County of San Diego
Health and Human Services Agency
1600 Pacific Coast HWY, Room 206
San Diego, CA 92101
Proposed Project Dates: July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014
Amount of Funding Requested: $ 636,136.60
Date of Submission: November 21, 2012
Project Leader: Misty Canaday
Youth in transition are are youth that are aging out of the foster care system. Often times they have no one to turn to and nowhere to go. Without this support studies suggest they are at a higher risk to become homeless, incarcerated, and impoverished. Currently there are very few programs that address the needs of this population. The ones that do exist focus specifically on one issue and do not address many. In order to be successful in over all life self-sufficiency a child needs to have a well rounded tool box to choice from. This program proposal suggest that if a program such as San Diego House for Collaboration of Hope is implemented in San Diego, youth that are aging out of the system will have a place to go to get all services that are specific to the struggles and risk of their unique population. This program aims to empower youth in transition who lack support by providing the resources and relationships necessary for them to live a stable and productive life. Additionally provide access to skills, learning and resources, while youth receive the necessary emotional structure of a community of supportive adults during their transition to adulthood.
Section 1: Target Population, Need, Goal, & Objectives
Approximately 4,405 youth in San Diego County are categorized as being in out-of- home care. Of these twenty-five percent (1,090) are age 15 and older and twenty-two percent are 10 to 14. This Forty-seven percent represent youth in transition (YIT) or those youth that will “age out” of the system. In San Diego approximately 425 youth “age out” of the system each year. The process of aging out is defined by the County of San Diego as transitioning from formal control of the foster care system to independent living (Grand Jury, 2011).
When transitional age youth (TAY) reach the age of eighteen, they are no longer eligible to receive assistance from the state system that has provided help with their needs while a minor. The new AB-12 act in the state of California has allowed for this to be extended to the age of 20, if the minor chooses (CYC, 2012). However, minors that make the choice not to sign themselves over to states custody for the remaining 2 years are thrown into self sufficiency. This can be a very frustration and confusing time for a young adolescent. A study conducted by Samuel (2008), reported TAY would have liked if someone had supported them through their transition and been able to build a lifelong relationship. Samuel also reported that many youth experience “psychological homelessness.” These youth have cycled in and out of homes and family placements and were never able to develop a long going parental type relationship. In addition, according to research done by Pecora, Jensen, Romanelli, Jackson, & Ortiz, (2009), youth in foster care have a significant higher incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorder, depression, and substance abuse.
Munson, Smalling, Spencer, Scott and Tracy (2010), reported similar results and after surveying many YIT, they determined that many youth highly value mentors “always being there” and “being there no matter what.” In 1999, with the passing of the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA), it was established that federal funding is able to be used to create mentor programs what would specifically help children aging out of the foster care system. However there are very few programs that have been implemented and designed specifically for this population, even though mentor programs such as “Big Brother/Big Sisters of America” have had such a huge success with other populations of youth.