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This resource directory is focused on resources that support children in grades pre-K through college. For other resources, please call 211 or use the community information database at the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Santa Cruz County Office of Education

Cabrillo College

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Foster Youth Services

Cabrillo College

Cabrillo College empowers students to be effective communicators, critical thinkers, and responsible world citizens. With a commitment to quality and equity, we connect all learners to pathways that propel them from where they are to where they aspire to be, including: academic, personal, and career growth.
6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003, Phone: 831.479.6100; 318 Union Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ A, CO, FY, SE ]

Cabrillo College - Foster and Kinship Care Educational Program

A group available to help with the needs of relative caregivers (grandparent, relative, or friend) for children. Group held the first Tuesday of each month: 6:30-8pm at LifeSpring Preschool.
1255 41st Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010 [ CO, FY, M, PS ]

Cabrillo College - Guardian Scholars Program

The Cabrillo College Guardian Scholars Program helps current and former foster youth students by providing supportive services to successfully navigate the college systems. Services include: application and enrollment assistance, financial aid and scholarship assistance, academic counseling, peer mentoring, tutoring services, survival living skills and referrals to college and community resources. Other services that help students succeed in school, such as food gift cards scholarship funds are also available to participating sttudents. Offices is open to students to come in and use student computers, study areas.
Main Campus: 6500 Soquel Dr. Room 1006 Aptos, CA 95003 [ A, CO, FY ]

Foster Youth Services (FYS)

Students in Transition (SIT) and Foster Youth Services (FYS) provide displaced students crucial support in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the AB 490 California law for foster youth. The McKinney-Vento legislation defines homeless as individuals "who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence." This definition includes "children and youth awaiting foster care placement." This means that youth awaiting placement with foster care are considered homeless and are covered by McKinney-Vento. For this reason there is a great deal of overlap between SIT and FYS. 
400 Encinal St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FY, H, SE ]


FosterEd improves the educational outcomes of foster children by ensuring each is supported by an educational champion and strengthened by an education team. We connect educational champions -- typically the child's biological, foster, or adoptive parent -- with a volunteer support person who can help build the educational champion's capacity to support the child's education. If you are interested in volunteering to provide individualized support and mentoring to an educational champion, please contact us!
400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Please contact us at 831-763-8997. [ A, FY, M, PS ]

Students in Transition Program

Students in Transition (SIT) and Foster Youth Services (FYS) provide displaced students crucial support in accordance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and the AB 490 California law for foster youth. The McKinney-Vento legislation defines homeless as individuals "who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night time residence." This definition includes "children and youth awaiting foster care placement." This means that youth awaiting placement with foster care are considered homeless and are covered by McKinney-Vento. For this reason there is a great deal of overlap between SIT and FYS.
400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, FY, H ]


211 in Santa Cruz County can help you find food, housing, health care, senior services, child care, legal aid and much more. Call today. Free. Confidential. Multilingual. Available 24/7.
Phone Only [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, LS, M, PS, Q, SS, SPED, SE ]

Above the Line

For over 20 years, Homes for Kids (HFK) has been matching qualified, caring foster parents with foster infants, toddlers, and children to age 18. HFK works with placement agencies, social workers, therapists, foster parents and biological parents (when indicated) to ensure proper management of each child’s needs. With HFK you will receive the best services and the highest level of support that will enhance the extraordinary experience of foster parenting.
9081 Soquel Drive Aptos, CA 95003 [ CO, FY, HW ]

Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County

A youth guidance organization dedicated to promoting the educational, vocational, social, and character development of girls and boys ages 6-18.\r\nAfterschool program hours: M, T,Th,F 2-7pm, W - 12:30-7pm. \r\nTransportation to the club is available afterschool.\r\nSummer program hours: M-F 7:30am - 6:00pm\r\nCost: $81.00 annual membership fee\r\n During the afterschool and summer programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County, Club members are encouraged to participate in a variety of programs and activities that promote good character, academic success, personal responsibility, exploration and fun. While at the Club, members are placed in age appropriate groups and have scheduled time in each of our program areas, ensuring they receive a fulfilling, well-rounded experience. Activities include homework help & tutoring, computer & technology programs, arts & crafts projects, gym/sports activities,swimming,games-room tournaments and much more!
543 Center Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 925 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062 [ A, FY, HW, M, PS, REC, SE ]

California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs)

Provides assistance to low income families with children (can include unborn children), including cash aid; employment and training services; and supportive services such as child care, transportation, work expenses and counseling. Bilingual services. 1-888-421-8080
1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 18 West Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, DC, FN, FY, HW, H, SE ]

California Youth Crisis Line

STATEWIDE. Crisis line for youth and parents. Support and referrals provided. Patch through system to connect runaway youth to their parents by phone. Relay system to carry messages between youth and parents. Bilingual services available. Free. 1-800-843-5200
Phone Only [ FY, H, PS ]

County of Santa Cruz Employment and Benefit Services

Includes CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps), Medi-Cal and CalWORKs. Bilingual Services.
1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060; 18 West Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ FN, FY, HW, H ]

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)

CASAs are volunteer lifelines of support and a powerful voice in court for abused and neglected youth.They offer permanency transition meetings and college counseling.
See Website [ A, CO, FY, M ]

Emancipation of Youth - Youth Services

Information about the Legal Emancipation of Minors. Teen & family counseling agency designed to support youth (ages 12-21) and families in finding positive solutions to difficulties that arise during adolescence, including family conflict, school, drugs & alcohol, gangs, homelessness, runaways, and crisis situations. Bilingual services available. 425-0771 or 429-8350
Phone Only [ FY, H, LS ]

Encompass Community Services - Transition Age Youth Program (TAY)

