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Statement From Carroll Schroeder, Executive Director for the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, on California's 2008-2009 Final Budget:
Date:9/25/2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- "This week both state and national policymakers recognized their responsibility to foster children and youth. First, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a budget which left intact funding for child welfare, foster care, and mental health for California's most vulnerable children and families. However, care for foster youth has been severely underfunded for the last 17 years. Sparing foster care from the budget axe this year was critically important, but adequate funding to ensure better outcomes for California's 74,000 foster children remains a hope, not a reality.

"California needs a secure funding source for foster children and foster caregivers. As cost of living expenses increase, both counties and foster family agencies are finding it more and more difficult to recruit and retain competent caregivers, and residential programs are closing their doors. The California Alliance looks forward to working with the Administration of Governor Schwarzenegger and with both Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to address remaining gaps in California's child welfare system.

"The California Alliance also urges Governor Schwarzenegger to sign SB 1380 (Steinberg), an important piece of legislation that would do two things: update the Intensive Treatment Foster Care Program and extend 'rate relief' for group homes for an additional year. Implementing SB 1380 will ensure that fewer children with exceptional needs will require costly group home care and that more of these children will be cared for and receive services in a family setting. As a result, they will be less likely to bounce from placement to placement and will be more likely to exit foster care to a permanent family and home. For children needing group home care, this bill will ensure those programs continue to have the flexibility they need to provide care and services to foster children in a seriously under
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SOURCE California Alliance of Child and Family Services
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