L.A. County launches coordinated referral process to connect foster youth with work experiences
Thanks to the efforts of L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative partners, L.A. County recently launched a new coordinated referral process for foster youth ages 14-24 to improve connections to job training and early work experiences. Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) staff who support youth living from Lancaster to Long Beach face a confusing array of work readiness programs managed by 7 workforce boards and over 40 non-profit agencies across the county. DCFS will now utilize a common form to send referrals to L.A. County Workforce Development Aging & Community Services department (WDACS) who will manage the assignment and tracking of referrals across workforce agencies. DCFS has allocated $1 million this year to provide 400 foster youth with paid work experiences through a new FosterYouth@Work program. Nearly 400 foster youth have been referred through the new system in March and April.