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Aging Out Institute: The best Collection of Resources for Aging Out of Foster Care on the Internet

National Resources

United_States_GlobeBelow you will find programs that are not state-specific, but rather can be leveraged regardless of where the foster youth lives in the U.S. Simply click on the name of the program to get to more information about it.

A Home Within: A Home Within matches current and former foster kids with licensed volunteer therapists who provide weekly pro-bono therapy.

Aging out of the System: Foster Children in Peril: This is a workshop offered by Dr. John DeGarmo, an accomplished speaker and trainer in the foster care industry.  He speaks to companies, churches, foster parent organizations, libraries, and other nonprofit groups across the nation.

American Family Advocacy CenterChild Welfare Discussion and Commentary for the consumer, and for the legal professional.

American Foster Care Resources, Inc.:  As a publisher, AFCR strives to provide resource materials to foster care providers, the children in care and their families, and the placing agency’s staff and administration. AFCR publishes its Foster Care Journal quarterly.

America’s Red Kangaroo: ARK assists foster youth in a wide variety of areas designed to support a successful transition into adulthood. Activities and programs include, but are not limited to, help with education, employment, financial management, housing, parenting, social skills, emotional support, and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in and aging out of foster care.

AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

Americorps National Civilian Community Corp (NCCC): AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based residential program for men and women age 18-24. AmeriCorps NCCC members serve for a 10-month commitment in teams of 8 to 12 and are assigned to projects throughout the region served by their campus. Members are given a living allowance of approximately $4,000 for 10 months of service; housing; meals; limited medical benefits.

Annie E. Casey Foundation: The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private, charitable organization dedicated to helping build better futures for disadvantaged children in the United States.

Camellia Network: Camellia Network is the combined vision of brand strategist Isis Dallis Keigwin and best-selling Author and foster mother Vanessa Diffenbaugh. The mission of Camellia Network is to activate networks of citizens in every community to provide the critical support young people need to transition from foster care to adulthood.

Casey Family Programs – Foster Alumni Resources: Information for those formerly in foster care

Child Welfare Information Gateway / Promising Practices in Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living Programs: (Presented by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services) The following resources present information on effective programs and promising strategies for working with youth transitioning to adulthood. Resources include state and local examples.

Child Welfare League of America: CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Our expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children in all 50 states. Our impact is felt worldwide.

Covenant House – Opening Doors for Homeless Youth: Covenant House has “houses” in 22 cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Latin America. And inside each of these facilities are all the love, care, and vital resources needed to help a young person break away forever from a life on the streets.

Darko Rapotez Memorial College Scholarship Fund for Aged Out Foster Youth:  Scholarships will be awarded to youths who have aged out of the foster care system on the basis of academic excellence and need. z(Scroll to bottom of site to find information about this scholarship.)

Educational Tutorial Services: Since 1996, Educational Tutorial Services has had two primary goals: cater to the foster care system and provide high quality private tutoring programs to students of all ages.

Find Youth Info: The Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs supports a number of efforts to build the skills and resources of youth aged 16-24. Whether they are called “youth in transition,” “transition age youth,” “youth aging out” or other terms, youth in this age group experience a number of challenges on their path to a successful adulthood. A particular challenge for federal programs is support for youth transitioning out of foster care or juvenile detention facilities, youth who have run away from home or dropped out of school, and youth with disabilities.

Foster Care Alumni of America: The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care. This site will feature inspirational stories of children who despite being in care, have gone on to become successful, productive members of society. Do you have experience with being in foster care? Do you know someone who has?

Foster Care to Success: Foster Care to Success is the oldest and largest national nonprofit organization working solely with college bound foster youth. They provide tuition grants but book money, living stipends and emergency funding for those unexpected expenses that could derail the most dedicated student on a tight budget. They also provide academic coaches, personal mentors, care packages and internship opportunities to the 3,500 young people we serve annually, enabling them to enjoy a college completion rate many times that of their peers who lack such support.

