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HOPE FOR THE AGED OUT FOSTER CHILD will be established with the vision of creating an empowerment center with a main focus of “empowering and enhancing” the lives of the children who have “AGED OUT OF THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM". This program will be a community based Resource Center that will offer multiple programs & services specifically designed to enhance the quality of life for these children who are left with the burden of taking care of themselves for the rest of their lives simply due to the fact that the “rug has been pulled from under them” by the so-called system.
Once a child reached 18 years of age they are taken out of the Foster Care System and placed in an apartment where they will live alone and have to take full responsibility for their lives. Most often these now young adults have had no job training, and no real preparation on how to make it on their own. They are given a place to stay, food stamps and a pittance of a check month to month until they reach the age of 21 at which time they are said to be “EMANCIPATED” and are expected to move out and find their own way in life.
The Foster Care System treats them as if they have prepared them for the “transition into main stream society” when in fact due to the lack of resources throughout their entire foster care history they end up “ill-equipped” to make it on their own and from that point forward most become drifters staying with friends, on the streets and making bad choices that affect the outcome of their future. Most end up living in a constant state of poverty. Some eventually subject themselves to substance abuse, lives of crime and violence, physical and mental abuse, prostitution and much more.
Some children don’t have loving homes that they can call home. For many reasons we may not ever understand, parents are unable or lack the desire to step up to the plate and be the parent each and every child born into the world needs. They need unconditional love and affection, they need guidance and protection, they need to be taught right from wrong, and they need to be able to go to school. Who knows one of them could be a Prime Minister or President in the future! When children are not properly taken care of they usually end up in the Foster Care System, and usually there they stay. We will develop networking and partnerships to increase awareness, and provide access to services that will truly empower families and children and offer them a better quality of life! We will provide programs & services designed to enhance and empower children to “be all that they can be”.
God in Shoes Inc. cannot and will not rest until we jump in with both feet and do anything and everything we can to help these AGED OUT youth have a normal life. Our youth be given every opportunity all children are afforded. Our aim focus will be effecting change in the lives of all of the young adults who have “aged out” and we will not allow them to “fall between the cracks” ever again!
In 2016, of the 428,000 children in foster care, more than 22,000 had case goals of emancipation, or aging out after leaving foster care without a permanent family. These now young adults are sent out into the world “ill equipped” to function on their own. Most have no HS Diploma, or GED, have had virtually no job training, or empowered with any life skills that will allow them to move forward in life and “pursue their own happiness”.
Hope for the Aged Out Child will specifically design programs and services to empower and enhance their lives with an outcome by doing the following:
Hope for the Age Out Youth Resource Center
We will provide programs & services that will offer youth a more secure support system they know they can count on as they make the transition to adulthood. Instead of ending up in “welfare lines” we will prepare them to end up in “employment lines”. We want to assist young people in decreasing negative behavior by giving them alternatives to the previous choices they have made in the past. Regardless to their socio-economic status, we know that they have been ''failed by the system" and it will be our goal to make it right and assist them in any way we can so they can move forward in life. We want to enter will assist them in becoming academic achievers, skilled tradesmen, increase their attention span and their tolerance for their fellow man, and ultimately become someone that “they themselves can be proud of”. Our program will focus on Integrity, Empowerment, Sacrifice and Perseverance and will be designed to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to enable them to make informed, and positive choices that affect their future. We recognize the need to establish working relationships with other community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, social service agencies and, non-profit & for-profit organizations in order to be effective in assessing the needs of these "aged out" young adults.
Behavioral Modification Program
Our program will monitor behavior, provide workshops in the areas of prevention & intervention, conflict de-escalation, counseling, social skills, suicide prevention behavior discipline and more. We will provide youth with the life skills and tools they need to make better choices in life, become more mature, understand their strengths & weaknesses and learn from their past mistakes. It will be designed to empower individuals with the knowledge and skills to enable them to make more informed, and positive choices that affect their lives. Some of the workshops we will offer will include budgeting, credit repair, inter-personal relationship building and more. We want to assist young people in decreasing negative behavior by giving them alternatives to the previous choices they have made in the past. Regardless to their socio-economic status, the center will assist participants in becoming academic achievers, skilled tradesmen, increase their attention span and their tolerance for their fellow man, and ultimately become someone that “they themselves can be proud of”.
Ties That Bind Us & Educational Program
The Ties That Bind Us Program: This objectives & goals of this program is to make every attempt to “bridge the gap” between the foster care young adult and their families and open the doors of communication.
Educational Program: Provide programs and services such as GED program, opportunities to attend Colleges and Universities without having to worry about tuition. It’s a fact that the average youth who grew up in the foster care system and “age out” are less likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to attend or graduate college. We will offer scholarships to anyone having the desire to further their education be it college, university, or a vocational school, and we will provide a student stipend on a bi-weekly basis that will allow the students to go to school and not have the worry of finding a job and juggling to two.
Job Creation, Skills Trading and Housing
Job Creation: We will set our sights on creation thousands of jobs annually through job training sessions, job placement opportunities, and of course the jobs we create as a result of our efforts to do all we can for Jamaican children who have for one reason or another ended up in the foster care system and placed “at-risk”, the young adults who have aged out of the foster care system, and do all we can to “stamp out poverty by lifting people up”.
Skilled Trades Program: Provide opportunities to attend Trade Schools and obtain Certificates in a Skilled Trade such as computer technology, carpentry, electrical, masonry, painting, welding, culinary arts, cosmetology, barbering, construction, HVAC, refrigeration & air conditioning and much more.
Adequate Housing Program: Make sure they have adequate living quarters as they learn the responsibilities of living alone and being responsible for their own “well-being”.
Recreation & Sports Center
State of the Art Recreation & Sports Center: The Center will provide a safe, secure spirit filled environment. Activities will include sports such as basketball, tennis, racket ball, football, soccer, board games like dominos, chess, and the such and weekly family days where the entire family can join in on the fun.
Mentorship Program: To ease with the transition to adulthood, HFTAOC will provide mentors who will work hard to ensure that our youth who age out are connected to at least one “deep and personal connection” to a caring adult, preferably a family member. We would hope that person to be the type of person they could call when “they run out of gas or their car breaks down in the middle of the night”. We want it to be the ”person they can celebrate that they got a job or passed a test,” “The reality is that is not always the case. The very idea that they have no one to come home to is heart wrenching.”
Aged Out Youth Networking Program
Hope For The Age Out Youth Networking Program: We recognize the need to establish working relationships with other community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, social service agencies and, non-profit & for-profit organizations in order to be effective in assessing the needs of the age out youth we have the opportunity to offer our services to. We will work tirelessly to improve and enhance their lives, and empower them with tools they will need to make it in life! If you want a Harvest Of Blessings In your Own Life, Plant Seeds Of Blessings In the Life’s Of Other’s
Let’s sow seeds of Love, Respect and Faith!
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