Aging Out Initiative
CASE STUDY: 18-Month Transition Program
The Phased In Project currently has campuses in Wichita Falls and Dallas TX and is a transitional living program for emancipated foster youth. The goal of Phased IN is to assist these young adults in learning basic life skills that will prepare them for independent living. Phased IN will provide housing, education, medical care and life skills training through an 18-month program. With the combined partnership of the church, the community, and the State of Texas, Phased IN will embrace these youth who were never adopted to ensure that these young adults achieve self-sufficiency and stability. Finally, Phased IN will provide the most vital and missing dynamic in the lives of these young adults – Family.
Email Lolita Baker, Phased IN Administrator
Visit Phased IN
Safe Pastures Family Home
CASE STUDY: Post-Secondary Education Program
Safe Pastures Family Home (SPFH) is located in Cincinnati OH and offers a safe place where women who have aged out of foster care or who have been orphaned by critical care systems can begin to move toward self-sufficiency through post-secondary education. This can be done in the form of a licensure, a certificate program or a full on degree program at a local university or college. SPFH is a low cost family style home, where a woman can live while she pursues her educational and personal goals.
Email Val Bairnsfather, Executive Director
Visit Safe Pastures Family Home
CASE STUDY: Adaption Centers
Agape International Ministries is currently ministering to orphans in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. They not only encourage other Christians to serve orphans but they also give them an opportunity to participate and each orphans life. Agape helps to place orphans with Christian families, whom they can live with and grow with; as well as they support Adaption Centers that are homes for orphan graduates (aged out orphans) where they have a home and a place where they are part of a family.
Agape is also working in 9 trade schools across Ukraine where they teach a special program that was specifically created to help reach teens. Through the program they are providing intensive education in communication skills, good manners, finance management, etc.
Email Alex Fedorchuk, President and Founder
Visit Agape Ministries
Heart for Orphans
CASE STUDY: Christian Group Homes
Ukrainian orphans face a frightening life transition when they leave the orphanage to enter trade school at age 16. The dormitories of these schools are often fraught with crime, drugs, alcohol, and despair. Without love and guidance, many kids fall through the cracks and make poor, sometimes deadly, choices.
That’s why Heart for Orphans shares Christ through small, family-style group Christian group homes where young people learn to live with love, respect and dignity. Heart for Orphans currently has six transitional homes in Ukraine, and plans to open two more in 2013. Each home has mature Christian house parents who love and disciple teenagers. Heart for Orphans believes that what these children need is a family, with strong relationships. Under the guidance of these house parents, Ukrainian orphans learn to put Christ first in life and to live together in community.
Email Nancy Hathaway, Director, Heart for Orphans
Visit Heart for Orphans
CASE STUDY: Girls Restoration Initiative / Home for Girls
Fishhook International, based in Lexington, Kentucky, is building support for work in India to care for widows and orphans, to mentor and train leaders and to launch sustainable community development initiatives.
Amongst many initiatives one that stands out is The Girls Restoration Initiative, which provides life skills to young women who are in an extremely vulnerable situation in the slums of Kolkata. The program provides training to 20 girls at a time train either in computer skills or tailoring. Each girl goes to the training center for a half day every day for one year to complete the program; at the end of the year they are equipped to land a job and provide for themselves and their families.
The Home for Girls in Bangalore is another ministry that provides vocational training and a loving residential environment for teenage girls. Not only do the girls develop a life skill they can use to support themselves financially, but they also receive Biblical counseling and mentoring. Many of them have suffered emotional trauma and mental distress because of the past circumstances they have endured. The goal of the ministry is to help them find healing and wholeness in the Lord as well as a vocational skill so that they live as healthy women who can raise healthy families of their own.
Email Kim Turkington, Executive Director
Visit Fishhook International
CASE STUDY: Hope Program
In the countries we serve, children age out of orphanages long before they are ready to transition to independent living. Back2Back invites children who are on the brink of aging out of a children’s home to participate in the Hope Program, a Christian residential family-style care program for orphans and vulnerable children. Living in a family-style setting with house parents, students are mentored spiritually, supported through scholarships and tutoring, and encouraged to finish high school and college. They have regular appointments with a licensed counselor and work through their history and past trauma both in individualized and group counseling sessions. The Hope Program is a critical alternative for teenagers who would otherwise have limited options.