Foster Care Work Group: The FCWG is a network of funders that work together to support the well being and economic success of youth transitioning from foster care.

Foster No More: Aging Out of the SystemThis is a LinkedIn Group dedicated to investigating options for children in the foster care system that are “aging out” the system and getting into society.

Fostering Change Network: FNC Consultants provide grant-writing, resource and organizational development support to start-up non-profit organizations. Fostering Connections provides new supports and services to promote permanency and improved well being of older youth in foster care. These include a state option to continue providing Title IV-E reimbursable foster care, adoption, or guardianship assistance payments to children after the age of 18; a requirement that personal transition plans for youth aging out are developed within 90 days prior to youth exiting foster care; extending eligibility for Independent Living Program services to children adopted or placed in kinship guardianship at age 16 or older; and extending eligibility for education and training vouchers to children who exit foster care to kinship guardianship at age 16 or older (those adopted after age 16 were already eligible).

Growing in Voices: The primary purpose of the organization Growing In Voices (GIV) is to help people in situations of need, including extreme poverty, the homeless, victims of disasters and individuals with a progressive disease or illness. GIV is dedicated to alleviating, preventing and ultimately ending these issues in the United States and abroad. We render humanitarian services to the hungry, poor, homeless, and sick. Humanitarian services include providing food, clothing, shelter and medicine. Life before, during and after foster care. I’m a former foster child. My life before, during, and after the foster care system taught me many things. Being a foster kid can be tough. Now I want to inform people about foster care and help past and present foster children.

I’m Aging Out: A Foster Care Resource Guide: This is a national foster care resource guide for foster youth transitioning out of care.

Independent Living Resources: Independent Living Resources, Inc. (ILR), specializes in producing, researching, and marketing products for educators, human service staffs, and anyone involved in youth development. Our primary areas of focus are adolescents, life skills (interdependent living), foster care and adoption services, group and residential care, at-risk youth, and workplace safety for human service staffs. Products include books, videos, training curricula, multimedia (CD, DVD), and Internet web-based materials.

I Survive: We offer resources and forums where adult survivors of child abuse and their loved ones can seek support. We are growing on a daily basis, reaching many people from all over the world and offering hope that healing can happen.

It’s My Life: Housing: This is a Casey Family Programs resource. Published in 2005, It’s My Life: Housing provides useful information for child welfare professionals and others who work with youth transitioning to adulthood and independent living.

Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative: The Initiative was created from a vision that every youth aging out of foster care should have access to the opportunities and supports needed for a successful transition to adulthood. To make the vision a reality, the Initiative committed itself to bringing together people and resources to help youth and young adults make the connections they need for permanence, education, employment, housing, health care, and supportive personal and community relationships.

John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program: The John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) offers assistance to help current and former foster care youths achieve self-sufficiency. Grants are offered to States and Tribes who submit a plan to assist youth in a wide variety of areas designed to support a successful transition to adulthood. Activities and programs include, but are not limited to, help with education, employment, financial management, housing, emotional support and assured connections to caring adults for older youth in foster care.

LIFEBOOK: The LIFEBOOK is a time-tested, results-producing workbook designed to successfully guide Transitional Age Youth (14-24) to self-sufficient, independent living.  Developed by The Family Care Network. This free, basic life skills curriculum is just the dose of know-how your child needs to successfully navigate the adult world, leave home for good, and not look back – except to visit! The curriculum is laid out in age appropriate sections so you can start schooling your kids early and often.

Lighthouse Youth Services – Training Institute: The Lighthouse Training Institute provides training and technical assistance across the country on independent living program development and a variety of child welfare and runaway and homeless youth (RHY) services topics.

MENTOR – National Mentoring Partnership: MENTOR helps children by providing a public voice, developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide and promoting quality for mentoring through standards, cutting-edge research and state of the art tools.

Michael Reagan Center for Advocacy & Research: The Michael Reagan Center for Advocacy & Research, operating from a Christian worldview, conducts research in order to effectively advocate for public policies that benefit the safety, stability and well-being of children and families, particularly those served by public and private child welfare systems.

