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Antonovich blasts state financial cuts

Hurts program for emancipated foster kids' transition to adults

Posted: November 16, 2009 5:30 p.m.
Updated: November 17, 2009 11:55 a.m.
 
LOS ANGELES COUNTY - "Sacramento needs to solve its fiscal crisis by cutting its bloated bureaucracy and uncontrolled spending -- not abandoning young people in the fragile state of transitioning from foster youth to adult," Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said in the wake of the State of California's decision to eliminate stipends and other vital support for emancipated foster youth.

"Having already been abandoned or neglected in one form or another, the state's policy of emancipation without continued financial support at age 18 is government-sanctioned child abuse," he said.

The state announced it will cut a total of $2.6 million in annual funding that supports L.A. County's 1,800 emancipating youth's transition to adulthood.

Reductions include $1.5 million in emancipated youth stipends used to support their unmet financial needs such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, food and transportation.

These cuts also result in a reduction of $800,000 to the county's Independent Living Program funding and $300,000 for the Transitional Housing Plus program, which funds life skills training, housing and scholarships for emancipating Department of Children and Family Services and probation-supervised youth.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Antonovich's motion on Nov. 10 directing the county's CEO, the county's Sacramento advocates and the DCFS to work with appropriate statewide associations, advocate groups, legislative staff, the California Department of Social Services and the Schwarzenegger administration to fully restore funding for emancipating foster youth.

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