CDSS Develops New Food Stamps Application Process For Emancipating Foster Youth

- From John A. Wagner, Director of the California Department of Social Services

As the Director of the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and a champion of foster youth, I want to alert all advocates and associated professionals that a new food stamps application process has been developed specifically for foster youth exiting dependency. In conjunction with a county workgroup, CDSS’s Foster Care and Food Stamp staff have developed a new process that will enhance the likelihood that foster youth eligible to receive food stamps, will not suffer a lapse in receiving this important benefit.

The new process is detailed in All County Letter (ACL) 09-25 and is being disseminated to as many interested parties as possible, including all county welfare directors, chief probation officers, food stamp program specialists, child welfare program managers, and many others in the field.

The new process does not change eligibility requirements or use new forms, but encourages a single point of contact for processing foster youth food stamp applications. The ACL also defers best practices to local control, however, contains suggestions developed as a result of professional experience, topical expertise and the collective efforts of the workgroup.

CDSS has led the way in a pro-active policy shift and law changes that benefit foster youth. In addition to the new food stamp process, the successful passage and implementation of AB 1331 allowed eligible foster youth to apply for Supplemental Security Income before they emancipated from the system thereby ensuring those still eligible maintain an important income source prior to aging out and preventing an income gap at a critical juncture.

Click here for a copy of the complete letter.

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