The Premise and Promise of the California Connected by 25 Initiative
The Promising Strategies from the California Connected by 25 Initiative
The two reports lay out the impetus and deliverables of the six-year CC25I initiative to improve the lives of older foster youth, which was funded by the Stuart Foundation and Walter S. Johnson Foundation. The project sought to address key aspects of life for youths and young adults between 14 and 24 in Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Orange, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Solano and Stanislaus counties.
The first report lays out the goals of CC25I, then highlights areas in which the foundations believe the initiative was successful. Among the results touted: The percentage of foster youths who passed their high school exit exam rose from 44 percent to 54 percent, and the percentage reporting a safe housing plan jumped from 53 percent to 72 percent.
The report points out that better outcomes in some other areas, in particular job training and employment, were likely stifled by California’s brutal recession, which spanned most of the duration of CC25I. Since the state’s response to its budget woes has included a realignment that places most control over child welfare on at the county level, the report says that the initiative’s county-level focus “provides a template for other counties to leverage resources and develop effective, accountable community partnerships.”
Another development in California during the initiative was the passage of Assembly Bill 12, which offers foster youths to remain in care until age 21. The second CC25I lists the overarching strategies that helped the seven counties make improvements, and provides California readers with tips and resources on how to incorporate each strategy into count-level implementation of AB 12. Those strategies include developing community partnerships, engaging youth and collecting data.
The report also ties to AB 12 some promising strategies for addressing each of CC25I’s core focus areas: permanency, education, housing, employment and financial literacy.
Click here to read the reports.