County to aid foster youth transitioning to adulthood

Supervisor Kathryn Barger stands with Symphoni Morris, Alexis Oninna and Patrick Gwin on Foster Youth Shadow Day. Courtesy of Kathryn Barger's office.

County officials will seek ways to better assist foster youth as they enter adulthood and become self-sufficient after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion Tuesday.

Introduced by Fifth District Supervisor Kathryn Barger and First District Supervisor Hilda Solis, the motion directs the Chief Executive Office and the Office of Child Protection to pursue practices for helping transitional foster youth.

“Starting at the earliest age possible, we must help foster youth achieve four foundational goals of educational attainment, stable employment, permanent housing and emotional and social connections for well-being,” Supervisor Barger said in a statement.

Foster youth need to be provided with programs and services, Barger said, which is why L.A. County must “refine and refocus” their efforts.

Officials will find any gaps in services or bureaucratic hurdles as well as any successful initiatives or pilot programs to enhance, Barger’s office said.

The Board of Supervisors will attempt to remedy issues many foster youth face with education, unemployment, homelessness, teen pregnancy and health care, the motion reads.

“To the extent that they have unique challenges, this population deserves our time, attention and enhanced competency toward serving them,” Supervisor Solis said in a statement. “Our foster children are our county’s kids and I am committed to seeing that responsibility through with this motion.”

Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations staff will also support legislation that helps foster youth become more self-sufficient.

The CEO and the Office of Child Protection will report back to the board in six months with their findings. After, they will make annual reports to mark accomplishments.

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