Each year in California, over 4,000 youth exit the foster care system when they turn 18 and are no longer eligible for foster care. These “emancipated foster youth” commonly leave the foster care system without a place to live, a job, a high school diploma or the consistent support of a caring adult. Without assistance during this difficult transition, former foster youth do not fare well, experiencing rates of homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration far above their peers.
In April 2010, Children First FFA was awarded a grant to implement the THP Plus program in Tehama County.
This program is designed to help foster youth make a safe, successful transition into the community. The THP PLUS program helps to reduce homelessness among former foster youth. The California Department of Social Services has found this program to be very effective at helping former foster youth to achieve stable housing, living wage employment, and a higher education.
“As struggling foster youth we all look for a program such as Children First, something or someone to give us a hand in managing our lives. My social worker, Barbara Davis, not only helps me succeed, but also supports and counsels me in life’s everyday big decisions. I can rely on her for help or just good advice when things get tough. Children First changed my life, they help me make the great decisions to bring me to where I am today and I couldn’t be happier. Words can’t describe my gratitude for THP Plus for allowing me to participate in this awesome program. Even the staff. I appreciate the positive vibes I feel when I walk in the Children First office; the staff are warm and they welcome you with a bright smile. This program and everyone who runs it are a true blessing.” Dominic Arnold