Publications & Guides

Key to Compliance: Reproductive and Sexual Health Policies & Practices for STRTPs

This reproductive and sexual health policy and practice guide is intended to assist Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs (STRTPs) with upholding the reproductive and sexual health rights of youth in care, while maintaining their safety and well-being. The guide contains policy and practice recommendations across five focus areas to improve an organization’s capacity to comply with legal requirements set forth in the California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act (Senate Bill 89), Community Care Licensing Standards, and best practice regarding the reproductive and sexual health rights of foster youth.

September 2020

Turning Dreams into Degrees Intervention Evaluation, Executive Summary & Report

John Burton Advocates for Youth, in partnership with Unite-LA, and with input from Foster and Kinship Care Education (FKCE) and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), developed a curriculum for resource parents to increase the probability of youth in foster care attending college.JBAY partnered with FKCE to deliver the curriculum in English and Spanish at local community colleges throughout Los Angeles County.

Between August 2019 and February 2020, an independent evaluation was conducted during which resource parents and teachers from 14 FKCE classes completed surveys about their experiences, and additional teachers participated in a focus group.

August 2020

Seven Strategies Counties Can Implement to Ensure Housing Stability and Maximize Participation in Transitional Housing Program-Plus (THP-Plus) During COVID-19

Youth facing exit from THP-Plus programs during the current public health crisis are at increased risk of homelessness because of the scarcity of other housing resources and transitional planning supports. This guide outlines seven strategies counties can utilize to ensure youth have continued access to housing and services during the COVID-19 crisis, and to extend or expand their available housing and services.

August 2020

THP-NMD Housing Supplement: Implementation Fact Sheet

Assembly Bill 79, the Human Services Omnibus bill established a Housing Supplement for THP-NMD, for which $4 million was included in the FY 2020-21 state budget. The Housing Supplement will provide a supplementary payment on behalf of youth placed in THP-NMD to cover housing costs, based on the actual cost of housing in their county according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rent.

June 2020

Housing Resources for Transition-Age Current and Former Foster & Probation Youth

This one-pager provides a list of housing resources for current and former foster and out-of-home probation youth, including extended foster care placement options, transitional housing, housing vouchers and how to connect to the local homelessness response system.

June 2020

COVID-19: How the Pandemic is Affecting Homeless Youth in California

In May 2020, John Burton Advocates for Youth surveyed the 82 organizations serving youth funded through the Homeless Emergency Aid Program to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their education, housing, health, safety and employment. The results found that homeless youth are significantly impacted by COVID-19 and that homeless youth providers are increasing services to address the issues youth are facing.

May 2020

College Transitions Framework

This is a practical guide for child welfare and juvenile probation agencies for how to implement the SB 12 requirement such that it has the maximum impact on foster youth educational outcomes. The guide additionally offers suggestions for how these agencies can adopt complementary college-going practices in addition to those required by SB 12 to transform practices even further to support college success outcomes among foster youth. Please click here to view the guide.

May 2020

COVID-19: How the Pandemic Is Affecting 18 to 21 Year-Olds in Foster Care

The week of April 20, 2020, John Burton Advocates for Youth surveyed the 60 licensed THP-NMD providers to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their education, housing, health, safety and employment. The results found that youth are significantly impacted by COVID-19 and that THP-NMD providers are increasing services to address the issues youth are facing.

May 2020

Senate Bill 150 Toolkit

This toolkit is designed to assist college campuses to effectively implement and understand the new law. Items in the toolkit include Implementation recommendations, official bill language, frequently asked questions and  sample forms for the Chafee grant appeal, student success plan and students services.

April 2020

Senate Bill 150 Student Success Plan

SB 150 requires that after two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of not meeting SAP, students must meet with an appropriate staff member to develop a plan for improving academic progress or update an existing plan in order to continue to receive Chafee funds. This Student Success Plan template is a tool that students and staff can use to collaboratively create a Student Success Plan. This template can be modified to fit the needs of the institution.

April 2020

SAP Appeal Form

This document can be used to appeal the loss of a Chafee grant.

April 2020

Student Services Resources Flyer Template

Under the provisions of Senate Bill 150, California Community Colleges and California State Universities must provide (and University of California campuses are requested to provide) all Chafee grant recipients, upon release of the first payment, with information regarding available support services on campus and the process for completing an educational plan. This template can serve as the basis for designing this document.

