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FYSCP 2020 - Legislative Report

Provides information about the Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) for school years 2018–19 and 2019–20.
California Department of Education
Report to the Governor and the Legislature:
Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program
Executive Summary

This report is prepared pursuant to California Education Code Section 42923(b). For every even year, the California Department of Education provides a report to the Governor, the Legislature, and the Legislative Analyst’s Office with the activities of California’s Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program (FYSCP) and student learning outcomes of foster youth. This report includes such information for the school years 2017–18 and 2018–19.

The FYSCP was established pursuant to Assembly Bill (AB) 854 of 2015, replacing the Foster Youth Service Program. The FYSCP changed the foster youth service delivery model from providing direct services to collaborating with county agencies and local educational agencies (LEAs). To support this realignment, the Budget Act of 2015 (Senate Bill [SB] 97 Line Item 6100-119-0001) increased the foster youth allocation by an additional $10 million for a total of $25.4 million. The goal of the increased appropriation was to provide integrated educational services to pupils in foster care. The Budget Act of 2018—SB 840—allocated $26.5 million for the FYSCP. The Budget Act of 2019—AB 74—allocated $27.3 million for the FYSCP.

The purpose of the FYSCP is to increase the overall capacity of the education community at the county level in order to expand access to services and to assist LEAs in the delivery of direct services for foster youth, with the explicit goal of improving foster youth educational outcomes.

Pupils in foster care represent one of the most vulnerable and academically underperforming subgroups enrolled in California schools. The instability in home and school placements often negatively impacts students’ learning achievement. In California, foster youth perform lower on all educational outcomes than any other student group in the state, including youth experiencing homelessness, English learners, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

California has made serving foster youth a high priority in recent years through legislation, funding policy, and accountability. The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) enacted in 2013 significantly increased funding for high-needs students and provides greater flexibility to LEAs in how to meet the needs of these students. The California School Dashboard, which launched in March 2017, includes foster youth as a reporting subgroup. The LCFF requires LEAs to identify how resources, including LCFF supplemental and concentration grant funds, will be leveraged to best serve high-needs students in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). The revised LCAP template, recently adopted by the State Board of Education, requires LEAs to provide specific actions in their plans to meet the needs of high-needs students.

During the past two years, the FYSCP has greatly improved the coordination of foster youth services among county agencies. County administered FYSCPs actively engaged in interagency collaboration to support LEAs serving foster youth.

The delivery of such services is more efficient through county-based Executive Advisory Councils (EACs) and formal interagency agreements. FYSCP supports LEAs in their development of LCAPs to meet the needs of foster youth. The development of EACs and formal interagency agreements allows for coordination of foster youth services and the implementation of new policies and practices, which have braided resources and eliminated redundant services among county agencies. The county FYSCPs also supported the development of school district and charter school transportation plans as required by Section 6312(c)(5) of Title 20 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) (20 U.S.C. Section 6312), of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

For foster youth learning outcomes, there is notable improvement in this reporting period:

  • Increased foster youth academic outcomes in English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics; particularly, the 1.5 percentage points of increase in ELA is larger than the state average of 1.2, showing a trend of narrowing the achievement gap.
  • Increased high school graduation rate; particularly, the 5.2 percentage points of increase is much larger than the 1.8 increase of non-foster youth, showing a significant step toward narrowing the achievement gap.
  • Increased foster youth college-going rates, a 1.5 percentage points of increase compared to a decrease of 0.8 of non-foster youth. This is a 2.3 percentage points narrowing the achievement gap.
  • Improved foster youth school engagement as seen in a decrease in the number of suspension rates; the 0.1 percentage point decrease, though small, is better than the non-foster youth flat suspension rates in the same period.

These improvements are worth celebrating; however, much work still needs to be done to address the achievement and opportunity gaps that our foster youth experience.

For the program service activities and data details provided in the following pages, this report recommends the continuation of the FYSCP.

Report to the Governor and Legislature 2020 (DOCX)

Questions: Integrated Student Support and Programs Office | FOSTERYOUTH@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0836 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, December 23, 2020