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Fostering Connections: Effective and Innovative Strategies to Enhance the Well-Being of Youth In and Transitioning Out of the Child Welfare System Presenter:

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Presentation on theme: "Fostering Connections: Effective and Innovative Strategies to Enhance the Well-Being of Youth In and Transitioning Out of the Child Welfare System Presenter:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fostering Connections: Effective and Innovative Strategies to Enhance the Well-Being of Youth In and Transitioning Out of the Child Welfare System Presenter: Kyle Berry, Roxanne Cade, Felicia Tuggle and Carmen Callaway Presentation to: National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth Date: November 3 rd, 2013 Georgia Department of Human Services

2 Vision, Mission, and Core Values Vision Stronger Families for a Stronger Georgia. Mission Strengthen Georgia by providing Individuals and Families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia's vulnerable children and adults. Core Values Provide access to resources that offer support and empower Georgians and their families. Deliver services professionally and treat all clients with dignity and respect. Manage business operations effectively and efficiently by aligning resources across the agency. Promote accountability, transparency and quality in all services we deliver and programs we administer. Develop our employees at all levels of the agency. 2

3 Educational Programming, Assessment and Consultation

4 The Need for Education Services 5,013 School-Aged Foster Youth (K-12) Retained Suspended or Expelled Multiple School Transfers Failing Standardized Tests Reading below Grade Level IEP or 504 Trauma/Neglect At the end of Federal Fiscal Year 2013, 87% (4,362) of GA foster youth had been referred to and served by EPAC.

5 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Overview The EPAC Unit provides comprehensive academic support services focusing on improving educational outcomes and the academic achievement of children and youth, ages 5 to 17 in the custody of Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. EPAC services are supported through TANF funding and are initiated through case manager or CPS referrals. Upon initial placement into foster care, children and youth are referred to EPAC for a comprehensive diagnostic educational assessment and subsequently, are monitored for ensuring adequate academic progress.

6 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Overview (continued) EPAC currently has 15 Education Support Monitors (ESMs) who manage educational services for all school aged youth in care. ESMs are assigned regionally to provide individualized case consultation and to assist case managers in linking children and youth to local education support services, while adhering to local school district policies and procedures. Additionally, EPAC is responsible for procuring educational services from either within the community, local education agencies or EPAC program assigned. During this current fiscal year, EPAC has contracted with over 230 certified Georgia Teachers who provide specific, one-on-one academic support.

7 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation Services Continuum Referrals Assessments Educational Records DFCS EPAC Action Plan Delivery of Services Resource Management Reevaluation of Educational Need

8 Core EPAC Services 3 Tier EPAC Service Model Contract Monitoring Educational Advocacy Local Resource Management

9 3 Tier Service Model Educational AdvocacyResource ManagementContract Monitoring Diagnostic Educational Assessment & development of Educational Action Plans Educational Resource Coordination EPAC Tutorial Services Training and Staff Development Community Programs & Partnerships Educational Transportation Services Consult and/or attend case staffing, IEP meetings, Transitional Round Tables, etc… Local Education Agencies and GA Department of Education SLDS FLIP/Title 1 Summer School and Credit Recovery Services

10 DHS POLICY # 10.13 Educational Stability

11 Educational Programming, Assessment, and Consultation DHS Policy 10.13 – Education Stability This policy was disseminated to the field on August 1, 2013 It provides practice guidance to direct service workers and all other field staff about Education Stability for children and youth in foster care This policy specifically covers how EPAC, through its Education Support Monitors, engage case managers and provide educational consultation in the following areas: –Collaborations with Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) –Determination of Appropriateness of Educational Settings –DFCS contact for District Level Homeless Liaisons –Assist in development of RTI, IEP, and/or 504 Plans –Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth Referrals –Educational Stability Transportation Funding Request Protocol

12 Educational Stability Educational Stability is essential to a child’s well-being. It is imperative that DFCS Case Managers and other direct service staff responsible for case planning, engage in the necessary steps to make best interest determinations regarding the stability of educational settings for children and youth as they enter and remain in care.

