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September 14, 2010

HEY’s biweekly e-newsletter contains links to articles, reports, and information of interest to the foster care community. Click on the title of the article to read the full text at www.heysf.org.


In This Issue

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Upcoming Events
HEY and Transitional Age Youth SF Launch Party!

Dear HEY and TAY supporters,

You are invited to Honoring Emancipated Youth (HEY) and Transitional Age Youth SF (TAYSF)’s Launch Party – also affectionately referred to as our “Goodbye and Hello Happy Hour”!
When:Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30pm
Where: Pied Piper Bar/Maxfield’s, Palace Hotel, Market at New Montgomery,
San Francisco

At the event you will:
- get a chance to visit with our outgoing staff as well as meet the new members of the merged HEY and TAY Team!
- learn about HEY and TAY’s collaborative mission and new joint work
- catch a first glimpse at our newly merged website
- enjoy complimentary food (drinks will also be availalbe at the cash bar)

Our party will be Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30pm, at Maxfield’s, in the Palace Hotel. Easily accessible via MUNI, the location is on the corner of Market Street and New Montgomery. Enter the Pied Piper Bar and make your way to the room in the back.

We look forward to seeing you on the 29th! Please feel free to pass this invitation along! Click here for event flyer. Click here to RSVP today.

Sara Razavi and Rachel Antrobus

Webinar: Fostering Connections and Health: Oversight and Connections of Health Services (Sept 21st)

[From Fostering Connections Resource Center, September 10, 2010]

Join the Webinar on Oversight and Connections of Health Services Enacted in Fostering Connections Act!

When: Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Time: 2-3 p.m. EDT

The webinar will focus on policies enacted in the Fostering Connections Act, which requires improved coordination and oversight of health care services, including mental and dental health needs, and calls on state child welfare agencies to increase oversight of prescription medications for foster children. Reserve your seat in the webinar today: click here.

TAY Conference "Journey to Change: Navigating with Power and Purpose" (Sept 24th)

[From Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, September 13, 2010]

Full day of interactive and engaging workshops and diverse perspectives on the Transition Age Youth movement.

When: Friday, September 24th
Where: Preservation Park, Oakland

The entire day has been planned by The Foster Youth Alliance, Casey Family Programs, and the Center for Child & Youth Policy, and every aspect is designed to be equally accessible to both youth and professionals. The Keynote Speaker will be Regina Louise.
Click here for the full program
.

Click here to register.

Relax and Learn at the Foster Youth Pathways to Employment Forum (Oct 4th & 5th)

[From New Ways to Work, August 8, 2010]

Please join the state-wide gathering of workforce, child welfare, and juvenile justice practitioners and policy-makers, along with caregivers, and youth!

What: Foster Youth Pathways to Employment Forum
When: October 4th and 5th, 2010
Where:
Flamingo Resort and Spa, Santa Rosa, California

• Share and examine program models that prepare and connect youth to quality employment opportunities;
• Identify resources and funding opportunities;
• Share strategies to align parallel services in workforce, child welfare, juvenile justice, and community colleges; and
• Develop a set of policy recommendations for the workforce and child welfare systems to increase access to and the quality of workforce and career development programming for foster youth.

Registration Fee: $195/person or $175/per person for teams of 5 or more.
(Register here).

Contact Charlene Mouille at [email protected] for more information.

Community Opportunities
Free Classes in Digital Media for Youth, Application Deadline TOMORROW Sept 15th

[From BAYCAT, September 10, 2010]

When: September 20- December 9th
Where: BAYCAT, 2415 Third St., Suite 230, San Francisco, California

BAYCAT’s digital media program provides a fun educational experience that focuses on:

  • Music Production (ages 11-17)
  • Animation (ages 11-17)
  • Advanced Digital Filmmaking (ages 14-18)

Deadline Extended: Apply by September 15th
Apply Today!

For more information, please email [email protected]
Or call BAYCAT’s Educational Program Director, Marco Castro-Bojorquez
at 415.701.8228 x205.

