From our partners at The Annie E. Casey Foundation:
Promoting connections to school, work and other opportunities for young people who have experienced foster care requires that we be curious about the conditions necessary for young people, and especially young people of color, to experience well-being and relationship.
If we invest in conditions that support that, then almost anything is possible. One example of what is possible can be seen in a special partnership between three Jim Casey Initiative sites, including Foster Success, to replicate Works Wonders®.
Works Wonders is an intervention designed to support young people who have experienced foster care in preparing for work. The program was originated by Foster Forward, the Jim Casey Initiative partner in Rhode Island.
Nearly three years ago, Foster Forward decided to expand its reach by inviting Monroe Harding to become a replication partner. Monroe Harding is a community-based organization in central Tennessee and a key partner to the Jim Casey site lead, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. One of their innovations in practice has been around career options related to veterinary science, a career that is increasingly an area of interest and opportunity for young people in their state.
Foster Success, the Jim Casey Initiative site lead in Indiana, decided to join the replication effort. This past summer, we used the Shark Tank television show as inspiration for designing an experience to expose young people in our Catalyst Summer Bridge Program to the skills and preparation needed for entrepreneurship.
Check out this video about the Shark Tank experience.