D. Heimpel

Daniel Heimpel's life as a journalist

Archive for January 2010

Fostering Connections Marches Forward in California

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Here is the latest out of California. As the budget crisis in California has darkened, so too have prospects for the State’s 80,000 foster children. Earlier in the month, the Governor threatened to make 1,400 former foster youth homeless by eliminating THP-Plus, a program that provides transitional housing for a portion of the 4,500 youth that emancipate every year. Further, advocates worried that AB12, the implementation of the Fostering Connections to Success Act would be scuttled by lawmakers scouring for cash. But happily AB12 cleared the Assembly on Jan. 26th with a 72-0 margin. This sets it up for the State Senate and eventually the Governor’s desk.

In this Op-Ed for the San Jose Mercury News, I argue that federal funds freed up by the ACF’s encouraging decision to rescind guidance that had prevented California from tapping into matching federal subsidized guardianship dollars would quell any fiscal argument against seeing AB 12 passed. If AB12 passes in California it would mean the eventual extension of care to 21 for one sixth of the nation’s foster youth, setting the tone for cross-country implementation.

This is encouraging, but clearly there is a long way to go still.


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Written by dheimpel

January 29, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Child Power

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As budgets buckle, foster kids are too often the first to suffer. In this story for the LA Weekly I explore how child advocates and child welfare administrators, with little help from politicians, are relying on foster kids themselves to breathe life into an ailing system.

The funny thing is that the kids are the ones who can do it. They have been reared by the system and are thus perfectly positioned to change it. But isn’t it a shame that we as collective parents have to rely on our collective children to fix the wrongs that we have incurred on them?