County wants report of academy’s success
San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday to have county staff document the success of the county-run San Pasqual Academy for foster youth, amid rumblings of upcoming state legislation to reform residential programs.
The academy, founded in 2001, is the nation’s first such residential campus.
The request by the supervisors comes amid “substantial discussions” across the state of reforming residential-based services, according to a memo from Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts.
“We believe it is important to document the achievements of this unique program,” they wrote.
“I think we will see very clearly documented that there is no program in this country that has the success rate with preparing kids for adulthood that San Pasqual has,” Roberts, the board chairman, said at the March 13 board meeting.
The 238-acre campus houses up to 184 middle and high school-age foster youth. It was created after county officials discovered that large numbers of youth lacked independent living skills when they left the foster system.
The campus was rebuilt after several buildings were destroyed in the 2007 Witch Creek Fire.
“For the foster youth who are not comfortable trying to adjust to the various foster homes, we have developed an alternative—a voluntary, safe, and stable residential campus where these young men and women can earn a high school diploma, gain independent living skills, prepare for college, and receive job training for a successful transition into adulthood,” Cox said.
County staff was directed to return in 90 days with a written policy outlining the purpose and program goals of the academy, as well as prepare a report that evaluates student outcomes and ways to improve success rates, seek new funding sources and update the county’s legislative program to oppose any bills that would threaten the academy’s residential model.
The academy is at 17701 San Pasqual Valley Road between Ramona and Escondido.
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