National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

Fostering Success Fund (2019)
California Budget

In 2018, California took a major step towards addressing the criminalization of foster youth for minor behaviors and low-level offenses by allocating $4 million to create the Fostering Success Fund. The Fund supports:

  • community-based services to address the needs of children in group homes and shelters
  • trainings for law enforcement and group home and shelter staff on de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques
  • culturally-relevant, trauma-informed, youth development services and interventions

A 2017 San Francisco Chronicle investigation revealed that California shelters were funneling hundreds of foster children, some as young as 8 years old, into the juvenile system. In many cases, children were arrested for behavior that staff should be trained to expect in their jobs – incidents like arguing, shoving, and biting. California’s 2018 establishment of the Fostering Success Fund was bold. However, it didn’t provide enough resources to fully address the scope of the problem.

NCYL is now advocating for a $9 million augmentation of the fund.  This will allow California to increase the capacity of a community-based youth development system that is both socially and fiscally responsible by treating foster children accused of low-level offenses appropriately for their age, in community settings, and with an emphasis on health and wellbeing. #FosteringSuccess