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Youth in the 21st Century image

A Guide to Employment and Career Development for Youth and Young Adults


Initial Press Release:

"Former Foster Children in Washington and Oregon Suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at Twice the Rate of U.S. War Veterans, According to New Study"

Jim Casey Youth Opportunity Initiative Opens Doors for Foster Youth

The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is a national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood. Formed by two of the leading foundations focused exclusively on child and youth well-being-The Annie E. Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs-the Initiative brings together the people and resources needed to help youth make the connections they need to education, employment, health care, housing, and supportive personal and community relationships. To improve outcomes for youth leaving care the Initiative has begun partnering with a number of communities to implement three key strategies: youth leadership boards, community partnership boards, and Opportunity Passports.

Innovative Transition and Employment Models for Foster Youth

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has identified four models that improve connections between youth in care and transitional services, including employment. Services profiled in this article include Community Transition Services Center in San Antonio, Texas; Lighthouse Youth Services in Cincinnati, Ohio; the UPS School-to-Career Partnership in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Preparation for Adult Living Program of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families. Each program model features linkages with community-based organizations, employers, housing resources and other services that support foster youth making the transition to young adulthood.

Local Foster Care Provider: Casey Family Programs' San Antonio Transition Center

In operation since 1986, the San Antonio field office serves youth and families in this city of 1.1 million and its six surrounding counties. The lion's share of youth we serve live with relatives-approximately 300 children and teens in some 120 families. We also provide direct services to about 25 foster families. Our 18-person staff collaborates closely with other agencies to assist youth in kinship care. Rather than simply network with other agencies, we weave together our services. One longstanding partnership-the Community Transition Services Center-has helped more than 400 teenagers make the transition out of foster care. All in one place, young people who are living on their own can register for community college classes, apply for scholarships, and get job-finding help. While still in foster or kinship care, more than 200 teens have taken preparation for adult living (PAL) classes to lay the foundation for a smooth transition.

UPS School to Career Partnership: Meeting an Employer's Need One Youth at a Time

The United Parcel Service (UPS) School-to-Career Partnership for youth is a community-based initiative in Maryland whose goal is to engage disadvantaged young adults in a work and learning experience at UPS, Marriott, Bank of America and other employers to expand their opportunities for career and academic success. Recent efforts have been to recruit youth transitioning from the foster care system. The UPS Partnership is a collaborative effort involving the facilitator and funders, employers, referral agencies, and transportation providers. The long-term goal of the UPS Partnership is to establish a "best practices" workforce development system that will be expanded in the current service area and replicated with other committed employers in other communities nationwide. Progress towards this goal has already begun. The Maryland Partnership serves as the model for UPS School-to-Career Partnerships in San Diego, CA, San Antonio, TX, Hartford, CT, Portland, ME, Providence, RI, New York, NY, and Oakland, CA.