Workforce Innovation Submitted By:
City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board
Youth at the Crossroads 2012
Foster youth face many deterrents to becoming self-sufficient, such as not completing high school, experiencing high levels of unemployment, crime and other factors. Previously, once youth in foster care turned 18, they were released from the system and left to make it on their own. In the current economy where several age groups are competing for the same jobs, gaining employment upon completion of high school or college is not guaranteed especially without family or other support. AB12, the Fostering Connections to Success Act in California, allows foster youth to stay in care until age 21 to better prepare for adulthood.
Cohesive support and collaboration must be established between workforce development and child welfare systems in order to best serve older foster youth in care.
The Workforce Investment Boards of the City of Los Angeles and the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego are keenly aware of the challenges facing youth in foster care. These groups came together with other foster youth services agencies to determine how best to collaborate on implementation of the legislation. This forum explored innovative and effective approaches to providing youth in foster care with workforce development services.
Outcomes & Results
As a result of the forum, agencies and systems that did not regularly interact with each other learned how each others' programs functioned and how they related to each other in serving the same population: foster youth. The event facilitated discussion among the spectrum of youth providers, policy makers, social workers and the like. Various workshops were held discussing policy and action to ensure the proper execution of AB12.
The forum was sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, the County of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the Riverside County Workforce Investment Board, the City of Los Angeles Community Development Department and New Ways to Work. For video from the event, visit www.youtube.com/user/CityofLAWIB