Monday, March 7, 2016
Dear Community Members,
If you missed the announcement FYA sent out in February, we would like to share some important news with you.
The Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance has discontinued services, as of March 7, 2016.
Alameda County Foster Youth Alliance (FYA) was founded to be an independent,
mission-driven organization to advocate for systems change to improve outcomes
for Alameda County foster youth and their families. FYA’s membership of
non-profit organizations and public agencies was convened to demonstrate the
broad base of community support for this mission. FYA was initially launched
and had always relied on the support of many generous local foundations and
concerned community members. FYA had
thus always had to balance its responsibilities to a broad range of
stakeholders. As a small non-profit organization, FYA had in recent years, been
increasingly limited by its divided attention.
careful consideration of these challenges, and a recognition that the key
advocacy and accountability functions that FYA was created to address are now
institutionalized within Alameda County’s community of child-serving agencies,
the Membership Steering Committee made the decision to discontinue FYA in its current
sixteen years, FYA partnered with its member organizations, providers,
advocates, public agencies, philanthropy, and youth. FYA worked on behalf
of current and former foster and probation youth by advocating for accessible,
quality, and appropriate services; and responsive, accountable, and transparent
service systems. FYA’s contribution to the betterment of the lives of foster
youth and the systems that serve them is considerable, and will be missed
in the future. Some of FYA’s many accomplishments are listed below.
FYA supported early advocacy efforts to establish and expand transitional
housing for former foster youth (THP-Plus), by representing the interests of
former foster youth and mobilizing Alameda County’s network of service
voice: FYA contributed to the formation of the county’s Youth Advocate
Program (formerly the Youth Adult Partnership). FYA facilitated youth inclusion
in county and state planning and forums related to implementation of AB12, the
California Fostering Connections to Success Act.
planning: FYA worked with the County to develop a policy requiring foster
youth to engage in formal structured planning meetings in the two years prior
to their 18th birthday.
health: FYA’s advocacy for mental health systems improvement led to revisions
to county policy that increased access to mental health services through
expanded Medi-Cal outreach and enrollment. Through later qualitative research,
FYA uncovered administrative and policy barriers to mental health services for
foster youth transitioning out of care at age 21.
service system accountability: During California’s 2011 Health and Human
Services Realignment, FYA led a broad coalition that provided legislative and
policy analyses to the public, organized local advocacy, and engaged with local
government about implementation decision-making and program management.
Fostering Connections to Success Act: FYA actively contributed to
accountability and policy development, particularly in regard to youth with
high service needs, in the local planning and ongoing implementation of AB12.
homelessness: FYA established a collaborative providing a continuum of
services for homeless youth and youth at risk of homelessness in Alameda
County, and successfully advocated for increased investment and resources for
this vulnerable, high-risk population.
sexual exploitation of youth: FYA led a committee that developed targeted
recommendations to improve housing placements for foster youth who are victims
and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation.
education: FYA led a collaborative that bridged sectors and engaged
stakeholders in improving post-secondary educational outcomes of current and
former foster and probation youth. FYA contributed to establishment of a
state-funded district-wide foster youth campus support program for the Peralta
Community College District.
are very pleased that some of FYA’s current projects have been assumed and will be sustained by member organizations and partners. The Executive Director and
Membership Steering Committee developed a transition plan to facilitate
you would like more information about these transitions, please contact one of FYA's Membership Steering Committee
Volpe, Regional Director (Chair)
Area Youth Center
Carnahan, Director of Health and Wellness
Durham, Executive Director
Marshland, Regional Vice President
Finch Youth Center
Pearn, Founder/Vice President of Policy
Place for Youth
Tarango, Program Manager-Foster Youth Services/McKinney Vento
County Office of Education