Virginia Ranks 49th out of 50 states for the rate at which youth age out of foster care. CHS, along with Better Housing Coalition, is committed to addressing that problem. This week, we launched a Panel of Experts who have joined forces to identify policy recommendations to better support youth in foster care and reduce the percentage of youth aging out, as well as supporting those youth who do leave foster care without a permanent family.
Our panel includes local, state and national experts in 6 key areas: housing, employment, education, financial capability, physical and mental healthcare and establishing permanent relationships. At our kick-off meeting, panelists reviewed the Child Trends study, learned about The Possibilities Project and participated in a passionate discussion of the Panel’s goals and the work moving forward. Using the information that we gained from the Child Trends Study, the knowledge and experience of our program staff, and the expertise of the panel members, we expect to develop strong, trauma informed, practical policy recommendations over the course of the next 9 – 12 months.
Our panelists include: Honorary Co-Chairs Senator Barbara Favola (D – Arlington) and Delegate Chris Peace (R – Mechanicsville), Nadine Marsh-Carter, Greta Harris, Jennifer Pokempner, Dr. Amy Dworsky, Currey Cook, Former Secretary of Education Dietra Trent, Dr. Alex Wagaman, Dr. Danny Avula, Dr. Robyn McDougle, Pam Kestner, Allison Gilbreath, Chris Saxman, Sarah Mendoza, Michael Farley, Robert Bolling, Valerie L’Herrou, Sandy Henderson, Liz Pearce, Lakeisha Doman, Suzanne Bednar, Sandy Bowen, Suzanne Grable, and Chauncey Strong.
We will keep you updated as the panel moves forward in their work. The Panel expects to release a report of their findings in early 2019.