Gateway to College Accepting Applications for the Spring 2011

[From Jeanne Batallones, Gateway to College, September 7, 2010]

Gateway to College is a program at City College of San Francisco that serves students between 16-20, who have dropped out of high school in San Francisco or are behind in credits for their age or grade level. Students take courses that help earn credit towards their high school diploma and a college degree or certificate, at the same time.

All interested applicants must attend one mandatory Information Session and complete the application. All students interested in applying to the program must attend one Information Session and ARRIVE ON TIME. During the session, we will provide program details and administer a 20-minute reading assessment. All Gateway classes will be held at the Ocean Campus for their first semester. Upon successful completion of their first semester, other CCSF campuses will be open for Gateway students to enroll. Questions? Please call Jeanne at (415) 452-5774.

This newsletter is solely for informational purposes; the legislative information and articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Transitional Age Youth (TAYSF).

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

HEY Recommended Trends to Watch
The Emancipation Research Project Revised, Now Available

The Emancipation Research Project has been revised and the latest edition is now available for free under HEY Publications:

Download the PDF of the Emancipation Research Project’s Executive Summary and download the PDF of full-length Compilation of Findings.

HEY’s Emancipation Research Project (ERP) took two years of data compilation and analysis, including one year of formal interviews with local child welfare professionals, attorneys, advocates, and foster youth to examine the multi-service process that supports a foster youth’s emancipation from care and her transition into adulthood. Through a focus on the living and lived experience of foster youth and the professionals who assist them, the research has given us insight, both practical and personal, into the transition process as it happens to hundreds of youth in San Francisco County every year. And now we are proud to share our final report with the community at-large.

In its first publication earlier this year, March 2010, the ERP was published as compilation of HEY’s findings, recurring feelings and concerns voiced by youth and professionals alike on emancipation, official transition planning, and their perceptions of stakeholders’ roles in San Francisco. Years 1 and 2 of the ERP yielded findings but not analysis, and as part of Year 3 we are working with partners including TAYSF to build upon these findings to provide policy recommendations and analysis.

In August 2010 with the collaboration of HEY staff, our outside consultant Kate Kalstein, and partners within Human Services Agency, we set out to revise the Compilation Report to in order to highlight the essential elements of HEY’s research as conveniently and concisely as possible.

Dana Mandolesi, the primary author of the Emancipation Research Project, mentions that the ERP is intended to be an “agent of change.” From all of us at HEY we hope that this becomes a resource for San Francisco services providers, advocates, and stakeholders, and youth alike.

Local, State, & Federal Policy Updates
AB 12 Passes State Senate! Now Goes to the Governor's Desk

[From the John Burton Foundation, September 7, 2010]

AB 12 passed out of the California State Legislature last Monday. The John Burton Foundation is now making a full court press to encourage Governor Schwarzenegger to sign the bill by the September 30th deadline. There are a range of strategies being employed and we need you to help. Here is what you can do…

1. Write a letter to the Governor: You can download a letter template for customization at the AB 12 website by clicking HERE.
2. Ask 5 people to write a letter:
3. Distribute this request on your listserv:

4. Engage youth participation: Many of you also work directly with current and former foster youth. No one is more persuasive on this issue than current or former foster youth! Ask your youth participants to share their opinions about better supporting foster youth in a letter to the Governor. Let’s help him understand how his one signature can help make a better future for thousands of youth in foster care.

Send a quick email to [email protected] to let me know you have sent in a letter and call 415-693-1322 if you have any questions, concerns or additional time to get involved in other strategies, such as work with the media.

Federal Title IV-E Waivers Extended to Alameda and L.A.

[From Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, September 7, 2010]

Alameda and Los Angeles Counties received word they are granted a 10 month extension of the new flexible funding, the Title IV-E Waiver Capped Allocation Demonstration Project, previously slated to expire on July 31, 2012.

With a capped allocation of title IV-E funds, California is allowed to use federal funding originally allocated exclusively for foster care to establish a new array of services to prevent out-of-home placement or facilitate permanency–i.e. early intervention services; crisis intervention services; intensive child welfare services; and services that expedite and support permanency–with the expectation that the costs of these services will be offset by subsequent savings in foster care expenditures (Children’s Bureau 2010).

