The Education Dept. (DoEd) releases a new toolkit to support current and former foster youth get started on a college or career path.
The Foster Care Transition Toolkit includes tips and resources intended to help foster youth access and navigate social, emotional, educational and skills barriers as they transition into adulthood.
There are over 400,000 children and youth in America’s foster care system and every year, more than 23,000 youth age out of the system, never having found the security of a permanent home, said DoEd Secy. John King.
“Many foster youth lack stable residences and strong support structures and face tremendous barriers,” said King. “This toolkit offers practical tips on navigating those challenges – with education as the foundation.”
The toolkit is aimed at helping youth in foster care and those who have aged out of the system successfully move into adulthood, continue to postsecondary education and set out on a career with personal fulfillment. It includes:
- Financial aid and money management.
- Mentoring opportunities.
- Job and career support.
- Health care resources.
- Transportation options. and,
- Housing and food benefits.
In addition, the toolkit includes numerous examples of existing efforts that assist foster youth, including: a map of states with tuition waivers and vouchers for current and former foster youth and a list of foster care independent programs available nationwide.
While the toolkit is written for foster youth, it’s also meant to be a resource for caseworkers, care givers, teachers and mentors, King said. The toolkit will be distributed through social media, foster care groups, advocates, teachers, school counselors and other stakeholders.