As of December 31st, 2016, TAYSF will no longer exist as a separate staffed entity, but instead much of its activities will be brought into DCYF to integrate with our larger efforts to serve youth and families in San Francisco.
In 2008, TAYSF was launched as a community partnership to work closely with public agencies, young adults and non-profit service providers with the goal to create a coordinated system of support in education, employment, health/wellness and housing services so that San Francisco’s most vulnerable 8000 youth and young adults can enjoy a healthy transition to adulthood. TAYSF has served as a resource to the community and city departments, highlighted the needs of TAY in San Francisco and developed recommendations to address these needs, helped in the development of dozens of young leaders and amplified the voice of young people in policies and programs that affected them through the Citywide TAY Advisory Board (CTAB). Their motto: “No choices about us, without us”.
We look back with pride on all that we have been able to accomplish with the help of so many allies:
- Worked with the City to make transitional age youth a stated priority.
- Assisted in the development, implementation and follow-up to an assessment of San Francisco’s transitional age youth housing and services system.
- In just the past year, served as a resource to the Human Services Agency, Department of Public Health, SFUSD, Our Children, Our Families Council, Adolescent Health Working Group, Office of Economic & Workforce Development, Child Sex Trafficking Committee, Controller’s Office, Mayor’s Office, Youth Commission, Department of Elections, researchers at UCSF and others in their policy development and planning for TAY services.
- Through CTAB Working Groups developed resources to support paid employment opportunities for undocumented youth and create resources to support easier and more TAY-culturally competent access to transitional housing opportunities.
- Met with officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to advice on effective housing models and appropriate outcomes both locally and nationally.
- Launched SF4TAY, a unique website designed by and for transitional age youth listing over 240 resources with 7500 unique visits each month.
- Created numerous factsheets and publications for young people and the field addressing issues such as housing, alternative education and employment issues.
- Maintained TAYSF.org aimed at providing resources for policymakers and service providers.
- Produced a nationally recognized set of Policy Priorities for Transitional Age Youth based on a year-long needs assessment involving over 100 youth, services providers and city staff and supported interdepartmental planning on addressing these needs.
With the passage of the Children & Youth Fund, several important improvements have been put in place to strengthen citywide planning for services of children and youth up to age 24. DCYF has addressed these changes both internally and externally through our funding and interdepartmental partnerships. Internally, DCYF created an Older Youth Team made up of two Youth Services Analysts, two Program Specialists and two Data Analysts, which is responsible for the development of strategies to support young people ages 14-24, providing closer alignment of our workforce development, education, justice-involved, violence prevention, teen, youth empowerment, family support and TAY strategies.
Through our Community Needs Assessment and upcoming Services Allocation Plan, the department is focusing on the integrated needs of young people through age 24. Our funding strategies that will begin in 2018 will seek to provide more integrated and comprehensive programming, particularly for disconnected TAY ages 18-24.
In 2015, we began to expand our funding for TAY through our Justice-Involved youth and workforce strategies and began designated funding for TAY services through 12 grants focusing on collaborative and innovative approaches to services. We have engaged Harder & Company to work with DCYF and our TAY grantees to document effective practices and use these lessons learned in new funding cycle beginning in 2018.
DCYF will continue to focus on our core areas of TAY services, primarily workforce development, violence prevention and youth empowerment while also partnering with other city departments to increase alignment and improve coordination of services, such as the Department of Public Health, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing and the Adult Probation Department. DCYF, along with a dozen other departments have been involved with Workforce Alignment planning being led by OEWD. The department has also been working with OEWD and HSA over the past year to better align our various funding strategies to improve how we best utilize local, state and federal workforce dollars for youth and adults, how we contract our services and share data to create a more seamless system for departments, providers and workforce clients. We are also currently working with the Department of Public Health’s San Francisco Transition Age Youth Trauma Informed Behavioral Health System of Care in effort to build behavioral health system of care development and coordination and trauma informed capacity building.
DCYF is working to strengthen youth and TAY voice in our planning and decision-making. Young people were heard through our Community Needs Assessment both in our community meetings and represented in TAY population focus groups. DCYF is developing a new youth advisory board that includes TAY who will advise DCYF in several key planning areas of our work including the Community Needs Assessment, Services Allocation Plan, Request for Proposals and Program Implementation stages of our work. DCYF will also continue to manage and update the SF4TAY and TAYSF websites providing resources on available programs, services and research for young people and service providers.
As we move forward, we would like to thank everyone who has been instrumental in our collaborative success.