Partnership Helps State's Former Foster Youth - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Partnership Helps State's Former Foster Youth

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thousands of young adults age out of foster care system each year across the nation. Tennessee is trying to make sure those who do in the state will get the help they need. A partnership between the state and the non-profit Youth Villages has found a way to reach 100 percent of the former foster youth.   

Resume building and practicing for a job interview can all be intimidating lessons at any age, but many of these students at Youth Villages will tell you the toughest lessons they've learned have been outside of the classroom.

"I ended up being homeless for a few weeks and living beside a dumpster in Louisville, Kentucky," said Jennessa Ahline, who was once in the foster system.

Ahline is one of hundreds of Tennessee's Foster youth who age out of state custody each year. Tennessee is now partnering with Youth Villages, the non-profit that will help transition foster kids to the real world.

"We are now expanding the program to make it available to every young person who ages out of state custody in Tennessee," announced Governor Haslam. "What that means is that Tennessee becomes the first state ever to make services available for 100 percent of its former foster youth."

It's a plan to ultimately help kids, especially those who didn't get a chance to stay kids for long.

In order to help every young person who ages out of state custody in Tennessee, Governor Haslam announced the state will contribute $3 million to match $3 million dollars contributed by Youth Villages' donors this year.

The program is open to those ages 17 to 22. Youth Villages said it has already helped more than 5,000 young people in Tennessee.


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