Open your home to a Young Person Aging Out of Foster Care
Join the Let It Be Us Springboard to Adulthood Program
Our Springboard to Adulthood Program fills a significant need for young people who are in foster care and are at risk for aging out of the system without a family or permanent support system. We believe strongly that all young people deserve and need support as teenagers and young adults to successfully launch into adulthood. In Illinois, children age out of the child welfare system when they turn 21 years old. That means that a young person who has not reunified with his or her biological parents or family, hasn’t been adopted, or isn’t being supported by a foster home after aging out, is left to navigate young adulthood on his or her own.
Let It Be Us wants to change that by working with young people ages 16+ to place them within families or family-like housing and then provide wrap-around services to support life-sustaining educational and employment goals, improving their overall life outcomes.
National research shows that children who age out of the foster care system without a robust support system are much more likely to become homeless and much less likely to continue schooling. According to research by the University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall, 45% of the girls will become pregnant by the age of 19 and a large percentage of the boys will be imprisoned. Only 37% of the young people in Illinois foster care obtain a high school degree. Across the country, that statistic is 50%. And overall just 3% get to college. These young people also earn less than half of their peers as young adults, making a successful launch into adulthood nearly impossible.
The importance of a support system during young adulthood
Children with support systems available to them as they grow into young adults have much better outcomes. They are seven times more likely to finish college which leads to nearly $500,000 more in earnings over their lifetimes.
We also know that the path to young adulthood includes many obstacles and challenges which can be big or small depending on whether or not help is available. Confusion or fear about school or a job can be faced with a supportive adult, but could disrupt a critical life goal if that support isn’t available. With Let It Be Us Springboard to Adulthood program, children will get the support they need to become successful adults.
Springboard to Adulthood Employment Initiative
Let It Be Us, through a grant from the Ronald L. McDaniel Foundation, is working with a select number of employers to provide job readiness training and job success to youth in care in need of employment skills and employment opportunities.
The Springboard to Adulthood Employment Initiative is beginning in the Northern Region in October, 2022. To learn more please contact Kendra Wright, Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or complete this form.
How to refer a child to participate in Springboard to Adulthood
Let It Be Us knows that many children aging out of foster care have big dreams. Dreams to go to college, dreams to have meaningful careers, dreams to have a family and a stable support network. We started Springboard to Adulthood to help young people aging out of foster care who have these dreams. Please fill out this form if you have a young person to refer to this program.
How to join our registry of homes for Springboard to Adulthood
Are you interested in helping young people find their way as they enter adulthood? The challenges are different than those of small children, but no less worth the effort. We encourage licensed foster homes to join our registry to participate in the Springboard to Adulthood program and young people aiming for a successful launch into adulthood.
- Are you a licensed foster parent in Illinois? If not, attend one of our webinars or speak to a coach!
- If you are a licensed foster parent in Illinois, and you are interested in supporting young people, then sign up to be included in our registry.
- Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and sign up for our newsletter to make sure you are the first to hear about young people in Illinois needing a support system.
Other supports available through Springboard to Adulthood
Let It Be Us knows the road to becoming an adult requires many skills that aren’t taught in school. Skills like how to interview for a job, balance a checkbook or how to fill out the FAFSA form for college applications. Let It Be Us will provide support for children to learn these and other critical skills to ensure a successful Springboard to Adulthood. This Program plans to produce educational videos that will be made available to all young people in Illinois foster care to focus on employment and educational opportunities as well as personal finance and other life skills.