Supervisors OK More Help For Youth Moving Leaving Foster Care

News Date

Article written by City News Service. Click here to read it on the Patch website.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County supervisors unanimously approved $2.7 million in state funding to help young people moving out of the foster care system, during its Tuesday, Jan. 24, meeting, following recommendations from Child Welfare Services.

The $2.7 million will pay for housing and "wraparound" services to help residents between 18 and 25 for up to three years as part of the state's Transitional Housing Program, according to the county.

Each foster youth will receive $3,710 per month, a $900 increase.

According to the county, high living costs in the San Diego region were a factor in the funding increase. The state also provided funding to 10other counties with high rent.

CWS director Kim Giardina said that in fiscal year 2021-22, the Transitional Housing Program served more than 400 young people, with 93 percent maintaining stable housing. Almost all youth in the program also had access to dental, medical and mental health care, while 97 percent "enrolled in an educational or vocational training program and successfully completed the term," according to the county.

The program helps around 100 young people who leave foster care in San Diego every year, according to the county.

CWS also works with nonprofits to help those in underserved communities who face barriers to safe and affordable housing.

"This program keeps vulnerable young adults off the streets, in an environment where they can pursue higher education and become successful members of society," Giardina said.

The state Assembly first established the program in 2001 to provide housing and related services to foster youth ages 18 to 21 for two years.

Last year, the state Senate extended the age limit to 25 and increased support for three years. Supervisors on Tuesday approved recommendations as part of their consent agenda, which Terra Lawson-Remer called "wonderful news."

Lawson-Remer said that it's very sad when foster kids transitioning out of the system have no support or housing, and that 31% of foster youth experience homelessness.

"This is exactly why we have the county," including support networks and safety nets, she added.