2016 challenges faced by aging out youth

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  • Challenges Facedby Aging Out Youth

    *Welcome. We are here today to talk about Challenges Faced by young people who age out of foster care during their journey into young adulthood.

    First of all, what does this picture make you think of?

    Imagine this young person run-run-running out of foster care and taking the big LEAP out into the sky and into adulthoodOur young people are Ready to Launch but can feel like a free fall

    Today, we are going to explore the barriers that impede their success and RESOURCES that can improve their long-term OUTCOMES

  • Our Youth Need Two Things1. Preparation

    2. A Safety Net

    We do our work with VISION and we do our work with HOPE

    I like the term "inter-dependence. Because it's not a question of choosing between permanency and life skills -- our young people need BOTH*

  • FCAA Postcard Project

    *Foster Care Alumni of America Postcard ProjectThats a message that we hear a lot

  • 12 years oldEnter foster care14 years oldAll-girls group home16 years oldCo-ed group home,Miscarriage

    1.psd

    2.psd

    *

  • 17 years old:college sophomore, evicted, homeless,high-risk behaviors19 years old college, broke,no medical insurance

    3.psd

    4.psd

    *Aged out 16 years old, started college: brain-smart but no common senseCommon sense isnt born to you its something somebody TEACHES you or that you LEARN over timeAnd I had just suddenly gone from TOTAL RESTRICTION to TOTAL FREEDOMAge 17 Janice rescue her, save her (not uncommon II bio-mom, siblings) No one told me the AIRMASK analogy It was like I was DROWNING and trying to keep other people afloat (taking care of myself felt selfish at the time)

    Age 19 still in college, switching majors Great circle of friends Methodist dorm werent stealing money from me

  • Wife and (step)mother

    *Fast-forward a couple years:At what point was I a statistic? And when did I become a survivor?

  • When is the shift from statistic to survivor?

    Research tends to focus on teenagers and young people in their 20s...

    *When is the shift from statistic to survivor?The studies tend to focus on teenagers and young people in their 20s...

    We know the stats:HomelessPregnancy, promiscuityUnemployedCarry on cycle of abuseUneducatedDrug abuse UninsuredPrison sentences

  • Young AdulthoodStatistics, while important:

    Dont tell the whole story

    Promote low expectations

    Are perpetuated by systemic barriers

    *Historically, the age of 18 was thought of as a divider between childhood and adulthood. Back in the early to mid-20th century, jobs were available to people with little or no education. Therefore, most young people could financial and social independence by their 18th birthday.

    Today, some people are over 30 before they:- Complete their schooling- Obtain steady work- Move out of the family home- Get married and have children

    Higher education is becoming necessary, in order to earn a living wage:- A bachelor's degree today is the equivalent of a high school degree in the 60s

    - Two-thirds of all new jobs that will be created in the next 10 years will require post-secondary education

    - Adults who have only a high school degree are twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a bachelor's degree

    - A typical high school graduate, with no additional education, will earn over his/her lifetime half as much as a college graduate

    Demands for increasing education have created a larger gap between childhood and adulthood. Therefore, developmental experts now recognize a transitional stage of Young Adulthood.

  • Lifes Transitions Do Not Happen OvernightRecommended Reading: Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institutes 2012 Foster Youth Internship Report

    *Section of the 2012 CCAI's Foster Youth Internship Report titled, "Life's Transitions Do Not Happen Overnight:" *pg. 56"Life's transitions are a critical part of human development." "The current foster system is designed with the expectation that the transition from adolescence into adulthood can occur overnight." "Autonomy plays a critical role in adolescent development; however... the strict rules and regulations placed on foster youth by the state, foster parents and group home staff limits the amount of independence the youth experience."

  • Teen DevelopmentSix Tasks of Older Adolescence:

    Self-esteem and self-awarenessIncreased independenceResponsible and able to make complex decisionsRelationship skillsInterpersonal communication

    *

  • Whats an Exit Plan? *a.k.a.

