The Foster Care Work Group (FCWG) is one of three work groups of the Youth Transitions Funders Group (YTFG), a collaboration of foundation leaders dedicated to improving the lives of our nation’s most vulnerable young people. Foundation leaders participating in the YTFG are committed to achieving a common vision – ensuring that vulnerable youth are connected by age 25 to institutions and support systems that will enable them to succeed throughout adulthood. The YTFG principally accomplishes its work through the efforts of three work groups focused on: young people who have dropped out or have been pushed out of schools, those in the juvenile justice system, and those in and emerging from foster care. The FCWG brings together foundation leaders with a shared interest in preparing youth in foster care for their transition out of the child welfare system and providing them pathways to lifelong economic well-being.
In 2004, the Foster Care Work Group created Connected by 25: A Plan for Investing in Successful Futures for Foster Youth. Connected by 25 made the case for and outlined a bold agenda for foundation and government investment in helping foster youth become economically successful adults.
Based on the recommendations presented in Connected by 25, the Foster Care Work Group members launched an ambitious co-investment enterprise to build the capacity of communities to effectively support young people in transition, to initiate and strengthen federal and state policies for youth leaving foster care, and to raise public awareness of the needs of foster youth and of effective ways to help them become successful adults. This collaborative effort includes a national demonstration in Tampa, Florida; five counties in California – Alameda, Fresno, San Francisco, Santa Clara and Stanislaus; and Indianapolis, Indiana.
Together, members of the FCWG are actively building a national movement of funders, community leaders, young people, policymakers, practitioners and researchers with a shared focus on supporting successful futures for foster youth.
Brian Lyght of the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Tina Gridiron Smith of the Lumina Foundation serve as co-chairs of the FCWG. The Finance Project provides staff support for the Foster Care Work Group. Contact Cheryl Hayes, President & CEO, for more information.