Email Steve Ross
Ukraine Orphan Outreach
CASE STUDY: House of Grace / House of Hope
Ukraine Orphan Outreach has a heart for Ukraine and the aging out orphan. The House of Grace is a family centered living for graduate orphan boys. There are currently seven teenage boys living at the House of Grace with their house parents, Maxim and Lena. Ukraine Orphan Outreach also has a home for graduate orphaned girls call The House of Hope. Agape Ministries has partnered with Ukraine Orphan Outreach in order to keep the House of Hope fully funded and supported. The House of Hope currently houses 5 young ladies living there with a house mom.
Email Kris Stoesz, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Visit Ukraine Orphan Outreach
The Bair Foundation Child & Family Ministries
CASE STUDY: Independent Living
The Bair Foundation serves children & families throughout Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. Their goal is to provide Christ-centered, quality care and services dedicated to the treatment, restoration and empowerment of children, youth and families.
The Bair Foundation has a focus on Independent Living – as they see the vital need for these youth who are aging out to have the skills and education needed prior to transitioning into adulthood. The Bair Foundation improves the outcomes for older youth by providing training & focusing on the following areas necessary to become self-reliant: Daily Living Skills, Self-Care, Employment, Education, Healthcare, Housing, Banking & Budgeting, and Transportation.
Bair has taken the essential steps to provide additional opportunities to further increase the probability of a successful transition. Through their vehicle program (Paul Smith Independent Living Fund), which provides matching funds up to $1,000, youth have been given the incentive and ability to achieve transportation that is vital to their independence. Bair’s renewable scholarship fund (Edward B. Massey Scholarship Fund) that is based on need and available to every Bair high school senior, has enabled their youth to achieve their goals and dreams of attending a college, university or trade school. Also provided to the scholarship recipients are monthly care packages, mentoring, and continued guidance while attending school.
Email Dorie Alcaro
CASE STUDY: Jeremiah House
Jeremiah House (Tokmok, Krgyzstan) is part of a three-part LAMb International project focused on demonstrating to local authorities how youth can benefit from help when they graduate from orphanages without support – from 14-years-of-age on.
Jeremiah House offers these youth a safe home with a caring adult. They receive mentoring, life skills, work opportunities, counseling, guidance for education, provision for medical needs and more. Youth coming to Jeremiah House are not yet ready to live independently, so the project is broken into the following parts:
- Jeremiah Drop-in Center – where youth can come for help, emergency food, referral services and counseling.
- Jeremiah House – as noted above.
- Jeremiah Steps – an apartment the youth can rent from LAMb International and be assigned a mentor. Youth in the Jeremiah Steps program have demonstrated ability to live interdependently, keep a job and/or continue with their higher education.
Email Ruby Johnston, PhD., co-founder LAMB International
Visit LAMb International
Visit LAMb International Blog
Teen Leadership Foundation
CASE STUDY: The Launch Pad
Teen Leadership Foundation (TLF) is a nationwide organization with a mission to build and/or expand outreach in the Church to transitional age foster youth. TLF bridges the gap of a protective government with a proactive Church. TLF has created at unique model that many Church’s and faith-based non-profits have adopted.
- Programs – TLF equips the church to provide leadership, community, relationship, and education for teens in foster care – through tools such as Leadership Camps, Youth Groups, Mentorship and Independent Living Skills.
- Resources – TLF has a comprehensive guide for church leaders to bring their teen programs to the local community.
- The Launch Pad – (TLP) is a family based housing community designed to be a safe runway as emancipated youth soar to true freedom
Email Lisa Castetter, Founder & CEO
Visit Teen Leadership Foundation
Livada Orphan Care
CASE STUDY: Mentor Apartment Program
Livada’s Mentor Apartment Program, based in Tirgu Mures, Romania, gives a helping hand to prepare “near graduates” from state orphanages for life after the system by bringing them into apartments with 2-3 other young adults.
Each apartment has a mentor who helps teach life skills, provides accountability, helps oversee the budget, assists them in meeting educational potential and in the finding employment, as well as encouraging movement toward independent life and investing in the spiritual and social development of these young people.
