California Fostering Connections to Success

In 2005, the Alliance began its NextStep Program for youth transitioning out of foster care. Every year, roughly 1,500 youth age out of Los Angeles County’s foster care system, many of them with outstanding legal, educational and housing issues. It quickly became clear to us that most of our clients were not adequately prepared for independence. Like most of our own children, they are not ready to live without any adult supervision or assistance the day they turn 18 years old.

Given this experience, the Alliance co-sponsored legislation to extend foster care. The California Fostering Connections to Success Act went into effect January 2012, providing eligible foster youth in California the option of remaining in foster care and receiving supports and services until age 21. During this time, youth can pursue their education or employment goals, establish permanent connections with adult figures and also gain skills that will help them after they exit foster care. In addition, Fostering Connections provides youth with new housing options, including a new transitional housing program (THP+FC) and a Supervisor Independent Living Placement (SILP), that are geared toward young adults.

Since the initial passage of the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, there have been numerous rounds of “clean up” legislation drafted and enacted to improve upon the initial bill and ensure that the promise of Fostering Connections reaches all eligible youth. You can access the bills here.

Training on Fostering Connections

Beginning in 2011, the Alliance has trained caregivers and providers who serve older youth on all aspects of Fostering Connections. This includes training on eligibility requirements, licensing rules and practice issues. Trainings also provide tips on how to effectively work with youth with disabilities and how to connect youth to post-secondary education opportunities. If you are a caregiver or service provider interested in upcoming training opportunities, please contact info@kids-alliance.org.

To learn more about Fostering Connections at the national and state levels, visit the following websites:

http://cafosteringconnections.org/
http://www.fosteringconnections.org
http://www.fosteringconnections.org/california