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Youth Connections Program

When older youth age out of foster care as young adults, they will continue to need a permanent supportive adult in their lives. Relational permanency is essential when transitioning into the next phase of their lives as youth begin adulting. Planning for life after foster care is not easy for youth expecting to age out when there isn't permanent adult support there to help guide them. Youth and young adults need close connections with caring, committed adults who will be there for them when they need it.

The Youth Connections Program (YCP) is a youth-driven, youth-led program dedicated to working with older youth and young adults who would like to connect with a caring adult(s) that would increase their social capital and provide a permanent supportive connection.

The program best serves foster youth 16 years and older who are expected to age out of foster care and have yet to identify support. Exceptions to these criteria will be considered for youth 14 years or older when parental rights have been terminated, case plan of adoption and the youth has no identified support on a case-by-case basis.

YCP foundation

The YCP specialist partners with the youth and their DCS case manager to find appropriate supportive adults. Once a supportive adult has been identified, the YCP specialist facilitates connections between the youth and the adult to help them build a strong relationship. The adult may be a relative with whom the youth has lost contact or a teacher, coach, or minister. For example, someone with whom the youth would like a closer relationship and who has the resources to help the youth. Some foster youth may not have anyone in mind — they may have lost contact with relatives or been in a group home or a residential facility for an extended period. In that case, the YCP specialist will complete a case mine and assess the youth connectedness to identify potential adult supports for the youth.

Why the Youth Connection Program?

Having at least one caring adult can approve outcomes for youth. There are many kinds of help a caring, committed adult can offer a youth, including:

  • A place to stay in emergencies
  • Assistance with managing money
  • Someone to talk to about problems
  • Help with health issues
  • Help finding housing, schooling, work
  • A place to do laundry
  • Advocacy, motivation, mentoring
  • Occasional transportation
  • A link to community resources
  • Help managing a household
  • Emergency cash
  • Help with clothes, meals
  • A home for the holidays
  • Spiritual support
  • Safety and personal security
  • Use of a computer or phone
  • Help with paperwork, complex forms, legal documents
  • Recreational activities
  • Help with relationships

For more information, please contact the Youth Connections Specialist:

For more information about the Youth Connections Program or to find out more about being a permanent connection for a youth, please contact us:

Tami Greene, MSW
Youth Connections Specialist 
Regions 1-6
Work: (765) 618-6485

Miriam Rivera
Youth Connections Specialist
Regions 7-12
Work: (765) 698-8815

Lora (Denise) Odone
Youth Connections Specialist
Regions 13-18
Work: (317) 552-9935

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