As the only umbrella research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health, education, and overall well-being in California, our efforts to improve the state’s child welfare system address a cross-section of issues that impact foster youth. Children Now’s work helps ensure that foster youth succeed in school, receive quality health care, are provided a stable environment, preserve family connections, and become independent adults long after their experiences in the child welfare system.

All foster youth in California should have access to quality education, health care, and a stable and nurturing environment to succeed.

As the state is now shifting more control of child welfare services to the local level, there is the potential to improve outcomes for foster youth by giving communities needed flexibility in tuning their approaches while ensuring the substantial risks associated with funding, equity and accountability for outcomes are addressed.

The state must also support policies that ensure foster children receive the full spectrum of services they need to thrive in the least restrictive, most family-like environment appropriate. By the time children enter foster care, most have suffered multiple losses and traumas already. Frequent placement changes while in foster care can further adversely affect a child’s emotional well-being, ability to form secure and healthy attachments, and educational attainment.

We work not only to improve the child welfare system, but also to educate and encourage those working with this vulnerable population to follow best practices and provide the best possible environment for children’s success.