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Representatives from the Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC), National Homebuyers Fund, Inc. (NHF), and iFoster on Tuesday provided an update to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors on the distribution of nearly 80 gifted laptops to local foster youth and former foster youth aged 16-21 in Humboldt County. These laptops are part of a statewide distribution of more than 1,100 laptop computers to all eligible foster youth and former foster youth aged 16-21 within RCRC’s 35-member counties.
Late last year, RCRC and NHF’s Boards of Directors each approved providing $200,000 to support the 1 Laptop Program for Foster Youth. Through this one-time $400,000 contribution, eligible foster youth and former foster youth in care within RCRC’s 35 counties will be provided a laptop, complete with the iFoster Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Assistant, which includes a HIPAA-compliant, secure online digital locker, accessible anywhere, anytime. The laptop is fully integrated into iFoster’s resource portal and programs, providing access to more than 500 needed resources, and improved youth support networks.
"Our foster youth face real challenges that others don’t, and something as fundamental as a computer can provide a sense of stability and security for some of the most vulnerable children in Humboldt County," said Rex Bohn, Humboldt County 1st District Supervisor and RCRC President. “RCRC and their partners are truly committed to improving the quality of life in California's rural counties. I am proud to be part of an organization that invests its resources in our local communities."
Owning a computer addresses additional challenges for foster youth, including accessing needed resources and the loss or misplacement of important life documents as youth move from placement to placement. A 2016 study of 730 youth across California who received iFoster computers found that only five percent of rural foster youth have consistent access to a computer in their homes, compared to 90 percent of all teens, and
79 percent of low-income teens (Pew Research Center, 2014). When provided with a computer, 98 percent of youth reported using it on a daily or weekly basis, and statistically significant improvements were found in academic performance, social connectiveness, and life satisfaction.
"We want to thank RCRC and Supervisor Bohn for their work securing laptops for our Humboldt County foster youth. Not only will they help our youth reach their educational and employment goals, these laptops will also help them build connections with family and social supports to enable greater success in the future," said Diana Williams, supervisor at the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Transition-Age Youth Division.
Laptops were presented to the local foster youth and former foster youth at an event on August 18th.
Caption for photo: Pictured from left: Independent Living Skills Coordinator Levi Frisk, laptop recipient Steven Combs and Transition-Age Youth Supervisor Diana Williams.
ABOUT RURAL COUNTY REPRESENTATIVES OF CALIFORNIA (RCRC)
The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-five member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit rcrcnet.org and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter.
ABOUT NATIONAL HOMEBUYERS FUND, INC. (NHF)
National Homebuyers Fund, Inc. (NHF) is a non-profit public benefit corporation established in 2002 to stimulate and expand homeownership opportunities nationwide. NHF has helped more than 37,600 individuals or families purchase a home and provided over $318 million in down payment assistance.