National Independent Living Association (NILA): NILA champions youth and young adults ensuring their successful transition into adulthood and self-sufficiency.

National Network for Youth (NN4Y): The National Network for Youth has been serving the youth of America for more than 30 years by championing the needs of runaway, homeless and other disconnected youth. We do this through advocacy, innovation and services. Our reach is extended through our member organizations, allowing us to be in numerous communities throughout the country as we create a neighborhood of support for the next generation.

National Safe Place: Safe Place provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for all young people in crisis through a network of sites sustained by qualified agencies, trained volunteers and businesses.

Operation Kids – Christmas Box Lifestart Initiative: Many youth leave foster care with few resources to help them set up their own home. The Christmas Box Lifestart Kits were created through input from teens aging out of care—they are also based on items that a parent would likely send their child to college with.

Orphan Foundation of America: OFA helps former foster children become successful adults. In most states, foster children leave the social services system when they turn 18. In the eyes of the court they’re adults, but few 18-year-olds are emotionally, mentally or financially able to support themselves. Without someone to guide them, too many end up homeless, unemployed, incarcerated or pregnant. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

PolicyForResults.orgResearch informed policies created in partnership with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative. This section focuses on supporting youth transitioning from foster care.

Project Meet Me Halfway: We are, a volunteer effort that supports country singer Jimmy Wayne’s “Meet Me Halfway” project. Our website serves as a resource for information about the project and the issue of foster youth who “age out” of the foster care system and face serious life problems such as homelessness and poverty.

Solutions Desk: Helping Youth Transition: The Solutions Desk is a service of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP) that brings together staff from twelve federal agencies charged with Helping Youth Transition to adulthood. The Interagency Working Group strives to identify and engage organizations that can play a role in improving the coordination and effectiveness of programs serving youth, and to promote initiatives that merit strong interagency collaboration.

Stand Up for Kids: Organization founded in 1990 to help rescue homeless and at-risk youth. With national headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia StandUp For Kids is run almost entirely by volunteers, and has programs in a number of states.

Strength of Us: Aging out of Foster Care Questions & Answers: This site provides a collection of questions and links to answers that young people will ask when approaching the life change of aging out of foster care. Teen Leadership Foundation offers support and guidance for teens prior to being “aged out” of the foster care system. Our programs provide avenues in which the teens can enter the adult world having a support basis surrounding them.

The Mockingbird Society: At The Mockingbird Society, our mission is Building a world-class foster care system through collaboration, innovation and advocacy. Specifically, The Mockingbird Society has set out to:

  • Reform public policy and legislation
  • Create a new model of foster care
  • Support caregivers
  • Involve youth, alumni and caregivers in advocating for system improvement and reform

The Forum for Youth Investment: The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan “action tank” dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21®: ready for college, work and life. Informed by rigorous research and practical experience, the Forum forges innovative ideas, strategies and partners to strengthen solutions for young people and those who care about them

The Network on Transitions to Adulthood: The Network on the Transitions to Adulthood, supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, examines the changing nature of early adulthood (ages 18-34), and the policies, programs, and institutions that support young people as they move into adulthood.

The Transition from Foster Care to Adulthood Wiki: This Wiki has been set up as a space for sharing information about state law and practice regarding foster youths’ transition from foster care to adulthood.

TransFoster: TransFoster associates are dedicated to personally serving as leadership counselors to young Foster Alumni who have emancipated into the independence of adulthood, or “aged out”, from foster care.

Transitioning from Foster Care – An Experiential Activity Guidebook: Transitioning out of foster care to independence is a precarious and daunting time. These experiential activities provide a common language and the tools to assist in beginning conversations between young people and the significant adults in their lives about the challenges involved in transitions.

Underground Railroad to Success: Established in 2009, “The Underground Railroad to Success’ (URS) mission is to alleviate the issues that lead to poverty and homelessness by providing a service and resources that will increase the success of foster children aging out of the system to live independently as adults while becoming an integral part of society

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