Vol. 19, No. 2 • May 2015

NC Foster Parent Training: "Helping Youth Reach Self-Sufficiency"

Do you have teens in your home? Are you worried about what will happen to youths in foster care once they leave the child welfare system? If so, you are not alone.

The NC DHHS LINKS program and Independent Living Resources teams up every year to conduct a three-day training seminar called "Helping Youths Reach Self-Sufficiency." Youths aging out of foster care face enormous challenges. Statistics indicate they have higher than normal rates of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, mental illness, and are undereducated. We are trying to change those odds in North Carolina with programs such as SaySo, LINKS, and Helping Youths Reach Self-Sufficiency (HYRSS).

Foster parents working with private and public agencies are invited to apply to attend this training for free. However, there is a hook (there's always a hook). If you attend the training, you will be asked to return to your home county and share what you've learned. The materials you receive at the training will help you share the message and encourage all caregivers to teach life skills to all youths and allow them to practice those skills at home.

HYRSS accepts 24 participants per session (two parents per agency). Over the years, caregivers have shared their new-found knowledge with thousands of other caregivers through statewide conferences and through informal conversations over coffee.

Caregivers attending HYRSS increase their learning by an average of 220%. The course is taught by a foster/adoptive couple and a young adult who was previously in care. Caregivers say they find the weekend training "invaluable, inspirational, and rejuvenating."

HYRSS will next be held from Fri., Oct. 23 (starts at 3 p.m.) through Sun., Oct. 25, 2015 (ends at 1 p.m.). To apply, complete this form or visit www.ncswlearn.org. You may also visit http://ilrinc.com/about-ilr/training/nc-links-programming/

Registration Deadline: September 18, 2015.

~ Family and Children's Resource Program, UNC-CH School of Social Work ~