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1.6 Improving Outcomes for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care


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1.6 Improving Outcomes for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

Speaker: Amy Lemley

Nearly 28,000 youth emancipated from foster care in 2010, and it is imperative that they have access to services, affordable housing options, education, and employment to prepare them to live independently. Communities that have extended foster care to older youth under the Fostering Connections Act and that are creatively using resources to increase housing opportunities will discuss their successes and lessons learned.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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1.6 Improving Outcomes for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

  1. 1. Extended Foster Care in California: Implications for Youth Homelessness NAEH Conference, February 9, 2012 Amy Lemley, Policy Director John Burton Foundation
  2. 2. Agenda Overview of extended foster care in California Discuss considerations for homeless youth
  3. 3. What is the California Fostering Connections to Success Act? California Assembly Bill 12 Signed into law September 30, 2010 Took effect January 1, 2012 Aligned with the Federal Fostering Connections to Success Act Extends foster care funding for youth until age 20 (21)
  4. 4. Benefits of Extended Foster Care Enables youth to maintain a safety net of support while experiencing independence in a secure supervised living environment Youth will be better prepared for successful transition into adulthood  Improved educational outcomes  Reduced homelessness
  5. 5. AB 12 Guiding Principles Value permanency Help youth transition with lifelong connections to caring adults. Create a collaborative youth-centered process Work proactively with youth in developing and reaching their independent living goals Allow youth to gain real life experience with independence and allow them to learn from their mistakes Provide a safety net for the most vulnerable youth so they can be successful as independent adults
  6. 6. Eligibility Requirements Extended benefits available to foster youth who:  Have an open court case at age 18  Satisfy a participation condition  Sign a mutual agreement  Agree to meet with Social Worker  Agree to work on transitional independent living skills  Live in a licensed or approved setting
  7. 7. Phase-in Timeline • Benefits will extend to youth up to 19 years old.2012 • Benefits will extend to youth up to 20 years old.2013 • Benefits may be extended to youth up to 21 years old subject to budget appropriation by the state Legislature.2014
  8. 8. Participation Conditions1. Be enrolled in high school or equivalent program2. Be enrolled in college/vocational school3. Participate in a program/activity that helps you find a job or removes barriers to employment4. Work at least 80 hours/month5. Be unable to do one of the above because of a medical or mental health condition
  9. 9. Eligibility for Delinquency Youth Probation youth with court order for foster care placement at age 18 At the time probation ends, youth may be eligible for new “transition jurisdiction”  Allows eligible youth to take advantage of extended benefits without remaining under supervision of probation  Must be 17 years 5 months or older (younger youth may transition to dependency jurisdiction)  Can also be taken upon re-entry  Supervision recommendation determined at 241.1 meeting
  10. 10. Role of Social Worker Prior to youth turning 18 the following must be discussed by SW with youth:  Option to remain in EFC  Benefits of EFC  Right to re-enter and process for re-entering  Terms of mutual agreement Affirmative obligation to ensure that NMDs who want to participate maintain eligibility In order to terminate dependency, must establish in juvenile court that the social worker made reasonable efforts to ensure participation Monthly in-person visits continue to be required (51% in home)
  11. 11. Court Hearings Status reviews continue to take place every 6 months Parents no longer noticed or parties to court hearings Court hearings respect status of youth as legal adult  Focus on planning for transition to independence  No warrants for “AWOL”  No orders for psych meds  No Caregiver consent for medical/education decisions Telephonic appearances allowed
  12. 12. Re-entry Overview Youth must be informed of right to re-entry at termination hearing Youth can re-enter unlimited times prior to turning 20/ 21 yrs old. Re-entry process is intended to be as accessible and easy as possible Youth can re-enter either by signing a voluntary re- entry agreement or filing a petition with the court
  13. 13. Placement OptionsCURRENT OPTIONSRelative CaregiverFoster Family HomeHome of a Non-related Legal GuardianTransitional Housing Placement Program (THPP)Group HomeNEW OPTIONSTHP-Plus Foster CareSupervised Independent Living
  14. 14. Supervised Independent Living Settings THP-Plus Foster Care Supervised Independent Living Placement
  15. 15. THP-Plus Foster Care Modeled after existing THP-Plus program WHY?  Measurable youth outcomes  9,188 youth served in last five years  Experienced network of 60 providers in 51 counties THP-Plus will continue to serve three categories:  Youth between ages of 21 and 24;  Youth under age 21 who do not want to participate in extended care;  Youth who do not meet one of five participation conditions For more information, visit
  16. 16. THP-Plus Foster Care Three different housing models:  Single site  Scattered site  Host family Range of services, including education, employment, mental health, tenancy. Rate per month: $2,400 Will likely be licensed.
  17. 17. Supervised Independent Living Placement May include but are not limited to:  Apartment living  Renting a room (including w/ a relative or family friend)  Shared roommate settings  Dorms No service provider/ no caregiver Limited to basic rate (currently $776.00/ month) + infant supplement Benefit may be received directly
  18. 18. Alameda County Demonstration ProjectInnovative 2-year project:Alameda County AB 12 HomelessYouth Demonstration Project Project team evaluates Bay Area Legal process to Aid assists with ensure minors making referral receive access to Alameda to services Dreamcatcher County Social from CWS if screens for Services Agency eligible potential for eligible eligibility for minors foster care Homeless minors access Dreamcatcher Partners: Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, Dreamcatcher Youth Youth Shelter Shelter, Bay Area Legal Aid, Alameda County Social Services Agency
  19. 19. Alameda County Demonstration ProjectPresenting needs of 27 youth screened through the demonstration project: 20 youth had a diagnosed mental health disorder. 12 reported currently having health insurance 9 youth reported having been sexually exploited as a minor 8 youth asked to be tested for HIV 6 requested a doctor visit as soon as possible 6 reported currently using illicit drugs 2 needed immediate medical assistance 2 reported being a recent victim of violence 2 were pregnant 1 youth had a child but did not have custody
  20. 20. Alameda County Demonstration ProjectOverall goals of thedemonstration Reduce youth homelessness byproject: improving the coordination between homeless youthProject will collect data services and county CW and issue a summary agencies report of findings to help other counties achieve 2 goals: Identify specific practice that can be utilized in counties across California
  21. 21. Additional Implications Youth-friendly foster care placement developed – The Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP)  Approved AB 12 placement for youth in extended foster care  Allows youth to live in apartments, shared setting or student housing while receiving their monthly federal foster care payment ($776)  Likely more appealing placement to homeless youth than traditional foster care placements Special outreach to homeless youth  Children’s Law Center and California Youth Connection developed outreach plan to educate homeless youth and providers about extended foster care
  22. 22. Questions or Comments? Amy Lemley, Policy Director John Burton Foundation 415-693-1322 Information about AB 12 at