Former Foster Youth Have Shakier Foundation than Most
Perhaps some of the most crucial services we provide at Wellpoint Care Network are the ones created for former foster youth. We estimate that at least 1,000 Milwaukee youth have aged out of foster care in the past 5 years – most without the proper support systems to transition to adulthood under the best circumstances.
A pandemic like the one caused by coronavirus has the potential to destabilize even our most successful Youth Transitioning to Adulthood (YTA) clients. Take Tatiana and her fifteen-month old baby, Winter, for example.
For Some, Safe at Home Isn’t Enough
About one year ago, they moved into their very first apartment. Tatiana’s case manager made sure they were set up with a rental agreement she could afford on her income.
If, like dozens in our local workforce, Tatiana gets laid off due to COVID-19, it could devastate all areas of her life. There’s food insecurity, financial burdens, and a general loss of stability where she had just begun to build some.
Suddenly, keeping herself and her baby physically safe from the virus becomes just one of many concerns.
Five Pillars of Stability
Experience and research have taught us that in order to thrive, children, youth and families need to have their needs met in five core areas. These Five Pillars of Stability provide a caring framework, especially in times of crisis.
To help YTA clients build a more solid foundation, we need to focus on:
- Housing: securing safe and stable housing; a place to shelter in place, and financial assistance with rent and food
- Employment: assistance in finding potential employers, developing a resume and obtaining interview skills
- Health: being able to access physical, mental, and behavioral health care and health insurance
- Education: securing the supplies and tools needed to be successful in school
- Caring Connections: having meaningful relationships with people to turn to in times of need
A History of Helping
During this unusual time, it is not lost on Wellpoint’s leaders or staff that our organization began 170 years ago in response to a cholera epidemic.
We know how devastating a health crisis can be, and are proud to have played a crucial role for children and families throughout our rich history.
Please help us continue to fulfill our vision of a world where every child and family — like Tatiana and Winter — can thrive.