How to Support the Education Needs of Transition Age Youth
As compared to other young adults, transition age youth (TAY) who have or will soon emancipate from foster care face enormous challenges, including how to pursue their educational needs.
Many TAY face significant headwinds when it comes to their education. Financial barriers, lack of housing and transportation in addition to their behavioral health or mental health needs may contribute to their delay or inability to pursue their educational goals.
3 Concrete Ways You Can Support TAY Education Right Now
There are ways you can support the education dreams of TAY and help them overcome the inequities they face.
One option is to become a Resource Parent to older foster youth. Many older foster youth have difficulty finding the loving, stable and supportive homes they need and deserve. By opening up your home and your heart to transition age foster youth, you can give them the foundation they need as they enter this critical juncture in their lives. For more information and to get started on your Resource Parent application, head here: https://www.afs4kids.org/register-to-become-a-foster-parent/.
Curious about what it’s like to foster older youth? Check out this video featuring Derrick Hooper, one of the amazing Resource Parents we work with here at AFS: How and Why Derrick Hooper Became a Foster Parent.
Another great option for supporting TAY is to make a monetary contribution to AFS’s TAY program. By giving to AFS, you can make sure that TAY have the wraparound support they need to pursue their education. Click here to donate.
AFS also has full-service partnerships with businesses and organizations to provide tutoring, training and much more. Corporate engagements are a great way to make a difference in supporting TAY educational outcomes. Head here for more information and to get your company involved: https://www.afs4kids.org/corporate-engagements/.
What Kinds of Educational Supports Does AFS Provide TAY?
AFS provides a wide range of services for TAY, including help with schooling. For one, AFS’s TAY team helps identify and secure resources for the client including financial aid for college or vocational education.
Educating TAY clients on life skills is a cornerstone of the AFS TAY program, and includes health education, assisting with access to health insurance, nutrition and overall wellness. Financial education and planning are taught to clients oftentimes through special workshops.
AFS caseworkers assist TAY, helping them build a strong life foundation so that they can thrive in the educational setting of their choice. This is accomplished by providing housing support, facilitating independent living skills and helping to ensure they have lifelong connections.
What does this support look like in the real world? As one example, watch this video featuring Zeta Jackson-Mays, a transition aged foster youth currently pursuing a degree: How AFS Helped The One Transition-Aged Foster Youth in 2020.