John Burton Advocates for Youth works on behalf of current and former foster youth and homeless youth in three issue areas: education, housing and health. Much of this work is conducted through projects led by the organization, or that we collaborate with our partners on.


  • California College Pathways Rapid Response Program

    COVID-19 poses a special risk to students with experience in foster care transitioning to and through college in California. In response to this crisis, several California College Pathways funding partners have collaborated with Together We Rise and John Burton Advocates for Youth to create a COVID-19 Safety Net Fund to ensure programs have immediate access to flexible resources to quickly address a wide range of challenges that could potentially threaten a foster youth’s ability to transition to and through college.

  • Increasing Access to Laptops for Youth Affected by COVID-19 School Closures

    Many foster youth do not have access to a laptop or computer during the COVID-19 lockdown. With California moving all classes online, thousands of foster youth are in danger of being forced to drop out of college. John Burton Advocates for Youth is working with iFoster to provide laptops, and internet access, at no charge to foster youth in college. Additional COVID-19 resources for foster and homeless youth are available here.

  • Burton Book Fund

    Since 2013, JBAY has provided $1.9 million in textbooks to 7,700  current and former foster youth who attend college across California.

  • California College Pathways Project

    JBAY helps foster youth across the state achieve their higher education goals and move on to fulfilling careers by engaging post-secondary education institutions to work together, sharing best practices, and advocating for policies that support foster youth in higher education.

  • California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge

    JBAY assists counties to ensure that foster youth have access to the financial aid they need for college through the provision of technical assistance, promotional materials, student incentives, support for tracking Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion, and other resources. Project partners include the California Department of Education and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office.

  • Foster Youth College Advancement Project

    JBAY leads the Foster Youth College Advancement Project (FYCAP), an initiative within the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative. FYCAP seeks to increase post-secondary attainment for foster youth in LA County by leveraging a robust network of stakeholders to develop collaborative strategies and systems improvements.

  • Campus Support for Homeless Students

    JBAY provides training and technical assistance to Homeless Youth Liaisons and other key support staff at community college campuses in California to help identify best practices and disseminate innovative strategies for supporting homeless college students.


  • State Investment in Reducing Youth Homelessness

    In the last two years, California has invested $1.15 billion in addressing homelessness through the creation of two new state programs. Of this, a minimum of $77 million is required to be used to address youth homelessness.

  • THP-Plus Statewide Implementation Project

    JBAY works to reduce homelessness among current and former foster youth in California through training, technical assistance, and advocacy to improve access to two vital programs: THP-NMD, which provides supportive housing to youth age 18 to 21 who are in foster care; and THP-Plus, which provides 24 months of supportive housing to former foster youth, age 18 to 24. Current project activities include implementation of a supplement to the THP-NMD foster care rate that addresses increased housing costs in California, and implementation of new funding for the THP-Plus program.

  • California Fostering Connections Project

    JBAY successfully advocated for the passage of Assembly Bill 12 (AB12), which expanded foster care from age 18 to age 21 in 2010. Since then, JBAY has sponsored additional legislation to improve and expand access to the program. JBAY continues to ensure that extended foster care remains implemented as intended through policy advocacy, training and technical assistance.

  • John Burton Advocates for Youth Housing Complex

    Completed in 2018, the John Burton Advocates for Youth Housing Complex has 50 units of service-enriched affordable housing, including 24 homes for TAY—youth between the ages of 16 to 24 who are transitioning out of foster care. It is located in the Fillmore District of San Francisco and is part of the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center’s 70,000 square foot mixed-use facility.


  • Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project

    JBAY partners with a number of organizations on a collective impact campaign led by National Center for Youth Law to promote evidence-informed strategies that reduce unintended pregnancies and remove institutional barriers to sexual and reproductive health education and services. JBAY’s work on this project includes policy advocacy for systems change at the state level, and increasing access to sexual health education at the local level. JBAY also maintains a webpage on Senate Bill 89, the California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act.

  • Step Up Coalition

    JBAY is a member of the Step Up Coalition and is co-sponsoring legislation to ensure that California’s child welfare system is child-centered and responsive to the needs and circumstances of the families stepping up to care for children in foster care.