Advocate News


01.01.2017

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Advocacy Tip: Advocating for Youths Aging Out of Care

Advocating for Youths Aging Out of Care

Adolescents who are preparing to age out (ages 18-21) of the foster care system face countless obstacles to success. These young adults are all too frequently warehoused in foster care without targeted services to help them make the crucial transition to independent adult lives. As a CASA advocate there are several ways that you can make an impact when working with aging out youth.


Educate

CASA Advocates can help to educate youth on the various resources in our community that are available to them (Preparation for Adult Living, Restore Education, San Antonio Youth, Café College, etc). All of these resources can assist the youth in planning for their education, whether it is through a college admissions process, pursuing their GED, or vocational training. CASA Advocates can encourage them to utilize as many resources as they can and to accept the help that is offered to them. CASA Advocates can also assist in making sure that they know that as a youth in foster care they have rights and can ensure that the youth is provided with a copy of their rights while in foster care.


Empower

CASA advocates should empower their youth to know their own medical history and needs. Advocates can assist by ensuring that youth know who their health care providers are and how to contact them, the names and dosage of any medications they are prescribed, and how to fill prescriptions when needed. CASA advocates can also empower youth by encouraging their participation in their Circle of Support meetings. These meetings are designed to help assist youth in identifying support systems and resources available. By encouraging youth to be actively involved in Circle of Support Meetings advocates can empower youth to being the process of learning to make decisions for themselves.


Advocate

CASA advocates should listen carefully to their youth’s wants and needs, and acknowledge that the youth has a voice in the decision making progress. CASA advocates should continue to discuss possible family or friend connections that can be a support for the youth. CASA advocates can also recommend that a referral to Casey Family Services be submitted by the CPS caseworker to assist with the collaborative family finding process and finding those supports. Lastly, always acknowledge that the youth is on their way to becoming an adult. Listen, guide, and encourage them even in their darkest times.


1. List three resources that are available to assist youth when aging out.

2. What health care information should a youth know when aging out of CPS care?

3. Explain why it is important for aging out youth to be involved in Circle of Support meetings.


To receive 1 hour worth of training credit, read the above article and submit answers to the accompanying training questions to Leticia Hernandez at lhernandez@casa-satx.org.

Advocacy Tip: Advocating for Youths Aging Out of Care