One Voice IMPAACT is happy to provide monthly YOUTH WHISPERER blogs to support our colleagues working with transition age foster youth. These blogs will include highlights of the most recent research on transition age foster youth, success stories from the field, and principles of youth engagement.
GET PLUGGED INTO RESOURCES | NEW PODCASTS
Just like all young people transitioning to adulthood, youth involved in the foster care system need resources. Many states have stepped up to the plate to provide transition age foster youth with independent living services, financial assistance, tuition and fee exemptions to public colleges and universities, health insurance, and supportive housing.
With all these resources in place, why are former foster youth still struggling? The simple answer to this very complex question is that youth need support to GET PLUGGED INTO RESOURCES. Youth leaving foster care face a steeper climb to adulthood. Without family to guide them, a sudden loss of support from the child welfare system, and resources with complex rules around eligibility, time frames, and application requirements, youth need our help to be able to access these programs.
To help youth better understand these available resources, One Voice IMPAACT partnered with the Florida Institute for Child Welfare (FICW) on a podcast series, “Transition-Age Foster Youth Get Plugged Into Resources.” These six, 15-minute blogs featured youth and subject matter experts giving advice on how to access resources.
Listen to find out more by clicking the video above and help us make sure our transition-age foster youth get plugged in! Visit ficw.fsu.edu/podcast.
Points to Ponder: What are some other ways that you are helping youth get plugged into resources?
We love to share best practices, so please email us at [email protected] to tell us your ideas!
Dr. Elizabeth Wynter is a rainmaker for transition age foster youth. Wynter’s work in this arena has helped launch a statewide youth voice movement, drive policy and practice improvements, and better equip system professionals and foster youth with tools and knowledge to achieve self-sufficiency.
Wynter believes that foster youth should be valued as organization assets. By using a pluralistic approach in which youth and systems professionals share control in decision making, program planning and implementation, and advocacy, a dual impact of improved outcomes for transitioning youth and a more responsive child welfare system can be realized.
As the Executive Director of the Selfless Love Foundation, Wynter has led the state of Florida in making youth engagement a centerpiece of conversation. With over two decades of child welfare experience, an unwavering commitment to transform the system, and an ineffable capacity to challenge the status quo, Wynter is a catalyst for change.
Selfless Love Foundation’s youth voice initiative, One Voice IMPAACT (OVI), provides current and former foster youth opportunities to develop skills for leadership and life, advocate for changes to policy and join a network of youth leaders across the state of Florida.
OVI launched “Foster Youth Voice Month” in October 2021. This statewide campaign focused on shifting the perspective of how foster youth are viewed by the public and within the child welfare system. To learn more about getting engaged next year, go to onevoiceimpaact.org.