Building on Strengths. Deepening Our Work. Reaching New Heights.

From November 11-13, 2014, the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative gathered staff, sites, young people, and other partners and experts in issues affecting older youth in foster care for our annual Fall Convening in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Featuring keynote remarks from Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of The Atlantic, and Dr. Tony Biglan, senior scientist at the Oregon Research Institute and co-director of the Promise Neighborhood Research Consortium, this year’s Convening re-energized participants around challenges that need to be addressed for young people in foster care, including race equity, health and mental health, and strategic policy initiatives.

While exploring new approaches and emerging strategies, the Convening also celebrated past site successes in building a better path for young people in foster care.  We released a new report detailing the milestones of our Success Beyond 18 campaign, and providing a framework for future progress in advancing successful transitions for young people leaving foster care.

Convening participants built on partnerships and made new connections. They took a deeper dive into strategies for building financial capability and leveraging new features of the Opportunity Passport™ data system. And we released a new issue brief on building financial capability.

We would like to thank our speakers, panelists, facilitators, workshop presenters, and participants for making this our best Fall Convening yet. With your partnership, we can Reach New Heights in 2015 for young people transitioning from foster care.

  • OUTCOME: a Permanent Family

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

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: Racially equitable services/Supports

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

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: A Stable Education

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

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: Opportunities for Economic Success

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

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: a place to live

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

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: physical and Mental Health Care

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

    Make it happen
  • OUTCOME: Young People Shape Their Future

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

    Make it happen

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Success Beyond 18 PSA

National Foster Care Month:


We are so proud of our Young Fellow, Sixto Cancel, who tirelessly advocates for his peers in foster care. Sixto appeared on The Katie Couric Show last week as part of a special segment for National Foster Care Month. He was terrific!



On July 18, 2014, a group of 30 young people in the Mississippi foster care system released Mississippi Youth Voice, a set of recommendations designed to help the state take a more youth-centered approach to designing foster care services.

Read the report

When I entered foster care I was hurt, I was angry, I was frustrated and I was quiet. I thought I was the only one going through something. But I learned that caseworkers care, strangers care, and the young people on the youth leadership board—they care about me.


JIM CASEY YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES INITIATIVE 222 South Central Avenue, St. Louis MO 63105-3509