County Resources


Q: What is YEP?

A: YEP is a partnership between the Child and Family Policy Institute of California and the California Department of Social Services to create transformational change and improve child welfare policies, programs and practices through the engagement and voice of youth leaders by building capacity for youth engagement at the state and local level.

Q: Who is eligible to participate?

A: All counties in California are eligible to participate.

Q: Why should my county consider joining YEP?

A: Ensuring the voice of young adults with lived experience is captured and heard is critical to improving the child welfare system. YEP can assist counties in building local capacity to engage and work with youth with lived experience in the child welfare system

Q: What is a youth ambassador?

A: Youth Ambassadors are current or former foster youth who work with counties to provide valuable insight and assistance with local and statewide child welfare system improvement efforts. Youth Ambassadors must receive compensation for their YEP work.

Q: What is required to become a participating YEP County?

A: In order to be considered for YEP, counties should complete an interest form, as well as identify a lead point of contact. Counties will need to commit to working with YEP staff for ongoing support to both the county contact and the Youth Ambassador.

Q: What is the process to apply?

A: Interested counties must submit an interest form. Once completed, the YEP team will contact you to discuss next steps, including support, possible projects and the Youth Ambassador process.

Q: Do I have to accept funding to participate in YEP?

A: No. YEP recently changed its model so that counties no longer will pay Youth Ambassadors directly, eliminating the need for county funding. Funding and payments for Youth Ambassadors will come directly from YEP.

Q: How do I identify and recruit youth ambassadors?

A: Recruiting a Youth Ambassador is one of the most important steps of the YEP process. In order to simplify this process, YEP will recruit youth ambassadors to create a pool of qualified individuals.  These ambassadors will have the ability to work with any county, and can be matched based on skill set, project description and county need.  However, counties will retain the ability to identify and recruit their own Youth Ambassadors should they choose to do so.

Download a PDF of these questions and answers.

Ready to become a YEP County?

Apply online

or download a PDF application

View our Information Session video for prospective counties

“Our youth ambassadors are full and vital partners of our county team. Engagement of our ambassadors in program and policy development has been incredibly helpful and supports achieving our intended outcomes in a more meaningful way. For anyone considering the YEP Program, we would highly recommend it.”

-San Luis Obispo DSS/CWS