FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — Young adults aging out of the foster care system now have the opportunity to access employment, job training and leadership skills through a collaborative program that places young people in entry-level positions in Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) offices around the state.
Governor Matt Bevin, First Lady Glenna Bevin and Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson made the announcement today in Louisville where they joined several program participants and state leaders who have helped launch the initiative.
Designed to help young people with skills and experience to prepare them for future employment, the summer youth program begins June 1 and will run for 10 weeks serving Kentucky’s foster youth between the ages of 17 and 23. Program participants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be selected.
“As of today, there are 8,180 children and youth in the foster care system in Kentucky. A significant number of these young people will not be placed in permanent homes and, sadly, are not likely to have the support and skills needed to carry them to adulthood,” said Sec. Glisson. “This program is designed to address that and better prepare these young people to not only cope, but thrive as they become independent adults.”
The summer youth program is a statewide pilot project placing young people in Office Support Assistant positions in local DCBS offices. To participate, youth were required to complete a state application for interim employment and selection process prior to receiving their official employment and job assignment. Over 100 individuals are expected to be served by the program.
The goal of the summer youth program is to improve outcomes and build employment and skills for those who participate.
Participants in the summer youth program will work in the state’s local DCBS offices. They will support Department staff through customer service, clerical duties and potentially offering peer support to other youth transitioning from the state foster care program. Program participants will be matched with mentors who will serve as role models in public service who can help navigate the network of state government and its partnerships.