Our Mission

John Burton Advocates for Youth improves the quality of life for youth in California who have been in foster care or homeless by advocating for better laws, training communities to strengthen local practices and conducting research to inform policy solutions.

JBAY is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by retired State Senator John Burton. JBAY works throughout California and is headquartered in San Francisco, with an office in Los Angeles and staff in San Diego.

JBAY John and Partner
JBAY Happy Together

JBAY focuses on youth who have been in foster care or homeless, aged 13 to 26. The needs of this population are considerable. Youth enter foster care due to abuse or neglect and, sadly, their challenges are often compounded by the system itself due to placement instability, school changes, lack of access to mental health services to address trauma, and the lack of consistent, unconditional care.

Homeless youth also struggle considerably and share most of the attributes of youth in foster care. Research has consistently shown that most youth become homeless after experiencing maltreatment, including abuse or neglect in the home. Unfortunately, the suffering of these young people is often missed by the child welfare system, leaving them without an equivalent system of care.




The experiences of youth who have been in foster care or homeless shape the work of JBAY. Watch their stories in these videos.

Play Video about JBAY Alexis
Play Video about JBAY Sades
Play Video about JBAY Twin Brother