Navigating the college application process is challenging. Now imagine doing it while being in foster care or homeless.
JBAY has developed tools to help youth get the support they need. These tools ensure adult supporters are equipped to provide support and advocate for policies that guarantee that every foster youth has the necessary guidance to successfully enroll in college.
Case Plan Requirements
Senate Bill 12 (SB 12) requires child welfare and juvenile probation agencies to identify an individual to assist youth aged 16 or older with applications for college and financial aid. JBAY has developed an implementation guide to help these agencies fulfill this case planning requirement.
College and Career Planning:
Social Worker Training
JBAY developed a training series for Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) social workers and supervisors to provide the necessary tools to support foster youth to enter and complete college.
JBAY piloted the intervention at the Lancaster and Palmdale offices with the goal of implementing the training countywide. An independent evaluation found that both social workers and supervisors gained new knowledge and recommended expanding the training intervention to additional DCFS offices.
Caregiver Training Curricula
A recent study found that youth who ever talked about college with their caregivers are over eight times more likely to attend a four-year college than those who don’t. Findings such as these led JBAY to develop training curricula for caregivers on preparing youth for college, starting in middle school. The Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services (LA DCFS) now requires licensed caregivers to take this training.
In 2020, Hope Education Research Solutions evaluated the training and found that the training had a significant impact on both the beliefs and knowledge of participants. The course materials for these trainings can be found below.
“Turning Dreams into Degrees” includes two age-specific courses that can be used give resource families and staff at Short Term Residential Treatment Programs (STRTPs) the tools they need to prepare youth for college. Each course includes a facilitator’s guide to help trainers to prepare for delivering the course materials along with presentation slides. The facilitator’s guides also provide helpful background information, general facilitation tips, and additional resources for further reference.
The first course provides information about how to best support youth in grades 6-10 and the second focuses on youth in grades 11-12. Both are available in English and Spanish, and there are versions specific to Los Angeles County.
Homeless Student College Transition Training
JBAY developed an online training to educate high school counselors, homeless student liaisons and others about how to help high school students experiencing homelessness make a successful transition to college.
Students experiencing homelessness face unique challenges and have certain state and federal rights. JBAY’s course consists of seven modules, each covering a different topic that will help interested stakeholders set students up for success as they transition from high school to the next phase of their educational journey. Quizzes and activities also help learners to apply the information they are learning along the way.