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

Pasadena Star : Only 3% of former foster children graduate college. Here’s how universities are working to change that
A former foster youth who had aged out of the system, Luisjuan beat the odds and earned a college degree with the help of CSUSB’s Renaissance Scholars program. Cal State and University of California campuses offer such programs across the state. They provide former foster youths with educational support, peer support, counseling, housing assistance, financial support and even food.
Pasadena Now : Pasadena’s Journey House Celebrates Education Policy Win for Former Foster Youth
Pasadena’s Journey House celebrated their legislative victory of 2017, passage of Assemblymember Holden’s Assembly Bill 1567, with local stakeholders, advocates, and former foster youth. Journey House sponsored the legislation that automatically notifies foster youth and former foster you of the services they qualify for upon acceptance at a California Community College or California State University. The new law is anticipated to improve higher education outcomes for former foster youth.
One of the bigger surprises coming out of January's annual count of homeless living in L.A. County was a dramatic rise in homelessness among children and young adults. The count found 6,000 homeless 18 to 24-year-olds. A large portion — 40 to 60 percent — had spent time in the child welfare system.
LA Times : At temporary L.A. County shelters, some foster kids just keep cycling through
Inside a small dorm on a neatly manicured campus in La Verne, two teenage girls were flitting between rooms.

One adjusted a tight-fitting tank top over her chest and checked her reflection in the mirror. The other danced to Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like” as it played from a cellphone.

The teens were getting ready to run away from a temporary shelter for foster youths.

Just before 9:30 p.m. they broke into a run and headed for the campus entrance. A security guard and another staff member followed.

“Why’re you getting so close? Just stay right there, please,” the younger one begged the guard as he caught up. “My ride’s coming.”

A few minutes later, a silver pickup truck pulled over. The girls quickly got inside and took off. A staff member called the police.

Left, A.M., a 17-year-old, walks outside at the David and Margaret transitional shelter. She has stayed at the facility several times. Right, A.M. paints her nails in a common area. She has been alternating between the streets, foster homes, group homes and shelter with friends. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
It’s a scene that recurs regularly at the David and Margaret Youth and Family Services transitional shelter care facility in La Verne.

The girls are among 4,200 young people who have stayed in such a facility since March 2016. That is when L.A. County shut down its emergency “welcome centers,” where foster children with nowhere else to go could stay for a day or less, and opened three-day shelters run by private providers.

Some kids are entering the foster system for the first time. For those, the 72-hour facilities generally serve as intended — a temporary stop on the way to a longer-term home.

But many have cycled in and out of foster placements for years, sometimes getting kicked out, “AWOLing,” or landing in jail in between. Some have histories of substance abuse, mental illness or sex work. Others are pregnant or have children of their own.

“These are kids who have been in the system a long time [and] usually have lots of issues,” said Michael Nash, the former presiding judge of L.A. County’s Juvenile Court. “It’s sort of unrealistic to think … we’re going to put them into a transitional shelter for 72 hours and figure out how to stabilize them and figure out a placement where we have confidence that they’re going to stay.”
Pasadena Star : Young and homeless in America: Survey says the problem is worsening
More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a sweeping study by the University of Chicago released last week.

The study, “Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America,” was based on random phone surveys of 26,000 young people ages 13 to 25, and represents one of the most accurate, wide-ranging overviews ever conducted of homeless youth, a group whose numbers have long eluded researchers, educators and social workers, homeless advocates said.
The Chronicle of Social Change : Ride-Sharing Company Will Get L.A. Foster Kids to School
HopSkipDrive, a child-focused ride-sharing company, announced a partnership with Los Angeles County’s Office of Education (LACOE) to transport foster youth to school.
Moving at what one official called a “fast and furious” pace to rectify its failure to complywith foster care mandates enshrined in the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), LACOE has contracted with the L.A.-based tech company to give foster kids rides to their so-called “school of origin” through the end of the school year.

The Education Trust-West : The Majority Report: Supporting the Success of Latino Students in California
“The Majority Report: Supporting the Educational Success of Latino Students in California” provides an extensive look at how the state’s largest ethnic group is faring at every level of California’s education system. The report finds that while the over 3 million Latino students in K-12 schools are the majority of California’s 6.2 million K-12 population, and nearly 1 million Latino students are in California’s public colleges and universities, these students continue to face troubling inequities from early learning through higher education. California’s Latino students:

Attend the nation’s most segregated schools;
Are often tracked away from college-preparatory coursework;
Are sometimes perceived as less academically capable than their White or Asian peers; and
Have insufficient access to early childhood education;
Are less likely to feel connected to their school environment;
Are more likely to be required to take remedial courses at colleges and universities.
The study also highlights bright spots throughout the state where promising practices are helping Latino students advance academically, dispelling the myth that these gaps cannot be closed, and reiterating the need for more action and urgency from state leaders.
Educational Results Partnership : ACCELERATING SUCCESS: Turning Insights into Action for Foster Youth at California Community Colleges
This current report is intended primarily to provide
local college staff, faculty and administrators with data
to better understand foster youth performance and
how to better support foster youth outcomes. The
findings also provide insights for improving policies
locally and statewide to help remove barriers to foster
youth success in completing college.
Pasadena Now : Five Acres Campaigns, Digitally, to Raise Awareness for Foster Care, Adoption
Five Acres has launched a digital campaign to raise awareness for foster care and adoption in Los Angeles and surrounding counties.

