In the News

Tournament of Roses Foundation awards $200,000 in grants to 42 local organizations

PASADENA>> The Tournament of Roses Foundation Tuesday announced the recipients of $200,000 in grants for 2015 - an amount double that of last year.

The nonprofit foundation, which assists charities in the Pasadena area, gifted 42 civic, educational and cultural organizations throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

The grants, ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 each, will help support new and ongoing programs benefiting children, teens, adults and seniors in such categories as sports and recreation, visual and performing arts, volunteer motivation and leadership development.

Among the programs offered by the groups are music instruction classes and intern programs in local schools. Ten of the organizations are first-time grant recipients.

"(The grant) said to me that the (foundation) was absolutely supportive not only of the arts but of the students to get to truly experience something they've never experienced before," said Page Phillips, visual and performing arts department chair and drama director at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra,

The school's drama boosters received $6,000 to help a group of drama students head to Scotland this summer for one of the world's largest theater festivals. They are still $9,000 short of their goal, but this award gives them a leg up. "I really believe it's going to change their life," said Phillips. "I can't thank everyone enough for their support."

The winning organizations are About Productions; Adelante Youth Alliance; Alhambra Educational Foundation; American Composers Forum of Los Angeles; Boys & Girls Club of Pasadena; Boys & Girls Club of the Foothills; Caltech Y; Club 21, Learning & Resource Center, Inc.; Day One; Door of Hope; Flintridge Center (for All Saints Church Foster Care Project); Foothill Creative Arts Group; Friends of the Levitt Pavilion Pasadena; Harambee Ministries; Jericho Road Pasadena; John Muir High School Alumni Association; Life Skills FORE Pasadena Youth (known as The First Tee of Pasadena); Light Bringer Project; Lineage Dance Company; Los Angeles Children's Chorus; Mark Keppel High School; Marshall Music Boosters; Monrovia Wildcats Band Booster Club; Mothers' Club Family Learning Center; MUSE/IQUE; Neighborhood Urban Family Center; OBA, Inc.; Pasadena Arts Council (for Scholarship Audition Performance Preparatory Academy); Pasadena Education Network; Pasadena Educational Foundation; Pasadena Girls Softball Association; Pasadena High School Instrumental Music Club; Pasadena Jr. Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Pasadena Musical Theatre Program; Pasadena Police Foundation; Pasadena Summer Youth Chamber Orchestra; Pasadena Village; San Gabriel Educational Foundation; Shumei Arts Council of America; Side Street Projects; Women at Work; and YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley.

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Family Visitation Center Opens in Pasadena

New Family visitation center set to open In partnership with All Saints Church in Pasadena, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services will hold the grand opening of its new family visitation center at 532 E. Colorado Blvd. at 10 a.m. today.

The newly painted and furnished room at the DCFS offices will provide a more comfortable and intimate setting for visits between parents and children in the process of family reunification, county officials said.

The All Saints Church Foster Care Project recruits volunteer monitors trained by Friends of the Family to monitor the visits. More such visitation centers are planned for the Pasadena area.

Pasadena Star 5/9/2013

In the News

The Chronicle of Social Change : L.A. County Foster Youth Celebrate Academic Excellence
Quintero’s story of academic achievement was only one among many at the Graduation Celebration 2017 at the Walt Disney Concert Hall on Tuesday. Each of the 173 graduating high school seniors honored at the event overcame challenges while spending time in Los Angeles County’s foster care system. All the students at the event graduated with at least a 2.8 GPA and have plans to attend a college or vocational school.

Organized annually by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Los Angeles County Probation Department, the Rotary Club of Los Angeles and United Friends of Children (UFC), Graduation Celebration not only honors graduating high school seniors but also awards college scholarships to all participating foster youth.
John Burton Foundation : Newborns Affected by Drugs Up 95% Since 2008 - How is Child Welfare Responding?
This summer’s issue of Insights, a publication by the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership, discusses how the recent increase in parental substance use is impacting children. National data suggest that the number of children in foster care has recently increased as a result of the opioid epidemic. However, while child welfare removals have increased in some California counties, the methods that the state uses for capturing and reporting Substance Use Disorder-related child welfare entries may not be accurately capturing the prevalence.
John Burton Foundation : LAUSD First in the State to Track Post-Secondary Outcomes of Foster Youth
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education has approved resolution establishing a data sharing agreement that will allow the state’s largest district to track foster youth post-secondary educational outcomes. More than one in ten foster youth, age 0 to 21 in California (7,427) attended an LAUSD school over the 2015-16 school year.
Huffington Post : Mentors and Foster Care: Being There When It Matters Most
In honor of National Foster Care Month, we plan to present to Congress an opportunity to come together on a bipartisan issue to reinforce programs that provide resilient youth with the social capital, resources, and support they need to develop positive relationships and valuable connections. The Foster Youth Mentoring Act will lift up the role of mentoring as an asset within the child welfare system.
The Chronicle of Social Change : L.A. Moves to Fill Educational Stability Gap for Foster Youth like Alex and Shirley
Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a pilot program to ensure that students in foster care have transportation to their so-called “school of origin.”