April 2020

Risk Factors for Youth Experiencing Homelessness During COVID-19 Crisis

All transition-age youth are vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis, but homeless youth are at an even higher risk. This one-pager provides a list of five inter-related risks that highlight the need for extra care and funding to support these youth through the COVID-19 crisis.

April 2020

Student Income Resource Guide

While many students are dealing with emergency needs, the economic fallout from the crisis is likely to last months, if not years, and it is therefore crucial that students take action now to shore up their economic stability over the long term at the same time that they address emergent needs. This guide summarizes the resources that are crucial to put in place alongside emergency relief measures as quickly as possible.

April 2020

COVID-19 Resource Guide

In this guide, you will find information on a wide variety of topics including food banks and student meal pickup locations, financial help resources, mental and physical health resources, and learn at home tools. This guide is updated daily.

March 2020

Four Ways Caregivers Can Support College Planning From Home

As more foster youth are finding themselves at home due to school closures, there are several items caregivers and adult supporters can do to ensure youth in their care remain on track to attend college in the Fall.

March 2020

High School Counselor Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge Toolkit

Youth with experience in the foster care system often face challenges navigating the financial aid process during their senior year of high school. Completing the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) is a critical step to have access to thousands of dollars in financial aid for college. High school counselors can play a significant role in supporting foster youth to complete the FAFSA successfully.

John Burton Advocates for Youth, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Office of Education Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program, developed this toolkit for high school counselors as they support foster youth complete the FAFSA. Items in this toolkit include a Foster Youth and FAFSA completion tips sheet, commonly used child welfare terms, and frequently asked questions high school counselors may encounter.

March 2020

The FAFSA Challenge: Promising Practices to Increase Financial Aid Access Among Foster Youth

Every year, billions of dollars in federal and state financial aid go unused because eligible students do not complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). According to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), just 53 percent of California’s high school seniors in the class of 2019 completed the FAFSA or CADAA.1 Foster youth in particular, who overwhelmingly meet eligibility criteria for financial aid, do not receive the full aid for which they are eligible. For example, only 49 percent of first year foster youth students at community college received a Pell Grant last year, the largest form of federal financial aid, and just 14 percent received a CalGrant.2 This low receipt rate is despite 78 percent meeting the income criteria for these financial aid sources. With education a key driver toward financial stability in adulthood, and receipt of financial aid crucial to enrolling and persisting in college for youth from low-income backgrounds, foster youth need and deserve maximum access to financial aid.

In response to this, in 2017, John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), in partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), launched the California Foster Youth FAFSA Challenge. The FAFSA Challenge is a statewide campaign to increase the number of foster youth who are prepared for success as they matriculate from high school into college by ensuring that foster youth are accessing financial aid. From this effort, a number of best practices were identified, and this publication documents these strategies in order to inform foster youth FAFSA/CADAA completion efforts in the years to come

March 2020

Youth Homelessness in California: The Impact of the Five Percent Youth Set-Aside in the Homeless Emergency Aid Program

This report updates the information included in JBAY’s May 2019 report on early implementation of the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), a one-time state investment of $500 million to address homelessness. Communities were required to designate a minimum of five percent of their HEAP funding to address youth homelessness. The current report provides additional detail regarding HEAP-funded youth investments made by local jurisdictions, and offers a number of observations and recommendations to inform future planning.

March 2020

FAFSA Tools and Resources

Foster youth and adult supporters can accurately complete the financial aid process with the right guidance. This page will provide you with all of the tools and resources you need to complete the financial aid process successfully.

February 2020

Claiming the California Earned Income Tax Credit: Guide for Transition-Age Youth

This publication is designed to help transition-age youth file their taxes and claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit, also known as the CalEITC. The CalEITC is a tax credit that has recently become more available to transition-age youth and can provide crucial supplemental income. The publication outlines information about the CalEITC, tax filing requirements, documentation needed to file, and free tax preparation services. Additionally, it addresses common tax filing questions, such as what to do if you are missing personal information or financial documents, or how to file taxes if you are an immigrant, a student, homeless, in juvenile hall, in transitional housing, in foster care, sharing custody of a child with another taxpayer, or being claimed by another person as a dependent. The guide also addresses potential fear that transition-age youth may have about filing their taxes and discusses the wide range of benefits that come with filing taxes.

