Aging into College

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					    To get the assessments right, outreach workers have to see      are plan-
an accurate picture of a family’s daily life. “We’re not having a   ning to add more
meeting—if you’re going to the store, we’re going to the store      staff and grow the program.
with you,” Sullivan explains. Making FCIS a truly communi-          Sullivan tries to accommodate
ty-oriented solution is the point of the program; outreach          staff ’s schedules and give them two days
workers explore the services a family can find within their         in a row off work, because FCIS work is done
own neighborhood, like programs at the YMCA or other local          “when the families need us,” as Danovitch described
organizations. But this tailoring is also a problem, since their    it—not 9-to-5, Monday through Friday. “Being flexible
families live all over Massachusetts: “That’s been a huge chal-     and being able to give [families] the service when they’re
lenge—we can’t possibly know every community,” Danovitch            home is key, it really is key,” Sullivan says. “If wake-ups
says. Staff must familiarize themselves with each new area          are an issue, we’ll be there at 5 in the morning; if bedtimes
when they take on a new case. Another aspect of a distant           are an issue, we’ll be there at bedtime.” Additionally, Walker
client is that travel time must be factored in when planning a      has a clinical on-call service 24 hours a day available for fam-
child’s treatment. To address some of these issues, Walker          ilies they serve.
tries to create connections with local agencies, some of which          “We’ve had a lot of success, which is why there’s so
may be able to take over cases that begin in FCIS.                  much passion behind it here,” Sullivan says. “I feel like
    Sullivan currently works with one other case manager            they’re really behind this program and developing it and
and five outreach workers; they cover 16-20 cases total, but        growing it.”




Aging                                         Showing                                   All About
into College                                  the System                                the Children
Western Michigan University                   After all eyes were on Texas Child                               In June, the Simba
launched a program this year for              Protective Services last spring,                                 mentoring pro-
foster care youth who age out of the          the Austin American-Statesman                                    gram at Ohio’s
system, reaching 18 without being             decided to follow the lo
				
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