The stopgap measure was designed to bring the county’s 81 school districts into compliance with a federal education law aimed at promoting the educational stability of children in foster care. At issue was a mandate within the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act that school districts work with local child welfare agencies to design and implement plans to pay for the transportation of foster youth to the school they were attending when they entered foster care, even if they are placed outside of that school’s catchment area.

The deadline was December 10, 2016.

Beyond the question of compliance with the law, the supervisors’ action is important to the roughly 12,000 school-aged foster youth living in the county today.
John Burton Foundation : TAY a Target Population in $2 Billion State Bond for Affordable Housing, Including Foster & Probation Youth
On July 1, 2016, Governor Brown signed legislation enacting the No Place Like Home (NPLH) Program to dedicate $2 billion in bond proceeds to invest in the development of permanent supportive housing for people who are in need of mental health services and are experiencing homelessness, chronic homelessness, or at-risk of chronic homelessness.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has released the Draft NPLH Program Guidelines. These Draft Guidelines were developed as the next step in the development of the program and incorporate feedback on the NPLH Program Framing Paper released in December 2016, which solicited feedback on a number of issues, including questions about how to include and define “At-Risk of Homelessness” for transition-aged youth.

In the just released Draft Program Guidelines, transition-aged youth are identified as a target population, and a history of foster care or involvement with the juvenile justice system is included as one of the possible determining factors for who is considered “at-risk of chronic homelessness”.

HCD is hosting a series of regional workshops this month to present the new NPLH Program design and gather public input. Public comments can also be submitted to To read the Draft Program Guidelines, follow this LINK.

The Chronicle of Social Change : Pregnant Moms Face Generations of Poverty and Addiction in New Mexico
At 30 years old, Urban was pregnant, addicted and afraid. If caught using by her provider, Urban thought she’d lose custody of her first daughter — who was born four years before — and potentially the custody of her unborn child.

Not knowing who to trust or where to turn for support, Urban continued using cheap and abundant black tar heroin, her fear ultimately driving her to take action she can’t later undo.

Urban’s struggle points to a growing trend affecting pregnant women across America.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Western States Face Spikes in Drug Use, Foster Care
Last August at a campaign stop, President Donald Trump made the opioid crisis part of the dismal portrait of America he purported to change.

“We’re going to take all of these kids … that are totally addicted and they can’t break it,” he promised at a Columbus, Ohio, town hall meeting. “We’re going to work with them, we’re going to spend the money, we’re gonna get that habit broken.”

Trump is right that kids are at the center of the opioid crisis. But not because they are the ones doing most of the drugs.

The terrifying uptick in opiate use and overdoses, and the continued pervasive use of methamphetamines, is largely the province of American adults. And now, national data suggests that the growing rate of dangerous drug use is fueling a growing reliance on foster care in America.
New York Times : Life in College After a Life in Foster Care
Noel shares his personal story and credits his pursuit of college to the many public policies that California has adopted to make college more accessible, including extended foster care to age 21, priority registration and priority access to campus housing. He also raises concerns about the 12 semester limit on the Pell Grant.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Colorado Takes Lead on Meeting Federal Education Requirements for Foster Youth
Children in foster care change schools as many as 15 times during their K-12 education. And each time they do, they risk falling behind up to 6 months academically. That’s why the Every Student Succeeds Act, the most significant federal education overhaul in more than a decade, gives states specific guidelines about meeting the needs of youth in the child welfare system.

... Some states, even ones like California, with a long history of foster youth advocacy, missed the federal government’s swift December 2016 deadline. Colorado, though, is nearly in compliance and has drawn praise from child welfare advocates as a result. Officials there say existing state laws and collaboration between state child welfare agencies, educational institutions and the public have helped them set goals to better serve students in foster care.
KPCC : LA lacks foster care families for infants, toddlers
Facing a continuing shortage of foster homes for children under five, Los Angeles County is hoping to make it easier for foster parents to take in very young children.

