Program offers job readiness training for youth aging out of foster care

Kentucky Press News Service

Fostering Success, the summer employment initiative for Kentucky youth who are aging out of the state foster care program, is celebrating the start of its second year. At least 72 young people are expected to be involved in Fostering Success this summer. Last year, 52 completed the Cabinet for Health and Family Services program.

Fostering Success gives older youth in foster care the opportunity to access employment, job training and leadership skills through a collaborative program that places them in entry-level positions with state government agencies, a state news release said.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin
“Very often, children who age out of the foster care system lack the social and financial management skills they need to find jobs and be productive, self-reliant adults,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Fostering Success is one of many ways our administration is seeking to correct that. With mentoring from seasoned professionals, and an opportunity to work within state government or with respected, private sector partners, these young adults are given an excellent chance to acquire some of the hands-on experience they need to become future leaders in Kentucky.”

The summer youth employment program serves Kentucky’s foster youth between the ages of 17 and 23. Program participants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be selected for the 10-week employment. Half of the youth who participated in last year’s initial Fostering Success collaborative extended their employment to nine months and three of last year’s participants were offered full-time employment with CHFS.

First Lady Glenna Bevin said that foster youth might need extra guidance from a caring community as they mature.
“The transition to ad
ulthood can be more difficult for foster children who have experienced so much instability and trauma that was no fault of their own,” said Mrs. Bevin in the news release. “Fostering Success gives these youth committed role models and a community of support in addition to the invaluable job training and ‘soft skills’ they will get from a summer of comprehensive career preparation.”
Fostering Success includes summer employment opportunities in several state and CHFS offices – including the Department of Parks and the Department for Community Based Services, the Office of Legal Services and Child Support Enforcement – across the state.

Start dates are staggered during the summer months because of worksite needs and application processing time. Independent Living Coordinators, who assist foster youth who are aging out of care, will continue to recruit young people for the employment opportunity through mid-July. Kentucky Works contractors are facilitating two-day job readiness training for the youth. Facilitators addressed areas like workplace attire, time and attendance, cell phone usage, transportation needs and meal breaks.

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