The Five Acres Trust Fall Challenge invites friends, families, co-workers, businesses, community organizations and more to film and share their own trust fall videos online with the hashtags #fall4fiveacres and #20kby2020. The challenge symbolizes the agency’s key message: that every child belongs in the arms of a safe, loving and permanent family.
LA Times : Gov. Jerry Brown signs legislation to ease punishment, criminal fines for juvenile offenders
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed nine bills to aid young people facing charges and serving time, a victory for a statewide coalition of criminal justice groups that brought together celebrities and former youth offenders in a push to divert children from a path to prison.
The new laws will increase parole opportunities and ease punishment for people who committed crimes as children or teens. They will allow courts to seal certain juvenile records and limit the administrative fees that counties charge families with children in juvenile detention.
Pasadena Star : Pasadena church opens Rosebud cafe to give jobs to youths, homeless
There’s a new cafe in east Pasadena that hopes not only to sling good coffee, but to promote a good cause, too.

The newly opened Rosebud Cafe will exclusively hire formerly homeless people and youths transitioning out of the foster system. The cafe is an the expansion of a training program started by Rose City Church that used a coffee cart to teach at-risk youths how to become baristas.
EdSource Today : LA County Office admits it shouldn't have approved Long Beach's LCAP
The Los Angeles County Office of Education has issued a mea culpa in a ruling with potentially far-reaching implications. It acknowledged that it mistakenly approved Long Beach Unified’s accountability plan last year that shortchanged low-income children, foster and homeless youth, and English learners $24 million under the state’s funding formula.
LA Times : Settlement to send $151 million to 50 L.A. schools over the next three years
The Los Angeles Unified School District will pour $151 million into a group of 50 schools to settle a lawsuit over how the school system spends money intended for some of its neediest students.

The funds, to be distributed over three years, will go to schools in low-income neighborhoods, mostly in South and East Los Angeles, and will pay for such efforts as increased tutoring, mental health support, counseling, parent participation and restorative justice.

The extra help is supposed to benefit three groups of students: those from low-income families, English learners and those in the foster-care system.
LA Times : Youths in foster system get care until age 21, but struggles persist
Usher has been in the foster system since he was 8. He doesn’t have parents who can bail him out or guide him smoothly into adulthood.

But unlike most foster youths of the past, he’s able to get help from the Department of Children and Family Services until he turns 21, thanks to a state program called extended foster care, which began in 2012. The program was created to assist youths who, on average, fare far worse in adulthood than peers who have not had involvement with the child welfare system.

Often referred to simply as “AB 12,” after the Assembly bill that created it, extended foster care offers young people who are still in the foster system at age 18 a roof over their head, funding and support services for three extra years, as long as they go to school, work, attend a job-readiness program or have a medical condition that prevents them from meeting these requirements.
Pasadena Now : Barger's Motion Supports Higher Education for Foster Youth
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis to support Senate Bill 12 (Beall) which seeks to increase access to postsecondary education for foster youth.
The Chronicle of Social Change : States All Over the Map on Ensuring Educational Stability for Foster Youth
The Every Student Succeeds Act gave school systems across the country until December 2016 to transport foster youth to school. Nine months later, implementation is wanting.

For the roughly 270,000 school-aged children living in America’s foster care system, educational success can be elusive. Having suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect, coupled with the uncertainty of foster care, these youngsters have substantially worse educational outcomes than their peers.

For example, in California 58 percent of foster youth will graduate high school as compared with 79 percent of students with low socioeconomic status and 84 percent of students overall.
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.
John Burton Advocates for Youth : Immigrant Families & Child Welfare: What Do We Need to Know in 2017?
This web seminar featured representatives from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) offering information about current child welfare policies and their impact on immigrant families in California. Information presented included an overview of the Trump Administration’s actions and how they impact families and children, protections for immigrant families in the child welfare system, including Senate Bill 1064, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Parental Interests Directive and Confidentiality of Juvenile Records, and an overview of immigration relief options for children & families, including updates on Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
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.
Chapin Hall Issue Brief : Early Findings on the Relationship between Extended Foster Care and Youths’ Outcomes at Age 19
As part of the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood (CalYOUTH) Study, Professor Mark Courtney and his colleagues at the University of Chicago have issued a policy brief exploring the relationship between extended foster care and selected outcomes for youth transitioning to adulthood from care in California. The analysis measures the impact of remaining in foster care past age 18 on seven outcomes: secondary education, post-secondary education, assets, economic hardship, homelessness, receipt of public assistance and criminal justice involvement.


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