13 McKinney-Vento vs. Fostering Connections

14 Homeless and Unaccompanied Youth When a child has been identified as a Homeless and/or Unaccompanied Youth, the following procedure will be followed by the Division of Family and Children Services In-take Officer(s). 1.When an identified homeless or unaccompanied youth has been identified to CPS/In-Take, a referral form (176) will be completed and submitted to Educational Programming, Assessment and Consultation Unit (EPAC). 2.Referral form will be processed by EPAC (Operations Analyst) who will record the provided information in the Homeless & Unaccompanied Youth (HUY) Data System. 3.Based upon the Local Educational Agency identified on the referral, EPAC will contact the appropriate Homeless Liaison who should then direct services for the youth under the guidelines of McKinney-Vento. 4.EPAC/DFCS will periodically check-in with the Homeless Liaison to ensure services were provided to youth.

15 Steps to Ensure Educational Stability Educational Stability Field Guide Educational Stability Checklist Education Transportation Funding Request Protocol

16 Transportation Protocol to Support Educational Stability Educational Stability transportation funds should be used to support the practice of ensuring foster children and youth remain in their home school/school of origin as part of Educational Stability

17 Transportation Considerations Transportation Options Foster Parent Public transportation/Mass Transit Van pools Taxis Private transportation services Determining Factors Age of child/youth Location of placement and distance from school of origin Child/youth’s physical and cognitive abilities Child/youth’s developmental abilities

18 Reasonable Distance Determination The following considerations should be made when determining if the school of origin is an unreasonable distance from the child/youth’s placement: Does the commute exceed one hour (one-way) or 60 miles in distance (one-way)? REMINDER: Foster parents/caregivers can provide transportation to ensure educational stability for distances of 25 miles or less. Will the cost of the services exceed $2,000.00 per month?

19 EPAC PARTNERS Internal and External Stakeholders

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21 For more information, please you may reach me (Kyle D. Berry) at: 404-657-5122 or by email at kyberry@dhr.state.ga.us.

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23 Independent Living Program Overview The State of Georgia recognized that without appropriate services, planning and support, our youth would not have a successful transition foster care. Our youth showed higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, delinquent or criminal behaviors and dependence on various types of public assistance. In response, the State of Georgia implemented the standards and support of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program (CFCIP) which provided states with greater funding to prepare foster youth for the transition to adulthood.

24 ILP Mission Is to provide eligible youth with opportunities to successfully prepare for adulthood, by providing appropriate resources and connections with community partners.

25 ILP Outcome Measures Our program comprise of six outcome measures targeting: education attainment; financial self-sufficiency; avoidance of homelessness; positive connections with adults; avoidance of high-risk behaviors; and accessing health insurance. These outcomes assess our performance in the delivery of services and support to ensure successful transitions.

26 Services and Programs To achieve successful outcomes, we provide an assortment of services such as educational workshops/conferences, independent living skills needs assessment, post secondary supports, academic supports, financial assistance, employment programs/training, Individual Development Accounts Matching Program and monitoring of the Written Transition Living Plan.

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28 Eligible Youth for SFY13 A total of 2588 youth were eligible to receive ILP services. Out of the 2588, 2385 youth or young adults in and out of foster care received ILP services/support.

29 ILP Funded Supports/ Services Some ways youth can be supported using ILP funds. This is not an extensive list. Specific monetary limits are based upon availability of funds and the specific needs of the youth. Tutoring, Summer School, Community Activities, Driver's Education, GED Preparation Education & Enrichment Expenses Partial Rental Reimbursement, Utility Deposits, Rental Deposits, Emergency Assistance Transitional Living Tutoring, Tuition, Books, Room and Board, Transportation Assistance. Post Secondary Educational Expenses Savings Account Matching, Stipends. Individual Development Account (IDA)

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31 Education and Enrichment Expenses DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Summer or Evening School Fees SSCM must obtain approval through the ILS. Once funds have been approved, then the provider can purchase the items, or pay for workshops/ conferences. Original receipts must have the provider and youths signature on them. Receipts are then submitted to the SSCM which will submit to the ILS for reimbursement. Skills Conferences, Trainings, and Workshops  Independent Living life skills, conferences, training, workshops Personal Computers and Printers  Personal computers and printers, if required by the school Graduation Fees Non-Essential Graduation Fees  class ring, senior pictures, announcements/invitations, yearbooks, etc NOT to exceed $350.00 total and youth must have senior classification

