Last updated: August 23. 2013 8:00PM - 236 Views

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Children Services helping youth succeed

In response to the Aug. 4 article, “Aging out of the System,” I would like to mention that Allen County also participated in the “Connecting the Dots” conference.

We had eight youth participate in the event, which is designed to better prepare foster kids and those recently emancipated for work, vocational training, college, and attaining housing. One of our youth even participated in the panel discussion that took questions about his experience in foster care and ways to enhance the system.

It’s estimated that between 1,000 to 1,300 young Ohioans age out of the foster care system each year. Allen County Children Services has implemented various programs for our youth, and work collaboratively forming partnerships with local business owners to secure employment and job readiness. Additional needs being addressed with these youth focus on education and career planning, transportation, linkage to community resources, budgeting, banking, and credit issues, and housing.

Ultimately, our goal is to advocate, empower, and support our youth. We continually teach life skills and provide positive reinforcement in hopes of promoting change, growth, and development with this group of young adults.

— LaKenya Johnson and Bonnie Monford

Allen County Children Services

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