A Voice for Neglected Children of Miami

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October 16, 2013

In the life of every child, there should be at least one adult that stands as his or her hero. Usually, that hero is Mom or Dad. Unfortunately, there are over 3,000 children in Miami-Dade’s foster care system who have no heroes in their lives, and whose voices go unheard every day.

Funding for recent grantee Voices for Children Foundation supports their Transitioning Youth Project (TYP). Conceptualized in 2003, the TYP program focuses on foster and other dependent youth “aging out” of the child welfare system in Miami-Dade County. At this point in time these youth where were as bad off or worse than other dependent youth in the United States due to systemic failures and a fragmented child welfare system in Florida. To improve outcomes, TYP began to serve dependent youth in 2004 by providing them with caring, committed adults (CACs) with whom they could establish long-term personal relationships. Youth in the program would have the needed advocacy, support, and encouragement of a caring, committed adult to help them overcome the many challenges to becoming self-sufficient. Since then, 854 youth have been assisted by TYP, including 192 now.

Voices For Children Foundation knows that MAXIMUS Foundation seeks to collaborate with organizations that share its commitment to helping the disadvantaged achieve self-sufficiency & personal growth, particularly those programs serving children and young adults. This same commitment was a driving force in the establishment of TYP in 2004, to make sure every youth is provided with placement in a safe, stable, and affordable group/independent living setting; develops the self-confidence & skills needed to persevere; & is provided with encouragement and support in order that s/he will achieve the basic education and employment needed for a successful transition to self-sufficient adulthood.

Measurable outcomes for TYP in 2012-2013 include:

1. 90% of TYP participants will establish and maintain at least one ongoing relationship with a reliable, caring adult who regularly assists them in their transition to independent adulthood, as documented by TYP advocates’ or volunteers’ Monthly Checklist results for each TYP participant.
2. 80% of TYP participants who are 13-17 years old or have extended jurisdiction will be actively enrolled and show evidence of meeting at least minimal requirements towards completion of high school and/or other educational/vocational programs, as documented with official Miami-Dade County Public Schools and other official institutional transcripts.
3. 85% of TYP participants will not engage in delinquent or criminal behavior, as documented by Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Reports for all TYP participants every 60 days.
4. 80% of TYP participants 18 years and older will report that they are employed and/or continuing their education and receiving Road to Independence Funding, as documented by TYP advocates’ or volunteers’ Monthly Checklist results.

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