Fearful Foster Youth have a new advocate to help them prepare for independent living as they migrate out of the safety of Foster Care to living on their own. Danny Vann, Foster Care Survivor, author, mentor and motivational speaker, has created a new online webinar series to help prepare future Aging Out Youth for their upcoming Independence and Autonomy. The new “Aging Out Academy” will have multiple lesson modules to walk the youth through the various stages of life-supporting activities – starting at the beginning of high school – all the way through moving out of a foster home, into a job and independent/autonomous living.
The dynamic information-packed online course will be full of step-by-step lessons, instructions, resources and examples on how to get through the transition into taking over their own life decisions. In addition to containing stand-alone modules, Danny is working on making connections with Mentor, Life Coach and/or Apprenticeship partners to also help connect each teen at their local level. This will help insure the training is APPLIED and each young adult actually experiences the activities related to each subject area instead of just getting lectured with observed learning. Danny and many others in the Foster Support field are very excited about the potential for those struggling to get on their own feet in life.
According to iFoster.org, close to 30,000 youth will age out of foster care every year and have to be self-sufficient at ages 18-21. Within four years of aging out:
- 70% will be on government assistance
- 50% will be unemployed
- 50% will experience homelessness
- 25% will not have completed high school
- Less than 12% will ever earn their college degree
Resulting in $1 Million economic burden to society for each young person we fail
As an alumni of foster care himself, Danny has documented many of his life-lessons and paired them with current research and programs all around the US. He has recorded each module with simple easy-to-follow steps showing the way to perform the various skills needed in order to sustain an independent lifestyle. He then assigns practice exercises in order to reinforce each lesson which are monitored by a local mentor or coach.
The intention of the program is to ultimately partner with mentors and/or transition homes to help “practice “ the skills. Danny’s vision is for a local group to host the webinar series and possibly even create a small business to enforce financial and organizational skills- like a Junior Achievement class.