Improving the Lives of Foster Care Youth

Cindy in Action

Volunteers cutting paper and folding the paper into shapes

Because​ a disproportionate number of foster kids grow up to lives of poverty, public assistance, homelessness and, in many cases, prison, Supervisor Cindy Chavez has unveiled a plan to vastly improve the county's foster care system. The "Making Families Stronger Initiative" includes a housing program; a passport—of sorts—for foster youth to get in front of the line for job opportunities, educational programs, transportation & more; early intervention for families in need of help; moving services upstream to prevent families from entering the system; a re-evaluation of our family finding services to include all possible options with relatives. These recommendations will be brought forward during the mid-year review and the June 2019 budget process. They include:

  • A partnership with the Child Abuse and Neglect Center and nonprofit agencies to provide an immediate and warm hand-off for families in need.
  • Providing a passport to foster youth to get in front of the line for job opportunities, community resources, transportation and educational enrichment.
  • Application of the successful All the Way Home model used for homeless veterans to assist foster youth with finding housing.
  • A First Call for Families to offer parents early guidance and support.
  • A reevaluation of our family finding services to include all possible family options.
  • Involvement of youth voices in all aspects of the initiative.

Also, Supervisor Chavez and the Santa Clara County Office of Education are partnering to streamline and improve the Santa Clara County foster care system to include schools and improve the dually-involved youth system merging child welfare with juvenile justice. Under Chavez's leadership, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors approved $6 million to build a new resource center for foster youth called The Hub providing resources so they complete their education, apply to and get into college, get jobs and basic services. The new HUB is scheduled to open in April 2020.

Supervisor Cindy Chavez making news on Foster Care Youth in Santa Clara County

LACY Awards: Supervisor Cindy Chavez

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