In 2007, 16,000 children in Illinois lived in substitute care, according to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, and according to the Court Appointed Special Advocates, more than 6,000 Cook County children are currently in the foster-care system. Every year, a large number of these children reach the age of majority, also known as aging out of foster care. A recent study by the University of Chicago reveals that Midwestern youth aging out of foster care experience substantial disparitiesincluding unemployment, homelessness, and malnourishmentcompared to their peers in the general population. The same study also found that connections to family members or a stable adult are important for the success of emancipating youths.
If this Grassroots campaign raises $600, then Childrens Home + Aid can sponsor a local enriching activity for 20 adult mentors and their foster-youth mentees. Each additional $30 raised will be used to provide another mentor and mentee with a set of tickets or passes to a local activity. Children's Home + Aid's Adult Connections program pairs youth with qualified adult mentors to develop a safe, trusting relationship that the youth can draw on to increase their independent-living skills and stability. Sponsored activities, such as a trip to an art gallery, museum, cooking lesson, or gym, provide a fun environment for mentor-mentee pairs to bond.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
As a leading Illinois family- and child-service agency, Childrens Home + Aid serves more than 40,000 children and families each year through its child-development and -care programs, family counseling, and foster-care-advocacy programs. The organization's roots extend back to 1883, when the Reverend Van Arsdale brought into his home a young girl whose mother was in crisis. The minister's umbrella of care soon spread throughout the country, where he established advisory boards that evolved into regional boards that now help shape public policy for child welfare. Children's Home + Aid focuses on early childhood and juvenile justice, preventing child abuse, and garnering positive child development in strong families.
The organization's Adult Connections program pairs foster youth reaching the age of emancipation with supportive adult mentors who help them increase their independent living skills, as well as provide them with a positive adult relationship. Each year, roughly 30,000 of the 463,000 children in foster care throughout the United States age out of the foster-care system. By lending their time to guide these youth, adults can help to prevent homelessness, food insecurity, and unemployment.
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