CAP provides services and a family connection to youths aged 17 to 24 who have left or aged out of the foster care sysem. These young adults can thrive with a connection to a family.
A program for young adults who have aged out of foster care and need a connection
If you grew up in a stable, loving family, you probably learned how to be an adult by watching the grown-ups in your family when you were little, and then by being giving increasingly greater opportunities to take on responsibility as you gained knowledge and wisdom. You may have absorbed "adulting" skills just by listening and learning, and by being guided through your first tentative steps by a loving adult.
But if you grew up in institutional foster care, there may have been few opportunities to make decisions about your day-to-day life, to learn to spend time alone, or to take healthy risks and make mistakes, but to have the support of a family to help you pick up the pieces.
Or if you jumped from one foster home to another throughout your childhood, you may not have learned how to make long-term plans, discovered you trust someone enough to argue with them and know they still loved you, or been convinced by an adult who cares for you that you can work hard and accomplish your dreams.
CAP offers a helping hand
The SSAFE Program (Social Support for Advancing Future Endeavors) offers assistance to young adults leaving foster care. It can help with independent living services, such as housing, employment, education, vocational training, and links to medical, dental, and mental health resources. And it can help the youth make a connection to or placement with a family.
Our trained staff and social workers have strong connections to community services. Together, social workers and SSAFE families work to ensure that needs are being met to help our youth develop into productive citizens with meaningful lives, and to help them avoid using social services and homeless shelters.
How to Refer a Youth
Anyone can refer a willing youth to SSAFE:
- Community individuals
- Teachers and school personnel
- Department of Social Services (DSS)
- Faith communities
- and the youths themselves
How to Become a SSAFE Family
CAP is recruiting families from the general community and faith community to become part of this support network. Families:
- will be trained in how to guide and support a youth
- will act as a "voluntary family"
- will assist youth with independent living
- will help them make connections with community resources
A New York State study from "National Youth in Transition Database Report to Congress - New York NYTD Review Final Report" followed several hundred youths leaving foster care and surveyed them at ages 17, 19, and 21. They found that by age 21:
- Only about 48% were employed full-time
- About 20% received public assistance
- Only about 37% had graduated high school or received a GED
- About 6% had been homeless in the past two years
- About 20% had birthed or fathered a baby in the last two years
- About 4% had been incarcerated in the last two years