Newsom Administration Announces Additional COVID-19 Emergency Fund Expenditures

This week, the Newsom Administration announced the expenditure of additional COVID-19 emergency response funds that were approved by the Legislature last month. Below, we highlight these expenditures:

$42m Investment for Foster Youth and Families

On Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced $42 million in new investments to protect and support younger Californians who are at heightened risk for abuse and mistreatment due to COVID-19. The new investments, totaling $42 million ($40.6 million in State General Fund and $1.4 million in federal funds), are allocated over a number of different social services programs and supports and will support foster youth over the next three months. The investments include:

  • Family Support: $27,842,000 will provide a $200/month supplement to families in the Emergency Response and Family Maintenance Programs.
  • Social Worker Outreach: $6,896,552 to support social worker overtime and additional outreach by county social workers to foster families at higher risk of COVID-19 (e.g. caregivers over 60 years old).
  • Family Resource Centers: $3,000,000 to provide direct support and services to foster families through family resource centers, including material items, assistance with isolation needs, parenting resources, and staff time to link families to other state and federal supports (e.g. food, housing, etc.).
  • Helpline Expansions: $250,000 to support 2-1-1 and Parents Anonymous to offer immediate assistance to families in crisis who are seeking assistance.
  • Foster Youth Age Extension: $1,846,165 to extend foster care payments and eligibility for those aging out of the foster system.
  • Resource Family Support: $1,728,655 to support resource families impact by COVID-19 through higher monthly reimbursement rates to cover extra costs associated with supporting children with more complex needs.
  • Caregiver Approval Timeframes: $166,000 to allow caregivers to continue to be paid beyond 365 days while awaiting Resource Family Approval.
  • Access to Technology: $313,128 to purchase 2,000 laptops and 500 cell phones for foster youth to stay connected with their families and resources and participate in educational opportunities during COVID-19.

Additional information is available from Governor Newsom’s website here.

$125m Investment for Disaster Relief Fund

Governor Newsom on Wednesday announced the creation of the Disaster Relief Fund which will provide disaster relief assistance for working Californians. The fund is a statewide public-private partnership and will provide support to undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19 who are otherwise ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits and disaster relief, including the federal CARES Act, due to their immigration status.

Under the fund, California will provide $75 million and philanthropic partners have committed to raising an additional $50 million. The $50 million for direct financial assistance is expected to be raised by Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), a network of foundations focused on immigration issues. Initial investments of $5.5 million has been raised from the Emerson Collective, Blue Shield of California Foundation, The California Endowment, The James Irvine Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and an anonymous donor, among others.

Approximately 150,000 undocumented adult Californians are expected to receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household to deal with the specific needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals will be able to apply for support beginning next month, and funds will be dispersed through a community-based model of regional nonprofits with expertise and experience serving undocumented communities. Additionally, California has developed a COVID-19 guide for immigrant Californians available here.

More information is available from the Governor’s website here.