May 6, 2024

, ,

The Youth Law Center Brief: May is National Foster Care Month

As we observe National Foster Care Month throughout May, we will share updates on our ongoing legal advocacy to transform child welfare systems from the inside out.

QPI at 16: National Advocacy to Transform the Foster Care System

The Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI) is our national advocacy strategy that is building the power of children, youth, and families to create long-term systems transformations resulting in quality, effective parenting for all children in foster care.

QPI is built on the belief that excellent parenting with strong, positive relationships is the best present and future intervention we can offer children to enable them to heal as they grow up to become adults. When we launched QPI 16 years ago, our goal was to make it possible for all children in foster care to receive quality, effective parenting through advocacy to change the child welfare system from the inside-out so that it works for children and families, not against them.

Today, QPI leads and provides advocacy support to a national movement that includes 80 sites in the states of California, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Texas comprised of children and youth, birth and foster families, foster care agency leadership and staff, judges, legal professionals, policymakers, adolescent development experts, and other community stakeholders all committed to ensuring every child in foster care receives the best possible care and support.

For an example of how our QPI advocacy to change policy and practice has made tangible change in the lives of children and families, we invite you to read this recent news story from CBS 12 in Florida featuring Christina Kaiser, Director of Community Development at Communities Connected for Kids (CCKids), a community based care lead agency for Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties in Florida. Kaiser and five of her colleagues at CCKids were collectively honored as recipients of QPI’s 2023 Elevate and Celebrate awards.

Ongoing Legal Advocacy by Youth Law Center and other organizations Influences Historic Foster Care Rate Reform Proposal in California

On April 25, Youth Law Center’s Executive Director Jennifer Rodriguez joined representatives from the California Youth Connection, the California Alliance of Child & Family Services and multiple state government agencies to participate in a panel at a hearing convened by Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee No. 3. The discussion focused on the new proposal to restructure foster care rates so that they are based on the child’s assessed level of needs, strengths, and supports needed to promote well-being, instead of on the type of foster care placement that is the current status quo.

If this proposal is adopted and implemented as envisioned, California would be the first state in the nation to restructure its funding for foster care in this way, and one incredibly positive consequence of this would be a rate structure that funds increased access to meaningful and enriching extracurricular activities for children and youth in foster care.

We will send updates in future editions of the Brief as this proposal advances through the California State Senate. In the interim:

  • Click here to learn more about the new proposal.
  • Click here to read more about the impact this proposal could have on the lives of children and youth in foster care.

Register Today

Click here to RSVP for the 2024 QPI National Conference, “Teens are Different: A Research-Based Approach to Adolescents Thriving in Families,” on Wednesday, May 22, at 9 am PT / 12 pm ET.