Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT), San Diego Center for Children, Voices for Children and The San Diego Foundation launched the Foster Youth Transitions Collaborative, a first-of-its-kind initiative to strengthen self-sufficiency for young people transitioning out of foster care. Utilizing the San Diego Center for Children Successful Transitions platform, the Foster Youth Transitions Collaborative will create an online ecosystem where service providers and foster youth who opt in to the process can share information and develop personal action plans that will empower all parties to provide and receive the proper tools needed to successfully transition into adulthood.
In San Diego County, there are approximately 2,858 children and teens in foster care, with an estimated 200 youth emancipating from the system each year. Most of these San Diegans will have no support or plan in place to secure a healthy, promising future, and one in three of these individuals will be homeless during their first two years after exiting foster care.
The Foster Youth Transitions Collaborative aims to help young people through the difficult transition by establishing a new, innovative model of care that extends from age 16 for youth served by San Diego Center for Children, through 18-26 as part of the JIT community, and all the way through age 35 to track lasting change and durable success. This represents an unprecedented 20-year window of engagement that has never been implemented in San Diego County until now, and is ultimately designed to inform, innovate and improve the way services are delivered to all foster youth in the future.
By shifting the current paradigm that separates foster youth services from adult resources to one that establishes a continuum of integrated supports that are responsive to the needs of San Diego foster youth, the Foster Youth Transitions Collaborative model strives to eliminate the duplication of services and many challenges that youth experience when accessing siloed systems of care.
The Foster Youth Transitions Collaborative builds on a growing partnership among service providers in San Diego County. By working with The San Diego Foundation to establish a permanent funding source for this initiative, JIT and the San Diego Center for Children are creating a sustainable model that will attract future partners.
“The San Diego Foundation Strong Families, Thriving Communities Initiative has been working for the past three years to strengthen collaboration in this sector, as well as identify new strategies and solutions that support the region’s most vulnerable population,” shared Brian Zumbano from The San Diego Foundation. “This collaboration between Just in Time, San Diego Center for Children, Voices for Children and The San Diego Foundation creates an exciting new model for donors to invest in because it maximizes the impact of the region’s charitable dollars that are supporting our foster youth.”
Just in Time for Foster Youth thanks Alaska Airlines for its vision and consistent support, enabling hundreds of young people to access the knowledge, resources, tools, and connections every young person needs to succeed.