How can we support young people aging out of the foster care system to become healthy adults?
There are approximately 1,400 young people in foster care across Wake, Durham, and Orange counties of North Carolina who will age out of the system without many of the same support networks other young people rely on to make a successful transition to adulthood.
In 2014, through the Fostering Youth Opportunities collective impact effort, nonprofit and government agencies came together to align services and improve outcomes for young people aging out of foster care in the Triangle Region, focused on housing, education, and employment issues.
In addition to these critical needs, the collective recognized that young people in the foster care system are also threatened by long-term health risks. With the support of the GSK IMPACT Grant, seven nonprofits have come together as Fostering Wellness to ensure that these young people have the resources they need not only to live healthier lives, but also to act as advocates to make the Triangle community healthier for everyone.
The Fostering Wellness collective is made up of the following seven organizations:
- Community Partnerships, Inc.
- The Hope Center at Pullen
- Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
- LIFE Skills Foundation
- Dress for Success
- SaySo (Strong Able Youth Speaking Out)
- United Way of the Greater Triangle
Expanding on the great work already underway in the Triangle, Fostering Wellness will ensure that young people aging out of foster care have access to the resources they need to become healthy and productive adults. With the help of mentors and internships, 500 young people will learn about careers in the local food system while increasing their own healthy eating knowledge and habits.
Fostering Wellness will also help these young people to amplify their voice to educate the community about the issues they face and solutions to improve health outcomes for foster care youth here in the Triangle – and beyond!