Roundtable Overview and Materials

The Child Welfare Policy Roundtable highlights the major child welfare and foster care issues facing California, visions for systemic reform, and policy opportunities to improve the lives of our state’s most vulnerable children and youth. Co-hosted by Children Now and the Assembly Foster Care Select Committee, this monthly meeting features a panel of policymakers, practitioners, advocates and former foster youth and provides an informal opportunity to learn and ask questions about California’s child welfare system. Legislative staff, advocates, stakeholders, and the public are invited to join the conversation. For meeting information or if you are having problems accessing any of the below materials, please contact Sara Fung at [email protected].

July 2021: Canceled

Past Meeting Materials

View a Recording of the Meeting

Diana Boyer, Director of Policy for Child Welfare and Older Adult Services, [email protected]
County Welfare Directors Association of California,

Disability Benefits Advocacy for Youth (Compliance with AB 1331 and 1633)
Steven Weiss, Regional Managing Attorney, Social Security, [email protected]
Bay Area Legal Aid,

  • Materials were not provided

Social Security Benefits for Non-Minor Dependents (Challenges Faced by NMDs in Accessing Benefits and Recommendations for Improving Access)
Rachel Stein, Supervising Staff Attorney, Children’s Rights, [email protected]
Public Counsel,

  • Materials were not provided

Policy Recommendations for Stability and Successful Transitions
Sabrina Forte, Director of Policy and Impact Litigation, [email protected]
Alliance for Children’s Rights,  

View a Recording of the Meeting Here

California’s Return to In-Person Learning
Erik Saucedo, State Policy Fellow, [email protected]
California Budget & Policy Center,  

Student Mental Health: School County Partnerships
Lishaun Francis, Associate Director of Health Collaborations, [email protected]
Katie Andrew, Senior Policy and Outreach Associate of Health, [email protected]
Children Now,

AB 775 (Berman) Public Postsecondary Education: Basic Needs of Students
Debbie Raucher, Director of Education, [email protected]
John Burton Advocates for Youth,

AB 967 (Frazier) COVID-19 Emergency Special Education Services and Voluntary Alternative Dispute Resolution
Kristin Power, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, [email protected]
Alliance for Children’s Rights,

SB 532 (Caballero) High School Coursework and Graduation Requirements: Exemptions
Jessica Maxwell, Deputy Director of Compassionate Education Systems California, [email protected]
National Center for Youth Law,

SB 699 (Eggman) School Climate: California Healthy Kids Survey
Sarah Lillis, California Executive Director, [email protected]
Teach Plus,

For more information on this topic, see this new brief from United Friends of the Children and Children Now, “Hearing from Youth in Foster Care: Online Learning During the Pandemic.”

View a Recording of the Meeting Here

Homelessness Among Youth Transitioning to Adulthood from Foster Care: Lessons from CalYOUTH
Dr. Mark Courtney, Samuel Deutsch Professor, [email protected]
The University of Chicago, Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice,

AB 71 (Luz Rivas/Bloom/Chiu/Wicks): Youth Homelessness and the 10% Set Aside
Sharon Rapport, Director, [email protected]
Corporation for Supportive Housing,

AB 413 (Ting): Preventing and Reducing Foster Youth Homelessness
Simone Tureck Lee, Director of Housing and Health, [email protected]
John Burton Advocates for Youth,

AB 546 (Maienschein): County Responsibility for Housing Youth Exiting Foster Care or Entering Extended Foster Care
Ed Howard, Senior Counsel, Senior Policy Advocate, [email protected]
Children’s Advocacy Institute,

SB 234 (Wiener): The SUPPORT Act – Supporting Underserved Young People for Positive Resets and Transitions
Kim Lewis, Advocate, [email protected]
California Coalition for Youth,

SB 591 (Becker): Intergenerational Housing
John Bauters, Emeryville City Council Member, [email protected]
City of Emeryville,

For more information on this topic, see this new brief from First Place for Youth and this issue of insights from the California Child Welfare Co-Investment Partnership.

View a Recording of the Meeting Here

The Return of California’s Out-of-State Youth
Sara Rogers, Branch Chief, [email protected]
Jean Chen, Program Administrator, [email protected]
California Department of Social Services,

County Child Welfare Impacts of the Out-of-State Facility Decertifications
Cathy Senderling-McDonald, Executive Director, [email protected]
County Welfare Directors Association of California,

Decertification of Out-of-State Programs – Impacts and Opportunities for California Youth
Rosie McCool, Deputy Director, [email protected]
Chief Probation Officers of California,

Developing an Expedited Transition Planning Process for Youth Returning from Out of State
Chris Stoner-Mertz, Chief Executive Officer, [email protected]
California Alliance of Child and Family Services,

California Halts Use of Out-of-State Foster Care Facilities
Erin Palacios, Staff Attorney, [email protected]
Youth Law Center,

View a Recording of the Meeting Here

Overview of SB 823
Frankie Guzman, Director, Youth Justice Initiative, [email protected]
National Center for Youth Law,

Implementation and Challenges
Laura John Ridolfi, Director of Policy, [email protected]
Burns Institute,

Clean Up and Next Steps
Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate, Children’s Rights Division, [email protected]
Human Rights Watch,

View a Recording of the Meeting Here


Alliance for Children’s Rights,
Kristin Power, Government Relations Director, [email protected]

California Alliance of Caregivers,
Jenn Rexroad, Executive Director, [email protected]

  • Materials were not provided

California Alliance of Child and Family Services,
Danielle Molé, Senior Policy Advocate, [email protected]  

California Youth Connection,
Christina Torrez, Member
Alexis Obinna, Member

  • Materials were not provided

Children Now,
Susanna Kniffen, Senior Director of Child Welfare Policy, [email protected]

Children’s Law Center,
Julie McCormick, Senior Policy Attorney, [email protected]

County Welfare Directors Association of California,
Diana Boyer, Director of Policy for Child Welfare and Older Adult Services, [email protected]

John Burton Advocates for Youth,
Amy Lemley, Executive Director, [email protected]  

Youth Law Center,
Maria Ramiu, Senior Staff Attorney, [email protected]  

2020 Meeting Materials

2019 Meeting Materials

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 more than 3,000 direct service, parent, civil rights, faith-based and community groups dedicated to improving children’s well-being. Learn more about us at