicated financial aid for foster youth; and a $10 million proposal to establish funding to prevent unplanned pregnancy among foster youth and protect their reproductive rights.

Also being considered is a $5 million proposal to modify eligibility for the Transitional Housing Placement Plus program which provides housing and supportive services to former foster youth ages 18 to 24. Currently, youth are eligible for THP-Plus if they were in foster care on or after their 18th birthday. Under the proposal, youth would be eligible if they were in foster care on or after age 16. To read about the full list of proposals, visit the subcommittee website, where the agenda will be posted prior to the hearing tomorrow. 

Is Extended Foster Care Working in California? Attend LA Briefing to Find Out

On Tuesday, May 10, Professor Mark Courtney and a team of researchers from the University of Chicago's Chapin Hall will present the results of the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH). The findings will focus on youth foster care in California at age 19 and examines their experiences in a range of domains, including education, physical and mental health, employment, parenting experiences, personal relationships and more.
This is the second time that this sample of California youth in extended foster care has been surveyed. The first time was at age 17, and the subsequent report in 2014 yielded a number of interesting findings about their experiences.
In addition to the presentation of the data, the event will include a panel discussion of the findings. Breakfast and a boxed lunch will be served. There are approximately 100 remaining available spaces that will be made available to registrants on a first-come, first-served basis. For the location information and to register for the event, follow this LINK.

The invitation states that the event is invitation-only, but that is not the case. It has been opened-up to the general public. 

Brief Outlines Challenges to Accessing SNAP for Aging-Out Foster Youth

The Center for the Study of Social Policy released the first in a series of briefs on food security, “Supporting Youth Aging Out of Foster Care through SNAP”. The brief explores how the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can play an important role in the safety net for former foster youth, ensuring that they have access to nutritious food during times of economic hardship.

Foster youth experience food insecurity at disproportionate rates compared to the general population. According to the brief, some of SNAP’s rules make it difficult for former foster youth to either gain access to benefits or maintain participation. Although SNAP generally operates as an entitlement program, benefits are time limited for SNAP recipients classified as Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD).

Those who fall into the ABAWD category must be employed or actively participating in a work program for at least 80 hours per month, not counting job search activities. Those who do not meet these requirements are limited to three months of SNAP benefits in a 36-month period. In 2013, a national survey of youth exiting foster care found that 75 percent of youth aging out of foster care could be subject to SNAP time restrictions under the ABAWD provision.

The brief lays out several options that are available to states within the current SNAP rules to make the program a stronger support to youth when they age out of the foster care system, such as waivers exempting foster youth from ABAWD time limits, promoting stability and maintaining SNAP eligibility through SNAP employment and training, and improving SNAP participation through outreach. For a table providing the current SNAP grant levels and deduction information, follow this LINK

Recommendations Released for Reducing Teen Pregnancy Among Foster Youth

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy has just released a publication, Call to Acton: Ways to Address Teen Pregnancy Prevention Among Youth in Foster Care. The publication was informed by an October 2015 event on addressing teen pregnancy among youth in foster care, attended by over 100 former foster youth, researchers, practitioners, and policy experts.

Call to Action outlines ten key ways that funders, decision makers, child welfare leaders, and others who are interested in improving the health and wellbeing of youth in foster care can begin to make progress on reducing teen pregnancy among youth in foster care. The recommendations range from practice and program development to policy and systems-level work.

The effort to reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancy among youth in foster care is in large part driven by the availability of new data, which for the first-time, highlighted their high rates of pregnancy. A 2014  study found that 26 percent of 17 year-old foster youth in California had been pregnant at least once. A 2015 policy brief showed that by age 21, over a third of youth who were in foster care will have given birth at least once, with the figure reaching to almost  50 percent in certain California counties. 

Report Finds Evidence About Family Finding Inconclusive

Child Trends has released, “Family Finding Evaluations: A Summary of Recent Findings” which reviews the results from 13 evaluations of the Family Finding model that have been released over the past two years. The Family Finding model is intended to provide child welfare practitioners with intensive search and engagement techniques to identify family members and other adults close to a child in foster care, and attempts to involve these adults in developing and carrying out a plan for the emotional and legal permanency of the child.

According to the report, based on available evidence, it is not possible to conclude the effectiveness of the Family Finding intervention model and whether it improves outcomes more than other available services. The report attempts to explain how the Family Finding model is intended to be implemented, summarizes recent evaluations and process studies which detail issues that providers have encountered, and offers several suggestions for improving the model to make it more effective in the future. To read the full report, click HERE.
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