The California Alliance of Child and Family Services Statement on 2021-22 Budget Deal 

Sacramento, CA – Yesterday, California witnessed the passing of a 2021-22 budget deal that puts an unprecedented focus on vulnerable children, youth, and families within our State. The California Alliance of Child and Family Services commends the Legislature and the Governor for their overwhelming display of compassion for the unmitigated suffering the COVID-19 pandemic has had on youth and families' mental and physical health. With the passing of this budget, California can begin to uplift the most under-resourced families, help students transition back to in-person learning, and continue the mission of addressing racial inequities in our physical and behavioral healthcare systems. 

The CA Alliance extends our deep appreciation to the Governor and Legislature for recognizing the central role Foster Family Agency Social Workers play in keeping foster youth in families. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on foster youth, and this investment will improve the overall health and achievement outcomes for foster youth. The resiliency of our foster youth in the face of COVID-19 cannot be understated; however, providing for them should not come at a financial burden to those who dedicate their lives to keeping them safe. Assistance to those providing critical services to youth in STRTPs through the pandemic is also an investment that supports foster youth who have been hit hardest during this past year. 

We also hail the inclusion of ongoing funding for the Office of Suicide Prevention. The State's financial commitment in confronting an ongoing crisis made worse by COVID-19 will bring hope and help in the fight to reduce suicide and self-harm.

The Administration's commitment to children and youth behavioral health is unprecedented. The vision and investment in the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative will improve health outcomes, improve the workforce, and ensure that needed services are available when and where they are most needed. The CA Alliance looks forward to partnering with the Administration to better serve all children, youth, and families who need services and support. 

This historic budget showcases the immense amount of work we have to do to continue California on the path toward recovery. After a devastating year for so many families, yesterday's actions move us in a positive direction, and the CA Alliance and our member agencies stand ready to implement these groundbreaking initiatives to improve the lives of California's children, youth, and families.