This may seem like a scary time of uncertainty for young people about to leave the child welfare system. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to understand what your future holds, which might help you feel better about the years ahead. Statistics show that kids aging out of foster care face much bigger challenges than other kids. Learning about those challenges and how to tackle them, or avoid them entirely, is the first step in creating a brighter future for yourself. Check out the links below and you’ll find lots of kids just like you who are sharing their stories and supporting each other. Understand what’s available to you. Though you may not be under DYFS’s care anymore, help is out there. Read, learn, and call or email Roots & Wings if you have any questions at all. We’re here to help!
- Transition Club
More than 20,000 young people transition out of foster care every year. If you are starting to think about life after foster care, then FosterClub's Transition Club can help you get ready for success.
- PBS Aging Out
A film that follows young people as they exit foster care and become parents, battle drug addiction, face homelessness, and even end up in jail. Despite their struggles, the film also shows these teenagers using the resiliency they developed during their years "in the system" to take control of their lives. It also forces us to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the public systems that serve these youth, as well asthe roles that private citizens and organizations can play.
- Youth Port
Youth Port is a gateway to resources, information and tools for young adults who are currently experiencing foster care, those who are transitioning to adulthood, and those who have aged-out.
- Youth Communication
Youth Communication helps teenagers develop their reading and writing skills so they can acquire the information they need to make thoughtful choices about their lives.
- The Mockingbird Society
The Mockingbird Society’s mission is building a world-class foster care system through collaboration, innovation and advocacy. Specifically, they work to:
· Reform public policy and legislation
· Create a new model of foster care
· Support caregivers
· Involve youth, alumni and caregivers in advocating for system improvement and reform
2NDFLOOR is a confidential and anonymous helpline for New Jersey's youth and young adults. We are here to help you find solutions to the problems that you face at home, at school or at play.
- Youth Advocacy Center
Youth Advocacy Center’s mission is to teach young adults in and at risk of foster care to advocate for themselves and take control of their lives. Teens in and at risk of foster care have the desire, talents and potential to be participating citizens - to hold jobs, to play a role in their community, to live in safe neighborhoods and to raise their children to be educated and healthy.
- The National Network for Youth
The National Network for Youth has been serving the youth of America for more than 30 years by championing the needs of runaway, homeless and other disconnected youth. We do this through advocacy, innovation and services. Their reach is extended through our member organizations, allowing us to be in numerous communities throughout the country as we create a neighborhood of support for the next generation.
YouthBuild is a youth and community development program that simultaneously addresses core issues facing low-income communities: housing, education, employment, crime prevention, and leadership development. In YouthBuild programs, low-income young people ages 16-24 work toward their GEDs or high school diplomas, learn job skills and serve their communities by building affordable housing, and transform their own lives and roles in society.
- NEFE High School Financial Planning Program
When it comes to learning about how to handle and manage money, any knowledge a student gains from a course on the subject isn’t worth much if there isn’t a way to turn what they learn into real actions that result in positive habits. That is what the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) does through its seven unit Student Guide and Instructor’s Manual.
- Healthy Teen Network
Healthy Teen Network is devoted to making a difference in the lives of teens and young families. We are a national organization focused on adolescent health and well-being with an emphasis on teen pregnancy prevention, teen pregnancy, and teen parenting.
- Foster Care Alumni of America
FCAA in a national non provfit founded and led by alumni of the foster care system. Their mission is to connect youth with the alumni community and to transform foster care policy and practice.