Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative
Every year more than 30,000 youth grow too old for foster care services. At age 18, their challenges include joblessness, homelessness, juvenile delinquency, school failure, early pregnancy, and mental health issues. Surveys taken of former foster youth four years after being on their own show that less than 20 percent are successful, self-sufficient adults.
The Casey Foundation and Casey Family Programs founded the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, a national foundation whose mission is to help youth in foster care make successful transitions to adulthood. The initiative brings together the people and resources needed to connect youth to education, employment, health care, housing, and supportive personal and community relationships. Most importantly, its efforts seek to link them to supportive, permanent connections with caring adults.
The initiative supports successful community-based efforts that help youth leaving foster care through grants, technical assistance, and coalition building with multiple stakeholders. It also supports youth engagement through the formation of local Youth Leadership Boards.