AB 12 signed by Governor

Just moments ago, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 12!
With this legislation, 1 in 5 youth who “age out” nationally will receive the support of the foster care system to age 21, ending an era of neglect and providing youth in foster care with the same common-sense assistance provided to children from in-tact families. Thousands of relative care providers will participate in the new, federally-funded subsidized guardianship program, providing much needed support that promotes stability among children.
Thank you to everyone who has made this historic moment possible. You made calls, visited Sacramento, wrote letters and together, you sent the message that California can and must do better for its children and youth in foster care.
Thank you again and stay tuned! Much work ahead!
Amy Lemley
John Burton Foundation

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September 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

President Kicks Off Foster Care Month

President Barack Obama kicked off National Foster Care Month by issuing a proclamation recognizing the promise and potential of youth in care. In his statement he highlighted some of the goals and accomplishments of his administration as they pertain to youth in care. The proclamation also celebrates the child welfare workforce and the foster parents who give so much to these youth. In addition to diligently working to implement the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, President Obama and his Administration provided more than $35 million in 2009 to the Adoption Incentives program in order to increase the number of children adopted from the foster care system, as well as funding for the IV-E adoption and foster care assistance program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will ensure Medicaid coverage for former foster youth beginning in 2014. President Obama ended his statement with a call to celebrate the triumphs of children and youth in care, as well as the commitment to continue to work to remove barriers to permanency.

http://www.heysf.org/president-kicks-off-foster-care-month-4322.html , 5/11/2010

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May 12, 2010 in Uncategorized

Foster Care Month

May is National Foster Care Month, a time to come together on behalf of the nearly 500,000 American children who are in foster care because their own families are in crisis and unable to provide for their essential wellbeing.
Through my work with these young people, I know how resilient they can be. Foster children have an extraordinary capacity to overcome many challenges — but only if they have the support of a caring adult in their lives.
If nothing changes by the Year 2020, nearly 14 million confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect will be reported, and 22,500 children will die of abuse or neglect, most before their fifth birthdays. National Foster Care Month offers an opportunity for informing policymakers, business leaders and others about the urgent need for many more people to come forward and serve these young people. Without permanent, nurturing relationships with adults, foster youth are far more likely than their peers in the general population to endure homelessness, poverty, compromised health, unemployment, incarceration and other adversities after they leave the foster care system.
No matter how much time you have to give, you have the power to do something positive that will change a lifetime for a young person in foster care. Visit www.fostercaremonth.org or call us at (310) 452-3881 to find out about the many different ways to get involved.

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April 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Did you know…

The Governor’s $120 million cut to Child Welfare Services ($80 million General Fund)… dramatically reduces services across multiple programs, which together, form the backbone of California’s child welfare system, including child welfare workers, emancipation stipends, support for relative caregivers, THP-Plus and Chafee grants. And, though the cut translates into a mere 0.4% savings in the entire state budget, this seemingly small cut is already yielding devastating consequences for vulnerable children and their families and ultimately shifts the financial burden of caring for them to other state programs.

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March 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

THP-Plus Funding in Jeopardy

Thanks to our wonderful supporters and donors, the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside’s Housing and Education Program operates completely on private donations. As such, our transitional housing program for former foster youth is not in jeopardy of closing due to proposed budget cuts to the State’s THP-Plus program. However, nearly 1,400 youth served by THP-Plus are waiting to hear their fate. Please take a look at the following media links from the John Burton Foundation.

The March 2nd, people from around the state converged in Sacramento for the THP-Plus Day of Advocacy. Organized by the John Burton Foundation, the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, and the California Youth Connection, more than 65 THP-Plus providers, youth participants and advocates met with nearly 40 elected representatives and their staff as well as with representatives from the Governor’s Office, the Director of the Department of Finance, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

During the visits, THP-Plus stakeholders made a clear appeal to reject the Governor’s proposal to eliminate THP-Plus, and to ensure that California continues to support its most vulnerable young adults and their children. We received commitments by a number of legislators to protect THP-Plus in the state budget.

Our actions received a fair amount of media coverage as well, summarized below.

Media Coverage

3-4-2010: Housing program for former foster youth is critical lifeline

Reed Connell is the executive director of the Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance


3-2-2010: A Minus for the Plus Program?

BY Amy Asman, Reporter, Santa Maria Sun


3-2-2010: California’s Foster Care Program at-risk Due to Budget Cuts

ABC News, KFSN-TV Fresno, CA


3-2-2010: Foster Care Programs in California at-risk due to Budget Cuts

ABC News, KGO-TV San Francisco, CA


3-2-2010: Cuts loom for grown-foster-kids housing program

ABC News KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA


3-2-2010: Closing the state’s multibillion-dollar budget gap could leave Yolo County’s foster kids alone and without help as they step into adulthood
The Davis Enterprise, CA


3-1-2010: Cuts Likely At Transitional Homes For Foster Kids


2-27-2010: Luis Madrid: The Governor vs. Foster Kids

Merced Sun-Star
Luis Madrid is the THP-Plus Program Manager for AspiraNet in Merced.


2-26-2010: Foster Youth need our support

San Luis Obispo Tribune
Jim Roberts is the executive director of the Family Care Network


2-22-2010: The Power of The Powerless



2-18-2010: Those who have the least get the least

Ventura County Reporter
http://www.vcreporter.com/cms/story/detail/those_who_have_the_least_get_the_least/7678/Mention THP-Plus among many social services cuts

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March 8, 2010 in Advocacy


Welcome to the YWCA Santa Monica / Westside Transitional Housing and Education Program Advocacy Blog where we will keep you up to date on policy and other legislative issues that affect transitional housing populations.  Your posts and comments are welcome!

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July 18, 2009 in Advocacy