Nearly half of the District foster care population is composed of teens and young adults ages 15 to 21. Everyone serving these young people has two critical obligations to them:
- Continue to seek permanence through reunification with birth family, legal guardianship (often with relatives), or adoption. At the very least, ensure every youth in care has a relationship with a caring adult committed to providing life-long guidance and support.
- Prepare these young people for adulthood with the quality of nurturing, guidance, and support and a host of opportunities good parents provide for their own children.
Outcome Targets for District Youth in Care
- Increase high school graduates
- Increase college graduates
- Increase youth who complete vocational training and/or receive industry certification
- Increase youth age 20 who are employed or in post-secondary education
- Decrease youth who age out of foster care
- Increase engagement of youth in after-care services
- Increase youth with stable housing upon exit
A Resource for Partnership and Support
CFSA’s Office of Youth Empowerment (OYE) plays a leadership role in achieving positive outcomes for older youth in care. OYE coordinates with and supports social workers, resource parents, and
others helping older youth in care, ages 15 to 20, prepare for life on their own. OYE also partners with other public agencies, community organizations, and businesses to provide a robust array of resources and opportunities for older youth in care to build skills and gain experience.
OYE has three primary functions:
Case Management: CFSA and private‐provider social workers can transfer cases to OYE for case management when youth reach age 17½, if the youth is residing in congregate care or a CFSA foster home. When possible and appropriate, they involve the birth family and others as supports and options for placement or permanency. At the same time, OYE social workers have the responsibility to connect each youth with programs, services, and experiences that will prepare him/her for independence. Social workers engage with youth to facilitate a planned, smooth, safe transition out of care. Private agencies managing cases for older youth have the same responsibilities—and should routinely draw on OYE programs and services for the youth they serve. Contact: Nadya Richberg, [email protected], (202) 727‐7376.
Educational Services: Youth attending post‐secondary institutions and their caregivers get support from education specialists who assist in the college preparation process. Contact: Afrilasia Joseph‐Phipps, [email protected], (202) 727‐7517.
Career Pathways: OYE partners with public and private job training programs and employers to offer youth opportunities for work experience, vocational training, certification, and sustainable employment. Contact: Sabrina Dawson, [email protected], (202) 727‐7935.
CFSA's Office of Youth Empowerment (OYE), located at 3700 10th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20010, offers a host of services and growth experiences for District teens and young adults in foster care.