32 Education and Enrichment Expenses DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Tutoring Through EPAC  Tutoring (up to $1500.00 academic per year)  Children (ages 5 to 17) must be referred to EPAC  ILP eligible youth ages 14-21 who are not or become no longer EPAC supported tutoring may be supported by ILP funds SSCM would submit a referral to the EPAC Driver’s Education  $500 limit SSCM must obtain approval through the ILS. Once funds have been approved, then the provider can purchase the items or class. Original receipts must have the provider and youths signature on them. Receipts are then submitted to the SSCM which will submit to the ILS for reimbursement. Enrichment/Safety Activities  Promotes the well-being of ILP eligible foster children 14 and older by providing them with enrichment activities through programs such as Red Cross, YMCA, summer camps/community workshops, church camps, classes (dance, art, sports, band, swimming, karate and music lessons)  Not to exceed $250.00 per activity/fiscal year for non-school related activities.

33 Education and Enrichment Expenses DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Extra-Curricular Activities Band, band uniforms, instruments, athletics, cheerleading, and school sponsored clubs, etc SSCM must obtain approval through the ILS. Once funds have been approved, then the provider can pay for the services. Original receipts must have the provider and youths signature on them. Receipts are then submitted to the SSCM which will submit to the ILS for reimbursement. Transportation to ILP Activities Transportation to and from ILP Sponsored activities Support Groups Support groups such as Ala-non, Ala-teens, anger management, stress management, parent education, child development, etc Testing/Test Preparation and College Application Fees Testing and test preparation for undergraduate and graduate admission, includes youth who are applying to college, and preparing to take the ACT/SAT

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35 Post Secondary Education Support DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Tuition, Registration, Fees Tuition, registration, and fees, such as athletic activities, technology, etc Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS. Books, Supplies, Tools and Equipment Room and Board – On Campus Room and board (on-campus housing) On-campus housing should be paid directly to the vendor (i.e. school, education institution) Room and Board – Off Campus Board Room (off-campus housing), the off-campus housing is limited to ½ the rental rate or $300.00 whichever is less Off Campus Housing should be a reimbursement paid directly to the client upon receipt of payment to the ILS

36 Post Secondary Education Support DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Uniforms and SuppliesUniforms and supplies for training programs Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS. Personal Computers/Printers Personal computers and printers, if required by the school Youth must attend a Computer Conference thru the ILP. Tutoring Through EPACTutoring (up to $1500.00 academic per year) Stipends – On Campus Subsistence stipend as needed Youth living on-campus with a meal plan are eligible for a $75 stipend monthly Youth living on-campus and do not have an on- campus meal plan are eligible for a $150 stipend monthly Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS.

37 Post Secondary Education Support DESCRIPTIONSPECIFIC SERVICE REQUIREMENT HOW DO YOU ACCESS SERVICES? Stipends – Off Campus Subsistence stipend as needed Youth living off-campus and do not have an on- campus meal plan are eligible for a $150 stipend monthly Youth must apply for Post Secondary Education by 7/1/13. Applications are provided through the ILS. Transportation Transportation assistance – not to exceed $650.00 per state fiscal year and cannot be used toward purchase, maintenance or insuring of a personal vehicle Testing and Test Preparation Testing and test preparation for undergraduate and graduate admission, includes youth who are applying to college, and preparing to take the ACT/SAT)

38 This past school year, the GA Division of Family and Children Services had 34 college youth graduate as well as 264 General Education Development (GED) and high school youth. Education Status Support

39 Helping Homeless Youth In Your State Population of Youth Need State of GA State of GA Your State Youth in care or formerly in foster care Education Utilize Education and Training Vouchers/State Funds and Chafee Funds to support youth academically Contact your Child Welfare Agency Independent Living Unit to explore youth options for education support from High School to Post Secondary Housing Private Placement Providers- State contract Utilize Chafee funds for housing support ETV and State Funds for Room and Board Assistance Emergency Assistance KickStart Program- Housing Authority (Family Unification Program) Contact your Child Welfare Agency Independent Living Unit /Case Manager to explore Housing options and assistance for youth. Homeless Youth Education Refer youth to government program for homeless youth (ex. Atlanta Workforce Development Agency- GED) Refer youth Post Secondary Institutions who have special programs to support population (ex. University of GA & Kennesaw State University). Refer Youth to Financial Aid Assistance Program/Scholarships Refer youth to community partners and resources Research community and government programs to support homeless youth/ young adults. Refer Youth to Financial Aid Assistance Program/Scholarships Engage post secondary institutions on the services and supports they provide to the homeless population Housing Refer youth to homeless housing programs for youth (ex. Covenant shelter and transitional program/ ChrisKids HUD Housing Program, Housing Authority) Refer youth to homeless housing programs for youth (ex. Shelters, Transitional Programs, City Housing Authority-Section 8 Vouchers)