A new program, if approved Tuesday by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, would provide immediate childcare slots to foster parents and relatives of foster kids who suddenly find themselves caring for a baby or toddler.
Food and housing insecurity among the nation’s community college students threatens their health and wellbeing, along with their academic achievements. Addressing these basic needs is critical to ensuring that more students not only start college, but also have the opportunity to complete degrees.

However, some community college students are at greater risk of food and housing insecurity than
others. For example, this is the first study to consider the basic needs security of former foster youth.
We found that 29 percent of former foster youth surveyed were homeless, a far higher rate than that of
non-former foster youth attending community college (13 percent). Students with children were also
disproportionately likely to experience food and housing insecurity.
Center on Children and the Law (American Bar Association) : ESSA Regulations
On March 27, President Trump signed legislation to repeal the Accountability Regulations of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) finalized during the Obama Administration.

The American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law has circulated a timely and succinct summary of the provisions that remain intact and urge advocates for children in foster care to make clear that overturning the ESSA regulations does not change the requirements and timelines of the law.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Rethinking Foster Parent Recruitment
Progress toward a lifetime commitment to permanence has stagnated over the past decade at just under three-fourths of those children and youth in care. The reunification rate has slipped from 53 percent to 51 percent. Adoptions have stayed the same at 21 percent, according to the latest AFCARS report. The remaining 28 percent of children leaving temporary care are either under legal guardianship, staying with kin, or emancipated to what has euphemistically been called “independent living.”

Adding to the problem is a national shortage of foster homes. Although general scarcity varies by state and county, foster homes for special populations are in universal demand. Homes are needed for sibling groups, minorities, and health-challenged children. The availability of homes, temporary or permanent, is most desperate of all for teens.
Child Trends : Supporting Youth in Foster Care: Research-Based Policy Recommendations for Executive and Legislative Officials in 2017
Child Trends has released a report with three research-based policy recommendations for executive and legislative officials in 2017, related to supporting youth in foster care.
Center for Study of Social Policy : Changing Systems & Practice to Improve Outcomes For Young Fathers, Their Children & Their Families
The report offers a myriad of supporting data that speaks to the positive impact of fathers on healthy child development, thriving families and communities.

However, relatively little national attention has been paid to the importance of engaging young fathers under age 26, particularly young fathers who are involved in child welfare systems.

The report offers policy recommendations for child welfare systems, including developing a father-inclusive organizational culture, requiring the identification of young fathers as early as possible during pregnancy, and issuing policy and practice guidance that removes barriers to father engagement and creates opportunities for active and positive involvement in children’s lives.
Human Impact Partners : Juvenile InJustice: Charging Youth as Adults is Ineffective, Biased, and Harmful
In all 50 states, youth under age 18 can be tried in adult criminal court through various types of juvenile transfer laws, such as a judicial waiver in California, which allows youth as young as 14 to be tried as adults at the discretion of a juvenile court judge.

Key findings indicate that the justice system is biased against youth of color, with inequities persisting even after controlling for variables like offense severity and prior criminal record. Additionally, "tough on crime" laws criminalize youth and are ineffective, with studies finding higher recidivism rates among juveniles tried and sentenced in adult court than among youth charged with similar offenses in juvenile court.
Children's Defense Fund - California : A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model
The juvenile justice system in Los Angeles County has been broken for too long. The outdated, institutional, and sometimes harmful camps that house youth labeled "delinquent" have been just one glaring example. But beyond the system, reform efforts themselves have suffered at times – whether from mistrust, or too often happening in a vacuum or behind closed doors.

A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model describes a new approach for treating youth who incarcerated. This report, written by Hailly T.N. Korman (Bellwether Education Partners) and Carly B. Dierkhising (California State University – Los Angeles) captures nearly two years of thought and collaboration by more than 100 stakeholders coordinated by CDF-CA to articulate a shared vision of a new model of juvenile justice in Los Angeles, known as the LA Model. The LA Model has ten essential elements and is replicable across the country. It is both informed and innovative: It is built on the latest research as it draws on promising practices across the country. - See more at:
John Burton Foundation : Program Snapshot The Transitional Housing Placement Plus (THP-Plus)
John Burton Advocates for Youth has released program snapshots for the two transitional housing programs for non-minor, current and former foster youth. The snapshots will be released quarterly and provide moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate data for the two programs in the areas of education, employment, income, criminal justice involvement and parenting status. They serve as a complement to the annual report, released each year for both programs.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Left Behind: Trump’s Immigration Plans Could Spur Uptick in Foster Care Numbers
President-elect Donald Trump made clear in a recent interview that he plans to deport between two and three million undocumented immigrants, a drastic increase from current practice under which about 235,000 were sent away in 2015.