January 2020

Turning Dreams into Degrees: A Training to Empower Caregivers to Support Foster Youth to Enroll and Succeed in College

A recent study found that youth who ever talked about college with their caregivers are over eight times more likely to attend a four-year college than those who don’t. Findings such as these led the Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services (LA DCFS) to require licensed caregivers to become trained on preparing youth for college, starting in middle school. This curriculum, developed by JBAY and UNITE-LA, is being used in Los Angeles and is available statewide to other counties interested in training caregivers, such as Resource Families and short-term residential therapeutic program (STRTP) providers, to better support foster youth to enroll and succeed in college.

December 2019

SB 89 Implementation in the Bay Area: What can We Learn as a State?

In 2017, California adopted the California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act (Senate Bill 89) to increase access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education for youth in foster care as well as ensure child welfare professionals and caregivers are equipped with knowledge to support healthy sexual development for foster youth. John Burton Advocates for Youth collected information from five Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Solano) to understand how they have implemented SB 89 since the policy went into effect. This report shares those findings for statewide learning.

December 2019

Foster Youth Educational Planning Guide (Spanish version now avaliable)

This education planning 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.

November 2019

Too Big to Ignore: 10 Years Later

John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY) has published “Too Big to Ignore, Ten Years Later,” a five-year policy agenda to address homelessness among California’s youth. This publication marks the ten-year anniversary of the 2009 release of “Too Big to Ignore: Youth Homelessness in California,” a previous policy agenda developed by JBAY and California Coalition for Youth.

The 2019 policy agenda was developed based on in-depth interviews with 44 experts in the field, and covers four areas: resources and funding streams, adjacent systems and access to services, K-12 and post-secondary interactions and interventions, and strengthening the current homeless response system for homeless youth.

November 2019

Pipeline to Success: Supporting California Foster Youth from High School to Community College

This report, created by Educational Results Partnership and California College Pathways, reviews data from foster youth both within K-12 and community college systems in order to identify factors having the greatest impact on college GPA and unit completion.

November 2019

Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth (also available in Spanish) & FAFSA Visual Guides for Foster and Homeless Youth

The financial aid process no longer has to feel intimidating and confusing; the student-friendly JBAY Financial Aid Guide for California Foster Youth takes the mystery out of applying for and keeping financial aid. 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 school.

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. A separate visual guide for students who have experienced homelessness is also available.

October 2020

Visual Guide to Assist Homeless Youth with Completing the FAFSA

The Visual Guide to Assist Homeless Youth with Completing the FAFSA provides a step-wise guide to completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Unaccompanied youth who are homeless or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless as of July 1st of the year prior to the award year, are eligible for “independent student status” on the FAFSA. This means that a student does not have to provide any parental information, including income information, and is key to ensuring homeless students are awarded need-based financial aid. This guide provides detailed instructions for completing the entire FAFSA, with special attention on how to ensure eligible homeless youth are granted independent student status.

October 2019

2018-19 THP-NMD & THP-Plus Annual Report

The 2018-19 THP-NMD & THP-Plus Annual Report highlights the achievements and challenges of the state’s transitional housing programs in helping youth in the foster care and juvenile probation systems make a safe, supported transition to adulthood, and provides practice and policy recommendations for the future.

Updated August 2020

Overview of the Use of the Transitional Housing Placement for Minors (THP-M) for Youth who are Custodial Parents or have a History of Commercial Sexual Exploitation

The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the use of the Transitional Housing Placement for Minors (THP-M) for youth who are custodial parents or who have a history of commercial sexual exploitation. The information included in this document was collected by John Burton Advocates for Youth from a survey of 12 of the 13 licensed and operational THP-M providers, county child welfare agencies, and the California Child Welfare Indicators Project (CCWIP).

October 2019

Fact Sheet on Parenting Youth In Foster Care

California now collects information about the parenting youth in foster care. The summary statistics below were drawn from the California Child Welfare Indicators Project, as of April 1, 2019. The requirement to collect this data has been in place since 2014, with the passage of the federal Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act (P.L. 113-183). As a relatively new data element, the California Department of Social Services indicated that this data is expected to get more accurate over time, as collection becomes more consistent.

