Most eighteen year olds have a network of support to guide them into adulthood. However, most youth who age out of the foster care system find themselves with limited family support, emotional connections, and financial assistance. Foster youth often lack the experience and knowledge to live on their own and are at high risk for dropping out of school, homelessness, unemployment, early parenthood, and crime.
Resources for these youth are inadequate, despite the implementation of the federal Foster Care Independence Act which was intended to prepare foster youth for independent living and expand benefits beyond their eighteenth birthday. Our experience with youth who were once in Casa Pacifica’s care is that they “resurface” as young adults with often extensive needs for an informal support network, ongoing preparation for household and financial management, as well as for professional help with both their emotional and physical well being.
With the generous support of a number of donors and private foundations we have taken aggressive steps to support this vulnerable population through programs that strengthen educational opportunities, employment, housing options, health care, and personal and community relationships. We are working to help youth enter and remain in college, learn to seek and secure employment, provide stable housing, and contribute positively to their communities. .
Josh Lepore, Psy.D., Director of Clinical Services
Phone: (805) 366-4142