Our Work
Economic Security

The challenges faced by youth who have been in foster care or homeless can follow them into adulthood, impacting their ability to achieve economic security as adults.

JBAY works to ensure youth have the opportunity to grow into economically secure adults through a range of strategies:

The California Earned Income Tax Credit is the state’s largest income transfer program, providing over $1 billion to low-income Californians in 2019. Unfortunately this tax credit does not reach most young adults in foster care because they aren’t filing taxes. JBAY leads a public information campaign to raise awareness about filing taxes and tax credits, and leads local pilot projects aimed at ensuring current and former foster youth are accessing free tax preparation assistance.

For foster youth, food security is real: 1 in 6 report experiencing a time in the past 12 months when they were hungry but did not eat because they could not afford food. JBAY works to increase foster youth access to California’s food stamp program, “CalFresh,” with a special focus on access for college students, who are subject to certain federal restrictions.

In 2018, just 4% of the 161,288 youth served by the federal workforce training system were in foster care or the juvenile probation system despite their critical need for employment and training services. JBAY is working with key partners to increase access to this system by pursuing a federal waiver to expand eligibility and provide technical assistance to local workforce development boards to implement the waiver and adopt best practices for working with systems-involved youth.

Create better outcomes for California youth