Aging Up, Not Out Program Gives Lifeline to Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

 It happens overnight. Each year about 20,000 American children who live in foster care will no longer be eligible for financial assistance from the state, typically at the age of 18. In Allegheny County alone 125-150 individuals a year age out of the foster care system. On top of losing financial support, many other gaps are created in the lives of these young individuals, including emotional support and opportunities to develop critical social skills that are vital at this critical age.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Pittsburgh has formed a unique collaboration with YouthWorks to address this growing epidemic and to provide much-needed workplace and life management training to these at-risk young adults. The program is supported by the United Way of Allegheny County and other funders.

Aging Up Not Out, (AUNO) serves young adults between the ages of 18-24 who no longer qualify for the foster care system. The program leverages both organizations’ successful track record with training and placement services for foster youth. The mission centers on providing program participants with job readiness tools and emotional support to prepare them for lifelong employment.

The comprehensive program engages the youth and encourages productive behavior through the following program components:

•  Mentoring
•  Connectivity to valuable support services based on individualized needs
•  Career awareness/job readiness training
•  Specialized vocational training
•  Securing the documents necessary to obtain a job (social security, birth certificates, etc.)
•  Assistance with job placement and retention

JF&CS staff members (l-r) Freddy Jones, Jeanne Williams and Erin Barr, who work with AUNO Pittsburgh.

 Since the program’s inception, AUNO has formed mutually beneficial partnerships with area businesses to give more than 70 young adults jobs.

If your business is recruiting for entry-level positions and you would like to support the mission of AUNO by hiring one of our trained graduates, please contact Jeanne Williams at 412.586.3725 or jwilliams@jfcspgh.org.

Contact information for youth interested in the program:
Jeanne Williams
Jewish Family and Children’s Services of Pittsburgh
jwilliams@jfcspgh.org
412.586.3725
http://www.facebook.com/AUNOPittsburgh
 

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