FYA’s Current & Recent Projects
“Mind the Gap”: Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Transition Age Youth”
Studies estimate that between 50 and 85% of foster youth have behavioral, emotional or developmental disorders, frequently as a result of the trauma associated with the abuse and neglect that led to their subsequent removal from home. The stress associated with emancipation from the foster care system and termination of services places these youth at additional risk for negative outcomes, including incarceration, hospitalization, and homelessness. Youth frequently fall into a mental health “service gap” when they age out of care, resulting in termination of mental health and supportive services upon emancipation.
Project Activities: To ensure that youth aging out of care with mental health needs under Alameda County’s jurisdiction have access to services necessary to support a successful transition, FYA will:
- Conduct interviews and other forms of research to identify “promising practices” for emancipation preparation and services coordination for youth with mental health needs.
- Lead a process to improve linkages and maximize existing resources to better serve this population.
- Develop policy and practice recommendations to improve inter-department coordination, and work with the departments to implement these changes.
- Develop technical assistance materials for providers to increase knowledge about improving emancipation preparation for youth who will age out of their care.
- Publish practice recommendations for foster care providers serving transition age youth mental health needs and disseminate this information through training and consultation.
- Improved access to existing mental health services.
- Implementation of transition age youth mental health team in Alameda County.
- Increased number of youth with mental health services in place prior to emancipation as a means of supporting youth through the transition process.
- Improve caregiver/provider knowledge and practices pertaining to emancipation preparation for youth with mental health disorders.
Project Duration: July 2007 to present
This project is generously funded by the Zellerbach Family Foundation.