Beyond Foster Care

A PROGRAM RUN BY AND FOR FORMER FOSTER YOUTH

The Beyond Foster Care (BFC) campaign launched at Journey House in 2015 as a story telling effort to raise awareness on the impacts of age out polices that affect programs and services for former foster youth. Over 50 Journey House members co-designed the initiative, creating Journey House’s first official advocacy program in its history. BFC builds on Journey House’s long-standing commitment to support former foster and probation reach self-sufficiency by creating a community support network. We are proud to be a leading force in California and around the country that is redefining the landscape for former foster youth.

THE PROBLEM

The current Transition Age Youth (TAY) policy framework sets the expectation that former foster youth must become self-sufficient by the age of 24. Scientific data tells us that young people do not develop critical long-term thinking capacities until the age of 25. The problem is that age-out policies place age limits on the healing process, creating a “use it or lose it” scenario that only furthers a young adults disadvantages.

HOW WE DO IT

To reach Beyond Foster Care’s goals, we seek to:

Educate the public on the realities of life in and out of the foster care system. 

 

Advocate for state-wide policies to create resources that support older former foster youth.

 

​Empower youth to take a proactive stance on the issues that impact their lives.

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THE IMPACT

We stand proud by our major accomplishments in such short time and limited resources. With the support of partners and allies, we have successfully advocated for systemic that reflect the individual needs of older former foster youth. Here are a few of our major accomplishments to date:

2020: In response to the public health pandemic of Covid-19, we lead the effort for a $29 million state budget emergency funding allocation to ensure that former foster youth maintain safe and stable housing during and after the state of emergency order is lifted.

2019: Lead the effort to create a $1 million statewide budget allocation for a Loan Repayment program for former foster youth who want to become social workers through the Licensed Mental Health Services Provider Education Program. This is a first of kind program specific to former foster youth in graduate school.

2018: Lead the effort to expand the age limit from 22 to 26 years of age for California’s CHAFEE grant scholarship for foster youth attending college. This included a major on-going investment from the state budget of $4 million in funding each year.

Former Foster Youth Speakers Panel

The Beyond Foster Care speakers panel is a group of former foster youth who host guest lectures, conference panels, workshops, and trainings to a wide range of audiences who are interested in learning more about foster care. Please contact us if you are interested in having a guest speaker at your next gathering.

 WHAT WE DO

We develop former foster youth into professional level advocates to shift the narratives of trauma and victimization to one of empowerment.

WHY WE DO IT

We share our stories to create lasting cultural and systemic changes in child welfare and the broader social work landscape. We do this to ensure that we do not lose the lessons learned true our own trauma, and to create a better path for the foster youth who will come behind us. 

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PAST SPEAKING EVENTS

  • UCLA – Calswec Program/ Institute on Inequality and Democracy/ BGS

  • East Los Angeles College – NAMI Club (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

  • Cal State Long Beach – CalSWEC Program

  • The Children’s Partnership & Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice – Developing a Trauma-Informed Roadmap to Prevent Juvenile Justice Involvement of Child Welfare Youth: A Moral and Fiscal Imperative.

  • Glendale Community College – Guardian Scholars Resource Presentation

  • USC – School of Social Work/ Children’s Hospital/ Children, Youth, and Families Dept/ Office for the Protection of Research Subject

  • Azusa Pacific University – Intro to Social Work

  • CSU Los Angeles

  • Hollenbeck Police Department – MSW Interns

  • Sierra Madre – Women’s Club

  • LA Trade Tech – Black, Brown, and Powerful: Freedom Dreams in Unequal Cities

2017

  • Azusa Pacific University MSW Students

  • USC – School of Social Work

  • South Pasadena Rotary Club

  • Azusa Pacific University – Criminal Justice Dept.

  • Azusa Pacific University – Sociology Dept.

  • Cal State Long Beach

  • Cal State LA

  • Alliance of Boys and Men of Color

2016

  • USC School of Social Work

  • CSULA Juvenille Justice and Social Work Undergrads

  • Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect

  • Centinela Youth Services Annual Dinner – Hawthorne (Jesse Keynote Speaker)

  • LA County Probation Department College Summit (Jesse Keynote Speaker)

  • CSUN School of Social Work “From Our Perspectives” Research Forum

  • Sierra Madre Women’s Club (Lucero Keynote Speaker)

  • Westminster Garden Retirement Community – Duarte (Gabby Keynote Speaker)

  • Cal-Youth Study Open Forum (Jesse Speaker)

2015

  • USC School of Social Work (TAY) (5 Journey House Participants)

  • UCLA School of Psychology Conference (Jesse Keynote Speaker)

  • Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Annual Summit (Gabby Keynote Speaker)

2014

  • CSUF School of Psychology (5 Journey House Participants)

Speakers Panel Forum Topics

  • Aging-Out: Life Beyond Foster Care

  • Housing: Stability and Permanency

  • Incarceration: The Foster Care to Prison Pipeline

  • Education: Accessibility and Affordability

  • Families: Reunification, Health Relationships, and Support

  • Employment: Finding, Obtaining, and Maintaining

  • Social: Personal Development, Communication, and Confidence

  • Trauma: Healing from Emotional, Verbal, and Physical Abuse

  • Social Issues: Cycle of Poverty, Drug Use, and Victimization

  • Transportation: Vehicle Ownership, Commuting, and Affordability

  • Systemic Accountability: ILP, Social/Case Workers, and DCFS

  • Parenthood: Teen Pregnancy, Unplanned Pregnancy, and Transition Support

  • Financial: Budgets, Debt, Credit and Responsibility

  • Legal: Adoption, Kinship, Immigration, Criminal, and Probation

  • Holistic Health: Mental, Physical, and Emotional

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(626) 798-9478 

1232 N. Los Robles Ave. Pasadena · CA 91104 · United States

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