The epidemic of homelessness, unemployment and incarceration for post-foster-care youth is alarming. The 26,000 young people who age out of foster care each year face an uphill climb; often with little or no financial or emotional support. Thankfully, there are organizations (like Blavin Scholars) that are working hard to make a difference in the lives of these under-served kids. We’d like to recognize two of our favorites in this month’s blog.
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (Part of The Annie E. Casey Foundation)
The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is built on the idea that every young person leaving foster care should have the family connections, opportunities and support needed for a successful transition to adulthood. It is a national and state-based effort that offers a myriad of support in 17 states including Arizona, New Mexico and Florida. This organization works in partnership with grantees, public system leaders and community advocates in hundreds of communities across the country. We love the programs offered by this organization – especially Opportunity Passport – a brilliant matched savings program that helps young people improve their financial capability when transitioning from foster care or navigating other youth-serving systems. This program teaches young people how to be smart about earning, spending and saving money.
Fostering Advocates Arizona
Fostering Advocates Arizona is an organization guided by young adults who have been through foster care themselves. Their goal is to make sure young adults have the information, resources and support they need to transition to a new life. Fostering Advocates Arizona is for all foster care young adults who are leaving care and looking for guidance and support. We especially love this organization’s Transition Toolkit – a 36-page guide with a roadmap for kids to assess their current situation and create a workable plan to get where they want to go.
These are just two of many great organizations that are available to help youth who are aging out of foster care. We commend them for their efforts to help this often-ignored segment of the population.