This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to (1) require agency coordination and that funds are allocated to ensure meaningful access to extracurricular and enrichment activities for children and youth in foster care, so that they have the opportunity to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and (2) create requirements related to the case plan and court reviews, so that there is accountability in the use of funds for enrichment and extracurricular activities and child and youth involvement in decisions about how the funds are used.
This bill would make the Youth Bill of Rights applicable to youth confined in any juvenile justice facility. The bill would further require, as part of the Youth Bill of Rights, that youth have access to postsecondary academic and career technical education and programs and access to information regarding parental rights, among other things. The bill would require the Division of the Ombudsperson of the Office of Youth and Community Restoration, in consultation with other specified parties, to develop standardized information explaining these rights no later than July 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 885 will eliminate the cap on the number of community college districts eligible to receive funding under the NextUp program for current and former foster youth. This bill is accompanied with a request for an additional $20 million for the program, which would allow for a significant expansion of the program to additional colleges across the state.