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March 30, 2010

HEY’s biweekly e-newsletter contains links to articles, reports, and information of interest to the foster care community. Click on the article title for full information.


In This Issue

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Community Opportunities
US Senators Seek Expert Testimony on Education Experiences of Youth in Care

[from the Child Welfare League of America, Child Monitor Online 3.29.10]

Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), leaders of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, circulated a press release and letter last week urging the inclusion of foster youth views in the upcoming education reauthorization legislation. Ten other senators joined Grassley and Landrieu on the letter. As the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee holds hearings on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly designated the No Child Left Behind Act), the letter requests that youth in foster care be invited to testify about their educational experiences and their suggestions for reform. In a letter to the HELP Committee, senators pointed out, “Youth in foster care report multiple school changes as they move from placement to placement. Because they change schools so frequently, youth in foster care are more likely than their peers to underachieve academically, repeat grades, and eventually drop out of school. Youth who do not graduate are more likely to be unemployed, have no health insurance, be single parents, and rely on public assistance.”

Landrieu specifically cites the invaluable influence of foster youth in passing the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, saying, “We must empower youth to educate Congress about their unique experiences in foster care and the obstacles they face. They help us make better policy decisions.”

The Fostering Connections Act includes several mandates for child welfare agencies to follow in order to improve educational stability for children in care. Because the law does not place the same mandate on the school districts, there is an imbalance of awareness and resources to ensure proper cooperation and coordination that leads to successful educational experiences.

Fair Housing and Reasonable Accommodations for People with Disabilities

The training will include an overview of federal and state laws on fair housing and reasonable accommodation. Small group sessions will focus on how reasonable accommodations are supposed to work during the application process, tenancy, and during eviction proceedings. The group discussions will be led by trainers familiar with fair housing issues, and the discussions will be based on practical questions from the training participants.

TrainGreen SF

San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), in partnership with Goodwill Industries, JVS, SF Clean City Coalition, City College of San Francisco and Global Exchange, is pleased to announce the launch of the green academy called TrainGreen SF. TrainGreen SF will offer a vocational training in recycling, green transportation, energy efficiency and solar. A variety of options are available depending on clients’ interest and experience.

CCSF Guardian Scholars Summer Academy Application Now Available

San Francisco Unified School District is collaborating with City College of San Francisco (CCSF) to offer the Guardian Scholars Summer Academy. The program is designed to prepare students for a smooth transition from high school to college. The program provides free tuition, books, and supplies. Social and career exploration activities will also be offered.

Cancellation of Early Academic Planning Camp at San Jose State

The CME Society will be unable to provide the Early Academic Planning Camp this Summer 2010, due to funding constraints facing their sponsors. It is unfortunate that this opportunity for foster youth in California, has been canceled, but they would like to encourage youth to seek out the pre college programs in their local county community colleges and universities, such as Upward Bound, GEAR Up and other pre-college experiences being held at CSUs and UC schools.

Free SAT Prep Classes for Girls

GirlSource is offering *free* SAT prep classes to low-income, young women who are interested in taking the June 5th SAT. The course runs for 10 weeks beginning March 23rd and ending May 29, 2010. If you know of any young women who may be interested, please forward the attached application. If you have any questions please call Nadiyah Shereff, Program Assistant at 415-252-8880 ext 310 or email her at [email protected]

Upcoming Events
Foster Youth Leadership Awards 2010

Foster Youth Leadership Awards 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010 from 6-9pm

Born Auditorium

170 Otis (by Mission and Duboce)

San Francisco, CA

Honoring Emancipated Youth (HEY) is hosting its annual Foster Youth Leadership Awards – an evening celebrating the leadership of 30 current and former foster youth!  HEY’s mission is to strengthen and connect San Francisco’s systems of support so that all youth emancipating, or “aging out” of the foster care system can enjoy a healthy transition to adulthood.  This annual event is a collaborative effort organized by HEY in partnership with San Francisco Human Services Agency, SF Independent Living Skills Program, City Youth Now, and other San Francisco based agencies working with current and former foster youth.

The current economic environment has made it harder for youth to make successful transitions to independence.  The journey is even harder for foster youth; additionally negative media and statistics are often discouraging to productive foster youth who live a life contrary to what is portrayed.  Therefore, the aforementioned organizations feel it is important to congratulate and encourage foster youth in a public arena to recognize them for their good works.

Youth in foster care face incredible challenges and need the support of friends, family, and communities to assist them transition to healthy adulthood. Join social welfare professionals, educators, and others to celebrate San Francisco’s current and former foster youth for their accomplishments and outstanding leadership. Applications to nominate youth can be found by clicking on this link.

