Children Now has released the 2014 California Children’s Report Card: How Kids are Doing in Our State and What Needs to Be Done About It, a comprehensive evaluation of the current status of California’s children based on the advancements made in 2013, and including policy recommendations that make children a priority in 2014 and beyond. The report provides a grade of A to F in 27 areas. According to the report, California falls short in the major child welfare issue areas: a D- in the education of foster youth, a D+ in the health of foster youth, a C in the stability and permanency of foster youth, and a D+ in the family preservation and reunification of foster youth.
The recommendations included in the report build on what has already been accomplished in each issue area. In the area of education of foster youth, the recommendation focuses on ensuring the success of California’s new school finance system, the Local Control Funding Formula; for health, ensuring former foster youth are informed of their health coverage options via outreach. Recommended for stability and permanency is prioritizing sibling placements and supporting policies that facilitate sibling bonds and ensure children exiting the child welfare system have a permanent, lifelong familial connection. In the area of family preservation and reunification, the report suggests California support a statewide prevention program for children and families at risk of entering the child welfare system to ensure that those facing multiple contributing factors are receiving the well-coordinated services and interventions they need.
Click here to read the full report.