Bridge to Self Sufficiency
Turning 18 should be a joyful time in a child’s life. For hundreds of children living in foster care in Miami turning turning 18 means they are forced to learn the hard realities of what it means to be on their own. In order to help youth get ready for the “aging out” process Voices secured funding and began assisting youth by adding the laser focus of an independent living specialist to the committed efforts by Guardian Ad Litem advocates. Their role is to help reduce the barriers to successfully transitioning to adulthood.
Thus, a full-time independent living specialist, with extensive Child Welfare Experience and knowledge, was employed to exclusively focus on identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent dependent youth ages 16 years and older from successfully creating and implementing an individualized transition plan to adulthood.
98% of youth ages 16 and up in foster care will be enrolled in high school/GED program, vocational program, college, or be employed full time as measured by GAL Program Court Files.
94% of youth ages 16 and up in foster care will not have open involvement with the Juvenile or Criminal Justice System as measured by dependency and juvenile court files.
98% of 18-year-old youth in foster care (approximately 75 youth) will elect to extend foster care jurisdiction as measured by GAL court files.
In addition to the efforts of our independent living specialist, Voices launched Independent Bridge to Self Sufficiency which helps young adults ages 18 to 30 with one time expenses to lessen barriers to housing, work force, or education. This initiative is funded through Miami-Dade County. Since January 2023 Voices has received over 60 requests to help youth with basic needs such as housing, education & transportation expenses.