Model Website for Foster Kids

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New York City’s foster youth and those who have aged out of care now have a home of their own on the Internet:

Developed by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), New Yorkers for Children, and Youth Communication, the new site offers information, inspiration and resources to help foster teens successfully transition to adulthood.

The “one-stop” site is packed with key contact information about youth-serving agencies, a legal handbook for youth who are leaving care, and links to housing programs, legal aid centers, free clinics and educational resources. Articles written by teens and resources for foster parents and youth program staff members round out the site’s content.

“The site is meant to be a resource that teens and adults can use together,” said Keith Hefner, Youth Communications executive director and publisher. (Hefner is a board member of Youth Today’s parent company, the American Youth Work Center.)

Hefner added that several people have contacted him about adapting the partnership’s model and its website for use in other cities.

New Yorkers for Children, launched in 1996 by former ACS Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, works to increase private-sector support for and awareness of child welfare issues. The nonprofit group provided a preliminary grant of $45,000 to develop the site and is committed to continue funding it, according to ACS.

Youth Communication – a nonprofit publisher of magazines, books and other materials focused on giving a voice to youth (particularly foster youth) – will maintain the site and provide content.