With the extension, Alameda County’s Waiver will continue through April 30, 2013. The extension is meant to provide additional time for the state to prepare an application for a full 5 year renewal of the Waiver, as well as to continue the Waiver as advocates from California and around the country pursue more extensive federal finance reform.

Foster Care Resources
Chapin Hall: "Extending Foster Care to Age 21: Weighing the Cost to Government against the Costs to Youth"

A study that concludes that a state government that extends eligibilty for foster care to 21, the limitation of the data used in the report withstanding, the costs will be offset by potential benefits to society.
Download here.

Guide to Independent Living From CASA

[From Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, September 13, 2010]

CASA recently published a practical and detailed guide for youth volunteers, transitional age youth, and emancipated foster youth. Resources in the guide include education and health resources, emancipation planning,employment preparation and resources, housing, legal services and advocacy, etc.

Download here.

Fostering Media Connections Launches New Website

[From Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance, September 7, 2010]

Fostering Media Connections this week launched its new website. The site includes complete media coverage of foster care issues, and is the home for journalist Daniel Heimpel’s nationwide efforts to “further change the foster care narrative, and thus drive public and political will behind improving outcomes for foster youth.” FMC describes its primary goal as “to speed the state-by-state implementation of” the Federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. This law is the foundation of California’s AB12.

Foster Care in the News
Contra Costa Times Publishes Op-ed On Necessity of AB 12

[From Reed Connell, Contra Costa Times, 9/11/10]

ON AUG. 31, the very last day of the legislative session, the state Senate passed a bill that will make sweeping changes to California’s Child Welfare System.

Passed by the Assembly earlier in the year, AB12, the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, now sits on the governor’s desk. With the stroke of his pen, the bill would become law, bringing millions of federal dollars to the state every year, and providing older foster youth a chance at the bright, productive future they deserve. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must sign AB12.

Built upon a solid foundation of research, experience and moral imperative, AB12 has two major provisions. First, it will immediately bring at least $60 million in federal funds to support California’s KinGAP program, which annually assists more than 14,000 former foster children living with relative guardians.

Second, it will extend support for foster youth to age 21, rather than turning them out on the street when they turn 18, as the system does today.

In a moment defined by extraordinary financial duress, AB12 brings much-needed revenue to the state to fund the noblest of purposes: supporting relatives and guardians who choose to bring foster children into their homes.

Since 1998, California’s KinGAP program has ensured that children who by definition have suffered terrible abuse or neglect are supported in living with a grandparent or other relative, in a home, as a family.The public child welfare system has no higher goal for foster children, and research has consistently shown that youth do best when part of a loving, stable family. AB12 matches every state dollar spent on KinGAP with a federal dollar, fortifying the program in a time of fiscal calamity, and assuring that the bonds of family are strengthened and honored.

But the hard truth of the matter is that California, just like all other states, acts as parent for many other foster children for whom a stable family setting is elusive. Historically, these youth “age-out” of the system at 18 when the law deems them adults, despite research showing that children from intact families continue to rely on their parents until an average age of 26.

Yet our current system demands that abused and neglected children, raised in an unstable and struggling system, take sole responsibility for themselves a full eight years earlier. As the federal government recognized by passing the law that paved the way for AB12, this is unconscionable.

AB12 offers much more than another three years in foster care. It creates new services and options that allow older foster youth to develop the comprehensive set of skills necessary to establish themselves as independent adult citizens.

For example, youth may live in supportive transitional housing programs, much like those offered by California’s THP-Plus program, which for 10 years has consistently improved rates of educational attainment and employment among participants.

With California experiencing an unemployment crisis and urgently in need of an increasingly educated workforce, AB12 is not only morally responsible, but is a prudent investment in the state’s next generation.

The federal funds available to California through AB12 provide our state an extraordinary opportunity to improve the life chances of our most vulnerable children.

In the longer term, our cash-strapped state would reap huge savings through declines in unemployment, homelessness, teen pregnancy, public assistance and incarceration, historically among the unfortunate outcomes for young people turned out by the system at age 18.

Gov. Schwarzenegger must make the morally right and fiscally prudent choice and sign AB12 into law.

Transitional Age Youth
One South Van Ness. 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
415.701.5702
Visit us at www.taysf.org