August 2019

FAQ: NMDs & CalFresh

This document answers 18 frequently asked questions about young adults participating in Extended Foster Care applying for and accessing CalFresh, California’s food stamp program.

Updated August 2019

Youth Homelessness in California: What Impact has the Five Percent Youth Set-Aside in the Homeless Emergency Aid Program had so Far?

In recognition of the severe housing crisis facing Californians, the State’s 2018-19 budget included a one-time investment of $500 million to address homelessness. The funding was administered as the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), and communities were required to designate a minimum of five percent to address youth homelessness.

This report explores early HEAP implementation, with a focus on how HEAP funds for homeless youth have been spent, including how many jurisdictions invested more than the minimum five percent on youth, the lessons learned in the process of distributing youth HEAP funding, the impact of the youth set-aside, and policy implications for future investment in youth homelessness.

Findings were drawn from from the 43 Continuums of Care (CoCs) and 11 large cities that were allocated HEAP funds in addition to other stakeholders.

May 2019

SB 89 Case Manager Guide and Youth Sexual Health Factsheets (Available in Spanish)

With the passage of the California Foster Youth Sexual Health Education Act (SB 89), all California foster youth age 10 and older are required to be informed of their reproductive and sexual health rights annually in an age and developmentally appropriate manner. As part of the Los Angeles Reproductive Health Equity Project for Foster Youth (LA RHEP), John Burton Advocates for Youth has developed a series of youth fact sheets for case managers to communicate this important information. Accompanying the youth factsheets is a guide that includes age-appropriate conversation starters to help them navigate these sensitive conversations. Fact sheets are available for three age groups: tweens/early adolescents, middle adolescents, and transition-aged youth/young adults.

May 2019

What Does the Evidence Say about Youth Homelessness?

Addressing College Student Homelessness

White Papers: Recommendations for Addressing Youth Homelessness in California

The California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council invited white paper submissions to contribute best recommendations for evidence-based practices to address homelessness in California. John Burton Advocates for Youth submitted two white papers on youth homelessness: one with a broad focus, summarizing the most recently available research on homeless youth with corresponding recommendations, and the second focused on solutions to college student homelessness, developed collaboratively with six other organizations.

April 2019

SB 12 Social Worker Toolkit

Senate Bill 12 went into effect as of January 1, 2018 and included a requirement that for foster youth 16 and older, the case plan must identify who will assist youth with applications for college and financial aid. This toolkit is designed to support social workers and probation officers who are working to fulfill the mandate of Senate Bill 12.

February 2019

Connecting Students to the Homelessness Response System & Addressing Housing Instability:

10 PRACTICAL STRATEGIES FOR CALIFORNIA INSTITUTIONS OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION

This publication outlines ten strategies campuses can adopt to connect their students experiencing homelessness to the local homelessness response system, and support their homeless students on campus.

January 2019

Claiming the California Earned Income Tax Credit: Guide for Transition-Age Youth

This publication is designed to help transition-age youth file their taxes and claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit, also known as the CalEITC. The publication outlines information about the CalEITC, tax filing requirements, documentation needed to file, and free tax preparation services. Additionally, it addresses common tax filing questions, such as what to do if you are missing personal information or financial documents, or how to file taxes if you are an immigrant, a student, homeless, in juvenile hall, in transitional housing, in foster care, sharing custody of a child with another taxpayer, or being claimed by another person as a dependent. The guide also addresses potential fear that transition-age youth may have about filing their taxes and discusses the wide range of benefits that come with filing taxes.

January 2019

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, September 30, 2018

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

December 2018

Core Practice Model: For Beyond the Safety Net Initiative

The Core Practice Model was designed for housing providers participating in “Beyond the Safety Net,” a two-year initiative led by JBAY to transform housing providers into college success programs. This tool includes recommendations in eight practice areas to improve a provider’s capacity to support post-secondary educational success within a housing milieu.

October 2018

THP-Plus Rates Across the State

This document lists the THP-Plus rates reported by providers across the state for FY17-18.

October 2018

2017-18 THP+FC & THP-Plus Annual Report

The THP+FC & THP-Plus Annual Report highlights the achievements and challenges of the state’s transitional housing programs in helping youth in the foster care and juvenile probation systems make a safe, supported transition to adulthood, and provides practice and policy recommendations for the future.

