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Antonovich works to improve foster care

Posted: March 2, 2010 9:12 p.m.
Updated: March 3, 2010 9:10 p.m.
 
LOS ANGELES COUNTY - To improve successful outcomes for young people in foster care, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to support Assembly Bill 2131 (D-Bass). This legislation would reverse cuts to the State's counties by Governor Schwarzenegger to balance the State budget and restore $17 million dollars in state foster care funding to Los Angeles County.

Also, another motion to help foster children access the skills and tools necessary for successful transition into adulthood was approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors.

"Young people aging out of the system are vulnerable without the ability to find housing, earn a living and receive the education required to be successful, productive and self-sufficient adults," said Supervisor Antonovich.

Since 2003, the Department of Children and Family Services' focus on safety, permanency, and a reduced reliance on out-of-home care has resulted in improved child safety; an 18% reduction in caseloads; a 32% improvement in timelines to permanency; and a 36% reduction in children living in out-of-home care. However, between 1,200 and 1,500 youth emancipate at age 18 annually following years in out-of-home care without safe reunification or permanency.

H.R. 6893, signed into law by President George W. Bush in October 2008, required states to provide foster care services to youth to age 21. In December 2008, Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Assemblyman Jim Beall introduced Assembly Bill 12 to ensure that California opted into the mandatory requirements of H.R. 6893. That legislation is now awaiting hearing by the State Senate Committees on Human Services and Judiciary and will be phased-in January 1, 2012 to January 1, 2014.

Antonovich's motion calls for a report back in 30 days and quarterly on establishing successful independence goals as a central outcome and realign existing revenues and expenditures to include housing, education and employment outcomes for youth in conjunction with the mission of H.R. 6893.

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