Borrowing from a Santa Clara County program he proposed, state Sen. Dave Cortese has launched laws to offer $1,000 month-to-month money funds for California’s foster care youth as they depart the kid welfare system.
“I can’t consider a extra pressing time to roll out this sort of help,” Cortese stated throughout a web-based press convention Monday. “Particularly as they enter the grownup world throughout an financial decline brought on by COVID-19.”
The invoice — SB 739 — would create a pilot primary revenue program providing the roughly 2,500 California youth transitioning out of the foster care system this yr at age 21 unconditional direct month-to-month funds for 3 years. Cortese, D-San Jose, estimates that may value the state roughly $30 million. It’s not clear whether or not the cash would come from the state’s basic fund. Cortese stated his workforce remains to be figuring out “the place one of the best bucket is” by way of state funding.
“There’s a gap in our social security internet relative to transitioning foster youth, and I consider it’s considered one of many,” stated Cortese, who added that primary revenue packages like this one might show a “lifeline” for California’s most weak populations.
The pandemic recession has boosted curiosity in primary revenue packages all through the state, with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf pledging to start out that metropolis’s personal assured revenue pilot program primarily based on former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs’ experiment.
Solely about half of California’s younger individuals in foster care graduate highschool, and 40 % expertise homelessness inside a yr and a half of leaving the system, in response to the California Court docket Appointed Particular Advocates. Cortese stated a big quantity are kids and youth of coloration.
“Youngsters in our foster care system are the duty of the state and we should always maintain their primary wants,” stated Sharon M. Lawrence, CEO of CASA in an emailed assertion, including that she is trying ahead to seeing extra particulars of Cortese’s proposal. The invoice is awaiting referral to a committee and a primary listening to date.
The proposal mirrors a first-in-the-nation pilot program spearheaded final yr by Cortese when he was a Santa Clara County supervisor. That program supplied the county’s 72 younger adults transitioning out of the kid welfare system in 2020 with related thousand-dollar funds. It’s set to run out in Might.
Outcomes from quarterly evaluations of the Santa Clara experiment have but to be reported. It’s unclear whether or not the board of supervisors will select to increase it, however Cortese stated he was “extraordinarily assured” and that county directors are engaged on proposals to develop this system.