As a Foster Family Agency (FFA) and member of the California Alliance of Child and Family Services, Allies for Every Child joins the California Alliance in urging state legislators to approve a budget request (FFA rate increase) to support youth in foster care. This funding would provide a critically needed increase for FFA rates until final child welfare Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) rates are adopted in accordance with SB 187 on January 1, 2025. Unlike nearly all other foster care rates, FFAs do not receive an annual increase in their rates to account for increases in costs—despite record-high inflation. Most importantly, funding is needed to reduce workforce turnover and improve outcomes for children and youth.

Multiple studies show that the loss of a social worker significantly disrupts the permanency process and severs yet another bond in a child’s life: with each loss of a social worker, the rate of achieving permanency for youth in foster care drops dramatically, from 74.5% (with one consistent social worker) to less than 3% with three or more different social workers. Additionally, a March 2023 survey of California Alliance’s FFA members found:

  • 32% of FFA social workers left their jobs in 2022;
  • 44% of FFAs are at risk of downsizing the number of families and youth they work with;
  • 27% are at risk of closing completely;
  • It currently takes four months to fill an open FFA social worker position;
  • Competing sectors pay an average starting salary of $8,000 more than what FFAs can pay;
  • 40% of FFAs surveyed have had to lay off employees or leave positions unfilled due to insufficient funding

This one-time request is necessary to provide the youth of California with the services they need and achieve the state’s vision of having resource families in permanent homes.