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41 TPP & Education, What’s the Connection? Data show negative associations between sexual risk behaviors and academic achievement Students with high grades are significantly less likely to engage in risky behaviors such as: - Having sex before age 13 - Having sex with 4+ people - Drinking alcohol or using drugs before sex - Not using a condom during sexual intercourse Source, CDC Sexual Risk Behaviors and Academic Achievement Fact Sheet, 2011

42 Science Says…Homeless Youth are: More likely to drop out of school Suffer from chronic health disorders Engage in survival sex Are at greater risk of contracting AIDS, HIV-related illnesses, and other STDs Are more likely to suffer from anxiety disorders, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and suicide Are at increased risk of being physically and sexually abused More likely to use and abuse drugs More likely to be involved with the juvenile justice system Lack many skills that are crucial to life in the adult world

43 W hat is PREP? P ersonal R esponsibility E ducation P rogram Federally funded program to educate youth on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS - and 3 of 6 legislatively mandated adulthood preparation subjects

44 States Receiving Funding by Year of Receipt

45 Georgia’s PREP Initiative Mission –To provide evidence-based programming to high priority youth ages 10-19 in an effort to educate and promote personal responsibility Vision –Through a unified state initiative, provide high risk youth in 10 Georgia counties with free access to evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs and supplemental adult preparation subjects Goals –Educate youth to make healthy and responsible decisions –To reduce the risk of pregnancy, HIV and STI’s among high priority youth ages 10-19 (up to 21 if pregnant and/or parenting)

46 Overview of GA-PREP Target Populations Foster Youth, Homeless Youth, Youth involved in Juvenile Justice, LGBTQ, Pregnant and Parenting, African American, and Latino Youth Program Models Making a Difference Making Proud Choices Be Proud, Be Responsible, Be Protected Relationship Smarts+ Keys to our Financial Future Adult Preparation Subjects Healthy Relationships Healthy Life Skills Adolescent Development Financial Literacy Career Preparation 46 1 1 5 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 =10 PREP Implementation Counties FFY’13 GA-PREP Provided Funding to 20 Sub-Awardees = 57 unique implementation sites

47 PREP Implementation Settings

48 What have learned from youth?  47% of surveyed PREP participants report having had sexual intercourse  44% of surveyed PREP participants report intention to have sexual intercourse in the next year  During the 6 months prior to participating in PREP – 48% had not received information on birth control – 47% had not received pregnancy testing – 48% had not received STD testing or treatment At Entry: Vulnerable Youth + Risky Behaviors = Negative Outcomes

49 Celebrating Success  40% of participants were more likely to abstain from sexual intercourse in the next year  68% of participants were more likely to use or ask a partner to use a condom  62% of participants were more likely to use or ask a partner to some method of birth control At Exit:

50 At exit, surveyed PREP participants reported they were more likely to: Care about doing well in school (63%) Continue education (64%) Set personal goals (61%) Form healthy positive relationships (60%) Positively manage conflict in relationships (50%) Say no/resist peer pressure (52%) Manage money carefully (55%)

51 How does PREP support homeless youth? Provide comprehensive health education Provide linkages to clinical services (teen clinics) and community resources Provide youth focused relationship education Provide career preparation and financial literacy Provide opportunities for youth to develop positive supportive connections with adults and peers. Provide training to adult caregivers/providers to help them become “Askable Adults”.

52 State PREP Programs can help you support homeless youth 1.Identify PREP programs in your state 2.Refer youth to participate 3.Follow-up with youth

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54 Current Afterschool Statistics The hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex. (Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, 2002)

55 Current Afterschool Statistics More than 15 million school-age children (26 percent) are on their own after school. Among them are more than 1 million are in grades K through 5. (Afterschool Alliance, 2009) More than 27 million parents of school-age children are employed, including 23 million who work full time. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010) Information retrieved from the Afterschool Alliance, www.afterschoolalliance.org.

