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December 2013Vol. 14, No. 9Educational Planning Tools for Youth in Care

Youth Fostering Change, a youth engagement program from the Juvenile Law Center, provides the opportunity for youth in care to engage with their peers, evaluate the child welfare system, and work toward reform. The 2013–2014 members of Youth Fostering Change produced a toolkit to help youth in foster care effectively plan for their future.

The first section of the toolkit, "Getting to Know You," offers an interactive guide that encourages youth to:

  • Identify their needs, strengths, skills, and interests
  • Establish short- and long-term goals using an Individualized Education Plan
  • Work with a supportive adult to review and complete this toolkit

The second section, "Planning it Out," helps youth create a college plan by providing advice on the following:

  • College search
  • Required materials for college applications
  • How to apply for financial aid
  • Why to plan sooner than later

Since the guide was written by youth, for youth, it includes helpful advice and guidance from the peer mentors in the Youth Fostering Change program. The guide emphasizes that, through smart planning and understanding the resources available within the child welfare system, youth can take charge of the future and achieve educational and career success. While the guide was written for youth in care in Philadelphia, it could be useful to any youth in care.

For the LOVE of Success: An Educational Toolkit for Philadelphia Foster Youth is available here: (1 MB)