COVID-19 has challenged us all in many ways. But imagine if you had just turned 21 years old and were told to leave your home and find a new home, all while trying to protect yourself from the virus? Now imagine doing this all without the assistance of a family. Could you do it safely?
That’s what many foster youth were facing across California when COVID-19 struck. Under existing law, foster youth would be removed from their foster placements to become completely independent as soon as they turn 21.
John Burton Advocates for Youth recognized that it wasn’t right to make young people exit foster care in the midst of the pandemic. That’s why we, together with a coalition of advocates, asked Governor Newsom to allow young people to remain in foster care until June 30th.
On April 17th Governor Newsom agreed and provided a lifeline to the 1,200 foster youth who would have otherwise “aged out” in April, May and June. Instead of homelessness and instability, these young people are able to remain safely in their homes and on track educationally.
JBAY will continue to bolster its advocacy efforts to ensure the most vulnerable youth will not fall through the cracks during these uncertain times.