Program helps foster children as they age out
Indiana program gives foster children financial, emotional support as they age out of system
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana program aimed at helping former foster children transition from being teenagers to self-sufficient adults is providing money for housing, training in life skills and emotional support.
Indiana’s Collaborative Care program started two years ago after Congress passed the Fostering Connections Act in 2008 that encouraged states to extend benefits foster youth receive from the age of 18 to 21. It seeks to fill gaps left when youths age out of traditional foster care at age 18.
Many of those youths traditionally have struggled to find jobs and housing.
Alishea Hawkins of the Indiana Department of Child Services says Collaborative Care provides opportunities for youths to become more independent through programs that teach skills such as how to cook, how to budget money and how to apply for jobs.