Southern California Program
Alliance for Children's Rights
Civic and Community
Los Angeles, CA
Transition age foster youth (TAY) face the realities of adulthood without much support and struggle to cobble together the disparate services provided by numerous organizations across Los Angeles County. Their education and employment outcomes are dismal. But the tide is shifting for TAY. In 2012, new state legislation (Assembly Bill 12) extended foster care to age 21; K-12 schools are now prioritizing educational improvement for foster youth through California’s Local Control Funding Formula; the state has approved funding for community colleges to pilot on-campus programs for TAY; and, the reauthorization of the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) provides for increased resources to reengage disconnected youth in school and work. As the backbone agency of the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative (OYC), the Alliance for Children’s Rights is facilitating a cross-agency effort to leverage these reforms and improve high school completion, postsecondary enrollment and credential attainment, and workforce readiness and gainful employment for foster youth ages 16-24. Approximately 50 public and private agencies and organizations across L.A. are coordinating their efforts through information sharing, co-case management and systems changes. Over the next two years, the Alliance will continue to lead and manage the OYC, work with partners to reinforce existing and develop new education and employment pathways for TAY, track and monitor a supported cohort of TAY within a targeted geographic area, resolve systemic barriers through local, state and federal policy and practice changes, and collect and use data to measure OYC outcomes. The W. M. Keck Foundation grant will support an OYC associate director and three OYC partners piloting the new education and employment pathways for TAY.
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