The Youth Law Center has worked for years to develop, promote and implement legislative solutions to the problems created by the abrupt termination of support for youth in the foster care system at age 18. California’s Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010 (AB 12) extends eligibility for foster care and other benefits for foster youth who would of otherwise aged out of the system at age 18. AB 12 is California’s version of the federal Fostering Connections Act that allows states the option to access federal funding to extend benefits to foster care youth as they transition to independence. January 1, 2012, marked the beginning of a three year phase in period for extended eligibility for foster youth who meet certain education, training or work related participation requirements or meet a medical condition exception. AB 12 offers new opportunities for supported transitions to adulthood, including case management and assistance with housing, higher education, vocational training and employment, for foster youth from both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
AB 12 Implementation Project
The AB 12 Implementation Project is designed to ensure that all eligible youth, including youth in the juvenile justice system, have access to the benefits and services available under the new law. YLC staff conducts AB 12 trainings, develops materials and provides technical assistance on implementation issues for policy makers, advocates and other stakeholders.
Legal Services Trust Fund Support Center
The Youth Law Center serves as a support center for California legal services programs funded by the Legal Services Trust Fund, also known as Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA.) YLC attorneys provide training and technical assistance to advocates of Qualified Legal Services Programs and pro bono attorneys working with them.
- YLC was a co-sponsor of AB 12 (2010) as well as subsequent clean-up legislation AB 212 (2011) and AB1712 (2012).
- YLC staff worked with state and local government agencies, advocates and other stakeholders to develop state policies, regulations, and court rules to implement AB 12. YLC staff served on the state’s central implementation Steering Committee as well as the subject matter work groups that developed the framework for AB 12 implementation.
- YLC conducted outreach to the juvenile justice community to obtain input from probation, youth, agency personnel, advocates and community members as part of an effort to ensure that needs of eligible youth from the juvenile justice system are addressed in AB 12 implementation.
- YLC provided AB training, including workshops at statewide conferences, local continuing education events, and webinars, to caregivers, advocates, probation, child welfare, juvenile court and other stakeholders.
- YLC provided information and technical assistance on AB 12 implementation issues to attorneys who represent children in juvenile court and public benefit advocates.