AB 12: Help for Emmancipated and Discharged Youth

1409 Words 6 Pages
Goals of Current Policy and Implementation AB 12 attempts to address the need to have services for youth who have been emancipated or discharged from the foster system. This is required as the data on the subject highlights that youth are simply often not able to be thriving adults on their eighteenth birthdays. Many find themselves on the street homeless, without jobs, in jail or parents before they are fully able to care for themselves. The goal of AB 12 is to extend foster care to age 21 and access the federal match of the national foster care system. According to the Assembly Bill 12 Primer (2014), AB 12 does the following:
1) Convert California's Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (Kin‐ GAP) into a federally subsidized
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In order for youth who meet the above requirements to remain eligible they must also meet one of the following contribution requirements: complete high school or equivalency program (i.e., GED, CHSPE); minimally half time enrolled in college or vocational training program; receiving pay for full time employment (80 hrs. per month); participating in employment training or other program to remove barriers for employment (therapeutic interventions, substance abuse treatment); or are unable to meet one of the above requirements due to health condition. This includes both long term and short term conditions as well as mental and physical health conditions (Beall & Bass, 2010). The bill was fully implemented as of January 1, 2014.
In the John Burton Policy Brief on AB 12 the realities of education for foster youth are highlighted, “The rate at which foster youth complete high school (50 percent) is significantly lower than the rate at which their peers complete high school (70 percent),” (2011, p. 2). This affects chances for higher education including college degrees. This has a significant impact on the community as “aged-out” youth without services have more chance of risk for: homelessness, poverty, unemployment, going to jail, prostitution, substance abuse, early parenthood and untreated health conditions. Samuels and Pryce state that foster care has not always been a positive, developmentally appropriate experience. Youth who are
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