2014 foster care to 21 prep

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  • County handbook of resources: one per countyChecklist before emancipation (vital documents, etc.)Transition plan is required by federal law six months prior to emancipation – but there is no form in SACWIS
  • 2014 foster care to 21 prep

    1. 1. Not business as usual • Currently, extended foster care programs place much of the accountability and responsibility for maintaining extended support agreements on the young person. • At age 17, they have little control over decisions impacting their lives and are treated as children. • Suddenly, at age 18, they are treated as fully capable adults who must fulfill adult responsibilities and expectations. • Without strong preparation for this new role, young people often stumble and lose the support they need to successfully transition into young adulthood.
    2. 2. What does extending CARE mean? Consistency. Stability. Support. • What it includes: • Independent living services • Foster care room and board • Case and permanency planning • Judicial oversight • The Midwest Evaluation found that between ages 18-24, 40 percent of foster care alumni had been homeless or without a stable living situation at least once since exiting foster care and that many had been homeless multiple times. • Those required to leave care at age 18 were over twice as likely (2.7 times more likely) to have been homeless.
    3. 3. Why extend foster care supports? • Every year, over a thousand Ohio foster care youth “age out” of foster care without permanent families or supports. • If foster care is extended to age 21 in a developmentally appropriate way, it can help put young people on a trajectory toward success. • Negative outcomes include: • Homelessness • Failure to complete high school • Criminal involvement • Unplanned pregnancies
    4. 4. Post-secondary retention • Allowing young people to remain in care until age 21 doubles the percentage who earn a college degree from 10.2 to 20.4,8 thereby increasing their earnings potential. • Researchers project that a young person formerly in foster care can expect to earn $481,000 more over his or her work life with a college degree than with only a high school diploma.
    5. 5. The campaign’s three policy and practice goals: 1. Young people are not on their own at 18 without families or supports. 2. Young people have a meaningful voice and say in their future – before and after 18. 3. Greater oversight and accountability for their well-being leads to more positive outcomes. Doing it right has the power to change lives
    6. 6. Doing It Right • Youth voice: Involve foster care youth and alumni in designing extended care. • Awareness of resources: Need for more consistent independent living preparation, and 90-day transition plans. • Time and supports: Developmentally appropriate, providing a gradual transition into young adulthood. • Network of relationships: Siblings, extended family, caring adults, mentors, peers (Social Capital: Building Quality Networks for Young People in Foster Care)
    7. 7. Ohio youth insights • Independent Living Resources: Ohio still needs a statewide curriculum and better information sharing of existing resources. • Shared Living Agreement: So that both youth and agency/foster parent know their role and mutual expectations are clearly defined. • Boarding Contract: For emancipated foster youth that is less restrictive than a foster home, and includes apartment options. • Transition Coaches: To coach and mentor youth for the next step in their lives, in building their future. • Safety Net: Allow youth to leave foster care and come back again. Provide growing levels of freedom, and anticipate temporary setbacks.
    8. 8. Keys to Success Age-Appropriate: Young people will make the decision to remain in foster care beyond age 18 only if the services, placement settings, and judicial oversight offered to them meet their needs as emerging adults. Youth Directed: Involve young people as partners in all aspects of planning and decision-making, recognizing them as experts on their lives and giving deference to their voice throughout the process. Creative placements: Broadly defining the “supervised setting” where young people may independently live while in extended foster care.
    9. 9. Roles and Responsibilities Caseworker and/or Foster Parent: • Acts as Transition Coach. • Assist young person in pursuing education and employment, accessing physical and mental health care, and securing safe and stable housing. • Youth/alumni role in helping to develop training for caseworkers and foster parents to meet the needs of older youth. • Identify staff and foster parents who want to and have the qualities to work effectively with young people ages 18 to 21 in foster care.
    10. 10. Vision for the Future “We need a safe program/environment where youth are challenged to step up and take their future into their hands, but also with the assurance that there will be adults cheering them on and making themselves available to help when needed.”

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