Each year nearly 250,000 youth enter foster care. Our programs are designed to provide support, encouragement, and empowerment to foster youth during a time of transition and uncertainty.
Often times youth entering foster care are reduced to carrying their belongings in trash bags. Furthermore, some youth may enter care and have nothing but the clothes on their backs, without so much as a change of underwear.
Fresh Start Totes is a program designed to ensure that every kid entering care has basic necessities (e.g., undergarments, toiletries, etc.) and a duffel for carrying them.
Birthday Boxes ensures that birthdays are never forgotten for kids in care. Through this program we work towards ensuring that kids in care receive an age-appropriate gift on their special day.
Maintaining good grades can be a challenge for foster youth. Most youth will experience between 3-6 school changes while in care resulting in multiple academic disruptions. Furthermore, only 50% of youth in care will end up graduating from high school. Ensuring foster youth are set up for academic success is one of the main objectives of Fostering LIFE. As such, we want all kids to be prepared for school by having the supplies and support necessary to succeed. Our initiatives aimed at supporting academic achievement for foster youth include:
Academic Tutoring connects foster youth with a tutor to provide additional support in academic areas of need
Back to School Supply Drive provides backpacks filled with supplies to foster youth that may not otherwise have access to such things.
Gift Cards for Grades awards academic achievements by providing foster youth with gift cards for good grades.
Scholarships for Grads provides scholarships to high school graduates entering college.
Leadership & Life Skills
Each year nearly 20,000 youth transition out of care. Many youth will not be prepared with the appropriate knowledge and skills to become successful adults. Studies show that 20% of youth will be homeless upon exiting care and only 1 out of 2 youth will have employment by age 24. Our goal is to prepare self-sufficient leaders beginning at an early age so that foster youth are empowered to become success adults upon transitioning out of care. Programs we have implemented to help develop foster youth include:
Leadership Programs develop leadership qualities in foster youth by using evidence-based curriculums to teach youth of all ages about leadership skills that can be applied to everyday life.
Support for Extracurricular Activities provides fiscal support for youth to participate in age-appropriate developmental activities that encourage confidence and leadership development.
Life Skills Coaching educates foster youth on the essentials (i.e. budgeting, job readiness, personal healthcare, etc…) for becoming independent, successful adults.
Teen Mom Retreat is a special one-day event specifically aimed at empowering teen moms by uplifting, encouraging and teaching our young mothers so they are equipped with the tools necessary to overcome the struggles of teen parenting.
Foster Parent Recognition & Support
Foster parents play a pivotal role in the lives of foster youth. Being a foster parent can be a challenge, but the reward is beyond measure. We recognize the selflessness of foster parents and want to ensure they are provided with the acknowledgment and support needed to continue to make a difference. Our Foster Parent Recognition and Support Program provides training and resources to enhance the care provided to foster youth while promoting self-care for foster parents.
Foster Parent Day Out provides foster parents with a day of rest and relaxation while volunteers provide the youth with a fun-filled day of learning and exploration.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
– Proverbs 22:6