July 18, 2019 Tinley Park, Illinois On Their Own. (!) Youth in Care Transitioning into College & Career Latavhia Boykins, Student, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign Brandon Mendoza, Student, Wright College Darrion Thompson, Recruit, US Army Bridget Colacchio Wesley, MA, LCSW, Loyola University Chicago Session Agenda Welcome & Introductions Brief information about child welfare system and statistics Personal experiences & stories from students Challenges & Needs
Helpful People & Supports Strengths, Opportunities & Successes Q&A Introductions LATAVHIA BRANDON DARRION BRIDGET You! Trends of todays college students
1st generation You dont know what you dont know. Low income Working to make ends meet, with no safety net. Trauma, loss & mental health concerns Carrying heavy invisible suitcases from the past.
Homelessness No place to go back to on breaks. Family responsibilities & pressures Time, energy & attention diverted. Snapshot
of Youth in Care ~435,000 children & youth in care Enter system for various reasons: abuse, neglect Child welfare priorities: Safety, permanency, well-being Trajectories through system are all unique! They may include: foster care (traditional or kinship) residential care hospitalization termination of parental rights returning home multiple moves to new homes, families, schools, neighborhoods, etc.
Transitional Living Programs (TLP) Independent Living Options (ILO) emancipation aging out Snapshot of Youth in Care (cont.) Youth outcomes 50% leave care to reunite with family 28% remain in care for 2 or more years 12% age out of care 20% become homeless upon
aging out 50% graduate high school <3% graduate college 25% suffer from PTSD 50% experience substance dependence or abuse Snapshot of Youth in Care* 1st Generation Family responsibilitiesClick to add text & pressures Homelessness Low income
Trauma, loss, mental health Challenges & Needs Working to support oneself Lots of time! Creating community in new spaces Feeling different Constant financial stress
Knowledge gap of 'adulting' Commuting Trusting new people Continued DCFS involvement Family concerns Pressure to succeed Siblings "Homesickness" Important People & Other Supports Family & friends
Pre-college programs CPS: One goal, BAM/ WOW, etc. DCFS: Youth in College First Star Academic advisors Support services, diversity offices, etc. Instructors/professors Mentors Strengths, Opportunities & Successes Adaptability Resilience & inner strength
Maturity Clear priorities Work experience Questions & Answers Select References
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