Foster Care Enrichment Program

 

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

In Miami-Dade County, there are over 40,000 children in the system.  It is said that 90 percent of children in the foster care system are exposed to trauma.  Unfortunately, once a child has been removed from their biological family home, they very often are traumatized in their foster homes.  Their social and emotional well-being is affected by the situations that warrant them to be removed from their homes.  At the age of 18, many foster care youth age out of the system with little to no life skills.  Once on their own, with no adult guidance, they fall into homelessness, unwanted pregnancies or a life of crime.

 

During the course of the program, we will address four key areas: (1) building healthy relationships through effective social and interpersonal skills; (2) good educational choices that lead to financial stability; (3) managing a household and a budget; (4) strong self-identity and an emotionally stable sense of self.

 

Cohort1 will run from January 2021 to June 2021; Cohort-2 will run from July 2021 to December 2021.  This program is focused on teen girls ages 16 to18 years.  The program consists of monthly coaching sessions, bi-monthly activity, and a weekend getaways.   Teens must meet and maintain pre-established criteria in order to stay in the program.

 

PROGRAM DETAILS

 

Application Process

Citrus Health Network is the lead agency for foster care in Miami-Dade.  The Independent Living Coaches use the Casey Life Skills (CLS) assessment to identify youth that need additional attention in particular areas.  We will work with Citrus and use the Casey Life Skills assessment, school progress report and reports from the case managers and foster parents.

 

Additionally, we will collaborate with local agencies, foundations, other non-profits such as Be Strong International, Christ Fellowship, Fatherhood Taskforce of South Florida to provide workshops and facilitate coaching sessions.

Innovation

What makes this program unique is the cohort aspect, monthly outings and a weekend getaway.  The goal of the cohort format is to establish a support system among the girls so they assist each other while in and out of foster care.  Secondly, the monthly outings will be used to motivate the girls to complete their program and educational goals.  Thirdly, the culmination of the program is the weekend getaway/retreat.  In our experience, children in the foster care system rarely visit cities outside of their hometown.  The getaway will be planned and budgeted for by the teens using the skills they have learned throughout the program.

Timeframe

 

Month 1:  Introduction to On HER Own Enrichment Program

·                 Life Goals coaching session

·                 Group coaching session

Month 2:  Relationship Goals coaching session

·                 Becoming the Woman I Want to Be

·                 Outing/Group Activity

Month 3:  Educational Options coaching session

·                 Options besides college

·                 Outing/group activity

Month 4:  Finances & Budgeting coaching session

·                 Let my money work for me

·                 Outing/Group Activity

Month 5:  Social Etiquette coaching session

·                 Ladies First - How do I behave in public?

·                 Outing/Group Activity

Month 6:  On HER Own Graduation

·                 Weekend getaway

·                 Graduation ceremony

 

Coaching

Bi-weekly telephone/video conference/in-person coaching sessions on various life skills (relationships, career goals, home economics, etiquette)

 

 

Outings

Monthly activities include:  Museum, camping/hiking at a state park, water park, volunteer activities, movies, restaurant, bowling, other requested events by youth.

 

Weekend getaway options

Orlando -- Disney World, SeaWorld, Universal Studios

Tallahassee – college tours

Port St. Lucie – camping or hiking in a state park

Key Largo –water sports

 

Graduation

Upon successful completion of the program, we will host a graduation event. Each participant will be awarded a makeover and take professional headshots. We will encourage and establish a support system to provide support for two years beyond the program.

Girl on Bed
Teenage Students
Girl Time
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Merline Leonce, Executive Director

(305) 336-9298