Press Release - August 5, 2010

Contact:  Kelly Bachman
302-633-2501 or 302-299-9791

**MEDIA ADVISORY**

State Agencies Join Together To Better Support Youth Aging Out of Foster Care


Picture of MOU signers

Members of Markell's Cabinet met in Dover this morning to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that directly impacts Delaware youth who age out of foster care. From left to right: Lillian Lowery, Rita Landgraf, John McMahon, Vivian Rapposelli, Carl Danberg, Anas Ben Addi.


WHO

Members of Governor Markell’s Cabinet, including Vivian Rapposelli (Children’s Department), Rita Landgraff (Health and Social Services), Lillian Lowery (Department of Education), John McMahon (Department of Labor), Anas Ben Addi (Delaware State Housing Authority) and Carl Danberg (Corrections)    

WHAT

Cabinet members came together this morning at the annual Youth Advisory Council Conference at Delaware State University to sign a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that outlines each agency’s role in providing necessary supports and services to youth who age out of the Delaware foster care system.

WHY

Youth who age out of foster care face many challenges in achieving self-sufficiency.  Many experience physical or mental health issues, which will have a life-long impact on their ability to lead productive and stable lives. It remains vitally important that the state ensures services are effectively coordinated among agencies and funding is used as efficiently as possible.  

The federal government, through the enactment of the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program and the Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act, directs that states should provide financial, housing, medical, employment, training, and other appropriate supports to young adults between the ages of 18 and 21 exiting foster care to increase their opportunities to successfully transition to adulthood.  This MOU will serve as the basis for ongoing collaboration and coordination of services, while ensuring funding is used appropriately and efficiently.

“Our children are our future, our responsibility,” said Rapposelli. “We don’t take that responsibility lightly. Our youth need to know we care, we want them to thrive and we want them to feel confident they have the tools they need to be successful adults.”

WHEN

Today, Wednesday, August 04, 2010 at 9:15 a.m.  

WHERE

Delaware State University, Martin Luther King Student Services Building

Click here to see the Youth Aging Out MOU