Nichole Hannahs

Program Helps Foster Children

by Nichole Hannahs on April 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

A new partnership between the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and Big Brothers Big Sisters seeks to help teens moving from foster care to independent living.

Statistics show that 81 percent of foster care youth are being arrested before the age of 24, 48 percent of females become pregnant by 19 and 40 percent of homeless were once in the foster care system.

"We cannot individually as agencies help this and effect this, but together we can pull our resources and we can see that those teens that age out of foster care system become productive citizens in our community," said Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Mollie Crooks.

The program will be tested in eight counties. Crooks said that while the organization has a strong mentoring program helping kids find employment, schooling and training is something different.

"The other element that will be added is the vocational training and opportunities for job shadowing with employers, so that’s exciting to us because it does help us step a little bit out of the realm that we’ve traditionally done," said Crooks.

The program will be funded through federal welfare money.