Age-Appropriate Housing Options
From 2013-2014, Youth Fostering Change focused on age-appropriate housing options for older youth in care. Our youth advocates recognized that older youth struggle in their child welfare placements. Because these placements are often inappropriate for older youth – due to unreasonable curfews, lack of flexibility with schedules, or failure to provide independent living skills – many youth choose to leave care. In order to address this issue, our youth advocates chose to work on improving relationships between youth and their caseworkers and caregivers in the hopes of clearly identifying an appropriate living arrangement for youth in care. The youth created and starred in The Willy Show, a talk-show style video project.
Youth Fostering Change also created two documents to help address this issue. The first document, Youth Fostering Change Youth Assessment Questionnaire: A Tool for Youth to Provide Input into Child Welfare Placement Decisions, is a tool that contains questions our youth advocates believe should be considered when older youth are placed outside of their home. The second document, A Path to Understanding: A Youth-Developed Guide to Promote Better Communication and Relationships Between Youth and Their Caseworkers and Caregivers, is designed to help interpret older youth behavior and provide guidance to address those behaviors.