Professionals in the Field

The state’s attention to aging-out youth is occurring at a time of high need. While the overall number of New Jersey children in out-of-home care have decreased over recent years, young adults make up the fastest growing share of youth in care. As a professional, caregiver, mentor, or other caring adult in this field, you have the ability to provide potentially life-saving support to youths in need. Exploring the resources below will help you to understand what you can do and how you can best support this vulnerable population.

Websites

  • Advocates for Children of New Jersey
    Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ) is the trusted, independent voice putting children’s needs first for more than 30 years. Our work results in better laws and policies, more effective funding and stronger services for children and families. And it means that more children are given the chance to grow up safe, healthy and educated.
  • Booster Club
    FosterClub is the national network for young people in foster care. Every two minutes, a child’s life changes as they enter the foster care system and FosterClub is their club — a place to turn for advice, information, and hope. The members of FosterClub are resilient young people determined to build a better future for themselves and for other kids coming up through the system behind them. Their success depends on the generosity of concerned people like you, who can join as part of the BoosterClub. Now is the time to get involved. No matter how much time you have to give or your level of contribution, you have the power to do something positive that will change life for a young person in foster care.
  • CASA of Morris and Sussex Counties
    Court Appointed Special Advocates of Morris and Sussex Counties, Inc. (CASA) is a private not-for-profit corporation. Our mission is to speak up for the best interests of children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect. We recruit, train, and supervise community volunteers who provide a voice in court to assure each child a safe, permanent, and nurturing home.
  • Children’s Aid Society
    The Children’s Aid Society understands the struggles of teens in foster care, many of whom age out -- reach majority and are no longer required to live in the care of foster parents -- without having acquired the skills and supports needed for a successful transition to independence. In New York(state), youth may remain in foster care until the age of 21. But many choose to leave when they are legally eligible, between the ages 18 and 21. This page discusses the comprehensive services CAS has undertaken to prepare these vulnerable youth for a more productive adulthood.
  • Child Welfare League of America
    CWLA is a powerful coalition of hundreds of private and public agencies serving vulnerable children and families since 1920. Their expertise, leadership and innovation on policies, programs, and practices help improve the lives of millions of children in all 50 states.
  • Foster Care Alumni of America
    The mission of Foster Care Alumni of America is to connect the alumni community and to transform policy and practice, ensuring opportunity for people in and from foster care.
  • FosteringConnections.org
    FosteringConnections.org is a gathering place of information, training and tools related to furthering the implementation of the Fostering Connections law.  Specifically, they aim to connect implementers with the latest information and the best experts and advocates working on these issues.
  • Orphan Foundation of America
    OFA helps former foster children become successful adults. In most states, foster children leave the social services system when they turn 18. In the eyes of the court they’re adults, but few 18 year olds are emotionally, mentally or financially able to support themselves. Without someone to guide them, too many end up homeless, unemployed, incarcerated or pregnant. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
  • Transition Planning: National Resource Center for Youth Development
    The University of Oklahoma, National Resource Center for Youth Development’s (NRCYD) is a service of the Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau and a member of the TTA Network. NRCYD’s overall goal is to build the capacity of States and Tribes to provide high quality services to their youth in out of home placements, former foster youth and other youth in at-risk situations.
  • Working with Older Youth: National CASA website
    Preparing older youth for their transition to independence is a National CASA strategic plan priority. Through initiatives including their Fostering Futures program, they help volunteers better support this population. Includes resources to help child welfare advocates work with older youth in care.

 Research Reports