Each year, more than 25,000 young people “age out” of foster care system and face the prospect of independent living. For many of them, a lifetime of instability and a lack of strong family and community connections will leave them struggling to find their footing as adults.
First Place for Youth steps in to support young people coming of age in the foster care system whose families who can’t be there for them. They give them love and support as well as the tools they need so that practical skills and confidence take root. They celebrate their victories and provide a shoulder to lean on when things don’t go as planned. They set consistently high expectations for our participants and equip them for success.
First Place for Youth provide young people with safe places to live. Participants in My First Place program are housed in a fully subsidized shared apartment for the duration of their stay in program. Their First Place team works with them to learn the skills for independent living, from grocery shopping and doing laundry to paying bills and being a good neighbor. With a safe and stable place to call home, they can focus more fully on reaching their goals.
They support young people to succeed in school, build job skills, and obtain employment. First Place works with foster youth to help them stay on track (or get back on track) toward high school graduation, establishing the educational foundation they need for a successful future. For those who have completed high school, we help them explore their options in postsecondary education and career preparation. Education and Employment Specialists work with program participants to understand how their skills and talents connect to potential career pathways and to empower them to set long-term goals for self sufficiency.
They mentor young people in life skills and help them having confidence in their choices. Staff provides education and guidance that helps participants develop a better understanding about what mature, responsible choices look like in personal and professional relationships, money management, and health and wellness. First Place offers workshops and individual mentoring and advocacy services to ensure that our young people feel supported and informed about the resources available to them.
Within a year of leaving foster care, only 12% of youth are employed full-time.
Fewer than 40% of youth leaving foster care have at least $250 in cash.
94% of all 18 - 21 year olds who left foster care in Hamilton County aged out of the system and were left with no further guidance or support. Only 6% who left foster care did so because they were adopted or reunified with a primary caretaker.
First Place has provided me with the most stability I’ve ever had. My team was always there to push and guide me each step of the way.
- Ayanna, Program Alumna
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