After several long months of testimony and advocacy, CYC's bill to support parenting foster youth has been signed by the governor. AB 260 (Lopez) steadily cleared each legislative hurdle it encountered since February, garnering bi-partisan, unanimous support along the way. These efforts have now culminated as the law will take effect on January 1, 2016.
You can find a fact sheet for the bill HERE.
Parenting youth are an oft overlooked sub-population in foster care. With this latest legislative success, CYC's AB 260 will now better support them and help to ultimately BREAK THE CYCLE OF FOSTER CARE!
Youth Recommendations from 2015 Summer Leadership & Policy Conference
Nearly 150 current and former foster youth gathered at Fresno State University on July 10-13, 2015 for CYC's annual Summer Leadership and Policy Conference. This year, attendees explored issues and crafted solutions pertaining to four self-selected policy areas: Adoption, AB 12-Extended Foster Care, Educational Support, and Social Worker Accountability. This 4-day experience delved deep into root cause analysis and ultimately culminated in the development of several recommendations, one of which will eventually be distilled into CYC's 2016 legislative priority.
Although we may only take action and engage in direct legislative efforts for one or two of these recommendations, we nevertheless endorse advocacy that is tied with or parallel to any of the others. You can read more about the recommendations, organized by issue area, here.
Youth Elect New 2015-16 Legislative and Policy Committees!
At the September Advisory Board meeting, CYC youth leaders elected their peer representatives to serve one year terms on both the legislative and policy committees. Rosters are below:
Mariah (Santa Clara)
Nefertiti (San Francisco)
Brodie (Contra Costa)
Monserrat (Los Angeles)
Miracle (Los Angeles)
CYC's 2015 Legislative Priority:
Support for Parenting Foster Youth
CYC members have selected support for parenting foster youth as this year's top priority!
After being chosen as one of four policy topics (out of an initial list of dozens), nearly 200 current and former foster youth gathered to explore the issues surrounding these topics as part of CYC's annual Summer Leadership and Policy Conference. Following this summer event, CYC's internal legislative committee (composed of 8 members representing the Northern, Bay Area, Central Valley, and Southern regions of California), set out to develop specific recommendations related to the policy topics at their retreat in the fall. Finally, at the last quarterly meeting of the CYC Advisory Board in December 2014, representatives from each of CYC's 33 chapters voted to officially name support for parenting foster youth as the organization's main legislative focus for 2015.
CYC is proud to announce that Assemblymember Patty Lopez has agreed to author our support for parenting foster youth bill for 2015!
AB 260 (Lopez) seeks to help break the cycle of foster care by preventing certain past information from being inappropriately used to take away the children of parenting foster youth. This bill would also ensure that these youth have better access to supportive services in order to avoid removing a child from their care and to help them succeed as parents.
For a fact sheet on our bill, please click HERE.
Additional CYC Legislation
CYC is also sponsoring AB 1416 (Dababneh) which would give foster youth the opportunity to provide direct feedback about the quality of care they are receiving in their homes and from their caregivers
By asking the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to develop a caregiver evaluation tool and to implement a process for collecting data, AB 1416 would allow for better and more informed matches of children and youth with appropriate caregivers upon their entrance into the system. A caregiver evaluation tool would also utilize valuable input from foster youth themselves to ensure their well-being and to assist in identifying any issues that can prevent children in foster care from receiving the appropriate care they deserve.
For a fact sheet on this bill, please click HERE.
CYC 2015 Legislative Agenda
CYC is collaborating with the following organizations on their priority legislation this year as a co-sponsor:
Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children Now, California Alliance for Child and Family Services, and others, AB 878 (Eggman): Would implement the recommendations of the recently concluding Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) process, including establishing a new rate-setting system focused on providing the appropriate level of funding to support a youth’s needs regardless of their placement setting.
Public Counsel, AB 224 (Jones-Sawyer): Would require CDSS to develop a standardized notice of educational rights for foster youth to be posted online as well as in public places at school locations.
Children’s Advocacy Institute, SB 316 (Mitchell): Would prevent the caseload levels of dependency attorneys for foster youth from exceeding a specified amount.
CYC has taken a "support" position on a variety of other legislation (general subject area will be noted below) as well, including:
AB 217 (Maienschein): youth rights in juvenile court hearings
AB 302 (Garcia): lactating parenting youth in schools
AB 379 (Gordon): educational rights and school placement decisions
AB 381 (Calderon): relative placement preference
AB 423 (Cooley): relative caregiver equity
AB 519 (McCarty): youth permanency
AB 703 (Bloom): attorney qualifications
AB 854 (Weber): LCFF/FYS alignment and support
SB 12 (Beall): AB 12 clean-up
SB 124 (Leno): juvenile solitary confinement
SB 238 (Mitchell and Beall): part of the psychotropic medication bill package
SB 253 (Monning): part of the psychotropic medication bill package
SB 319 (Beall): part of the psychotropic medication bill package
SB 484 (Beall): part of the psychotropic medication bill package
SB 592 (Leyva): dating abuse prevention in schools
SB 731 (Leno): rights for transgender foster youth
CYC is also working with several groups on budget items revolving around the following issue areas:
dependency attorney caseloads
alignment of FYS and LCFF populations
relative caregiver equity
increase for FFA social worker rate
expansion of THP-Plus
funding for EOPS in community colleges