We are so excited about our charity partner this season! … because it is Foster Forward again! If you remember last year, we spoke with executive director, Lisa, about the program and the vast amount of work they do for our great state of Rhode Island, we wanted to share it with you, again.
Our April 28th show will be supporting Foster Forward with a donation, and we would love your help as friends, neighbors, supporters of motherhood, future cast members and audience to help us spread the word, get your tickets and celebrate giving motherhood a microphone this season.
Foster Forward is excited to be a part of this great project again this year, to spread their mission to empower lives impacted by foster care. They have a number of fantastic programs and initiatives working to recruit foster parents and Real Connections mentors for children and youth in foster care, while focusing on financial empowerment (ASPIRE) and workforce development (Works Wonders). Some of Foster Forward’s goals are
- More recruitment of caring adults to become foster parents or mentors for youth in care. Did you know that 30% of children and youth in foster care in Rhode Island are placed in group homes and other congregate care settings instead of in homes with families? While some children do require short term stays in residential placements, we are always in need of more foster families and mentors for youth who could otherwise be placed with a family. Having more foster homes at the ready allow us to keep children placed in their community and enable them to stay in the same school with the friends, teachers and activities that are familiar to them!
- Expanding our financial literacy, matched IDA savings accounts and one on one financial coaching opportunities for youth ages 14-24 who are in and transitioning from foster care. Did you know that without targeted programming and supports, nationally upwards of 40% of youth who age out of foster care experience homelessness? Many are victims of identity theft, often by biological family members and they struggle to build credit and maintain financial stability. Our ASPIRE Program helps them enhance their financial literacy, build their savings with $1 for $1 match incentives towards asset purchases and pairs them with volunteer coaches who help them budget their income while obtaining and building credit scores.
- Helping current and former foster youth complete high school, obtain jobs and engage in post-secondary opportunities. Did you know that nationally only 50% of youth who “age out” of foster care complete a high school diploma or GED? Through ASPIRE and our new workforce development initiative Works Wonders, we are successfully ensuring that more youth transitioning from foster care are completing high school and are stably employed.
How can people help with these priorities?
Become foster parents and Real Connections mentors for children and youth in care and/or host informational nights about foster care/mentoring
Provide job shadow, internships or paid work opportunities for participants in our Works Wonders Program
Make a donation to Foster Forward, attend our annual gala in September and/or donate new pajamas to our annual holiday gifts campaign
“Adopt us” as a selected cause for an upcoming event or activity – Thank you Listen to Your Mother 2016 for doing just that!