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HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services has been awarded a two-year $140,000 grant by the Redlich Horwitz Foundation to implement a Permanency Pact Program for foster care youth. Each HSVS Permanency Pact, which will be formalized by a written agreement, ensures that a young man or woman in HSVS’ care has the support of a trusted, reliable person to help him or her navigate the challenges of impending adulthood.
Planning a personal budget, apartment hunting and selecting college courses are among the touchstone moments that collectively shape a young person’s future. Like a parent or family member, adults participating in this program will be there for many academic, financial, social and/or spiritual experiences.
“Time and again, we’ve seen that a long-term connection with a supportive adult can make all the difference,” noted HSVS Executive Director Dawn Saffayeh. HSVS consistently aims to provide the necessary supports for young men and women transitioning out of foster care to pursue a more secure, self-directed future.
HSVS also will partner with other foster care agencies, such as Catholic Guardian Services (CGS) and Good Shepherd Services (GSS), to develop and host trainings for participants, as well as to define criteria to match foster youth with appropriate adults. You Gotta Believe, an organization that encourages foster teens and young adults to find and cultivate permanent and unconditional relationships with adults, will contribute to training sessions as well.
HSVS will host a series of events, starting in May, to provide more information on how an adult is matched with a young person based on mutual interests. Whether it’s meeting up for dinner once per month to talk or to help the young person register for the right courses for the upcoming college semester, both parties figure out together what they want out of the relationship. “This will be a lifelong connection that will either supplement or replace the supportive presence of a parent. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be connected to young people who are so hopeful and resilient despite their circumstances,” noted Saffayeh.
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