Many of the people being deported will be parents of children who are U.S. citizens, born into the rights and protections of this country. Child welfare and immigration reform advocates fear that the surge in deportation will prompt a spike in foster care admissions for children in this circumstance.
Children Now : 2016-17 California County Scorecard
The 2016-17 California County Scorecard of Children's Well-Being tracks 28 key Education, Health, and Child Welfare and Economic Well-Being indicators in California, across 58 counties, over time, and by race and ethnicity.

By providing a robust snapshot of children’s well-being, the Scorecard encourages the discovery of best practices, fosters collaboration, and supports action by communities, policymakers, and advocates.
Pasadena Star : The leader of the nation’s largest child welfare system is retiring
After five years at the helm of the largest child welfare system in America, Philip Browning will be retiring from Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services.

The agency’s 8,800 staffers learned about their director’s decision in a memo sent out Wednesday.

“This is to notify you that I will be retiring from the county effective January 31, 2017,” Browning wrote.
HUD Office of Community Planning and Development : California Second Highest in Nation in Rate of Homeless Youth Unsheltered
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued Part 1 of the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. This report provides point-in-time (PIT) estimates of homelessness based on an annual PIT count conducted in January each year.
MDRC : Evaluation Finds Transitional Living Services Have Positive Impact on Youth
Youth Villages has released the third report in the Youth Villages Transitional Living Evaluation, testing whether the YVLifeSet model (previously named Transitional Living program) makes a difference in the lives of young people with histories of foster care or juvenile justice custody. YVLifeSet is intended to help young people make a successful transition to adulthood by providing intensive, individualized, and clinically focused case management, support, and counseling.

Youth Today : Foster Youth Bring Their Priorities to Capitol Hill
This week, nearly 100 current and former foster youth representing more than 20 foster advocacy organizations are in Washington to make the case for the foster care reforms they think are most important.

Based on a survey of more than 500 current and former foster youth in more than 25 states, they’ll stress to policymakers the importance of policies that maintain sibling connections, prevent homelessness, ensure college access and success and help former foster youth live independently.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Report Analyzes California’s THP-Plus and THP+FC Foster Care Programs
The THP-Plus and THP-Plus FC report offers several policy recommendations designed to address the needs of these transition-age youth, including creating a tiered-rate structure for special populations like parenting youth, better serving out-of-county foster youth and improving supportive services, among others.
John Burton Foundation : Charting the Course: Using Data to Support Foster Youth College Success
Charting the Course: Using Data to Support Foster Youth College Success provides information

on the educational experiences of foster youth attending a subset of community colleges and universities in California.

This report builds on the work of the California College Pathways (CCP) initiative, a public and private partnership that

supports campuses and community organizations to help foster youth succeed in postsecondary education. This strategy is

designed to increase the number of foster youth in California who earn a college degree or certificate.
The Chronicle of Social Change : A Hidden Crisis: The Pipeline from Foster Care to Homelessness for LGBTQ Youth
There are more than 400,000 youth in the American foster care system today, roughly that of the population of Sacramento, California. Foster care, created to protect the welfare of children, is a broken system, hobbled by an outdated bureaucracy, underfunded agencies, and overburdened workers frequently resulting in dire outcomes. Research shows that children placed in foster care are more likely to develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder than veterans of war. In some states, youth are just as likely to be abused in foster care as they are in the home from which they were removed. Foster care has also become a gateway into homelessness. Nearly half of the youth experiencing homelessness today have had at least one placement in a foster home, or group home.

LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) youth in particular face significant prejudice and discrimination in foster care.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Adoption Advocates Urge Congress to “Put Families First”
The bipartisan Family First Prevention Services Act (known as the Family First Act), which passed the House of Representatives unanimously this summer, is now stalled in the Senate. This bill would keep children safely with birth families, ensure relatives have support to care for children who cannot remain at home, and offer needed support to foster and adoptive families.
Annie E. Casey Foundation : LGBTQ in Child Welfare A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released a new publication, a first-ever comprehensive review of literature related to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in foster care. According to the studies cited in the publication, LGBTQ youth are significantly over represented in foster care and more likely to be placed in a group home.

The publication synthesizes 116 articles related to LGBTQ youth in foster care published between 1992 and 2006. which fall into one of five categories: Best and Promising Practices, Legal and Policy Protections, The Importance of Parental and Family Acceptance, Harassment, Abuse and Negative Treatment and Resulting Risks and Vulnerabilities.



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