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

5/12: Web Seminar: Non-Minor Dependents & CalFresh: Questions Answered

5/19: Select Committee on Foster Care Hearing at California State Capitol (Room 447)

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

Annual Realignment Report Shows $134M in Growth from 2013-14

State Select Committee to Examine Foster Care for Older Youth

Study Finds Abuse Among Homeless Youth More Common than Not

What are Foster Youths' Mental Health Rights? New Brochure Provides the Answers

Brief Highlights Disproportionate Share of Child Poverty in Rural America

AB 12 Question of the Week

Q:  I’m trying obtain proof of my status as a former foster youth, and am having trouble getting in contact with my county. I hear that the ACIN has been issued on Assembly Bill 592, which gave the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) the authority to provide former foster youth with written verification of their foster care status. How do I contact CDSS, and does the ACIN provide any new information I should note? For the answer, follow this LINK

Annual Realignment Report Shows $134M in Growth from 2013-14

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) issued its annual report to the Legislature on Realignment, which includes a summary of outcome measures for California’s foster care system together with a detailed expenditures summary outlining how counties have used Realignment funding.
According to the report, foster care caseloads for children ages 0-17 have declined more than 47 percent from 108,159 in 2000 to 57,266 in 2015. The number of children first placed with kin has increased from 18 to 26 percent since 2009-10 while the proportion of children placed in group homes decreased from 16 to 13 percent. Relative homes continue to be the predominant placement for children in care and the proportion of children experiencing placement stability has improved, down to 3.78 moves per 1,000 days, achieving the national standard of 4.12 moves or fewer.
Counties received an additional $134 million in revenue in 2014-15 over the previous year through Realignment, up from $1.8 to $1.97 billion. Programs that experienced an increase for the second year in a row after a decline in 2012-13, include Emancipated Youth Stipends (up 71% since 2012-13), the federal Guardianship Assistance Program (up 47% since 2012-13), and the Independent Living Skills Program (up 27% since 2012-13). Some of these increases partially reflect the growing population of non-minor dependents.
In 2014-15, THP-Plus spending decreased by four percent, from $26.7 million to $25.6 million. The report attributed this reduction to reduced demand due to extension of foster care to age 21, in addition to a lack of THP-Plus providers, and a lack of available housing and high housing costs in some California counties. While THP-Plus spending is down, THPP spending increased over 2014-15 by 13 percent from the year prior, despite previous consistent statewide decreases. The 2016 Child Welfare Services and Adult Protective Services Realignment Report, along with the Realignment Expenditures Summary are available on the CDSS website.

State Select Committee to Examine Foster Care for Older Youth

On Thursday, May 19th the Select Committee on Foster Care will hold a special hearing on foster care for older youth in California. The hearing, chaired by Assemblyman Ken Cooley, will feature presentations on extended foster care (AB 12), job training for foster youth, and foster youth also in the juvenile justice system.

Each panel will contain expert testimony from advocates, researchers, and foster youth. Public comment will be available at the end of the panel presentations. The hearing will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Room 447 in the California State Capitol.

Study Finds Abuse Among Homeless Youth is More Common than Not 

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB), has recently issued a Data Collection Study that provides an overview of the grim circumstances for homeless and runaway youth. The report, with information gathered by the FYSB’s Street Outreach Program focused on 873 youth, ages 14 to 21 in 11 different cities.

Of the youth surveyed, 56 percent had experienced physical abuse during their childhood. Thirty percent had been touched in a sexual way by an adult and 20 percent had experienced forced sex. Overall, 38 percent of females and 36 percent of males had traded sex for money, food, protection, drugs or a place to spend the night, while more than 60 percent of youth had been raped, beaten up, robbed, or otherwise assaulted while on the streets.
According to the report, the average youth spent nearly two years living on the streets. It was found that youth with a foster care history, which in this report was more than half, were homeless for almost 30% longer than youth who had never been in foster care (27.7 months vs 19.3 months respectively). Additionally, youth that had been in foster care were more likely to have experienced a violent episode versus those that had not been in foster care. Former foster were also more likely to have spent time in a drug or alcohol treatment facility (17 percent vs 9 percent) and had a higher likelihood of being in a mental health facility (47 percent vs 21 percent). To read the full report, follow this LINK.

What Are Foster Youths' Mental Health Rights? New Brochure Provides the Answers

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and the California Department of Health Care Services have released the Foster Youth Mental Health Bill of Rights and Questions to Ask Brochure. This document was developed by the Psychotropic Medication Quality Improvement Project, as part of an effort to better support and serve the foster care community with regard to the use of psychotropic medication.
The first section of the brochure lists nineteen legal rights of California’s foster youth within the public mental health system, beginning with “I have the right to receive mental health services in California,” and concluding with “If I am in foster care on my 18th birthday, I have the right to continue to receive health care, including mental health services through Medi-Cal until age 26, regardless of my income level.”
The second section is a resource for foster youth to reference when making decisions about their use of psychotropic medications. This section includes general questions to ask about mental health medication; help with preparing for a physician’s visit; questions to ask a physician or pharmacist; tips for starting a conversation about medication with a social worker, probation officer or public health nurse; and questions to ask an attorney or judge. To view the brochure, visit CDSS’s website.

Brief Highlights Disproportionate Share of Child Poverty in Rural America

The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire released a Winter 2016 National Issue Brief, Child Poverty Higher and More Persistent in Rural America, looking at child poverty over the past three decades.
The brief indicates that 64 percent of rural counties and 47 percent of urban counties had high child poverty in 2010, and that a disproportionate share of poor children live in rural places. Only 14.3 percent of the total child population resides in a rural county, but these counties contain 17.2 percent of the nation’s poor children. Some 755 counties—24 percent of the total—had persistent high child poverty between 1980 and 2010, with 77 percent of counties with persistent high child poverty being non-metropolitan. Based on the map included in the brief, unlike much of the rest of nation, California’s persistent child poverty is centered in the metropolitan areas.
Additional findings include that child poverty rates are dramatically lower for non-Hispanic white than for minority children regardless of the racial-ethnic composition of the county in which they live, and more than three-quarters of counties with persistent high child poverty have a substantial minority child population. To read the brief, follow this LINK.
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