The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a plan on Tuesday that seeks to reduce the number of “disconnected” youth in the county, especially foster youth and formerly incarcerated young people.
The goal of the regional effort is to improve the educational, workforce, housing and well-being outcomes of youth ages 16 to 24. According to a recent report, about one in every six young people in Los Angeles County is not enrolled in school and are not working. That’s about 207,440 young people in total.
The board approved a host of recommendations from the Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot (LA P3), which presented the county with a strategic plan that lays out how to better serve the needs of these youth.
The LA P3 plan would create several resources to assist foster youth and young people in the justice system find work.
For example, the strategic plan calls for establishing a central entity that would ensure that youth in diversionary programs, on probation and in custody at juvenile detention facilities and county jails would be connected to workforce services.
By 2018, all youth exiting juvenile detention camps overseen by the Probation Department would be enrolled in regional YouthSource Centers or American’s Job Center of California prior to release.
The same would apply to youth ages 18 to 21 who still receive foster care services, as well as those youth who are experiencing homelessness.
The plan also calls for identification of state and federal waivers that would allow for flexibility around statutory, regulatory or administrative requirements that can improve the educational, employment and other needs of disconnected youth in the county. According to the report, one waiver that has already been implemented allows city YouthSource Center providers to enroll a greater number of foster youth in school, making available a wider array of programs to them.
LA P3 is a collaborative project between several government agencies in the city and county; grant makers and nonprofits; and area state universities and community colleges.
In 2015, L.A. County was one of nine communities selected to pilot programs as part of the federal Interagency Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth initiative. L.A. County’s grant is designed to create a platform for collaboration among city and county agencies, develop more opportunities within the Los Angeles Workforce Development System, find better ways to engage and empower disconnected youth, and seek policy, systems change to streamline program requirements, try new strategies for engaging youth and find new sources of funding for disconnected youth-serving agencies.
You can read the full Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot 2017-2020 Strategic Plan Serving Disconnected Youth here.