The holiday season is drawing near, and the American public is being informed that they do not need to worry about young people aging out of homelessness. The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) is resetting the narrative with its “Home for the Holidays” program and foster children can now enjoy a better night's sleep.
The foster care system in the United States fails to adequately prepare youth for financial independence and as a consequence, thousands of young adults age out needlessly into homelessness. Social workers, more often than not, discuss the prospect of homelessness rather than presenting tangible solutions, perpetuating a cycle of despair. NCHCW's efforts lie in combating this alarming trend and changing this approach nationwide.
Ruth White, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of NCHCW, brings a poignant perspective to the issue. Expressing her concern for aging children in America, she sheds light on the systemic challenges that persist. White's dedication to the cause underscores the urgency of addressing this nationwide crisis. She co-edited a groundbreaking publication, that documented the plight of children in foster care as a result of their parents' inability to obtain decent housing. Her advocacy efforts have resulted in more than 300 million dollars in Family Unification Program (FUP) housing subsidies since 2009.
This nonprofit organization, established in 2008, works tirelessly to prevent children from entering foster care or facing out-of-home placements due to housing challenges. Their mission extends beyond crisis management, aiming to provide economic self-sufficiency plans for those on the verge of aging out of the foster care system. By offering a support system that extends beyond the age of 18, they aim to break the cycle of homelessness that plagues many who age out of foster care. The key is to empower these young adults with the tools they need to thrive independently.
The organization's approach to system reform involves creating cross-agency partnerships at various levels. From policy initiatives to synchronizing resources between housing and child welfare agencies, NCHCW is ensuring that no child falls through the cracks due to inadequate housing. NCHCW has worked with a team of foster youth to design the Foster Youth to Independence initiative program (FYI) and as a result, over 4000 young adults have moved into their own apartments.
Central to this nonprofit’s mission, is a holiday program designed to uplift foster care youth during a time when a sense of belonging is most important. To leverage these initiatives and make a greater impact, the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) is actively soliciting funding. Their goal is to secure the financial support necessary to continue providing hope, resources, and a future for those who would otherwise face the harsh reality of homelessness.
Name: Liv Capasso
Email: [email protected]