It is no surprise that the Bay Area’s booming economy and the subsequent demand for housing have resulted in housing costs that many local families simply cannot afford. The housing crisis has had an impact on every segment of our community, but none has been more affected than those whose housing and financial situations are already precarious.
Among those struggling are our local foster youth, foster families and the organizations dedicated to serving them. The unprecedented housing crisis – compounded with recent reforms to California’s child welfare system – is leaving manyl foster youth with few options for finding safe, stable places to call home.
Though well intentioned, child welfare system reforms have had unintended negative consequences. These include the closure of smaller foster service agencies. These agencies are essential to serving culturally diverse populations and their closure has placed additional stress on young people who are already struggling to find housing they can afford.
Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in partnership with Unity Care, a Northern California nonprofit offering a broad ranger of services benefitting foster youth and families, has published a report examining the situation of these foster youths, in order to sound an alarm on the issues surrounding housing insecurity for this vulnerable population. The report examines issues including the Continuum of Care Reform, youth homelessness and challenges to foster family recruitment, and highlights solutions offered by local agencies working to provide stable housing to our most vulnerable youth.
Together, we can increase the options available to these kids and invest in transitional and permanent housing that will improve foster youths’ chances for long-term success.