Message from the Chair

September-October 2010

 

Carlos R. MorenoI am happy to release our September/October 2010 issue of the Foster Care Reform Update: A Briefing for County and Statewide Collaborations. This has been a very exciting time for those of us working on foster care reform! First, as I am sure you've heard, the California Legislature just passed AB 12, which would provide federally subsidized relative guardianships and extend foster care jurisdiction to age 21. (See Speaker Emeritus and commission member Karen Bass's press release on the legislation.)

The bill is now on Governor Schwarzenegger's desk, awaiting his signature. The legislation would advance some of our commission's key recommendations, and would make an enormous difference in the lives of this state's foster youth aging out of the foster care system, who would be given a few more years to establish life-long connections and make the huge transition from foster care to independent living.

I am also happy to report that the Blue Ribbon Commission presented its first implementation progress report to the Judicial Council of California on August 27, 2010. That report, Building a Brighter Future for California's Children: Making Progress in Tough Economic Times, will be released to the public soon and we will make sure that all of the local foster care commissions and our statewide partners get copies.

I have to tell you that I am impressed by accomplishments at the federal, state, and local levels that significantly advance our goals of changing the way juvenile courts do business and reforming the foster care system—accomplishments that have occurred despite the serious budgetary and economic challenges. I believe that this progress demonstrates the transformative power of collaboration, as all of the state's child welfare partners—courts, social services, education, health, mental health, philanthropic organizations, CASA, tribes, collaborative advisory bodies, and others—both statewide and locally, have taken up the challenge of making a difference for our children in foster care. It has really been heartening to see this level of collaboration, and I believe that it is the number one reason that so many of our recommendations have advanced during the past year and a half.

So let me launch this issue of the newsletter by saying "thank you" to all of you who have been working so hard to build a brighter future for this state's most vulnerable children. Your work really is making a difference. I am so proud to have all of you as partners in this great effort.

 

Carlos R. Moreno
Associate Justice, Supreme Court of California
Chair, California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care

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“Foster Care Reform Update: A Briefing for County and Statewide Collaborations” is produced by the AOC Center for Families, Children, & the Courts. Questions, comments, or article ideas should be directed to Chris Cleary. All other questions and requests for subscriptions may be directed to Carolynn Bernabe at 415-865-7556.

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