May 09, 2024 - 

SAN FRANCISCO – The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is re-launching a new California LifeLine Foster Youth Pilot Program that will continue providing critical communication services to foster youth across the state. This program underscores the CPUC’s unwavering commitment to fostering digital inclusion and socio-economic empowerment among California’s vulnerable populations.

Program Highlights

  • Connecting California’s Foster Youth: More than 12,000 foster youth from all over the state now benefit from the current pilot, with more anticipated to join thanks to a new streamlined process to get phones and equipment more quickly into the hands of participants.
  • Unlimited Access: The pilot will aim to deliver unlimited talk/text and up to 25 GB of free data with a participating service provider.
  • Streamlined Enrollment: Foster youth will not need to re-apply every year for the program, making the process seamless and efficient at no burden to foster youth and ensuring that every eligible youth receives the support they deserve.
  • Targeted Marketing and Outreach: A focused marketing and education campaign, partnering with the California Department of Social Services, will reach county child welfare and probation departments to effectively communicate the benefits of the program, ensuring that all eligible youth are aware and can take advantage of the services.

The Foster Youth Pilot leverages key learnings from an initial pilot to create a much more dynamic program and equip foster youth with the necessary tools for education, job searching, and maintaining essential social connections. The Foster Youth Pilot is tailored to address the unique challenges faced by foster youth, offering them a robust support system through improved connectivity. A Program Administrator overseen by the CPUC will work closely with non-minor youth to safeguard their transition to the general California LifeLine program, which provides discounted home phone and cell phone services to eligible consumers.

The proposal voted on is available on the CPUC’s website.



About the California Public Utilities Commission

The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services.  For more information on the CPUC, please visit