CA Alliance Budget Statement

Foster Youth Agencies Laud Budget Agreement

Continue Pushing for Foster Care Rates that
Enable Non-Profit Agencies to Truly Support Youth and Family Needs

The California Alliance of Child and Family services, representing 165 non-profit organizations serving youth and families statewide, today applauded a budget agreement that protects vulnerable foster youth from instability and homelessness and supports their success in family homes and with intensive, trauma-informed services. The agreement also provides a pathway over the next two years to improve the structure of funding that supports foster youth's needs. 

 “Non-profit organizations serving foster youth and families are grateful that today’s budget agreement represents a significant improvement over previous proposals that jeopardized the well-being of foster youth.  Today’s agreement protects the FURS and SILP programs which are absolutely essential to ensuring that vulnerable foster youth have the support they need to heal from trauma and prevent falling into homelessness,” said Christine Stoner-Mertz, CEO of the Alliance.  “We are also deeply appreciative that California’s leaders listened to non-profit foster care agencies who are dangling on a razor’s edge as they strive to keep up with soaring costs of providing care in California. For the first time in decades, the proposed rate reform structure gives foster family agencies an ongoing cost of living adjustment that will allow them to continue their invaluable role in supporting foster families. We are hopeful that an extension to 2027 for implementation will provide time to ensure foster care rate reform succeeds in supporting youth and families’ success. We continue to be very concerned about how foster family agencies will stay afloat until its implementation, given a lack of one-time bridge funding. 

“Achieving the vision for foster care rate reform and the larger Continuum of Care Reform initiative is only possible when non-profit agencies serving youth and families can keep their doors open, hire and retain top-flight staff, and invest in the best programing to meet the complex needs of our most vulnerable population,” Stoner-Mertz concluded.  

Budget Agreement Highlights -Youth and Families 

  • Rejects a proposal to eliminate the Family Urgent Response System, 24-7 support for youth and families that helps youth stay stable in family placements 
  • Rejects a proposal to cut housing support for foster youth transitioning to living on their own (Supervised Independent Living Placement Program) 
  • For the first time in 30 years, provides a cost-of-living adjustment for Foster Family Agencies (FFA’s) that recruit, train, and support the foster families California relies upon to care for vulnerable youth. Without COLA’s FFA’s are in jeopardy of closing as costs rise faster than state funding. 
  • Boosts support for the behavioral health needs of foster youth in family homes (“high fidelity wraparound” support) 
  • Provides a process over the next two years to evaluate and report to the Legislature on the cost of quality programming to support foster youth and families through FFAs and Short Term Residential Therapeutic Programs, in anticipation of restructuring how the state finances support for foster youth (Foster Care Rate Reform) in 2027.