Beall's Foster Care Reform Bills Signed by Governor

October 04, 2011

Two bills introduced by Assemblymember Jim Beall – both aimed at helping foster care youth lead successful lives as adults – were signed today by Gov. Brown.

"Reforming the foster care system and creating better outcomes are big priorities of mine," said Beall, chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care. "I am continuing that work with these two bills, which enjoyed bipartisan support. I'm excited to have them both become law and I thank the Governor for understanding reform is needed to help our foster care kids as they grow into adults."

Assembly Bill 194 requires California State Universities and state community colleges grant priority registration for enrollment into classes to foster youth or former foster youth. The bill requests the University of California campuses, which are autonomous, to comply with the spirit of AB 194.

The bill is designed to improve college graduation and retention rates for foster care youth. There is a lack of consensus among researchers on the actual graduation rates of students who have been in foster care, but they all agree the rate is low, ranging from 1 percent to 11 percent.

Last year, the Legislature and Governor both approved AB 12, landmark legislation to extend foster care benefits to age 21. The bill also made the state eligible to obtain federal funding for that transitional support and for the state's Kin-Gap program, which facilitates the adoption of children by their relatives instead of placing them in institutionalized care.

Building on last year's legislation, AB 212 was introduced this session as an omnibus reform bill, completing AB 12's intent by making various federal compliance, technical, and clarifying changes to the California Fostering Connections to Success Act of 2010 to help draw down millions in available federal funding. AB 212 won final approval from the Legislature on Sept. 6.

Contact: Rodney Foo (408) 282-8920