The role of case managers for emancipated foster youth
The role of case managers for emancipated foster youth
Emancipation also referred to as aging out means the specific age (usually age of 18) that a foster youth attains and is discharged from being part of the foster care system. To ensure that emancipated youth become productive as well as be self-sufficient adults they require quality employment, access to health care, have safe housing and education (Delgado et al, 2007). Commitment to a loving and supportive family is important. The family provides encouragement to youths as face challenges of life. Case managers are important to foster youth as they provide support in their lives by design services and systems that assist emancipated youth acquire employment, safe housing, health care and quality education.
Education is the main foundation stone for a prosperous adult life for emancipated foster youths. Unfortunately, as Delgado et al (2007) reports, only half of the foster youths who enroll for high school education complete and only 20% of those who attain high school education pursue postsecondary education. Yet 70% of non foster children complete high school education and 60% proceed to postsecondary education. Case manager can help reduce these disparities. According Delgado et al (2007) is the duty of a case manager to ensure that foster youths under his/her care get high school education and further access post secondary education. They should facilitate the youths to access scholarships, bursaries and a place to stay during school holidays adds Delgado et al (2007). These are necessary resources for a proper academic life. Success of foster youth is also attributed to strong mentorship and support system. Delgado et al (2007) believe that the case manage can help the youths to chose appropriate mentors or act as mentors and encourage the youths to pursue their education. In sum, case manager act as parent and must take pride in helping foster youths to achieve their academic goals.
Foster youths are disadvantaged in the job market. This disadvantage is pegged on low educational attainment. In this regard, case manager must find placement opportunities for the foster youths in addition to seeing them through school. According to Hook (2010), Case managers can use their connections with other organizations to secure placement and employment opportunities for their youths. Organizations that play a fundamental role in the emancipation of foster youths are linked to each other and other different organizations (Hook 2010). Case manager can exploit this links to get meaningful employment for the foster youths.
However, the first step in ensuring that the foster youth secure meaningful employment is educating them (Hook, 2010).
Case manager being in charge of the foster youth’s healthcare must be responsible for his/her health. Case managers should always be updated and participate in making critical decisions on the health of foster youths. Pearson (n.d.) notes that case managers should collaborate with caregivers and doctors to provide the foster youths with adequate. According to Pearson (n.d.) every development stage presents varied challenge to a child, therefore, since a case manger has known the youth for a considerable length of time he/she can share with care giver or physician the health history of the youth. This history is important in finding health solutions to the youth’s problems. Finally, the caregiver, like a guardian, must provide health advice to the youth and ensure the youth observer proper nutrition (Pearson, n.d.).
Housing yet another important aspect of proper living since the places where foster live have great implication on their wellbeing. Unfortunately, most foster youths aging out of foster care are not able to afford housing. To help such youths case managers should find them accommodation in the in with programs the provide housing for the youths. According to the Superior Court of California (n.d.) case managers have the role of ensuring that the houses the foster youths live are located in locations with adequate social amenities. They should stay in neighborhoods that are safe.
My internship experience greatly relates to the roles of a case manager. In my internship with renaissance scholar program I help the emancipated youth in various capacities. Education wise the youth require encouragement on the importance of attaining intellectual knowledge. Provision of education materials where the youth get literature for their studies and research is of major importance. I help the youth access resources such as libraries and the internet. Emancipated youth require consistent advice on the importance of having self discipline in their studies (Successful Transitions for All Youth, n.d). Health wise I education on ways of preventing unintended pregnancies and other sexually transmitted diseases, importance of maintaining high self hygiene and the importance of feeding on a balanced diet to ensure good health. I also help the youth get free medical examinations at health centers. As an intern working as case managers liaise with the housing authorities to acquire cheap houses for the emancipated foster youth whose location are safe and have social amenities. As an intern I seek fund to pay for housing facilities that foster youth use. I also prepare foster youth for employment by teaching them wok place ethics, appropriate dressing for work, help them prepare adequately for interviews and connect them with organizations seeking employees.
Foster youth are a challenge in society if transition services such as education, housing and employment are not provided to manage them. Case managers play a vital role in the lives of emancipated foster youth as they ensure that the foster youth has access to education, health care, quality employment and safe housing. My experience as an intern helping foster youth has made me learn the importance of having a supportive system helping emancipated youth.
Delgado et al. (2007). Expanding Transitional Services for Emancipated Forster youth: An investment in California’s tomorrow. San Diego: University of San Diego School Of Law.
Hook, et al. (2010). Employment of former foster youths as adults: Evidence from the Midwest Study. Chicago, IL. : University of Chicago.
Pearson, P. (n.d.). A Medical Home for Foster Children: the Family Outreach Support Clinic. California Healthcare News. Retrieved from http://www.cahcnews.com/ca-ppearson0611.pdf
Successful Transitions for All Youth (n.d). Imperial County establishes a centralized case management system. California: Successful Transitions for All Youth
Superior Court of California. (n.d.). Mentoring Emancipated Forster Youth. San Mateo: Superior Court of California.