Contact: Tony Bell, Communications Deputy
Office: (213) 974-5555 Cell: (213) 215-5176
December 7, 2010 For Immediate Release
“YOUTH SELF-SUFFICIENCY INITIATIVE” APPROVED
Accountability and Coordination between Interrelated County Agencies
Key to Success for 1,800 Emancipating Youth Transitioning To Adulthood Annually
LOS ANGELES COUNTY – In his comprehensive integrated services reform package for the County’s child welfare system, Mayor Michael D. Antonovich establishes “Youth Self-Sufficiency” as a Countywide Goal to improve outcomes in the areas of permanency/housing, social and emotional health, education and workforce preparedness.
“The outlook for the 1,800 young people who transition from county care to adulthood every year remains bleak -- half of them will be unemployed, a third will be on public assistance, a quarter will be incarcerated and over a fifth will be homeless,” said Supervisor Antonovich.
President George W. Bush’s landmark 2008 child welfare legislation, H.R. 6893, and California Assembly Bill 12 (Beall/Bass) extends federal and state funding for services to youth between the ages of 18 and 21. Antonovich’s initiative ensures the most effective allocation of these, and existing resources as recommended by a workgroup he convened of departments, commissions, advocates, non-profits, philanthropy and former foster youth.
“No single department can effectively serve a child in isolation. The goal of self-sufficiency must begin as soon as a child enters our system and all county departments must have a clear mission of the role each plays in the life of that child,” Antonovich added. “This initiative is a call to action for those who demand accountability and better futures for these young people. Through positive action, coordination and accountability, we can successfully serve our foster youth and help them transition to become self-sufficient and productive adult members of society.”