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California Alliance Applauds Governor's Support of Group Home Reform for Foster Youth
Date:10/12/2007

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law a package of legislation designed to reduce barriers to service and extend benefits to children and youth in foster care and to help them achieve permanency. One important bill in this package of legislation will allow counties and private non-profit agencies to transform the current system of group home care into a more comprehensive system of services which focus on developing and strengthening life-long permanent connections for every youth in foster care.

AB 1453, authored by Assemblymember Soto and sponsored by the California Alliance of Children and Family Services (the Alliance), will encourage counties to develop partnerships with non-profit agencies to test alternative programs to group home care, so that children with complex emotional and behavioral needs are matched with appropriate services, while staying connected to their communities. Youth currently in group home care often experience multiple placements resulting in a lack of consistent connections with family, schools, and communities. Casey Family Programs, in collaboration with the Alliance, has stepped forward to provide the technical support and evaluate results to help counties develop innovative programs.

The enrolled legislation marks a victory for the coalition of committed stakeholders and advocates working with the California Department of Social Services since 2004 to reassess the roles of group homes for children and youth. The diverse workgroup included family members, emancipated foster youth, child and family advocates, policymakers, researchers, care provider representatives, and county and state public officials from law enforcement, social service, child welfare, mental health, and education agencies and departments. Their efforts resulted in the development a framework for transforming the current system of foster care group homes into a system of child-cent
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SOURCE California Alliance of Child and Family Services
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