Borrowing from a Santa Clara County program he proposed, state Sen. Dave Cortese has launched laws to supply $1,000 month-to-month money funds for California’s foster care youth as they depart the kid welfare system.
“I can’t consider a extra pressing time to roll out this sort of help,” Cortese mentioned throughout a web-based press convention Monday. “Particularly as they enter the grownup world throughout an financial decline attributable to COVID-19.”
The invoice — SB 739 — would create a pilot fundamental revenue program providing the roughly 2,500 California youth transitioning out of the foster care system this yr at age 21 unconditional direct month-to-month funds for 3 years. Cortese, D-San Jose, estimates that will price the state roughly $30 million. It’s not clear whether or not the cash would come from the state’s normal fund. Cortese mentioned his staff remains to be figuring out “the place the most effective bucket is” by way of state funding.
“There’s a gap in our social security internet relative to transitioning foster youth, and I consider it’s certainly one of many,” mentioned Cortese, who added that fundamental revenue applications like this one may show a “lifeline” for California’s most weak populations.
The pandemic recession has boosted curiosity in fundamental revenue applications all through the state, with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf pledging to start out that metropolis’s personal assured revenue pilot program based mostly on former Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs’ experiment.
Solely about half of California’s younger folks in foster care graduate highschool, and 40 % expertise homelessness inside a yr and a half of leaving the system, in accordance with the California Court docket Appointed Particular Advocates. Cortese mentioned a major quantity are kids and youth of colour.
“Youngsters in our foster care system are the duty of the state and we should always maintain their fundamental wants,” mentioned Sharon M. Lawrence, CEO of CASA in an emailed assertion, including that she is wanting ahead to seeing extra particulars of Cortese’s proposal. The invoice is awaiting referral to a committee and a primary listening to date.
The proposal mirrors a first-in-the-nation pilot program spearheaded final yr by Cortese when he was a Santa Clara County supervisor. That program offered the county’s 72 younger adults transitioning out of the kid welfare system in 2020 with comparable thousand-dollar funds. It’s set to run out in Might.
Outcomes from quarterly evaluations of the Santa Clara experiment have but to be reported. It’s unclear whether or not the board of supervisors will select to increase it, however Cortese mentioned he was “extraordinarily assured” and that county directors are engaged on proposals to develop this system.