|In This Issue:
Message From Justice Moreno
I am happy to be sending you another issue of the Foster Care Reform Update. It’s been awhile since our last, so I have a lot to share with you.
As all of you know too well, this has been a tough budget year and things are still uncertain for the next fiscal year. Since we don’t have a budget yet, I can’t give you a full analysis of the coming year, but based on the Governor’s May revise, it does look like we may be able to avoid statewide monthly court closures and we hope that the new budget will preclude the need for court layoffs. (more)
In response to requests from local teams that wanted a place to post materials easily accessible to their whole collaborative group, the AOC recently launched the Local Blue Ribbon Commission website, which is a component of the pre-existing California Dependency Online Guide. On this new website county teams can exchange ideas and information within their own county and across other counties in California. (more)
There are some counties in California that recognized well before the Blue Ribbon Commission issued its recommendations that collaboration between the court and its child welfare partners made good sense for the court, its partners, and especially for the families and children in the foster care system. San Francisco is one of those counties, and its child welfare partners have been collaborating for more than 16 years as the Dependency Administration Committee. (more)
There is a shortage of foster parents in Inyo County, and in response, a group of foster parents, elected officials and government agencies is trying to find fresh recruits. The Inyo County Foster Care Commission is continuing to seek out new foster parents as it works with the tribe and moves forward with a new local foster group home. See the article in the Inyo RegisterTOP
Right now, I’d like you to think back to when you were 18 years old. You were old enough to vote, to enter into a contract, to decide things for yourself. You were legally an adult. But, when you ran into a problem with money or jobs or even car trouble, you might not have felt like much of an adult. And, for most of us, it was good to be able to rely on mom and dad to pave over the rough spots. But for kids who age out of the foster care system at 18, being an adult is not just a fun idea to explore, it's a new reality. They’re often really on their own, without the skills or resources to create a functional adult life. The Just in Time Organization helps former foster kids make the transition from adult life – to adult life, that is, and the group is sponsoring a seasonal fund drive called My First Home for the Holidays. Read or Listen to KPBS Interview
Imagine you’re a child or a teenager whose parents, for one reason or another, have lost custody of you and maybe your siblings.
Say Child Protective Services has decided to remove you from your home—and a judge agreed—because Dad beats up on Mom and sometimes the kids and she refuses to leave him. Or both Mom and Dad have been arrested for drug possession, or are known to suffer from the sort of addiction that renders them incapable of feeding or even clothing you. Or maybe Dad, a single parent, has lost his job and, no longer able to provide for you or your brothers and sisters, has abandoned his family. Read Editorial in Inyo Register
The Public Policy Institute of California recently released its report, Foster Care in California: Achievements and Challenges. The report noted that California’s foster care system “has made some remarkable advances in the last decade. Specifically it noted that the state has made great progress in moving children out of foster care. In fact, California has seen a 45 percent drop in share of children in the system, mainly by shortening the time that most children spend in foster care. (more)
I used to think that family was only your brothers and sisters, mom and dad. But now I know that your family is the people who are there for you in good times and bad times. I never thought that when I moved into my third foster home, I was going to gain a family and find hope for the future. (more)
Aleta Beaupied can pass through or near most of her ten liaison counties by driving along California’s Highway 395, which stretches north from the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles through the austere splendor of the Eastern Sierra, all the way to the Oregon border. Aleta serves as the liaison to El Dorado, Inyo, Kern, Modoc, Riverside, Sierra, Trinity, and Tulare Counties. (more)
“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 on editorial content should be directed to Chris Cleary. All other questions and requests for subscriptions may be directed to Carolynn Bernabe at 415-865-7556.
Resource: County Liaisons
The AOC has assigned each county in California a liaison with expertise in juvenile dependency law to provide assistance to new local blue ribbon commission collaborations. The liaisons can provide assistance in a variety of ways. County liaison contact information.
Link of Interest: California Blue Ribbon Commission on Children in Foster Care
Subscribe to the California Dependency Online Guide
This free technical assistance website for juvenile dependency judicial officers, attorneys, social workers, and other child welfare professionals provides a variety of legal and educational resources, including a searchable dependency case law database, publications and training materials. Subscribe here .