• OUTCOME: A Permanent Family

    Connect each young person with a permanent family or committed, caring adult by the time they leave foster care.

  • OUTCOME: Racially Equitable Services

    Make sure each young person leaving foster care has racially and ethnically equitable services and supports.

  • OUTCOME: A Stable Education

    Provide a stable education and postsecondary opportunities for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

  • OUTCOME: Economic Success

    Create opportunities for economic success for all young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

  • OUTCOME: A Place To Live

    Provide safe, affordable housing to young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

  • OUTCOME: Physical and Mental Health Care

    Provide access to physical and mental health care for young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood.

  • OUTCOME: Authentic Youth Engagement

    Make sure young people transitioning from foster care to adulthood get to shape their own futures.

A Vision for Advancing Well-Being

In mapping out the course for advancing well-being for young people, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative has redoubled its commitment to providing resources aimed at helping young people thrive socially, emotionally, financially, intellectually and physically.

“Pivotal moments are moments we remember — moments that test us and invite us to pick a path,” said the initiative’s director, Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, at the organization’s annual Fall Convening in Clearwater Beach, Fla.

Gasca-Gonzalez also highlighted an exciting framework that will guide her team’s work in the coming year. This vision focuses on offering support across four domains as young people transition from foster care to adulthood. These domains are: 1) social and emotional well-being; 2) economic well-being; 3) intellectual development; and 4) health and safety.

“This is not a new concept but another way to think about our work,” said Gasca-Gonzalez while unveiling an infographic punctuated by images of a road and sun.

The road represents a young person’s journey to well-being — a path that everybody takes to establish a firm foundation in life. Often, young people in foster care have this foundation shaken, said Gasca-Gonzalez.

As for the sun: “Each ray of sunshine represents how we can achieve fulfillment through the four domains of well-being,” she explains. At the sun’s core sits race equity and inclusion, which fuels each domain of well-being. “This reminds us of the importance of looking not just at the color of a young person’s skin, but also at how young people are raised, their experiences, the languages they speak and the traditions they have.”

Jim Casey sites and partners should use the four-domain framework in their daily efforts to advance a young person’s well-being, according to Gasca-Gonzalez, who added that the Initiative would be gauging their success on this front in the months to come.  

 

Jim Casey Initiative In The News

SUCCESS BEYOND 18 PSA

CHECK OUT HIGHLIGHTS FROM #FALLCONVENING2015

Visit the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative’s YouTube page to view videos of keynote and plenary sessions from the 2015 Fall Convening.  Speakers discussed supporting young people across four domains: Social and Emotional Well-Being, Economic Well-Being, Intellectual Development, and Health and Safety.

LARGER VIEWVIEW HERE

 

News From The Field

EDITORIAL: NEW DCS RULES COULD CHASE OFF FOSTER FAMILIES

With more than 17,000 kids in state custody, Arizona’s child welfare agency is considering rules that advocates for foster children say could drastically reduce the number of foster homes. 

FEDERAL BLUE-RIBBON COMMISSION COLLECTS IDEAS TO SAVE CHILDREN

The panel is expected to provide recommendations in March, based on more than a dozen meetings it has held around the nation, including a recent one in New York.

WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ADOLESCENT BRAIN

Myths and realities about when the brain gets “wired.”

 

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The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative is a national initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.