    Discharge/Case-Closing PlanSelf-Sufficiency/Emancipation PlanTransition PlanPersonalized Transition Plan

    *Wouldnt it be great if we planned for these things ahead of time.Its wise to have an exit strategy.One tool = a 90-day exit plan. Its definition and purpose

  • Federal LegislationFostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 Title II, Section 202

    Mandates that 90 days prior to emancipation from foster care, a caseworker on the staff of the State agency, and, as appropriate, other representatives of the child provide the child with assistance and support in developing a transition plan that is personalized at the direction of the child, includes specific options on housing, health insurance, education, local opportunities for mentors and continuing support services, and work force supports and employment services, and is as detailed as the child may elect.

    *Preparing youth for the future this is not an OPTION, this is FEDERAL LAWThe Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 outlines federal requirements regarding essential elements to be covered in the development of a 90-day transition plan.

  • Ohio Administrative CodeNinety days prior to the youths emancipation from the agencys custody, the PCSA or PCPA shall work with the youth to develop a final transition plan.

    The plan shall be youth-driven and as detailed as the youth chooses.

    *STATE LAW

    The reason that the Youth Developed Discharge Plan is being piloted (in five Ohio counties) is because Ohio youth have reported NOT being provided with / involved in the development of a 90-day transition plan.

    The goal of an exit plan is to identify anticipated service needs for older youth who are in the process of transitioning out of foster care. Youth who have a comprehensive transition plan are better equipped to transition successfully from foster care to self-sufficiency. An unintended consequence of not preparing youth to exit from foster care is the youth becoming homeless. (Missouri Dept. of Social Services)

  • Vital Documents:Prior to the youths emancipation from the agencys custody, the PCSA or PCPA shall coordinate with the following agencies, to obtain necessary documents:

    an original birth certificatean original social security carda current state identification card

    *OAC 5101:2-42-19: Requirements for the provision of independent living services to youth in custody

    *Youth Access to Vital DocumentationThe Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 outlines federal requirements regarding essential elements to be covered in the development of a 90-day transition plan.

    Both federal law and Ohio Administrative Code require that prior to the youths emancipated from foster care, they need to receive ORIGINALS (not copies) of these three documents.

    What Other Documentation Might Help?Letter of Verification of DependencyImmunization recordsFree credit report (www.annualcreditreport.com) Tribal information when applicableDeath Certificates of parents, when applicableInformation on registering to voteInformation to males to sign up for the selective services (30 days prior to 18 or 30 days after 18)Information on any existing court fees associated with the youths name prior to emancipation.

  • Essential Elements:Post-Emancipation Services (if available)

    Healthcare; insurance, power of attorney

    Higher Ed; secondary, post-secondary

    Housing; obtaining, paying for

    Budgeting; credit report

    Selective Services (males must register)

    Existing Court Fees (preexisting)

    Existing Benefits; i.e. Social Security

    *The plan shall include information regarding: (WHITEBOARD ACTIVITY)

  • Life As A Juggling Act

  • Essential Elements:

    *The plan shall include information regarding: (WHITEBOARD ACTIVITY)

    Post-Emancipation Services (if available)

    Healthcare; insurance, power of attorney

    Higher Ed; secondary, post-secondary

    Housing; obtaining, paying for

    Budgeting; credit report

    Selective Services (males must register)

    Existing Court Fees (preexisting)

    Existing Benefits; i.e. Social Security

  • Attend five high schools on average

    With each transfer, lose 4-6 months of academic progress

    65% change schools in the middle of the year

    Higher rates of absenteeism, grade retention, special education, dropping out before graduation

    Education

    *Higher education is becoming necessary, in order to earn a living wage:- A bachelor's degree today is the equivalent of a high school degree in the 60s

    - Two-thirds of all new jobs that will be created in the next 10 years will require post-secondary education

    - Adults who have only a high school degree are twice as likely to be unemployed as those with a bachelor's degree

    - A typical high school graduate, with no additional education, will earn over his/her lifetime half as much as a college graduate

    Demands for increasing education have created a larger gap between childhood and adul

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