As children in the foster care system get older (and eventually “age-out”) they face new challenges. They need to prepare to function as independent adults without the same supports and connections their peers have in place.
“We need to connect these teenagers with the resources needed to transition into adulthood,” noted Amy Wilker, Director of SCAN’s CASA Program
Workshops, panel discussions, and more information were available on a variety of topics including employment services, educational options, financial management, health, and housing. The event also provided an opportunity for youth to “shop” for personal care items as well as win gift cards to local stores.
“For older youth and teens in the system, even the simplest of items—things like deodorant, a toothbrush or even a coffee—can be difficult to come by,” added Wilker. “We are incredibly grateful for the hundreds of toiletry and gift card donations provided for teens to pick up at the event.”
District Taco provided lunch for youth and adults at the conference. Other sponsors of the event include Kiwanis of Alexandria, Community Foundation of Arlington, Gordon Shin, and Together We Rise. Osiris Hoil, District Taco CEO and SCAN Board Member, said the choice to support this new event was simple.
“When I first came to America, I struggled to support myself. So being able to provide a meal to others means a lot to me,” shared Hoil. “It is important to us that we get involved in the community in any way we can. If we can make it so that someone doesn’t have to choose between a meal and basic necessities even for one day, we’ll do whatever it takes.”
About SCAN of Northern Virginia
We believe child abuse and neglect can be prevented.
Our vision is a community where every child has the opportunity to grow up in a safe, stable, nurturing family, with the supports the child needs to thrive today and contribute to stronger communities tomorrow.
SCAN’s Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program provides trained volunteers appointed by the court to serve as a voice for children in the juvenile court system. Last year, the Alexandria/Arlington CASA Program provided volunteer advocates (or “CASAs”) to more than 164 children in Alexandria and Arlington, and more than 20% were age 14 or older.
Learn more at www.scanfamilies.org/casa