The Family First Prevention Services Act, passed in February 2018, focuses on establishing home-like environments for children in foster care. These communities are centered around licensed clinical staff in order to provide a place of healing and hope in a way that helps to break the cycle of youth entering the foster system. This is part III of a four-part series. Click here to read installments I, II, and IV.
At SOS Children’s Villages Illinois, our programs on education and mental health and wellness work hand-in-hand with the vision of the Family First Prevention Services Act. Our mission is to provide loving, stable environments where children in foster care are able to receive the encouragement, support and focus they need to move forward in a positive way. This mission is breaking the foster care cycle for future generations through several avenues.
Breaking the Foster Care Cycle by Placing an Importance on Education
Education has proven to be a great need among youth in foster care as nearly 50% do not graduate from high school, and 47% of adults formerly in foster care are currently unemployed. Homelessness, poverty, and unemployment are high contributing factors to youth that enter into foster care and contribute to the cycle of adults formerly in foster care having biological children that enter into care.
By placing an importance on education while these youth are still in foster care, SOS Illinois is helping to harbor a change for future generations of children. Education breeds jobs, jobs create stability, and stability provides an environment much less likely to result in children entering into foster care.
Children in Foster Care at SOS Illinois Experience 100% Graduation Rates
SOS Illinois is proud of the youth in our care. Our supporting staff, full-time Foster Parents, and loving community members all work together in order to support our foster children and encourage them in their academia.
It is through this encouragement and the dedication of the youth in our care that we are able to celebrate 100% high school graduation rates. SOS Children’s Villages Illinois has comprehensive programs put in place to ensure our youth have everything they need to continue to move forward in their schooling so that they may enjoy the pride and achievement of graduation. Those programs include:
- Essential STEM curricula for children ages 12 to 16
- College awareness and test preparation for youth ages 16-19
- Educational and training services to help young adults ages 20 to 22 enter the workforce and pursue careers
Going Beyond Education and Concentrating on Healing Needed to Break the Cycle
While education is a substantial factor in helping to break the cycle of children in foster care, their mental health and wellness are equally, if not more so, important. SOS Illinois has a community in place that falls in line with the vision of the Family First Prevention Services Act in that we have licensed, clinical staff on-site at each of our Villages who are dedicated to helping the children in our care heal, regain hope, and recover from their traumas.
The clinical support at SOS Children’s Villages Illinois creates an environment of healing that is necessary in order to mend families and prepare children to re-enter into homes or build vital relationships through adoption. In addition to our licensed staff, children entering SOS Illinois live in a single-family home with their biological siblings, fostering a home-like environment and a feeling of comfort and security.
Stable and Nurturing Environments Yield Successful Outcomes for Youth in Foster Care
From our full-time Foster Parents to the community of loving and devoted support staff, volunteers, and specialists, our Villages offer a nurturing, stable environment for youth entering foster care. SOS Illinois also works directly with biological families offering support and mental health assistance in an effort to reunite children with their biological parents whenever possible. It is because of our dedication to our mission that 95% of our young adults find full-time jobs upon entering the workforce and move forward in a direction that helps to break the cycle of children in foster care.
Be a part of breaking the cycle for future generations, and help the youth currently in foster care move toward the bright futures awaiting them. By becoming a Dream Maker, your donation allows for the children in our care to receive the continued support, assistance, and programs that play a vital role in helping them thrive. Become a Dream Maker today.