Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Foster care youth need a seat at the table to create positive change

My View: Foster care system can be changed for the better
Chantel Johnson, Chantel. Sacramento Bee, Oct. 19, 2008.


Few people here in Sacramento have as close a connection to the policies they propose as I do. When I work on legislation with foster youths and advocates, it's personal.

Between the ages of 7 and 17, I lived in 10 different foster-care homes. I was the youngest of five children, and my journey through the system began when my mother became addicted to drugs. My father was in Ohio and unable to care for us, so we relied on relatives and foster families throughout California.

The chaos of home life soon translated into trouble at school. I was kicked out of junior high three times for acting out – getting into a fight, giving counselors a hard time and skipping classes. In high school, I joked that I showed up for two periods: breakfast and lunch.

Toward the end of high school, I moved to a group home. There I met housemates who had experienced much worse things in the homes they were shuffled in and out of – and in the foster-care system in general.

Many of their personal struggles matched or foreshadowed disturbing statistics that are all too common for foster youths: Fewer than half graduate from high school. Among those who do, less than 2 percent earn a college degree. And within two years of turning 18, half of all foster youth will find themselves homeless, in prison or on welfare.

That's why I'm now dedicated to working with and on behalf of the 77,000 foster children in California to fix the system. I say "with" because the young people themselves must have a seat at the table if we, as a state, are to truly understand – and improve – their situations.

Today, I work for California Youth Connection, a nonprofit that took the unprecedented step 20 years ago of involving foster youths in every step of its legislative work. That includes drafting recommendations, educating lawmakers at hearings and in district offices, and working to build a statewide grassroots movement to keep foster care on the front burner.

It's working. In 2006-07, our recommendations contributed to the enactment of an unprecedented 14 new laws and an additional $82 million for foster care in the state budget – the largest increase in more than a decade.

Others have noticed the results. CYC's leaders – Executive Director Janet Knipe, Associate Director Tiffany Johnson and Board Chair Tonia High- tower – recently were awarded the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award for successfully tackling some of California's critical challenges with practical solutions.

And the work continues. At our annual legislative summit last month in San Diego, 115 foster youths from 28 chapters around the state developed our latest round of policy recommendations for legislators.

These ideas that come from personal experience are worth pursuing:

• Collaboration between county programs and the state university system to develop a college preparation program for foster youths in grades nine to 12.

• Providing a school district liaison to offer college information to foster youths at the start of high school.

• Representation of foster youths on county advisory boards that deal with transitional housing and other basic needs for the first years of adulthood.

• Creation of a network of career and educational specialists who focus on assisting current and former foster youths with career and educational endeavors.

• Extending Medi-Cal services from age 21 to 24 for foster youths.


These are all steps in the right direction. Failing to enact them is a missed opportunity, and scaling back funding for existing foster-care services is a dangerous step backward.

We know that this is a year of deficits and painful cuts in services, but cutting services to children should never be an option. If you think that the state coffers are hurting, think about how such a downturn affects people at the very bottom.

I've been there, and I'm working with bright, courageous foster youths every day to remind elected officials that progress comes from changing, not shortchanging, the system.

Labels: , ,

27 Comments:

Blogger California said...

Thanks for posting my op-ed!

9:19 PM  
Blogger LA County Foster Alumna said...

Your op-ed rocks the house!

Thanks for everything you are doing with CYC, and please know that us folks at Foster Care Alumni of America would be proud to welcome you into our community as well...

From a gal who grew up in group homes, and shares your dedication to support young people aging out of foster care with their transition to adulthood.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?

My website has a lot of unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being stolen? I'd definitely appreciate it.


Here is my web site More

11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?
A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make
my blog stand out. Please let me know where you got your design.
Thank you

Review my webpage - by Jordan Is A Tall Leggy Blonde With A Great Body And She Looks Very Nice As

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers
and starting a new initiative in a community in the same
niche. Your blog provided us useful information
to work on. You have done a wonderful job!


Take a look at my web-site :: was Teen Gangbangs

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Many thanks!

Also visit my web-site; massagechair-reviews.org

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there! This blog post couldn't be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

Here is my webpage :: the porn actress

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I had written and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog.

I as well am an aspiring blog writer but I'm still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for inexperienced blog writers? I'd really appreciate it.


Also visit my web-site Visit Website

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a colleague
who has been doing a little homework on this. And
he actually bought me lunch simply because I discovered
it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thank YOU for
the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your internet site.


My weblog - visit website

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is among the most vital info for
me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark
on few general things, The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really great : D.

Good job, cheers

Here is my web page :: in nude model

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is certainly a great deal to find out about this subject.
I like all the points you've made.

my blog; http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/member/59793

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was curious if you ever considered changing the
layout of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could
connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
Maybe you could space it out better?

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey there and thank you for your information – I've certainly picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this site, as I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I'm complaining,
but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and
can damage your quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
Well I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content.
Make sure you update this again very soon.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciating the commitment you put into your blog and
detailed information you offer. It's awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same outdated rehashed information.
Great read! I've saved your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google account.


