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Follow Foster Kids into Adulthood to Ensure System Works, Grand Jury Urges

The county of San Diego should partner with a local university to study the impact of its child welfare policies and programs on foster youth who have aged out of the system, the county grand jury recommended Tuesday. (See Report at

The grand jury also recommended that county officials comb through their databases to determine how many people formally in the child welfare system are now using adult welfare services, or are subject to the criminal justice system.

While it’s generally thought that former foster youth don’t fare as well as others when they become adults, the county doesn’t collect data on those formerly in its care, according to the grand jury report.

“Without long-term studies to determine whether or not county foster care alumni succeed, (Child Welfare Services) does not know the effects of its delivery of services,” the grand jury wrote.

County officials can’t make major improvements to child welfare without the data, the report said.

The county Board of Supervisors has until Sept. 4 to respond to the report.

The grand jury issued a separate report on the region’s growing homelessness problem.

Its three recommendations were for city and county officials to:

  • Examine their process for disseminating information to potential developers about unused properties to ensure that those trying to create moderate- and low-income housing have access to them as the California Surplus Land Act requires.

  • Consider creating a means by which the public can observe the progress in creating moderate and low-income housing, including city, county, nonprofit, public-private and San Diego Housing Commission projects.

  • And request an audit to verify that buildings constructed with the stipulation that low-income/affordable units be included are occupied by people who qualify to live there.

Sept. 4 is also the deadline for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, the City Council and county Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer to respond to the homeless report.

— City News Service

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