Policy Matters

Things that are not specific to Alliance legislation but of relevance to the policy team

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Making Resource Family Approval Work for Kinship Families

Relatives are critical to the success of CCR, as relatives currently provide placement for over 38% of the state’s more than 62,000 foster children and are the most likely to provide a home to older youth stepping down from a group home. Studies suggest that children placed with relatives experience less trauma, stronger bonds with…

Federal Family First Act (H.R. 5456) A Step Backwards for California’s Foster Children

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) joined Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (R-OR) in introducing the Family First Act, which ostensibly allows states to utilize federal funds for preventative and supportive services while also limiting when federal funds can…

California Child Advocates for Change Releases Two Policy Briefs to Help Inform Federal Child Welfare Reforms

California Child Advocates for Change is a coalition of legal and child welfare advocacy organizations, including the Alliance for Children’s Rights, that provide direct legal services to thousands of children, youth and families each year who are affected by the foster care systems. The lived experience of at-risk children and families informs both the direct…

From Research to Practice: Study on Economic Well-Being of Kin Caregivers Helps Inform Practice and Policy Change in California

A recent study published by the University of California Berkeley School of Social Welfare surveyed the economic well-being of kin and non-kin caregivers in order to better understand the similarities and differences of these two groups of caregivers and the impacts of those characteristics on their caregiving. The study examined characteristics of kin and non-kin…

2016 Realignment Report Released

The California Department of Social Services recently released its fourth annual report to the legislature on the impact of 2011 realignment on the child welfare system. Before the 2011 realignment, the state and counties shared the non-federal costs of child welfare, foster care and mental health programs. Now, counties are responsible for paying 100% of…

Chapin Hall Releases New Report on Extended Foster Care

The California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTHS) is underway to evaluate the impact of California’s approach to extended foster care.  California was among the first states to take up the option of extending foster care until 21, passing the California Fostering Connections to Success Act in 2010.  California’s approach to extended foster care has…

Recent Legislation Aligns State Law With Federal Law to Protect Immigrant Youth in California

Prior to 1990, undocumented children who were under the state court’s jurisdiction due to abuse, abandonment or neglect found themselves in a precarious immigration dilemma. Upon reaching the age of majority, the court’s jurisdiction terminated and youth were left to face the world without any protections or lawful immigration status. Since 1990, many legislative steps…

Child Care for Foster Youth

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act, a reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind. Significant changes included with regard to children in foster care include provisions relating to the educational needs of foster children and an early childhood education grant program. Our nation’s foster children need access to high…