For many foster children, life is anything but stable. Children raised in more traditional home settings learn the life skills necessary to cope in the adult world, but many foster children simply are ill-prepared for their sudden "emancipation" at 18. States are making changes to allow youth to stay in foster care until age 21, but former foster youth are still at high risk for homelessness, poverty, low educational attainment and poor health.
In California—where 70 percent of the inmates in San Quentin State Prison are former foster children—a Foundation-supported program is helping to ease that often-difficult transition from foster care to independent living—beginning two years before they turn 18.
Called First Place for Youth, the program gives young adults a safe, secure place to live, along with occupational and educational support services. First Place houses more than 350 youth in four San Francisco Bay Area counties and Los Angeles, and is now considered a national role model.
A recent evaluation found that participation in First Place led to positive outcomes for youth in housing, education, employment and healthy living. Participants indicated lower levels of depression and greater positive social support after 6 to 12 months.
Preliminary evidence strongly indicates that First Place for Youth’s programs are well-positioned to be replicated, especially as more states begin serving transition-age foster youth. As CEO Sam Cobbs says: "If we can do it here, we can do it everywhere."
Remarks from Kristin Schubert, Team Director, Vulnerable Populations
"First Place For Youth helps young people aging out of foster care by providing comprehensive support and services so they can transition into being independent, healthy adults. Their model is innovative because of how comprehensive it is. They look at the needs of the whole person and provide an array of support, from stable housing to educational and career assistance to connections with physical and mental health providers. VP’s investment has helped First Place for Youth replicate their model in several California locations, and they’re looking at replication possibilities in other places across the country where large populations of kids are aging out of the foster care system. VP is proud to support First Place for Youth."
First Place for Youth expanded its program, My First Place, which provides intensive case management, subsidized rental housing, limited financial assistance, and education and employment-support services to young adults between 18 and 24 years of age who have aged out of the foster care system in the Bay Area of Northern California.
First Place for Youth has been named to the Social Impact Exchange's S&I 100, an index of the top nonprofits having a positive impact on America's most pressing social issues.
My First Place, a program of First Place for Youth provides critical services to young adults ages 18-24 who have aged out of the foster care system. The goal of the organization’s program is to increase stability and reduce homelessness among this group of young people through intensive case management, housing and education and employment support services.Read the evaluation
First Place for Youth
Supporting the transition from foster care to adult independence, and building a foundation for life.
My First Place, a program of First Place for Youth provides critical services to young adults ages 18-24 who have aged out of the foster car...
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