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Policy implementation of Assembly Bill 12 (AB12)
According to the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health (2020), there are over 20,000 children in foster care in the Los Angeles County and about 4,225 are foster youth ages 16 to 20. This foster youth is considered adults and faces many challenges associated with adulthood such as homelessness, poverty, lower education attainment, substance abuse among other issues. To ensure a smooth transition into adulthood, California adopted the California Fostering Connections to Success Act also known as Assembly Bill 12 (AB 12) in September 2010. It was implemented on January 1, 2012. It was intended to extend housing; educational and medical benefits to foster youth until the age of twenty-one. This policy enables this foster youth to establish meaningful connections to relatives, peers and tribes if applicable, become self-sufficient and deter dependence on public social services. This policy analysis explores whether AB 12 has increased the high school graduation rates for the foster youth in California.