County of Santa Clara Celebrates Foster Youth Accomplishments at Fourth Annual Foster Youth Graduation


CONTACT: María Leticia Gómez/Laurel Anderson (408) 299-5119,​; Patty Irwin/Marisela Martinez, Social Services Agency, (408) 755-7760

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.– Today, June 17, 2021, 103 Santa Clara County current and former foster youth will be honored for graduating from high school, obtaining a GED, or earning a Vocational Program Certificate, Associate Degree, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the 2020-2021 academic year. Local foster youth will be honored in a virtual Zoom ceremony that will include guest speakers and the acknowledgement of honorees. Graduates will receive special goody bags that will include gifts from the 49ers and community partners.

The Fourth Annual Foster Youth Graduation will be hosted by the Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS), Child Advocates of Silicon Valley (CASA), the Bill Wilson Center (BWC), Pivotal, and the San Francisco 49ers. 

Foster youth face unique challenges that don’t always impact non-foster youth. When it comes to achieving a high school education, the numbers are troubling: about 30% of foster youth in the United States never graduate high school. For those without stable homes, it can be a struggle to make it to class and stay focused on their studies. Despite these obstacles to educational attainment, foster youth express a desire to achieve higher levels of education.

  • As of June 1, 2021, there are 1,015 foster youth in Santa Clara County.
  • In June 2021, 77 foster youth will graduate from high school. 
  • In June 2021, 26 foster youth will graduate from higher education (AA and BA).
  • In Santa Clara County, from 2014 to 2021, more than 80 percent of our foster youth completed their high school requirements.
  • Nationally, only 71 percent of foster youth receive a high school diploma by age 19.

The County of Santa Clara government serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents in Santa Clara County, California, making it more populous than 14 states in the U.S. The County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many other public benefits.