Bayview Connect 2010

Bayview Connect
Friday, June 11 from 10-3PM
Bayview Playground, San Francisco

This year HEY has partnered with the renowned Project Homeless Connect to provide a unique youth centered resource fair – Bayview Connect. This event is in honor of National Foster Care Month and is being held in the Bayview to outreach to the disproportionate number of youth and families who are currently or who have formerly been involved in the foster care system.

Bayview Connect will feature a special partner¬ship between Project Homeless Connect, Honoring Emancipated Youth (HEY), and SF ILSP/JCYC, SF Human Services Agency, Larkin Street Youth Services, JVS, John Burton Foundation, City Youth Now, and Bayview Magic. This event will be held in the Bayview Playground, a convenient stop off the MUNI line. Through a one stop model participants will receive access to services including: benefit assistance and processing, free on-site dental and medical services, legal advice, free haircuts, housing info and much more including free food and great raffle prizes for youth and families.

(Please visit www.ProjectHomelessConnect.com to find out more about Project Homeless Connect)

National Foster Care Month Events Calendar

National Foster Care Month is in May. You can include your National Foster Care Month event in the online Events Calendar by filling out the form on the National Foster Care Month website. Be sure to include contact information, as your event cannot be confirmed and posted without it.
http://www.fostercaremonth.org/EventsAndPromotions/Pages/EventSubmission.aspx

This newsletter is solely for informational purposes; the legislative information and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Honoring Emancipated Youth or United Way of the Bay Area.

If you would like to submit an announcement for a future HEY e-Newsletter, please email [email protected]

HEY Staff Recommended 'Trends to Watch'
Foster Care Month 2010 Planning Committee

Foster Care Month 2010 Planning Committee

The HEY Foster Care Month Youth Committee is a group of youth who are involved in helping plan and execute HEY’s foster care month events. Members of the youth committee are hands on in developing the programs for events, making recommendations to the larger committee in an effort to ensure Foster Care Month events are youth focused and youth led.  Youth on the committee will be conducting direct outreach to agencies in the Bayview raising awareness and support for Foster Care Month.

The Youth Committee is a Comprised of a group of youth who have had little to no exposure to leadership roles in early adolescents but are interested in improving their communities and event planning. The HEY team uses our Youth Empowerment Model by providing  the youth committee training in leadership, advocacy and community outreach and in return the youth offer their creativity and innovate ideas in how to make HEYs Foster Care Month events ones that truly reflect youths needs and voice.

Honoring Emancipated Youth is also working with a committee of community based organizations serving marginalized populations specifically foster and emancipated youth. Our Partners include: Project Homeless Connect, SF ILSP/JCYC, SF Human Services Agency, Larkin Street Youth Services, JVS, John Burton Foundation, City Youth Now, and Bayview Magic.

NEW! HEY Guide: Youth Empowerment Available for FREE Download

The HEY Guide: Youth Empowerment was designed to support agencies and staff interested in engaging and empowering young people as they transition into leadership and healthy adulthood.  The practices, strategies and tools presented in this step-by-step guide will provide a framework to support the growth and empowerment of your agencies youth and staff.

Download the HEY Guide: Youth Empowerment

Cost: FREE

Now Youth Empowerment is available by simply downloading the PDF directly from the HEY site.   Please email Leslie Brown at [email protected] for more information or questions.

Volunteer opportunity in Keeping the Promise Event

Come join us to raise awareness about Foster Care and child abuse prevention in San Francisco. Over 1,300 abused and neglected children in San Francisco, and over 65,000 in California, currently reside in temporary foster and group homes.

HEY will be joining National CASA, California CASA and SFCASA at Civic Center Plaza for this special event in San Francisco called Keeping the Promise to shine a light of this important issue. Any volunteer to help table on those dates would be a great support.

Local, State and Federal Policy Updates
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP): San Francisco Workforce Development Services

Contracting Opportunity for Community-Based Organizations: Workforce Development Services

The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency (Agency) is seeking to provide funding to non-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide workforce development services to San Francisco jobseekers residing within the Visitacion Valley Redevelopment Project Area as part of the Agency’s Job Readiness Initiative (JRI).

This JRI Request for Proposals (RFP) makes available:

• $201,290 for workforce services targeting the Agency’s Visitacion
Valley Project Area

The contract term will be a 12-month period from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

The RFP will be released Friday, March 19, 2010. This is an on-line RFP and interested CBO’s must register on-line through the following website:
http://www.elationsys.com/elationsys/index.htm, Promotional Code is SFRA-JRI.