Transition Age Youth Programs serve current and former foster and probation placement youth ages 15-24. We provide an array of programs and services including counseling, skills building, a resource center, and subsidized supportive housing. Our mission is to support and empower youth in making a healthy transition into successful adulthood.
380 Encinal St #200, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, M, REC, SS, SE ]

Encompass Youth Services

Encompass Community Services provides a broad spectrum of social services that heal, connect and nurture the mental, educational and social well being of 8,000 children, individuals and families annually. Empowering youth and families to succeed - Youth Services offers a broad spectrum of services that help heal and nurture the mental and social well-being of children, youth and families. In collaboration with other non-profits, courts, schools, funders and families, we support the vitality of our community and its future. Our professional staff is skilled in addressing difficulties related to emotional turmoil, struggles at school and at home, substance abuse, and juvenile justice involvement. We are committed to ensuring that youth and families are supported in building the relationships they need to be self-reliant and successful. All services are provided in English and Spanish except as noted. What is the Cost? Fees are on a sliding scale based on income. Medi-Cal insurance accepted in many of our programs. No charge for school-based and some substance abuse services. Youth Services' Mission - The mission of Youth Services is to provide culturally relevant services to Santa Cruz County youth and families, in collaboration with other community organizations. These services are designed to address the developmental and emotional needs of our clients while supporting them in creating and maintaining positive roles in their communities.
Santa Cruz: 709 Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Phone: (831) 429-8350. Watsonville: 241 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076. Phone: (831) 688-8856. [ CO, FY, Q ]

For Kids Foundation Monterey Bay

We assist with mostly one-time critical needs for those from ages birth through twenty. Typically, our applicants need medical, dental, vision or educational assistance. All applications are brought to the Board of Directors for consideration. Our Board consists of those in professions of education, children's attorney, neo-natal pediatrics, social work and nutrition for women, children and infants. We are an all-volunteer organization making a difference in our community one child at a time.
P.O. Box 891, Capitola, CA 95010 [ A, CO, FN, FY, HW, H, Q, REC ]

Independent Living Program (ILP)

The Independent Living Program (ILP) assists current and former foster and probation placement youth aged 15-21 to develop independent living skills and achieve educational/vocational goals to successfully transition to self-sufficiency. ILP services include one-on-one counseling, assistance with obtaining ID Cards, Driving Permits, and Licenses, and weekly workshops at Cabrillo College on topics such as money management, personal health, finding independent housing, and obtaining financial aid for college. ILP also has a Rewards program that offers youth incentives for pursuing their education and participating in extra-curricular activities. NOTE: There is a specific protocol for working with ILP students. Check in with supervisors prior to contacting ILP.
542 Ocean Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FY, SE ]


Health insurance program for low income residents. Covered services include pregnancy and postpartum services, health and dental services, hospital stays, long term care, vision care and payment for medications. Bilingual services. Apply in person, online or by phone. 1-888-421-8080
1020 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060;18 West Beach Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ FY, HW, H ]

Monterey Bay Career Connect

Monterey Bay Career Connect is your one-stop hub for college and career readiness. Providing free and accessible information to the community, users can explore career pathways, find local scholarships, take a career assessment, find career matches and local salary information, explore related academic programs and view live job postings in the Monterey Bay region. The site features a Resume Builder which allows users to build and save multiple resumes online by signing in via email.
[ A, CO, FY, M, PS, SPED, SE ]

UCSC - Smith Renaissance Society

The Smith Renaissance Society, a program with many years of success, offers academic and financial support services for independent UC Santa Cruz students. It also provides a strong social network of mentors and peers to help students reach their academic goals. The Smith Renaissance Society reaches out to independent high school and community college students.
1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 [ A, CO, FY, HW, H, M, REC, SE ]

Watsonville Police Activities League (PAL)

The Police Activities League is a youth crime prevention program that relies on educational, athletic, and other recreational activities to cement a bond among police officers, recreation leaders, youth and their parents.
130 Rodriguez Street, Watsonville, CA 95076 [ CO, FY, G, HW, M, PS, REC, SS, SE ]

Your Future Is Our Business

Non-profit organization, staffed by post-secondary interns, whose mission is to link the youth of Santa Cruz County with career exploration. Your Future Is Our Business partners with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Santa Cruz County School Districts, and local colleges and universities to provide career exploration experiences: career panels, College and Career expos, informational interviews, job site visits, job shadows, mentors, internships.
6500 Soquel Drive, Building 2100 B, Aptos, CA 95003; 399 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 [ A, CO, FY, M ]

Youth in Wilderness Program (Ventana Wilderness Alliance)

Youth in Wilderness (YiW) provides a unique wilderness immersion experience for local young people of central California. On overnight backpacking trips in the Big Sur backcountry (Ventana and Silver Peak Wildernesses - native lands of the Rumsen, Esselen, and Salinan people), local young adults are welcomed to nature in a safe, fun and inclusive way. Those who participate on YiW backpacking trips gain leadership experience, undergo self-discovery, and are introduced to environmental conservation ethics. They will also be introduced to the intersection between environmental and social justice. All trips are free for participants - all essential backpacking gear, leadership, and food is provided. We collaborate with Community Partners who help us recruit participants and arrange for their own transportation. All overnight backpacking trips are supported by preparatory workshops, either at partner sites or on day-hikes at regional parks with the backpacking group.
PO Box 506, Santa Cruz, CA 95061 [ A, FN, FY, G, M, Q, REC ]

Youth Resource Bank

Offer assistance for a wide variety of needs including shoes and clothing, child car seats, school supplies, job placements, mental health counseling, and dental and legal services.
See Website [ A, CO, FN, FY, G, HW, H, LS, REC, SE ]