Youth aging out of the foster care system can still rely on Our Kids to help them continue their journey to a secure and self-reliant adulthood.
Our Transitional Youth Services and Education Departments provide these teens with a host of support services—including housing coordinators, educational, employment, and healthcare resources, mental health services, and training in real-life skills like budgeting, applying for academic financial aid, and filing their taxes—to give them what they need to ensure their success.
In partnership with Emmaus Place and Casa Valentina—transitional housing programs for foster care youth aging out of the system—our Independent Living (IL) program found homes for 31 18-and-over young men and women this year (including six young mothers of infants), and has found affordable housing for approximately 1,200 young adults to date. The program also provides monthly stipends to 330 currently participating youth.
Working with Citrus Health Network has allowed us to create a co-located staff of housing coordinators and coaches that search for additional residential options, offer mediation services for tenant-landlord disputes, and help youth receiving funding through the Housing Assistance Network of Dade (HAND) to develop life skills related to maintaining their own domiciles.
“Even though it’s been two years since I’ve aged out of foster care, Our Kids still provided me with a laptop, which is crucial to my success as a full-time college student.”
-Independent Living Youth
Approximately 200 youth took advantage of our first biannual Health Fair, an all-day event held simultaneously in three different locations in Miami-Dade. Attendees received no-cost physicals, blood pressure testing, and STD screenings; eye exams and glasses; dental care education; mental health screenings; and information about available low-cost healthcare. Representatives from the Department of Children and Families were on site to advise youth of their Medicaid benefits and to resolve any coverage issues.
Reducing the dropout rate and ensuring that every youth in care receives a high school diploma and is equipped to pursue a postsecondary education are critical goals.
To assist them in reaching those goals, we’ve linked up with Children of the Night to implement GED Without Walls
“Our Kids has helped me gain financial stability and access to great benefits through employment.” The academic achievements of over 100 youth matriculating from high school, vocational/technical school, and college were honored at our ceremony.
(WOW), an educational program that provides comprehensive online GED services including academic assessment and support. Each participant is equipped with a laptop and granted access to an online tutor, 1-2 hours each day, 3-5 days a week.The academic achievements of over 100 youth matriculating from high school, vocational/technical school, and college were honored at our ceremony.
The Laptops for Youth program distributed over 300 laptops and printers to foster youth ages 13 to 22 to assist them with their educational needs.
The academic achievements of over 100 youth matriculating from high school, vocational/technical school, and college were honored at our Independent Living Graduation ceremony.