And, now, what?

Aging out of foster care.

Every year, approximately 500 kids in Massachusetts age out of foster care. Unfortunately, their struggles don’t end with their 18th birthday. Approximately 50% of these young adults are unemployed 12-18 months after leaving.

This is one of the most critical issues facing child services agencies like The Home for Little Wanderers. To date, all efforts to help this group have come up drastically short. There are simply not enough opportunities for our children to get the real life work experience they need to get real world jobs.

The Home has recently instituted a high-priority program known as Community Connections, partnering with local individuals and businesses to provide these skills to the youth in our care.

Under the auspices of a local branch of Citizen’s Bank, the adolescent boys at The Home’s Roxbury House are learning banking skills by opening and maintaining savings accounts — the initial deposits made possible through donations to The Home. They are adding the wages they earn through their own landscaping business — a unique Youth Entrepreneurship Project with Roxbury Trust — to this account. Their landscaping business is helping them learn what it means to be a good manager and responsible employee, lessons that will in turn help them obtain and maintain employment.

The Home’s Baird Center in Plymouth is a private special education school for academically and emotionally challenged boys. The kids at Baird have developed relationships with a variety of neighboring businesses. The Tracy auto dealership of Plymouth, for example, employs one of our boys — teaching this young man, in the most hands-on way, the skills and knowledge he will need to fulfill the dream of owning his own car dealership one day.

These kinds of Community Connections provide crucial lessons to the youth in our care so they can support themselves when they age out of the system. Despite all of the hardship they have faced, they are eager to learn how to make their way in the world.

And now, what? If your business can offer one of our kids this kind of opportunity please
contact us.

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