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TOPIC: Youth Parole Placements – Better than regular foster care?

Is running a Youth Parole Home for 18 – 21 year old offenders better than a taking regular foster placements? Trading caseworkers for PO’s and clip boards for handcuffs makes a difference.

Beginning today, will have a frequent (sometimes daily) blog called “Topic:”.

Today’s topic:  Youth Parole Placements – Better than regular foster care?

For those who are unfamiliar with Youth Parole, most states have a system for youth offenders who turn 18 so they don’t automatically go into the adult criminal system.  Instead, they remain under the youth offenders services, often until they turn 21.

In some states, Youth Parole is a part of youth & family services.  In other states, it is a separate entity unto itself.

As part of Youth Parole’s reason for being, they provide youthful offenders the opportunity to transition from being locked up into adulthood via independent living skills homes.  These homes offer job placement assistance, budgeting skills training, and help in finding affordable places to live once the young offender is ready to live on their own.

Because the placements in these homes are between the ages of 18 and 21, the homes are not licensed as foster homes.  (Licensing & staffing qualifications may vary from state to state.)  The homes still need to meet basic fire & safety code requirements, as well as any specific placement regulations Youth Parole may require.

Having been a foster parent for a number of year, with all ages, the main differences once notices immediately working with Youth Parole is that the “case workers” are called “PO’s” or Parole Officers and they carry handcuffs instead of a clip board.  PO’s also have the power to arrest their clients.

I’d welcome comments, questions, and input from any member or non-member regarding Youth Parole.  I’d specifically like to hear from other Youth Parole homes as to your experience especially if you were a former foster parent.

Got ICE?

No, not ice for the picnic cooler.  But ICE in your cell phone directory.

ICE stands for “In Case of Emergency”.

If you or one of your kids have a cell phone, chances are in case of an emergency, it would be next to impossible for a nurse, EMT, police officer or Good Samaritan to determine who to contact from your phone directory.

Most first responders and emergency room personnel are now trained to look for ICE in cell phone directories.  The best way to list your emergency contacts is like so:

ICE – Bob

ICE – Mom

Keeping ICE in you cell phone can make all the difference in time when minutes count!

So . . . “Got ICE?”

Budget Cuts Threaten Aging-Out Programs

Even “paradise” has foster kids who age out.

A recent article in The Source (published in St. Thomas, The Virgin Islands) highlights how Federal and local budget cuts threaten a successful aging-out program for foster children ages 18 to 21.

According to The Source article, “The V.I. [Virgin Island] program was in line with those of several states, whose groundbreaking programs for the foster leavers are being set up under the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act, which, in 2008, significantly reformed national foster care policies.”

To read the article, click here.

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