2023 Key Child Welfare Policy Issues

These resources highlight policy opportunities in 2023 to help ensure children and youth currently or formerly in foster care find safety, stability and success, and to learn more about California’s child welfare system.

The Policies

2023 Key Child Welfare Policy Issues

This overview summarizes issues critical to the well-being of children and youth in foster care.

Disaster Response

Children and youth in foster care and their caregivers deal with a unique set of challenges in the wake of a natural disaster.

Stability for Children and Youth in Care

Caregivers, children, and youth must have access to supports that are designed to stabilize placements and strengthen relationships.

Independent Living Program

Barriers exist that prevent young people in foster care from engaging in and benefitting from ILP as intended.


Youth currently or formerly in foster care face multiple barriers to securing and maintaining meaningful employment.

Housing Stability for Transition Age Youth

Significant work remains to be done to ensure youth currently or formerly in foster care have access to the housing they need.

Education of Students in Foster Care

With proper supports and services, students in foster care can overcome the unique barriers to education they face and thrive academically.

Transparency and Accountability for Students in Foster Care

Improved transparency and accountability are key to improving the educational outcomes of foster youth.

California Healthcare Reforms Impacting Current and Former Foster Youth

There are a variety of healthcare reform initiatives underway that will impact children and youth who have been involved with the child welfare system.

Family Urgent Response System (FURS) Implementation

FURS provides children and youth currently or formerly in foster care and their caregivers access to 24/7 trauma-informed supports.

Promoting the Health and Well-Being of Current and Former Foster Youth

To heal from prior trauma, youth currently and formerly in foster care need access to comprehensive health services tailored to their individual needs.

Opportunities to Learn More

Child Welfare Policy Roundtable

Co-hosted by the Assembly Foster Care Select Committee and Children Now, this monthly meeting highlights the major child welfare and foster care issues facing California.

Child Welfare Policy at Children Now
We aim to transform the child welfare system to ensure youth in foster care thrive.

Please contact Susanna Kniffen at [email protected] if you have any questions about the issues.

About Children Now

Children Now is a nonpartisan, multi-issue research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health and education in California. The organization also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a network of direct service, parent, civil rights, faith-based and community groups dedicated to improving children’s well-being. Learn more about us here.