Economic Security

Money in the Pocket During the Pandemic

Last Updated Aug 10, 2021
This publication shares the results of a pilot project with Santa Clara County Social Services Agency and other local partners to increase foster youth receipt of state and federal tax credits. Through the pilot, current and former foster youth were assisted with completing their taxes through a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site established at Santa Clara County’s youth center, equipped to provide specialized tax filing assistance to foster youth. The 45 young adults who were assisted yielded tax returns collectively totaling over $135,000, including $38,700 in recovered pandemic stimulus payments. The average return was $2,822, and for youth who were custodial parents it was $6,605. This increased youths’ annual income, on average, by 17%, and by 42% for youth who were custodial parents. The report includes several key findings along with recommendations at the county, state and federal levels.