You Can Give Foster Youth a Better FutureLANCASTER, PA (June 23, 2015) – Think back to when you were a teenager. For many, our teenage years consist of awkwardness, acne, school work and school dances, maybe heartbreak.
For teens in foster care, they are dealing with all of these things, on top of being removed from their homes due to abuse and neglect so severe it was unsafe for them to remain.
For many older youth who enter foster care, the goal is not adoption, but "emancipation.” This means that many teens "age out” of the foster care system. At age 18 they are released from care and into the world without a family or support system. Teens may elect to stay in care until they are 21.
The statistics for teens that age out of care are staggering.
- More than one in five will become homeless after age 18.
- Only 58 percent will graduate high school by age 19 (compared to 87 percent of all 19 year olds).
- Seventy-one percent of young women are pregnant by 21.
- At the age of 24, only half are employed.
- Fewer than 3 percent will earn a college degree by age 25 (compared to 28 percent of all 25 year olds).
- One in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system.
Statistics are from the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.
These teens need a consistent, compassionate adult to give them their best chance in life. These teens need a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).
A Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) is a trained community volunteer, appointed by a judge, to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in court. Volunteer advocates independently investigate the child's situation and make recommendations to the Lancaster County Dependency Judges as to what is in the best interest of the child.
Children with a CASA have a significantly better outlook then those without a CASA. Children with a CASA are more likely to find a safe and permanent home, spend less time in foster care, do better in schools, move less frequently, and receive more services while in the foster care system.
If you want to become involved with CASA, the first step is attending one of our Community Awareness Sessions on Engagement (C.A.S.E.) Join us at C.A.S.E for CASA on one of the following dates:
- Tues Jul 21, 12:00 pm at CASA, 53 North Duke St, Suite 218, Lancaster
- Tues Aug 18, 6:00 pm at Hempfield Area Rec Commission, 950 Church St, Landisville
- Tues Sept 15, 12:00 pm at CASA, 53 North Duke St, Suite 218, Lancaster
These sessions are free of charge and open to the public. RSVP is required due to limited seating. We know how important your time is and our program will not exceed 60 minutes. To reserve your seat, please contact CASA by calling (717)208-3280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.