Email Bruce Thomas, Founder/Executive Director, Livada Orphan Care
Visit Livada Orphan Care
CASE STUDY: Project Independence Initiative
Olive Crest works throughout Los Angeles, Nevada, Orange County, San Diego, Pacific Northwest, Inland Empire & Desert Communities to prevent child abuse, treat and educate at-risk children, and to preserving the family. In Orange County and San Diego they have a Project Independence Initiative which focuses on a Transitional Housing Placement Program (THPP) that provides foster youth 15-24 years of age with the support and training necessary to become independent and successful adults. Whether in foster care, group homes, transitional housing, or living on their own, Project Independence creates a personal relationship-based plan designed for each youth’s specific needs. Olive Crest also has a Transitional Housing Placement Program + Foster Care (THP+FC) program which provides housing and support to youth ages 16-18 whose only option as they approach adulthood is living independently. Olive Crest also has a Transitional Housing Placement Program Plus (THP+) which specifically targets emancipated youth ages 18-24.
Email Kramer Ruppe, Regional Program Coordinator
Visit Olive Crest
CASE STUDY: Revive Program
LOCO Ministries exists to serve the orphans of Mexico. We do this by connecting individuals, teams, businesses, professionals, and churches in the United States and Mexico to care for the fatherless. LOCO Ministries is committed to Living Out Christian Obedience by defending the cause of the fatherless.
We believe God has a plan for every child. Through LOCO’s Revive program we focus on teens and young adults who are aging out of the orphan system. They are often overlooked and have no hope for a brighter future. With an emphasis on family based transitional living, Revive provides high school and/or college education, counseling, housing, and meals all centered around family based care in order to raise up strong, committed Christians who will become independent and will make a difference in their community, country and world. The students in Revive are learning, growing, changing, and taking ownership of their lives to break the destructive generational cycles from their past.
Email Micah Gallegos, Executive Director
Visit LOCO Ministries
4Kids of South Florida
CASE STUDY: Spirit of Success Institute
4KIDS, located in South Florida created the Spirit of Success Institute (SOSI), which was born out of the desire to build community and offer real resources for success to young adults. 4KIDS Spirit of Success Institute (SOSI) exists to guide young men and women as they transition out of foster care and into independence. SOSI offers a 2-year Transitional Independent Living residential program.
Since its start in 2005, SOSI has served over 180 residents. Today, SOSI consists of 2 homes for young men and 2 homes for young women in Broward County. Each home consists of 4 residents and 2 Residential Advisors (RA). RA’s are there for guidance, accountability, and community—in fact, some of our RA’s are former SOSI residents!SOSI residents gain confidence to transition into independence through completing their GED or furthering their education, gaining employment skills, as well as completing career development resources and internships, life skills classes, and financial management training. Most importantly, residents develop relationships and connections with staff and volunteers who help guide and mentor them in successful living.
Email De Kelly
Visit 4Kids of South Florida
Hands and Feet Project
CASE STUDY: Transitional Care Villages
Hands and Feet Project is based in Haiti and strives to provide family-style, residential care and sustainable solutions to fight against Haiti’s orphan crisis. H&F strives to serve each child in four areas of need: physical, educational, emotional, and spiritual.
Hands and Feet’s model of hope is through operating Children’s Villages with multiple family-style homes lead by Haitian House Mothers. At the age of 18 every child has the option of leaving the campus as an adult, or they can stay at one of their Transitional Care Villages until they are 22. The children who enter into the transition program enter into a contractual agreement regarding their behavior and work/study requirement. Children will have the opportunity to work in an apprenticeship and develop a career for their bright futures.
Email Andrea McGinnis, Director of Child Care
Visit Hands and Feet Project
Children’s Shelter of Cebu
CASE STUDY: The Wally Johnson Teen Home
Children’s Shelter of Cebu (CSC), located in the Philippines, is designed to assist young aged-out orphans with the transition into adulthood. This organization operates a Teen Home – The Wally Johnson Teen Home – which exists to serve young people who, for a variety of reasons, will not be adopted. At the teen home, each young adult is able to continue their education as they are being prepared for entry into mainstream Philippine life. Each teen is either in high school, trade school, college, or is beginning their career.
Some of the young adults have special needs, so they take longer to complete their education. One of the young ladies in the program is blind and is finishing her education in the hope of teaching music to blind children. Another resident just completed training to be a chef and is looking for employment within the Philippines. CSC helps these individuals seek jobs and transition into independent living when they are ready. The residents are led through this journey by house parents who mentor them spiritually as well. The teens do not move out until they are ready to; Children’s Shelter of Cebu maintains no arbitrary age maximums.
Email Jill Grasley, Director of Donor Services
Visit Children’s Shelter of Cebu
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We seek your best-practice stories of ministries that are succeeding in helping aging out orphans and children in foster care to make healthy life transitions. Our goal is that this page be a growing library of best practices from around the world.