Vera Institute of Justice
This report explores the implementation of the Academy, a collaborative program created in New York in 2007 to address the problems of youth who age out of foster care.
Researchers found that the Academy has bridged gaps in youth programming, largely by engaging youths who do not typically access traditional services. The Academy has developed programming to help low-literacy youths prepare for the GEDs while participating in paid internships. This allows foster youths to choose both work and school, rather than one or the other.
The Academy provides customizable service plans for education, training and employment; social and recreational opportunities; and open eligibility and participation policies. Researchers note three key elements of the program: an adaptable intake policy that is sensitive to the needs of the youth; a collaboration of education, employment and support services; and the delivery of these services independent of the child welfare system.
The authors outline challenges for the Academy, including expanding its funding sources.
Free, 39 pages. www. http://vera.org.