California increased the upper age of foster care from 18 to 21 with the passage of Assembly Bill 12 in 2010. As part of that legislation, California created the Supervised Independent Living Placement (SILP), a new foster care placement exclusively for 18-to-21- year-olds that provides a greater selection of living options and a higher level of independence.
Youth placed in SILPs are responsible for identifying their own housing and receive the foster care “Basic Rate.” This monthly rate has increased from $799 in 2012 to $1,129 in 2022 due to statutorily required adjustments based on the California Necessities Index. While the growth in the Basic Rate has been consistent, it has increasingly not met the needs of foster youth placed in SILPs for two reasons:
- Housing costs have outpaced the SILP rate increase, particularly in high-cost counties.
- Youth placed in SILPs head their own household and pay the full housing, food, and utility costs, unlike family-based foster care placements where a youth is joining an existing household.
To better understand the impact of increasing housing costs on foster youth placed in SILPs, JBAY conducted a series of interviews with current and former foster youth. Their stories are captured in this publication.