OC Networked Improvement Community to Support Housing Insecure and Foster Youth:

UCI School of Education: resource/connections fair put on by OCEAN photo: Steve Zylius/UCI

Beginning in the Fall of 2020, amid a global pandemic, practitioners across Orange County joined forces with the University of California, Irvine (UCI) to form a Networked Improvement Community (NIC) to support housing insecure and foster youth. Over the course of two years, this group met regularly to develop a shared problem of practice and enact solutions to develop more cohesive systems of support. To build these systems, the group decided to host the county’s first “Resource and Connection Fair: for practitioners serving housing insecure and foster youth.” Hosted at UCI in 2022 with nearly 150 attendees, this event represents not just the hard work of practitioners and community leaders, but the abundance of care and dedication within the community itself.

Below we have compiled a list of resources and connections vetted by NIC partners that arose from our collaborative work. 

OrganizationResource ProvidedHow to contact
County of Orange Children and Family ServicesOffers information on the transitional housing programs that are county contracted for former foster youth in Orange County as well as ways of getting involved with children and families in the foster care system.(714) 704-8000

M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
County of Orange, Health Care Agency, Office of Care CoordinationThe Office of Care Coordination provides TAY specific resources and providers the County partners with, as well as overall County Homeless Services.carecoordination@ochca.com
County of Orange Social Services AgencyCounty of Orange provides information regarding CalWORKs, CalFresh, Medi-Cal and General Relief regarding youth and foster youth.(800) 281-9799
M-F 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Saturdays 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Covenant House CaliforniaNon-profit youth shelter that provides sanctuary and support for youth experiencing homelessness, ages 18-24.(323) 461-3131
M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Crittenton Services for Children and FamiliesNationally accredited behavioral health and child welfare nonprofit with more than 50 years of experience serving the most vulnerable system-involved children, youth, and families.(714) 680-9000
M-F 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Leading Purpose Inc.Our organization provides housing and case management for young adults that are between the ages of 18 to 25 here in Orange County.(949) 504-5619
Monday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tuesday-F 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Orange County Department of Education, Foster Youth Services Coordinating ProgramAssisting with education-related matters for youth in foster care(714) 835-4909
Monday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Orange County Social Services Agency Families and Communities TogetherFamilies and Communities Together (FaCT) is a County of Orange Social Services Agency public-private program providing support services to children and families through community-based collaboratives operating family resource centers. (714) 566-2878
M-F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Orange County Workforce and Economic DevelopmentReady S.E.T. OC program provides employment and training services for In-school and Out-of-School youth 16-24.La Habra
(562) 383-4227
(714) 765-4350
Santa Ana
(714) 565-2600
Scholarship PrepA school committed to creating community change by operating university-inspired, trauma-informed public schools for all students, especially those experiencing homelessness or those in the foster care system.(714) 795-3498
Monday 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Western Youth Services’ Outreach & Engagement ProgramThis group serves the unserved, underserved, unseen, at-risk, and vulnerable populations. In addition to community-based outreach events, they provide workshops and services for those seeking lower-level of care or who do not meet medical necessity (i.e. short-term case management, short-term skills-based groups, short-term therapy). As long as individuals live in their service area (south county), they can provide services—no matter the age, citizenship status, or insurance status.(888) 312-0406
Dr. Jodi Quas

Professor of Psychological Science and Nursing Science at the UCI Department of Psychological Science

Dr. Quas was an invited speaker at the Resource and Connection Fair. Click the play button to watch her presentation on recent research and recommendations for practitioners wanting to engage in trauma-informed practices.

Her research specializes in the effects of trauma and maltreatment on children, memory development, and children’s involvement in the legal system. More specifically, she studies strategies to improve children’s narrative productivity and accuracy, the effects of stress on children’s memory, emotional regulation and physiological reactivity as predictors of children’s coping with and memory for stressful events, jurors’ perceptions of child witnesses, and consequences of legal involvement on child witnesses and victims. You can contact Dr. Quas with questions or more information at jquas@uci.edu

Community Highlights

UCI School of Education: resource/connections fair put on by OCEAN photo: Steve Zylius/UCI

Participants said their favorite part of the event was…

“Going the to the SAUSD presentation and hearing first hand from participants experiences and outcomes.”

“The lunch is always good! Better than that was meeting new people from different organizations and learning what their strengths and challenges are in the work field.”

Networked Improvement Community Members

A special thank you to NIC members, it was through their ideas, sharing of their experiences, commitment to improvement, and community that this work was made possible. This work was also funded and made possible by the Spencer Foundation.

Orange County Department of Education
Jeanne Awrey
Raina Lee
Emily Nguyen

Orange County Social Services Agency
Jaime Muñoz

Scholarship Prep
Kristen Crowe
Jason Watts

Samueli Academy
Sarah Davis
Anthony Saba

Santa Ana Unified School District
Anabel Garsilazo
Elida Sanchez

Willard MS (SAUSD)
Bertha Benavides

Anaheim Unified High School District
Adela Cruz

Orangewood Foundation
Vanessa Vargas
Jami DeChaney
Linda Levshin

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