Foster Youth Services


New Laws Strengthen Educational, Other Supports for Calif. Foster Youth

This month, Calif. Governor Jerry Brown signed a raft of legislation aimed at improving the lives of children and youth in foster care. In addition to the package of bills designed to stem the overprescribing of psychotropic medication for foster youth, and AB 403 which will greatly reduce the number of youth placed in group homes, Brown signed several other significant foster care bills before last Sunday’s midnight deadline.


“It Takes One to Know One”: The Need for Alumni Leadership in Child Welfare

“You’re an orphan, right?  Do you think I’d know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are because I read Oliver Twist?  Does that encapsulate you?”


How One Good Administrative Decision Can Reclaim a Child’s Life

Second chances can sometimes right a poor administrative decision. Such was the case for this confused teenager. Two months after returning home from the state hospital, he quit attending school. After all, his immature mind reasoned, it’s legal to quit school at 16 and, besides, he just didn’t have the brains or the interest.


Whispers and Bated Breath

With historic gains for the education of California’s foster youth close at hand, advocates, service providers and this journalist-gone-rogue can hardly hold back the excitement. It has been a long hard slog, but a broad coalition of foster youth and their supporters are close to realizing a long awaited dream.


How One Bad Administrative Decision Can Derail a Child’s Life

A lifetime ago, a confused 12-year-old boy finally came unraveled. The accidental offspring of a fling between a high school junior and her older band leader boyfriend, he had spent far too long overhearing his parents’ shouting matches.


Why Do Government Lawyers Run the Child Welfare System?

The foster care alumni movement asserts that child welfare professionals must meet increasingly higher standards of knowledge the more they influence the lives of at-risk youth. This is especially true for non-alumni whose decisions affect the most foster children.


    Who Says Kinship Care is a “Best Practice?” Not These Alumni!

    Without due consideration for alumni feedback, politicians, judges, social workers and other policymakers have deemed kinship care a “best practice.” But what if this seemingly logical assumption is not a panacea at all, but, rather, another danger zone; further evidence of the necessity of listening to what alumni know from personal experience?


    Foster Families or Orphanages: What do Alumni Say?

    Prior to President Teddy Roosevelt’s 1909 White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children, institutional placement was considered the “best method” of caring for dependent youth. Boards of trustees comprised of community leaders volunteered to oversee the operation of these institutions.


    Out Front on Foster Youth Services

    Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) is the Chair of the Assembly’s Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, and the first Calif. state legislator to unequivocally come out against the elimination of Foster Youth Services.