Older youth in foster care face unique challenges. At age 18, they "age out" of foster care and immediately enter adulthood. They often lack a strong support system and the skills needed to function as an adult in society. Without support, some become homeless and many choose dangerous lifestyles. There are ways to help older youth in foster care.
Equipped for Life (EFL) is an intensive one-on-one coaching relationship to help teach, train and develop skills for youth whose long term permanency plan is to age out. The coach will walk step by step with the young adult completing the tasks on their individualized service plan. These life coaching sessions will be in person and the life coach would periodically provide coaching between the in-person trainings. The coach will be able to identify goals and needs, and with the guidance of CASA staff and the youth, will develop a personalized service and action plan.
Using an Action Plan, Needs Assessment (Casey Family Services Skills Assessment), along with feedback from the youth, the life coach will be able to address the specific needs of the youth. The coach will walk through all and some of the following services with the youth. They will travel to the youth and engage in these tasks with the youth. These possible needs may include:
- Educational needs
- Medical needs
- Employment needs
- Housing needs
- Mental Health needs and accessibility
- Transportation needs
- Financial Literacy needs
- Food planning needs
- Personal documents: utilize a locking file box to store personal documents
- Preparing a resource guide for each child with names, numbers, list of resources, manual of all of the completed tasks.
How Can You Get Involved with EFL:
To work with older youth as part of EFL, you must meet all the requirements necessary to become a CASA Volunteer, but volunteers involved with EFL can focus solely on being a life skills coach for youth in care if they wish. For more specific information about becoming a CASA Volunteer please visit Become A Volunteer.
Other Ways to Help Older Youth:
Donations for older youth in care are always appreciated. They often need the following items:
New or gently used luggage/duffle bags
Hairbrushes and Combs
ITunes Gift Cards
Laptops for graduation
Graduation gifts—specific for each child
If you would like more information about becoming a CASA Volunteer or making this type of donation, please submit an inquiry form on this website or call our office at 432-683-1114. Your support is greatly appreciated!