56 DFCS Afterschool Care Program The Afterschool Care Program is located within the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), Community Programs Unit. The program provides federal funding to non-profit organizations and public agencies who serve youth and families during the out-of- school time and is designed to support DHS’ broader goal of promoting self-sufficiency among families and ending intergenerational poverty.

57 DFCS Afterschool Care Program Mission To provide resources to youth-serving organizations within the state of Georgia who serve families within low to- moderate income communities and the foster care system. Vision To ensure every child and youth has access to high quality youth development programming within their community.

58 Goals Strengthen youth-serving organizations and institutions by providing funding that increases their capacity to design, implement, and sustain quality youth development programs that provide services to underserved youth; Strengthen youth by providing opportunities for them to establish a relationship with a caring adult, participate in project-based and/or apprenticeship-based learning experiences and engage in year-round or summer enrichment experiences that prepare for life beyond the school-age years; Strengthen families by informing them of available resources within their communities; and Strengthen communities by supporting relationship building, coordinating service delivery, and building the capacity of local institutions and organizations to meet the needs of youth, specifically youth who are in foster care and youth who have special needs. DFCS Afterschool Care Program

59 By funding youth development services that are provided during before school, after school, intercession and summer, the Afterschool Care Program also supports two Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) goals: (a)Reduce the dependency of needy parents by promoting job preparation, work and marriage; and (b) Prevent and reduce unplanned pregnancies among single young adults.

60 DFCS Afterschool Care Program Funded Programs Provide: 1.Apprenticeship Opportunities (high school youth) 2.Project-based Learning Opportunities (elementary and middle youth) 3.Well-being and Enrichment Activities (all youth)

61 Youth in Funded Programs are 1 : SAFE HEALTHY EDUCATED EMPLOYABLE CONNECTED Graduation from a post secondary institution or employment (livable wage) Healthy and safe relationships Community service Active participation in community LONG TERM RESULTS FOR YOUTH IN FUNDED AFTERSCHOOL AND SUMMER PROGRAMS DHS DFCS Afterschool Care Program Framework of Service Achieve and Maintain Good Grades ∙ Increased High School Graduation Rate ∙ Increased Engagement in Learning SHORT TERM RESULTS FOR YOUTH IN FUNDED AFTERSCHOOL AND SUMMER PROGRAMS Provide Funding to Afterschool and Summer Programs that serve youth in low-to- moderate communities. Provide technical assistance to funded programs that assist in program quality improvement and funding compliance. Provide resources for additional internal and external funding and professional development opportunities that improve program quality. Created by the DHS Afterschool Services – Updated 7/27/09 Ensure primary components of programs include academic enrichment activities, health education, physical activity and teen employment opportunities. 1 Format adopted from Voices for Georgia’s Children and Ready by 21™: Karen Pittman, Founder of the Forum for Youth Investment, www.forumforyouthinvestment.org www.forumforyouthinvestment.org

62 DFCS Afterschool Care Program If youth are Safe, Healthy, Educated, Employable and Connected, they are more likely to: 1.Receive an Education 2.Delay Childbirth 3.Delay Marriage

63 DFCS Afterschool Care Program Federal Fiscal Year 2013 Total Number of Counties Served 74 Number of Funded Afterschool Providers Community Based Organizations: 41 Schools/Public Agencies: 19 Total: 60 Total Number of Afterschool Provider Sites Community Based Organizations: 285 Schools/Public Agencies: 68 Total: 353

64 DFCS Afterschool Care Program Federal Fiscal Year 2014 Total Number of Counties Served 69 Number of Funded Afterschool Providers Community Based Organizations: 32 Schools/Public Agencies: 9 Total: 41 Total Number of Afterschool Provider Sites Community Based Organizations: 229 Schools/Public Agencies: 34 Total: 263

65 Connecting Youth to Programs Homeless Liaisons and representatives from the Department of Juvenile Justice are able to make referrals for youth Case Managers at the local family service departments are able to make referrals for youth Funded Agencies directly contact their local family service departments (ie. Georgia County Departments of Family and Children Services) To ensure youth are connected to funded programs, the Afterschool Care Program has implemented a “three-village” approach:

66 For more information, please you may reach me (Carmen C. Callaway) at: 404-657-4651 or by email at cccallaway@dhr.state.ga.us.

67 Open Q & A


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