Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Providing an array of financial, career and other supports helps to stabilize youth aging out of foster care, according to this report.
The report explores the implementation and impact of the MAYOI, launched in 2003 by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
Designed to help youths make the transition from foster care to adulthood, MAYOI first created a youth board to identify key issues for aging-out foster youth, which included: health care, education, employment, homelessness and money for food.
The report lists several “Door Opener” solutions, such as coaching and advocacy support, subsidized housing, public speaking training, and a job referral network through community partners.
The program also established the Opportunity Passport, in which youths were given Individual Development Accounts (IDA) through which their savings would be matched “dollar for dollar,” and debit accounts, through which they could build a credit history.
During the pilot phase of the program (2003-06), the report states, MAYOI helped every youth gain some work experience – it helped 54 percent of its youth in school secure a housing plan, 25 percent of youth make purchases (such as cars) from an IDA, and 71 percent secure health insurance. The report discusses lessons learned and sustainability for the program’s transition phase (2006-09).
The initiative has been established in 11 other cities and regions.
Free, 14 pages. www.cfgreateratlanta.org/Repository/Files/20100810MAYOIReportFINAL.pdf.