Here is my weblog - Email Console

3:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally I do not read post on blogs, however I would like to say that
this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing
style has been amazed me. Thank you, very great post.


Check out my page: the gallery

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for any other informative website. The place else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal
means? I've a challenge that I'm just now operating on, and I've been on the look out for such info.

Also visit my blog post: official statement

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one!

It's on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

Here is my blog - see more

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really make it seem so easy with your presentation
but I find this topic to be actually something that I think I would never
understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

My website - Email Console

2:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whoah this weblog is excellent i really like studying your articles.
Keep up the great work! You understand, lots of people are looking around for this information, you could aid
them greatly.

Here is my website - http://pornharvest.com/index.php?m=2493991

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Appreciate this post. Let me try it out.

Feel free to visit my web site: hydra

9:42 AM  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

swarovski jewelry
lululemon pants
ugg outlet
louis vuitton,borse louis vuitton,louis vuitton sito ufficiale,louis vuitton outlet
hermes belt for sale
polo ralph lauren
hermes outlet
juicy couture tracksuit
michael kors factory online
cheap nba jerseys
fitflops clearance
chanel outlet store
camisetas futbol baratas
chanel handbags outlet
pandora outlet
giuseppe zanotti outlet
discount ugg boots
michael kors handbags
michael kors outlet
tory burch outlet
mm0113

4:39 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

ninest123 16.01
louis vuitton, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, ugg boots, michael kors outlet, tiffany jewelry, prada handbags, burberry, oakley sunglasses, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, nike air max, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors, burberry outlet online, nike outlet, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet, chanel handbags, ugg boots, ray ban sunglasses, gucci outlet, christian louboutin outlet, nike free, nike air max, longchamp, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet, louboutin outlet, replica watches, longchamp outlet, tiffany and co, prada outlet

5:18 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

nike free run uk, timberland, nike trainers, abercrombie and fitch, true religion jeans, michael kors, ralph lauren pas cher, longchamp pas cher, lululemon, lacoste pas cher, new balance pas cher, hollister pas cher, hogan, nike air max, ralph lauren uk, replica handbags, sac guess, nike roshe run, oakley pas cher, north face, vanessa bruno, ray ban uk, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, nike air max, nike blazer, nike free, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, air jordan pas cher, true religion outlet, hermes, nike air max, coach purses, mulberry, sac longchamp, air force, nike huarache, michael kors, michael kors, north face, michael kors, coach outlet, burberry, longchamp, vans pas cher, converse pas cher, hollister, louboutin pas cher, air max, tn pas cher

5:20 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

vans shoes, soccer shoes, hollister, north face outlet, nike roshe, north face outlet, chi flat iron, bottega veneta, instyler, mont blanc, giuseppe zanotti, babyliss, nfl jerseys, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban, ralph lauren, asics running shoes, p90x workout, timberland boots, herve leger, nike air max, valentino shoes, gucci, hollister, beats by dre, iphone 6 cases, louboutin, wedding dresses, iphone 6s cases, mac cosmetics, mcm handbags, nike air max, reebok shoes, iphone 6s plus cases, converse, lululemon, oakley, birkin bag, baseball bats, ipad cases, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 plus cases, insanity workout, iphone 5s cases, soccer jerseys, ghd, s5 cases, new balance, vans, iphone cases, jimmy choo shoes, celine handbags

5:22 PM  
Blogger ninest123 said...

coach outlet, hollister, canada goose, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, moncler, doudoune canada goose, links of london, canada goose, montre pas cher, sac louis vuitton pas cher, doke gabbana outlet, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, toms shoes, barbour, canada goose uk, wedding dresses, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, pandora charms, moncler, barbour jackets, karen millen, swarovski crystal, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, thomas sabo, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, swarovski, pandora jewelry, juicy couture outlet, moncler, bottes ugg, replica watches, converse outlet, lancel, canada goose, ugg pas cher, pandora charms, moncler, moncler, moncler, canada goose outlet, pandora jewelry, ugg boots uk, moncler, supra shoes, louis vuitton
ninest123 16.01

5:25 PM  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160603
michael kors outlet clearance
nfl jerseys
adidas running shoes
michael kors outlet online sale
ralph lauren
hollister clothing
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
michael kors
oakley vault
cheap oakley sunglasses
fit flops
coach factory outlet
michael kors handbags
oakley sunglasses wholesale
ray ban eyeglasses
nike uk
nfl jerseys
louis vuitton bags
tory burch boots
coach factory outlet
tiffany and co
michael kors outlet clearance
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
juicy couture
beats by dr dre
cheap jordans
nike roshe one
coach factory outlet online
ray ban sunglasses
insanity workout
jordan retro 8
coach outlet
ralph lauren home
ray bans
cheap oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton purses

6:50 PM  
Blogger dong dong23 said...

oakley sunglasses outlet
longchamp handbags
coach factory outlet
nike outlet
coach factory outlet
adidas trainers uk
vans shoes
louboutin paris
adidas shoes
christian louboutin uk
20173.18wengdongdong

7:31 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home