Submittals are due at 5:00 pm, Friday, April 19, 2010

If after reviewing the website, you have unanswered questions, contact:
Astrid Zometa, Contract Compliance Specialist at (415) 749-2423 or [email protected]

Fostering Connections changes as a result of the Health Care Legislation passed yesterday

Heath Care Reform Law to Affect IV-E Transition Plans
HR 3590 Makes Changes to Fostering Connections Act in:
“SEC. 2955. INCLUSION OF INFORMATION ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A HEALTH CARE POWER OF ATTORNEY IN TRANSITION PLANNING FOR CHILDREN AGING OUT OF FOSTER CARE AND INDEPENDENT LIVING PROGRAMS.

Waiver Investments to support Transition Age Youth

In the last several days Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance  has spoken  about the current opportunity to shape investment of Waiver dollars to support Transition Age Youth. In specific, SSA is seeking input regarding purchasable services that address Waiver Goal 5:

To improve self-sufficiency and well-being for transition age youth emancipating from foster care.

The input and ideas that Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance has received so far have coalesced around the following several issues:

  • Child care is seen as a primary impediment to youth’s employment, educational attainment, and participation in ILSP. Suggestions include:
    • offering on-site childcare so that parenting youth can attend ILSP classes
    • creating a child care coordinator position to assist youth in maintaining access to child care and making informed decisions about providers
    • brokering services with a child care center to provide sufficient capacity for all parenting foster youth
  • Employment continues to be a struggle. Many feel that youth have sufficient “soft” supports – i.e. case management, information, job skills training – and that what they really need are jobs. Suggestions include:
    • creating a summer jobs program, perhaps onsite at Hegenberger
    • partnering with an established supportive employment program (Rubicon, CiviCorps, etc…) to expand the Fresh Start Cafe, or to create a similar project
    • creating an employer subsidy program similar to the ACHIRE program for current foster youth
  • Education – most everyone expressed concern that youth need more support with educational attainment. Suggestions include:
    • more tutoring, academic advising, and mentoring programs
    • incentive programs for attainment and/or grades
    • more staff to support youth with college admissions and financial aid
    • ILSP Training Program enhancements: many expressed concern that ILSP classes are not equally available to youth with diverse needs. Suggestions include:
      • Establishing non-classroom options/non-traditional curricula
      • Providing for more time in the community/more interactive learning
      • Providing for significantly more guest speakers/trainers etc..

    Please remember that all waiver investments must benefit in-care youth – the funds cannot be used to backfill cuts to programs for older youth.

    HEY Foster Care Library
    New Child Welfare Information Gateway Library Additions

    Below is a list of new publications that were added to Child Welfare Information Gateway Library in February

    New Child Welfare Reports

    TrustThe Child Welfare Information Gateway has added some new publications. Listed are some that may be relevant to HEY E-Newsletter subscribers.

    Title: Child Welfare Training Toolkit: Helping Child Welfare Workers Support Families with Substance Use, Mental, and Co-Occurring Disorders.
    Published: 2010
    Available from: National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare
    URL: http://www.ncsacw.samhsa.gov/training/toolkit/default.aspx
    Abstract: This training was developed to educate child welfare professionals about substance abuse and mental health disorders among families involved in the child welfare system.

    Title: Differential Response and Alternative Response in Diverse Communities: An Empirically Based Curriculum.
    Author(s): Berrick, Jill Duerr.;Bryant, Mieke.;Conley, Amy.;de Elizalde, Lisa.;Garcia, Victoria.;Geer, Anna.
    Published: 2009
    Available from: California Child Welfare Resource Library
    http://www.csulb.edu/projects/ccwrl/
    University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare
    Marchant Building, Suite 420
    6701 San Pablo
    Berkeley, CA 94720-7420
    Printable version (PDF): http://www.csulb.edu/projects/ccwrl/Differential%20Response%201023.pdf
    Abstract: Designed to enhance the curriculum for Title IV-E graduate social work education programs and the continuing education of child welfare agency staff in California, this curriculum highlights the use of Differential Response (DR) in child welfare services and shares outcomes from its implementation in Contra Costa County and Alameda County. It includes 10 modules that address: the development of DR, DR in Contra Costa County, Alternative Response (AR) in Alameda County, and key components of DR/AR; research findings on DR and examples of DR and AR programs; components of DR in Contra Costa County; components of AR in Alameda County; practice issues in DR; assessing readiness in diverse communities; client experiences with another road to safety/differential response; outcomes from Contra Costa County; outcomes from Alameda County; and implications for policy and practice. Outcomes indicate there is no extant evidence that AR/DR interventions prevent maltreatment.

    Honoring Emancipated Youth
    United Way of the Bay Area, 221 Main Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94105
    (415) 808-4435 • Fax (415) 817-4615
    Visit us at www.heysf.org