Independent City JLF’s Community Impact Program

Junior League of Fresno identified a unique population of youth who, based on their age, could potentially “age-out” of foster care. These youths were identified to have specific needs that the membership of JLF could potentially allocate resources to help increase youth success as they transition into adulthood. The areas of need are-

  • Access to vocational and post-secondary education and financial aid
  • Secured housing
  • Employable skills
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Social-emotional support

JLF’s research on Foster youth as described below has inspired a pilot program called Independent City. For more information about the program please contact the Community Impact Chair at communityimpact@jlfresno.org.


According to KidData.Org, in 2015, 62,035 children and youth in California were living in foster care, a rate of 5.8 per 1,000. After hitting a 16-year low of 5.1 per 1,000 in 2011 and 2012, the rate of children in care has risen in recent years. Since 1998, the rate of first entries into care has fluctuated but decreased overall from 3.5 entries per 1,000 children/youth to 2.7 per 1,000 in 2015.

Among counties with data, in-care rates ranged from 1.5 to 24.9 per 1,000 and first entry rates ranged from 0.6 to 11 per 1,000 in 2015. In California, 86% of children who entered foster care for the first time in 2013-15 were removed from their families due to neglect, 8% due to physical abuse, and 2% due to sexual abuse. For children who entered care in the first half of 2014, 36% were reunified with their families and 61% were still in foster care one year later. The median length of time California children spent in foster care declined between 2001 and 2009 from 17.2 to 13.2 months, but then rose to 15.6 months in 2013.

In California, 86% of children who entered foster care for the first time in 2013-15 were removed from their families due to neglect, 8% due to physical abuse, and 2% due to sexual abuse. For children who entered care in the first half of 2014, 36% were reunified with their families and 61% were still in foster care one year later. The median length of time California children spent in foster care declined between 2001 and 2009 from 17.2 to 13.2 months, but then rose to 15.6 months in 2013.