The Alliance for Children, in partnership with the Children’s Law Center of California, recently launched a new website and mobile app to educate and empower foster youth to achieve self-sufficiency as they transition out of the child welfare system. The website, knowb4ugo.org, is a part of the Know Before You Go campaign, which had its beginnings after the passage of California’s Fostering Connections to Success Act (AB 12) in 2012. The bill extends the state’s foster care from age 18 to 21, resulting in three more years of support.
Inevitably, this extension means that transition-age youth today are in need of different kinds of information and resources that they once did. Know Before You Go seeks to fill that niche, providing foster youth with any and all information they might need to reach self-sufficiency by their 21st birthdays.
According to a press release on the new website, “Too often, foster youth leave the system unprepared. They don’t always know where to look for a job, how to apply to college or how to manage their finances. This instability often leads to high rates of unemployment, low educational attainment and even homelessness and incarceration.”
In the age of the Internet, this issue of unpreparedness is an easily avoidable one. As both a website and a mobile app, Know Before You Go places all of the resources that California foster youth may need at their fingertips, allowing them to focus their energies on a successful transition to adulthood. While the content is focused on closing the information gap for California (and specifically Los Angeles) foster youth, much of the content would be helpful for any young person transitioning into adulthood; the content is organized into categories like Work, School, Housing, Money, Life, Health and Legal.
This website is the most recent development in the Know Before You Go campaign, which began as a print packet called the extended foster care toolkit. Its subsequent expansion to a mobile application (entitled the B4UGO app) and a website illustrate the campaign’s attempt to reach more youth. The site, along with its accompanying Twitter feed (@knowb4ugola), also spreads the word about L.A. County’s local events for foster youth. It will soon have a web series on YouTube as well, also entitled B4UGO.
For more information and to view the new website, click here.