Current Policy Campaigns
- Creating a child-centered, family-focused child welfare system: Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), a set of laws that took effect in 2017, is intended to support children in family settings and limit the use of congregate care (group homes). CCR mandates that children only be placed in families; to fulfill that vision, we must fully support families immediately upon placement.
Read our full position statement. Relevant legislation: AB 685, AB 686, AB 1068.
- Ensuring educational success for foster youth by decreasing the number of school changes for students in foster care and promoting placement stability: California students in foster care change schools an average of eight times while they are in care, losing four to six months of their educational progress with each move. These students consistently demonstrate the poorest outcomes of any student group.
Read our full position statement. Relevant legislation: AB 337, AB 150.
- Ensuring that all transition-age youth who elect to participate in extended foster care or who are aging out of foster care are appropriately and safely housed with access to appropriate supports and services: Current law provides for the option of extended foster care to age 21. Those who elect extended foster care have a right to a safe and appropriate housing, but they are at undue risk of homelessness due to systemic barriers to housing. In addition, county child welfare agencies are obligated to file Supplemental Security Income (SSI) applications on behalf of transition-age foster youth with disabilities to ensure that these young people who are not able to support themselves due to those disabilities have the support they need when they age out of foster care. However, many youth with disabilities age out of foster care without a financial safety net, vulnerable to exploitation, homelessness, incarceration, and other adverse outcomes.
Read our full position statement. Relevant legislation: AB 531, AB 748.
Implementation of Recent Reforms
Once reforms pass into law, the Alliance remains involved to monitor and advise on implementation strategies to achieve the intent of the law. Current efforts include:
- Continuum of Care Reform Implementation: Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) brings with it sweeping changes to child welfare. Our ongoing Q&A series addresses a wide variety of implementation issues related to CCR. Visit the Sandbox Q&A archive.
- CCR also brought about a new child-centered foster care rate system that is based on the assessed needs of the individual child. Care must be taken to ensure that the new system is reliable and valid. Read the full position paper.
- Full Implementation of AB12 and Extended Foster Care. The Alliance co-sponsored the laws that brought about extended foster care in California and has been active in pursuing thoughtful implementation of extended foster care to stabilize young adults who “age out” of the child welfare system. Download the AB12 Primer for more information. Visit our KnowB4UGo website for youth-friendly resources including how to access extended foster care.
From time to time, the Alliance identifies other recurrent issues facing young people and families in the child welfare system, and shares information and recommendations related to resolving these issues in the form of position papers.
- Protecting Young People in Foster Care: Recommendations on Helping Youth Prevent and Recover from Identity Theft. The Alliance for Children’s Rights has worked on behalf of multiple clients who have been victims of identity theft while in foster care. Identity theft had crippling consequences for these clients. The Alliance conducted a pilot study in partnership with a private service provider to assist these clients in repairing their credit following identity theft. The pilot resulted in significant findings summarized in this position paper. Read the full position paper.