(left) Steven Mason and (right) Destiny Nguyen served as LAP3 Ambassadors. EWDD and the LA Chamber of Commerce recently won a $250,000 grant that will build on the LAP3 model to help foster youth Countywide.
The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department, in partnership with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Foundation, recently won a $250,000 Accelerator grant that will provide additional resources to improve workforce outcomes for the region’s foster youth.

The Foster Careers LA Project will develop a Foster Youth Accelerator Network in LA County comprised of child welfare, workforce development system, and nonprofit stakeholders to collaboratively develop and prototype solutions to eliminate the systemic barriers faced by transition-age foster youth in accessing and succeeding in workforce programs.

The project builds upon the successes of the Los Angeles Performance Partnership Pilot (LAP3), an initiative led by EWDD that presented an innovative integrated service model that placed LAUSD pupil service and attendance counselors at the City’s Youth Source Centers, along with housing and social services resources that created a one-stop shop for youth to receive guidance to determine what classes, graduation requirements and services are needed to finish high school and assist with a successful transition to college or employment.

LA County is home to the largest population of foster youth in the California, including 2,900 foster youth ages 16-18 and 2,500 AB-12 youth ages 18-21. Passed in 2012, Assembly Bill 12 (AB12), the California Fostering Connections to Success Act, allowed foster care for eligible youth to extend beyond age 18 up to age 21. Around 800 youth age out of care at 21 each year.

The grant will provide additional resources for the Foster Careers LA Project to accomplish several key goals, including:
  • Enhancing and integrating a regional referral and enrollment process for foster youth between LA County’s child welfare system and workforce development programs;

  • Prototyping the integration of a CareerHub virtual services texting technology and youth incentives to enhance the referral and enrollment process for foster youth;

  • Developing a “career readiness guide” for Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to support social workers, caregivers, and youth in understanding activities that support career readiness at various developmental stages; and

  • Prototyping strategies to support foster youth in transitioning from subsidized work experiences and WIOA to private sector employment.
The program is scheduled to start February 2, 2018.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of 1/22/2018. Read this issue and more.