Contact: Tony Bell, Communications Deputy
Office: (213) 974-5555 Cell: (213) 215-5176
November 16, 2009 For Immediate Release
STATE FINANCIAL CUTS FOR EMANCIPATED FOSTER YOUTH SHORTSIGHTED
LOS ANGELES COUNTY – “Sacramento needs to solve its fiscal crisis by cutting its bloated bureaucracy and uncontrolled spending -- not abandoning young people in the fragile state of transitioning from foster youth to adult,” Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich said in the wake of the State of California’s decision to eliminate stipends and other vital support for emancipated foster youth.
“Having already been abandoned or neglected in one form or another, the State’s policy of emancipation without continued financial support at age 18 is government-sanctioned child abuse,” he said.
The State announced it will cut a total of $2.6 million in annual funding that supports Los Angeles County’s 1800 emancipating youth’s transition to adulthood. Reductions include $1.5 million in Emancipated Youth Stipends used to support their unmet financial needs such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, food and transportation. These cuts also result in a reduction of $800,000 to Los Angeles County's Independent Living Program funding and $300,000 for the Transitional Housing Plus program, which funds life skills training, housing and scholarships for emancipating DCFS and Probation-supervised youth.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Supervisor Antonovich’s motion on Tuesday, November 10, directing the Chief Executive Officer, the County’s Sacramento advocates and the Department of Children and Family Services to work with appropriate Statewide associations, advocate groups, legislative staff, the California Department of Social Services and the Administration, to fully restore funding for Emancipating foster youth.