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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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  2. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  3. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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  5. My daughter was taken from my home at the end of June/2014. I said I would sign the safety plan but my husband would not. My husband said he would leave the house so my daughter could stay with me but the case worker said no her mind is made up she is taking my daughter. My daughter went to a friends and then the friend filed a restraining order which she was told by dcs if she did not then they would take my daughter away from her. The restraining order was not in effect until we were to go to court. Eventually it was dropped but for 2 months DCS refused to allow me to have any contact and was using the restraining order as the reason but it was not in effect. This was Dcs violating my rights. Please help me I don't have the money for an attorney. Can anyone take this case Pro Bono?

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