For immediate release: 10.26.10
California foster care youths and advocates hail recent passage of AB 12
State’s youth foster care benefits will be extended to age 21
(San Francisco, Calif.) – October 2010 has been a banner month for California foster youths and the social service agencies that serve and support them. On Oct. 6, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 12, The California Fostering Connections to Success Act, extending transitional foster care services to eligible youth between 18 and 21 years of age.
Aspiranet, one of the state’s largest and most innovative providers of family service and foster care programs, knows that extending services to teens transitioning to adulthood is a win – win for California. The agency was honored to have one of their THP-Plus participants, Delores Taylor, along with the agency’s Merced Program Manager, Luis Madrid, on hand at the historic bill signing.
“As a former foster youth and current participant in Aspiranet’s THP-Plus program, I have experienced first-hand the benefits of transitional foster care,” said Delores Taylor, age 20. “Two years ago, I had aged out of my traditional foster home, was just beginning college, did not feel prepared to live on my own and wondered how I would get by. Thanks to the support I’ve received while living in transitional housing, I now feel ready to be fully independent.”
Studies show that the 5,000 young people who emancipate from the California foster care system each year at age 18 face a much greater risk of unemployment, homelessness, unplanned pregnancies, mental illness, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Providing a bridge of support to foster youth to age 21 not only helps produce productive, responsible citizens, it saves the taxpayers millions in court, prison and social costs.
“The signing of AB12 represents one of the most significant foster care advances we’ve seen in the last 15 years,” said Jeannie Imelio, Aspiranet’s Central Valley Regional Director. “We know that most 18- year-olds are not yet ready to live on their own. Aspiranet is dedicated to providing foster youths with a continuum of programs and services so that they can enter adulthood armed with the skills and confidence they need to succeed.”
Aspiranet, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, has long been a proponent of transitional foster care.Â The agency’s Transitional Housing Program (THP-Plus) is specifically designed to help older teens transition into independent adulthood by providing them with a safe living environment.
Aspiranet, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charity, supports foster children, siblings, families, and the community with 35 core programs offering specialized services through 44 satellite centers within California.
Founded more than 30 years ago as a six-bed group home for young boys in Moss Beach, Calif., Aspiranet is one of the most diverse nonprofit social service agencies in the state. With a statewide network of innovative services, Aspiranet has touched the lives of over 10,000 families and children since its founding.
Aspiranet’s vision of bringing families together and helping foster children, siblings, and parents thrive is realized through six areas of expertise – Family Services, Foster Care, Adoption, Education, Afterschool programs, and Community Partnerships. For more information, please visit www.aspiranet.org.
Aspiranet Interview Contacts:
Vernon McFarland Brown, CEO
(650) 866-4080, ext. 226
Luis Madrid, THP Merced Program Supervisor
Consortium Media Services
Tina Vervoorn, (805) 654-1564 ext. 117
Adrienne Stephens, (805) 654-1564 ext. 111