On Thursday, July 7, Kentucky's First Lady Glenna Bevin announced a pilot project designed to provide support to youth aging out of foster care.
The First Lady’s Office, in partnership with Kentucky Youth Advocates, worked to develop the project, wrapping more services around foster youth participating in the Louisville-area Fostering Success summer work program recently launched by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Through the commitment of community partners Orphan Care Alliance and True Up, the major initiatives of the pilots are a family mentoring program (Youth in Transition Initiative) and ongoing experiential learning sessions.
As part of the Youth in Transition Initiative, Orphan Care Alliance matches foster youth who are aging out with families in their community to provide a much needed family support system and ongoing mentoring.
“Where do you go on Thanksgiving or Christmas if you are a foster youth who has aged out? Just because you turn 18 doesn’t mean you no longer need a family. Developing a strong family bond is still important.”
Currently, 185 families have signed up to be a part of the program. Forty-five of those families have completed training and are in the process of being matched with youth.
True Up is lending their expertise to the other major initiative of the program - experiential learning sessions designed to engage youth as they gain both important life skills, and skills needed to increase their employability.
True Up has recruited the help of Junior Achievement and Net Work Louisville to host sessions on topics like interviewing for a job, money management and career mapping. Input from the young adults is incorporated into each session’s curriculum through a needs assessment and weekly reviews submitted by the youth that are aging out.
This pilot project is part of the Bevin Administration’s commitment to making Kentucky a model for child and family advocacy.