Children’s Advocacy Institute Publishes 50 State Report Card on Preserving Foster Youth Federal Benefits – University of San Diego Website

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Thursday, April 18, 2024TOPICS: Politics and Law

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SAN DIEGO (April 18, 2024) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI) released a report, entitled “Foster Care or Foster Con? Preserving the Federal Benefits of America’s Most Vulnerable Children.”  The report evaluates all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia with respect to their laws and policies relating to the preservation and management of foster youths’ federal benefits.

Every day, tens of thousands of fostercare children are being robbed of millions in financial entitlements by the state—with many unaware that they even qualified for financial entitlements to begin with.

The Report outlines the injustices our foster care youth have faced thanks to a lack of government protection. This report also features a state-by-state grading system, acknowledging those states who have made efforts to protect their foster kids, and reprimanding those who have failed to do so.

Foster care youth should be protected, and it shouldn’t be our job to ensure they are.

You can find the report on our website.

To learn more about CAI’s campaign to stop this practice, please visit Preserving Federal Benefits of Foster Youth.

In the News

Newsweek: Hundreds of California Kids Lose Social Security Benefits (4/17/2024)

Newsweek: Former Foster Kid Slams Social Security Withholding Benefits (4/18/2024)

About the Children’s Advocacy Institute

The Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI), founded at the nonprofit University of San Diego School of Law in 1989, is one of the nation’s premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of children and youth, with special emphasis on improving the child protection and foster care systems and enhancing resources that are available to youth aging out of foster care.

In its academic component, CAI trains law students and attorneys to be effective child advocates throughout their legal careers. Its Child Advocacy Clinic gives USD Law students three distinct clinical opportunities to advocate on behalf of children and youth, and its Dependency Counsel Training Program provides comprehensive training to licensed attorneys engaged in or contemplating Dependency Court practice.

CAI’s research and advocacy component, conducted through its offices in San Diego, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C., seeks to leverage change for children and youth through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education. Active primarily at the federal and state levels, CAI’s efforts are multi-faceted—comprehensively and successfully embracing all tools of public interest advocacy to improve the lives of children and youth. To support CAI’s work, please visit

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 30th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 41st nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

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