For youth aging out of the state foster care program
FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 11, 2017) — At least 72 young people—up from 52 last year—are expected to participate in Fostering Success, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ summer employment initiative for Kentucky youth who are aging out of the state foster care program.
Fostering Success gives older youth in foster care the opportunity to access employment, job training and leadership skills through a collaborative program that places them in entry-level positions with state government agencies.
“Very often, children who age out of the foster care system lack the social and financial management skills they need to find jobs and be productive, self-reliant adults,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Fostering Success is one of many ways our administration is seeking to correct that. With mentoring from seasoned professionals, and an opportunity to work within state government or with respected, private sector partners, these young adults are given an excellent chance to acquire some of the hands-on experience they need to become future leaders in Kentucky.”
The summer youth employment program serves Kentucky’s foster youth between the ages of 17 and 23. Program participants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be selected for the 10-week employment. Half of the youth who participated in last year’s initial Fostering Success collaborative extended their employment to nine months and three of last year’s participants were offered full-time employment with CHFS.
Fostering Success includes summer employment opportunities in several state and CHFS offices – including the Department of Parks and the Department for Community Based Services, the Office of Legal Services and Child Support Enforcement – across the state.
Start dates are staggered during the summer months because of worksite needs and application processing time. Independent Living Coordinators, who assist foster youth who are aging out of care, will continue to recruit young people for the employment opportunity through mid-July. Kentucky Works contractors are facilitating two-day job readiness training for the youth. Facilitators addressed areas like workplace attire, time and attendance, cell phone usage, transportation needs and meal breaks.
The program also features a mentoring component: Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) supervisors and regional Independent Living Coordinators are providing job coaching and guidance. In Jefferson County, the Orphan Care Alliance is working to connect each of the participants in that region with life coaches who will remain connected to the youth after the program ends.
In addition, program partner True-UP, a Louisville-based foster youth support organization that collaborated with the inaugural Fostering Success program in 2016, is expanding its financial literacy and employment retention training to Elizabethtown and Lexington.
Within the DCBS offices, the youth perform clerical tasks similar to an office support assistant, like directing phone calls, filing, preparing documents and assisting administrative assistants. They also get a closer look at how Division of Protection and Permanency staff works to keep children safe and secure.
For more information about Fostering Success and the Kentucky foster care program, call 1-800-232-KIDS (5437).