The Junior League of Lancaster (JLL) Aging Out of Foster Care Committee hosted two town hall-style meetings on April 5 and 6 with about 35 community partner organizations in attendance between the two events. The JLL invited organizations together to hear their perspective about the challenges that youths are facing in Lancaster County as they exit the foster care system and where there are gaps that the JLL could help to fill.
The community partners in attendance were Arch Street Center, Benchmark Program, Bethany Christian Services, Clare House, Community Services Group, Families Untied Network, Lancaster County Office of Children and Youth Services, Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness, Lancaster County Commissioners Dennis Stuckey and Josh Parsons, Lancaster Education Foundation, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, a representative from the Pennsylvania State Senate, Pressley Ridge, School District of Lancaster, Tabor Community Services, United Way of Lancaster County, and the YWCA.
Two years ago, the JLL adopted its Issue Based Community Impact (IBCI) model - the strategic filter through which the JLL engages its membership and works with community partners to research and address pressing community issues. One of the JLL's current IBCI focus areas is providing support to youth aging out of foster care. Research efforts have found that about 27 Lancaster County young adults aged out of the foster care system with no permanent home in 2014.