The FUP Intensive Case Management program offers youth the opportunity to develop skills needed in the “adult world”. As youth gain skills and resources, they increase their capacity to be responsive and responsible for their own needs. We are so excited to provide youth with direction and guidance that can potentially change the trajectory of their lives.
Research has shown that youth transitioning from foster care systems are often under employed and often are not as prepared academically as those who have not experienced foster care. Many youth who have a foster care history have a history of trauma and have not addressed or reconciled their own trauma history. This can influence their engagement with others and the world. These youth can struggle with understanding factors that lead to their trauma and/or their response to the trauma experienced. If one does not address their trauma there is an opportunity for them to adopt some maladaptive behaviors to rationalize their life experience(s)---coping skills. Coping skills can be productive or counterproductive and they impact how youth adapt and adjust to their environments. Youth must transition into independence with productive coping skills. CONCERN has been providing case management services for transition age youth since 2014. Youth who have aged out of foster care have the ability to access housing choice vouchers (section 8). We at CONCERN work with these youth to help them gain skills necessary to afford nonsubsidized housing upon their expiration of the time limited housing choice voucher (3 years). Case Management is provided for half the life of the voucher- 18 months. Since working with this population, we have found the following critical needs to be areas that must be addressed:
* The need to understand how to assess/evaluate situations, people, etc.
* The need for organizational management, prioritizing, time management, etc.
* The need for communication-expression of oneself (verbal, nonverbal and/or written)
* The need to learn conflict management
* The need to learn how to manage/regulate emotions
* The need for understanding and practice money management
* The need to learn how to locate and access resources
* The need to learn how to build and maintain relationship
Researchers have noted prevention is always the best intervention when seeking a solution to an illness, concern and/or challenge. Because we also provide treatment foster service CONCERN has the ability to address these aforementioned needs prior to youth coming to us in the FUP program. We hope to implement programming for youth in foster care to address the aforementioned areas that will help youth move towards preparing for emancipation- as an intervention strategy.