By Leslie Allen, Guardian Ad Litem Case Supervisor & CASA4Teens Coordinator
CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County is taking a new approach with teen outreach. More importantly, the new program, “CASA4Teens” (formerly the “Fostering Futures” program), aims to increase successful outcomes for youth aging out of foster care.
Therefore, We are working diligently to provide the following:
- A resource manual for teens, caregivers, staff, and Advocates. The manual will outline available support and persons to contact to help youth access the benefits they are eligible to receive. Subsequently, we will create a pocket guide for teens. In addition, we will develop a slightly more informative guide for caregivers, staff, and Advocates.
- A CASA4Teens training manual that covers the needs of teens in foster care.
- A CASA4Teens classroom training with guest presenters. (Moreover, our goal is to have the training manual and classroom instruction available in September.)
- Summer events: A committee of Advocates and staff are planning fun and exciting activities to engage the youth (see below!)
We will host/currently host:
- A teen girls book club at a local library (this program began in May, 2019).
- 4 to 5 college, university, and vocational school campus tours between June 1 and August 16, 2019.
- Apartment leasing tours.
- An amazing event is in the planning stages for early August — a simulated “Game of Life.” Our Game of Life event will be an interactive life skills conference for high school teens in foster care. The simulation supplements what the teens are learning in their Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) classes with a fun day of putting all that information into practice.
- Information “booths” set up for Training, Education, Employment, Housing, Banking/Budgeting, and Grocery Shopping/Cooking.
- Each teen receives a game card at check-in and is tasked with learning all they can at each booth.
- Participants can enjoy food, stand-up comedy, and giveaways throughout the event.
- Continuing to assist with coalition events benefiting teens in foster care. CASA Child Advocates of Montgomery County partners with many organizations in Montgomery County. This includes Texas DFPS (CPS), Angel Reach, Back to Basics Ministries, and Love Fosters Hope, along with other churches and organizations.
Dates to remember for upcoming coalition events:
- Always Pursue is an event celebrating teens in foster care who are graduating high school. The formal dinner is normally held the first weekend in June. If you would like more information about the 2020 event, please email Leslie Allen at Leslie@CASASpeaks4Kids.com.
- Back to School Party will be held in late September/early October – date TBD. This is an event for children of all ages in foster care to enjoy.
- Celebrate Me is a day of games and connection for teens in foster care. During the event, each teen receives several gifts including a new pair of shoes. This event is scheduled for the 1st Saturday in November.
Thank you all for your support of our teens in foster care and youth aging out of foster care.
If you would like more information about CASA4Teens, please contact:
Guardian Ad Litem Case Supervisor
Family Engagement Coordinator
Staff Contact for Sexual Exploitation