October 2018

California College Pathways Progress Update Report

This document provides an overview and update of the collective impact work of the California College Pathways, a public-private partnership managed by John Burton Advocates for Youth that is dedicated to creating a seamless system of support for foster youth as they transition from high school to post-secondary education.

October 2018

All County Letters and All County Information Notices Related to Extended Foster Care

This document includes every All County Letter (ACL) and All County Information Notice (ACIN) related to the Extended Foster Care Program in California released to date, and is updated regularly.

October 2018

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, June 30, 2018

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

August 2018

Case Management Check-in Guide

This document is a “cheat sheet” for case managers working for housing programs or other community-based providers 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, moving case managers from asking “how’s school going?” to asking targeted questions at just the right time, building trust, and providing timely reminders, support and referrals to resources. It also includes a generic academic calendar to provide a general time frame for important dates throughout the year.

August 2018

Assisting Youth Pursuing Post-Secondary Education: Key Dates & Deadlines for Applying & Attending

This document is intended to provide social workers, probation officers, and others working with transition aged foster youth with information about key dates and deadlines as well as other crucial information associated with applying to and attending post-secondary education.

August 2018

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, March 31, 2018

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

May 2018

College Assessment & Remediation Guides

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.

April 2018

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, December 31, 2017

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

February 2018

1/22/18 Financial Aid Guide Webinar Q & A

On January 22nd, JBAY held a web seminar to providing step-by-step guidance on how to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for foster youth as well as tips on what to do after the FAFSA to ensure students get maximum aid awards. This document is the compiled list of Questions and Answers submitted during the web seminar.

January 2018

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, September 30, 2017

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

November 2017

Accelerating Success: Turning Insights into Action for Foster Youth at California Community Colleges

This report by Educational Results Partnership and John Burton Advocates for Youth regarding foster youth outcomes at California’s community colleges provides college leaders with data driven approaches to improve foster youth outcomes, and shines a light on implications for policy-makers.

October 2017

Stepping Up for Foster Youth: A Policy Playbook for California’s Four-Year Universities

This report summarizes the results of a survey of foster youth campus support programs at California’s four-year universities, documenting and recommending institutional policies that campuses can institute to improve foster youth outcomes in the successful completion of post-secondary degrees.

September 2017

2016-17 THP+FC & THP-Plus Annual Report

The 2016-17 THP+FC & THP-Plus Annual Report details the status of California’s transitional housing programs for non-minor current and former foster and probation youth.

September 2017

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, June 30, 2017

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

August 2017

Beyond the Safety Net: Preliminary Findings from a Pilot Project to Transform Housing Providers into College Success Programs

This report presents preliminary findings from a pilot project JBAY led over 2016-17 to increase the capacity of transitional housing providers to support current and former foster youth in post-secondary education.

August 2017

THP+FC and THP-Plus Program Snapshots, March 31, 2017

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

May 2017

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, December 31, 2016

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

April 2017

Why Has Statewide Spending on Transitional Housing for Former Foster Youth Decreased, and What Can We Do About it?

This publication discusses the statewide decline in THP-Plus expenditures that has occurred since 2011 Realignment went into effect, and makes recommendations to counties for increasing their THP-Plus expenditures.

February 2017

January 2017 Survey of Burton Book Fund Recipients

In January 2017, John Burton Advocates for Youth conducted a survey of the 1,050 students who participated in the Burton Book Fund in the 2016-17 academic year.  The survey was sent via email directly to the Burton Book Fund recipients. A total of 337 students responded to the survey over the one-month survey period.

January 2017

THP+FC & THP-Plus Program Snapshots, September 30, 2016

These quarterly program snapshots present moment-in-time, statewide, aggregate information on California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth, based on demographic and outcome data from the THP+FC and THP-Plus Participant Tracking Systems.

December 2016

2015-16 THP-Plus & THP+FC Annual Report

The 2015-16 Annual Report details the status of THP-Plus and THP+FC, California’s transitional housing programs for current and former foster and probation youth.

August 2016

Charting the Course: Using Data to Support Foster Youth College Success

A report on the data shared by California College Pathways campuses.

October 2015