Assemblymember Jim Beall Jr. Receives Honor For Improving Foster Care

January 23, 2009
Contact: Rodney Foo @ (408) 282-8920

Assemblymember Beall, D-San Jose, will be honored by the California Youth Connection for his work in helping foster care youth and raising awareness about foster care-related issues. He will be recognized by the organization and presented with a plaque on Monday, Jan. 26, 8:30 a.m., at the State Capitol building.
“This is a wonderful honor, especially because it is determined by the young people in CYC,’’ Beall said. “Together, we can work to help California’s foster care youth.’’

On the first day of the current session, Beall introduced Assembly Bill 12, legislation that would tap available federal funding to extend foster care in California beyond the age of 18 to 21. The bill is aimed at solving the problems – such as higher incidences of homelessness, drug use, and incarceration -- that can afflict foster care youth who are aged out of the system. There are about 74,000 children and youths in foster care and an estimated 4,500 are aged out annually.

In 2007, Beall convinced lawmakers and the Governor to approve a 5 percent increase for foster care families to stem a decline in foster care parents, many of whom were paying out of their own pockets for services, food, and clothing for foster care children. The increase was the first in almost a decade.
In addition, Beall has assisted in the adoption of a $20 million increase in transitional housing for foster youth.

A long-time advocate for foster care youth, Beall has served as the chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care. He is expected to be re-appointed to the post once the select committee is reconstituted this session.

The recognition of Beall’s work kicks off the “Day at the Capitol’’ rally sponsored by the California Youth Connection. The event is designed to focus attention on issues affecting foster care. California Youth Connection, founded in 1988, promotes the participation of foster youth in policy development and legislative changes to improve the system.