Monday, May 14, 2012

Helping 57 young people beat the odds

Fifty-seven.   That's the number of young people scheduled to age out of DC foster care by August 31, 2012.

Another 113 youth have a permanency plan of aging out.

To help these youth get a good start into adulthood, Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), is holding the first-ever one-day JumpStart Fair May 17.   Youth who will age out of foster care by the end of August will be able to connect with the resources they need to succeed on their own.   Participating local public and private organizations will meet with, present options to, coach, and assist the youth participating in the fair, providing a one-stop location where young people can make the connections they need to jump start a smooth transition out of care and into a promising future.

The event is taking place at CFSA's Youth Empowerment Center (3700 10th St NW).

The event is being held in partnership with Casey Family Programs, a national leader on child welfare practice improvement, as part of Casey’s 2020 Vision for America’s Children.

The background:
Research shows (Update: Link fixed 5/14 2p) (PDF) that children who spend more time in foster care face bigger challenges and poorer outcomes as adults than their peers who have short stays or are never in foster care.   Examples including being more likely to struggle in school, less likely to graduate from college, more likely to end up in jail, more likely to become homeless, and more likely to become pregnant as a teenager.   Casey, the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system, chose the District as one of the first locations in the nation to receive support for innovative community-oriented work such as the JumpStart Fair, a program designed to help these kids beat the odds.

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