I have made foster care one of my top legislative priorities. This year I have authored AB 423 which requires counties to help foster children secure benefits under the Approved Relative Caregiver Program. The bill also requires that family caregivers be given information about the financial support systems available to them and to screen every foster child who is not federally eligible for benefits for SSI eligibility.
As Chair of the Select Committee on Foster Care, I have two key issues: recruitment and retention of quality caregivers and the loss of youth to human trafficking. Recruitment and retention are important because relative and non-relative caregivers face uphill battles once they decide to bring a child into their homes. Furthermore, 80% of the victims of human trafficking are children in our state’s foster care system. They are the most vulnerable targets in our communities.
The Select Committee on Foster Care on Thursday, May 28th at the State Capitol to discuss ways in which we can ensure that our foster youth are fully supported.
Please click on the videos below for more information about the recent select comittiee hearing and my work on Foster Care. Also, please scroll down below for studies and more background on foster care issues in California.
Assemblyman, 8th District
Assemblymember Cooley Examines Ways to Better Support Children in the Foster Care System
(Sacramento) – California State Assemblyman Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova), Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care convened a hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento to shine a light on improvements that can be made in the Foster Care System. The areas of focus included how to help foster children achieve in school, helping relatives of foster children become their guardians, dependency court services and much more. The Committee heard from experts and from foster children. Watch this Assembly Access Video to hear some of Assemblyman Cooley’s comments at the hearing.
Supporting Foster Children Placed With Relatives
Studies and Background on Foster Care Issues in California
Building a System of Support for Young Children in Foster Care
California Child Welfare Indicators Project
University of California at Berkeley
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California College Pathways
California College Pathways is a statewide partnership that provides resources and leadership to campuses and community organizations to help foster youth succeed at community colleges and four-year universities.