foster youth

November 16, 2015:  More than 20% of California's foster youth are sent to placements across county lines, restricting their access to mental health care and other services.  Host Joseph Pace discusses this and other challenges facing out state's foster youth.  

What are some of the legislative solutions on the horizon?  Why are the use of group homes and psychotropic medications, among other things, being challenged by foster youth advocates and what are the alternatives?

Producer:  Wendy Holcombe

Guests:  

 

On Thursday, March 26th, at the Tech Museum in San Jose, the Bay Area News Group is screening a documentary as part of its latest investigation into the over-prescription of drugs in California’s foster care system. The state has almost 60,000 foster youth – and one out of every four is given psychotropic drugs. Those are drugs to fix their behavior, not to help a mental illness. And they’re known to have horrible side effects. 

Reporter Karen de Sa spoke with many foster children for the investigative series “Drugging our Kids.” She came by our studios earlier this week to talk about what she discovered.

 

  

On the September 3rd, 2014 edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with current and former foster care youth about their experiences. On any given day, there are approximately 397,000 children in foster care in the United States. 60,000 are in California. On average, children remain in state care for nearly two years, but some remain in the system for five or more. What changes would foster youth like to change? How can ordinary citizens help transform the foster care system? It’s Your Call, with Holly Kernan, and you.
 

A starting place for former foster youth

Mar 17, 2014
Rachel Wong


Dejon Lewis was 11 years old when child protective services arrived to take him and his twin sister away from their mother, whom he says is a drug addict. But instead of giving themselves over to the state, the two children made a run for it. Lewis says they stayed with a family friend for a while, but eventually they turned themselves in, and that’s when he entered the foster care system. Since then, Lewis has bounced around a lot.

“It’s hard to live when you’re just living with strangers and strangers and strangers, and no relatives. But I know down the road that that wouldn’t last forever, so I had to figure out how to be more independent,” he says.

Beyond Emancipation

It’s audition day for Beyond Idol. Contestants pace around a large waiting area at Laney College, practicing softly to themselves as they wait for their turn.

This is a contest for Alameda County’s foster and probation youth, designed to showcase their talent and boost their self-confidence. Categories include original poetry, singing and rapping. There are definitely jitters in the room as each contestant goes before a panel of five judges. But the judges are kind in their feedback, like Judge Ralph Hall.

  

Special Adoptions: Thursday at 7pm, Out in the Bay host Eric Jansen speaks with Dennis Hanley, the gay single adoptive dad of three brothers, and with Doni DeBolt, the executive director of Adopt A Special Kid (AASK). Founded 40 years ago, this Oakland-based agency was among the first in the U.S. to encourage lesbian, gay, single, lower-income and older adults to adopt children, and the first to focus on special needs children, including sets of siblings, older kids, and queer youth neglected in foster care.  Live interview 7pm Thursday, Oct. 24, on kalw.org + 91.7 FM; listen after broadcast at OutInTheBay.org

A new law, California Fostering Connection to Success Act or AB 12, extends support for foster children until age 20. But because the law is being phased in, youth who turn 19 this year will not receive support until January 1, 2013. David Colby, a former foster child who had been accepted into UC Berkeley, may only be covered by Contra Costa County until August. Until then, he could be on his own.