SCE Credit Union partners with Los Angeles County on Youth Access Banking Program

First-of-its-kind program in California helps youth in foster care open their own bank accounts and provides their first $5 deposit

LOS ANGELES, CA (April 29, 2024)SCE Credit Union (SCE FCU) in partnership with Los Angeles County,  announced foster care youth as young as 13 can open their own checking and savings accounts – without an adult co-owner – through the credit union’s Youth Access Banking program.  The program helps foster youth establish a path toward financial independence by removing barriers to open a bank account including accepting alternative forms of identification and waiving account fees. SCE FCU will also provide youth with an initial $5 deposit to establish their savings account.

The program is a joint partnership between SCE FCU and the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller’s Ombudsperson (Ombuds) for Youth in Short-Term Residential Therapeutic Programs, whose office advocates for youth placed in group homes.

“This partnership is about more than financial empowerment for LA County’s foster youth,” said Jennifer Oliver, president and CEO of SCE Credit Union. It’s also about ensuring this community has the knowledge and resources necessary to make informed financial decisions to start investing in their futures. Providing these essential banking services and education is core to our mission and vision. Investing in LA County’s foster youth provides valuable opportunities for these young adults and the communities in which they live.”

The program also features complimentary sessions by SCE FCU to foster youth in their home settings to answer any questions about the Youth Access Banking  program and, if necessary, help them through the steps of opening their first bank account.

“Early exposure to financial literacy and money management skills lays a crucial foundation for lifelong financial success.  I am proud our office is leading the way for youth in foster care in the State and providing important financial resources they can use throughout their life,” Auditor-Controller Oscar Valdez said.

“Research consistently shows that providing youth with access to basic financial services generates greater knowledge and resilience, empowering them to navigate future financial challenges,” said Ombudsperson Michelle Lucarelli-Beltran, who is leading the efforts on the program.

SCE Credit Union has  branches in southern California and Nevada, and offers surcharge-free  access to more than 30,000  ATMs nationwide (including at most 7-Eleven and Rite-Aid Stores) and 30+ branch offices (including affiliates) within LA County through their shared network of financial institutions.

For more information on the program, call (888) 445-1234 or e-mail

For more information or to open an account, visit

About SCE Credit Union

Founded in 1952, SCE Credit Union is a not-for-profit, mission-driven financial institution across southern California and southern Nevada that helps its members thrive – realizing potential through education and a full suite of banking products. Providing banking in underserved communities is a core commitment from SCE Credit Union. It is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) designated by the U.S. Department of Treasury. SCE FCU’s mission is to uplift communities by providing the knowledge, access, and care that empowers all individuals to achieve lasting financial security. For more information on SCE FCU, visit or follow them on FacebookInstagramX, or LinkedIn.  Together we rise!


Abigail Miller, Argentum Partners

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