YEP forms partnerships with local governments by supporting teams of Ambassadors and County Child Welfare Leaders as they collaborate on local projects relating to the Child Welfare System. Each project is tailored to address specific priorities in each county while providing an opportunity for the County and their Ambassadors to build capacity for intergenerational partnership. There are currently Ambassadors in the eight California counties whose YEP work is spotlighted below.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Los Angeles team developed their project after talking with stakeholders. Their local project is a fitness program designed to crease sense of community and self-esteem for group home residents - all while having fun and learning about healthy alternatives! They hosted a fantastic fitness workshop, serving 27 participants who all gave positive evaluations.
Teams of youth and adults went on the road in LA to share information about Extended Foster Care housing options and other community resources at local teen clubs. Now the YEP team is evaluating how effective the presentation were. The team will use the evaluations to make recommendations about these outreach efforts and to help lead the new and improved presentations!
MONTEREY COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Monterey team partnered with the Epicenter staff and Hartnell College to create and facilitate a one hour foster parent training. The training promoted adoption of foster teens and provided youth perspective to potential foster parents.
The Monterey team is welcoming two new Ambassadors, Mellisa and Juan. Currently, the team is focusing on learning about Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), or AB 403 and AB 1997. They will develop a plan for getting the word out about CCR to the yuoth of Monterey County. Ensuring that youth understand CCR is an important part of implementing AB 403/1997.
PLACER COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Placer team strives to improve group home quality through data collection. They are partnering with the Youth Thrive Learning Community to identify what specific data needs to be collected, and how to carry out the data collection and analysis.
The Placer team has made impressive progress on their video project. They have interviewed former foster youth, foster parents and county sttaff. the team is focused on youth rights in different placements, and is training County staff and placement support for providers and caregivers. The draft video was previewed at the annual Ambassador meeting in Sacramento on December 2nd. We can't wait to see how the video turns out!
SACRAMENTO COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Sacramento team is working witht he Sacramento County Office of Education and Americorp to develop a strategy to increase the number of youth utilizing the Independent Living Program (ILP). Their goal is to increase the number of local youth involved in ILP activities which help develop life skills and form a foundation of independence. We are excited to see the positive impact of more youth involvement in the ILP.
SANTA CLARA COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Santa Clara team collaborated with various community partners to train a small cohort of youth in the following areas: Public Health, CalFresh, Education, Reproductive Health, Extended Foster Care, LGBTQ, Transitional Housing, ILP/Hub Eligibility and Employment. The team plans to send these trained youth to give presentations to transition age foster youth throughout the county.
The Santa Clara team developed personalized youth friendly outreach packets for social workers to share with their youth. The County also collaborated with their community service providers in order to ensure that the materials are up to date and relevent. They gave presentations about resources and the youth friendly resource packets to County leadership and others. Social Workers share these packets with youth on their caseloads during regular monthly visits. Thank you to Santa Clara County for their hard work!
STANISLAUS COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Stanislaus team strives to improve group home quality through data collection. They are partnering with the Youth Thrive Learning Community to identify what specific data needs to be collected, and how to carry out the data collection and analysis.
The Stanislaus team held conference calls to outline next steps for Resource Family Approval (RFA) Orientation. They will be presenting on Youth Rights and a Youth Panel has been selected to share about what youth are seeking in a resource family. They will also be busting myths about teenagers and encouraging families to consider fostering teens. Other exciting news in Stanislaus County is the addition of YEP Peer Mentor (previous Ambassador, Ali) and two new Ambassadors - wecome Angel and Lauren!
VENTURA COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Ventura team strives to improve group home quality through data collection. They are partnering with the Youth Thrive Learning Community to identify what specific data needs to be collected, and how to carry out the data collection and analysis.
The Ventury County team is working to identify promising practices and needs around family visitation. After completing a series of focus groups and surveys, the team will present their findings to a family visitation workgroup. Ventura Ambassadors adn County Contacts are dedicated to improving the experience of family visits and supporting these visits as a place for connecting and healing.
YOLO COUNTY SPOTLIGHT
The Yolo team strives to improve group home quality through data collection. They are partnering with the Youth Thrive Learning Community to identify what specific data needs to be collected, and how to carry out the data collection and analysis.
The Yolo team has identified the target population for the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), developed an introductory flier to present YAb and its goals at ILP workshops, created a plan of action for establishing an "executive board", held a focs group for youth to set YAB goals and plans for implementation, as well as outreach with preexisting YABs to better the project. Additionally, the Yolo County Ambassadors and two other youth participated in a focus group conducted by CFPIC where they provided feedback regarding the Yolo County Child Welfare Services program. A big thanks to the Yolo team for their hard work with developing the YAB.