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Indiana picked to launch foster-youth transition program

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The Indiana Office of Guardian Ad Litem/Court Appointed Special Advocate is one of 16 programs in the National CASA Association that will use a pilot program to help young adults leaving foster care.

The Indiana GAL/CASA office was awarded a $75,000 grant in March by the National CASA Association to help launch Fostering Futures, a program that will engage GAL and CASA volunteers as advocates and advisors for foster youth ages 14 to 21. The volunteers will help the youth identify supportive adult connections and develop specific plans for making a successful transition from foster care to becoming an independent adult.

The risks for young adults leaving foster care without a permanent family include homelessness, unemployment, and substance abuse.

National CASA Association CEO Michael Piraino said the organization selected Indiana’s office because of its strong commitment to working with youth as they transition out of foster care.

Representatives from the state office attended training programs in April and early June. Leslie Dunn, Indiana State Director of GAL/CASA, said the office is in the process of rolling out the program. They notified CASA directors around the state about the program and asked for volunteers who would like to work with older youth. The state office has close to 100 volunteers.

Dunn said last week they held an overview training of the pilot program for staff and CASA program directors who have volunteers participating in Fostering Futures. Volunteers will be trained in August through five sessions in Anderson, Columbus, Evansville, Indianapolis, and South Bend.

She said the state office will monitor the progress of the volunteers’ work with the youth at least through the grant term, which ends in March 2011.

The Wal-Mart Foundation helped begin the national program in 2009 by donating $1.6 million to the National CASA Association.
 

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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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