THP-Plus Spending Increases $2.2 Million in Recently Released Realignment Report
Last week, the California Department of Social Services issued the most recent report on 2011 Realignment. The report found that for the first time since 2011 Realignment went into effect, THP-Plus expenditures have increased.
Collectively, county THP-Plus Realignment Allocations total $34.9 million, with $27.9 spent over FY 2015-16. There has been an increase in spending from the prior year of $2.2 million, or nine percent. This increase comes on the heels of a 21 percent decrease from FY 2011-12 to 2014-15. Past reports attributed the decrease in spending to be caused in part by the implementation of Extended Foster Care. As the first cohort of youth who opted to remain in care turned 21 and exited the system in FY 2015-16, these youth have begun to access THP-Plus housing.
In FY 2015-16, as a state, counties spent 80 percent of the statewide THP-Plus budget, with only ten counties spending their full allocation. According to the most recent THP-Plus/THP+FC Annual Report, over FY 2015-16, a full 24 counties had programs with waiting lists for THP-Plus, indicating significant demand.
While Realignment gave counties spending flexibility, state law requires that if a county intends to eliminate or significantly reduce the level of its THP-Plus program by 10 percent in any one year or by a cumulative 25 percent over the previous three years, the decision must be affirmed in open session by a vote of its local Board of Supervisors. This provision was included in state law to ensure any decision could be informed by a range of community stakeholders, including youth potentially affected by the reduction to THP-Plus.
Last year, JBAY developed a series of recommendations to assist counties in spending their THP-Plus allocation to best support former foster youth at risk of homelessness. To download the 2017 Report to the Legislature, visit the California Department of Social Services’ webpage on Realignment.