Beyond the Safety Net: Practice Tools & Resources

Websites, Search Engines & Interactive Web Tools

Student Success Dashboard: The Community College Chancellor’s Office launched a dashboard that shares a range of metrics demonstrating key outcomes for community college students such as course success rates, retention, employment outcomes and more. The data can be disaggregated by a number of demographic groups including foster youth. Use the “Drill down” drop-down menu on the top of the page to see data specifically for foster youth along with a variety of other demographic groups.

Statewide search engine on California College Pathways website: Find a foster youth campus support program, foster youth contact, or download the list of FYSI Liaisons (

Community College Homeless Liaisons roster: AB 801 requires “Homeless Youth Liaisons” at all California Community Colleges to inform current and prospective homeless students about financial aid and other assistance available. (Look under “News & Announcements” under “Basic Needs Summary Report” and click on “liaisons”).

Career Coach through California Community College My Path website: Take an online career assessment & receive career suggestions based on interests; browse careers and information on wages, employment & needed training; find the corresponding training programs at California’s community colleges (

Statewide search engine for financial aid workshops: Find financial aid workshops held by the California Community Colleges’ (

Mental Health America-Life on Campus: Helpful information targeting college students including topics such as attending college with a mental health disorder, balancing work and school, taking a leave of absence, sleep and the student, the difference between stress and depression, self-care, common freshman-year issues, substance use and abuse and school break survival tips. (

BTSN In-Person Convening

November 2, 2018: Held at the California Endowment Center in Los Angeles, this convening included presentations on campus supports for current and former foster youth and homeless youth, and Career Education at the California Community Colleges. Cohort participants presented on promising partnerships between campuses and housing programs, data-driven decision-making, and providing academic support. Download the PPT from the full day HERE.

Technical Assistance Publications

Career Education Fact Sheet & Resource Guide (2019): This document provides information about and related resources for Career Education programs and Career Ladders at California Community Colleges, and apprenticeship opportunities through the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) Apprenticeship Programs, which allows students to earn while they learn.

Foster Youth Benefits for College (2019): This guide provides a comprehensive list of all benefits current and former foster youth are eligible for to support them in pursuing post-secondary education, including financial aid, enrollment benefits, programs and direct support, housing and food security, and Local Control Funding Formula provisions for foster youth transitioning to college.

Assisting Youth Pursuing Post-Secondary Education (2018): This document provides information and timelines for those assisting current and former foster youth with applying for and attending college. Much of the information included in this guide also appears in the “Case Management Check-in Guide” (below), however unlike the Check-in Guide, this document provides information related to the college application process.

College Assessment & Remediation Guides (2018): California’s 114 community colleges have different policies and processes for determining course placement for new students. Noncredit remedial courses may delay graduation or transfer plans so it’s important to help ensure students aren’t taking more courses than they need. These three tools will help acquaint service providers with “what to know, what to ask” when it comes to assessment and remediation at the community colleges.

Case Management Check-in Guide (2018): This document is a “cheat sheet” for case managers to help guide check-ins with their youth who are enrolled in college, week by week. The guide outlines pertinent topics to raise at specific times throughout the semester and when to remind students of important dates and tasks. It also includes a generic academic calendar to provide a general time frame for important dates throughout the year.

Homeless Student Eligibility Crosswalk (2018): A simple one-page comparison of the differences between eligibility for priority registration and FAFSA independent status for homeless students.

Visual Guide to Assist Homeless Youth with Completing the FAFSA (2018): Modeled after the FAFSA Visual Guide for Foster Youth (below), this guide provides step-by-step instructions for completing the FAFSA, with special attention on how to ensure eligible homeless youth are granted independent student status.

Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth & FAFSA Visual Guide (2017): This comprehensive guide begins with an explanation of different types of financial aid available, includes a step-wise guide to completing the FAFSA, tips on what to do after the FAFSA to ensure maximum aid awards, and explains how to stay in good standing and keep getting financial assistance for college. The visual guide is intended to compliment Part 3 of the Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth, “How do I Apply for Financial Aid?” found within pages 6-10, with screen shots of the actual FAFSA application and detailed instructions.

Foster Youth College Supports Index (2017): This document provides a comprehensive list of the various types of supports and programs available to current and former foster youth at California colleges and universities. The document also includes several programs not specific to foster youth that can be accessed by students who may be low income, homeless, disabled, etc.

Beyond the Safety Net Core Practice Model (2017): This model provides the foundation for the Beyond the Safety Net Initiative, consisting of eight key practices for improving a housing provider’s capacity to support current and former foster youth and homeless youth with applying for and enrolling and persisting in college.

Foster Youth Educational Planning Guide (2017): This guide is intended to help foster youth chart their course to the college that is right for their interests and career goals. It also directs youth to the support and resources available for foster youth scholars on college campuses.