Arizona’s Children Association announces new mentor program for young adults ‘aging out’ of foster care

Deer Valley, AZ – According to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES), 723 young adults aged 18 and older left foster care in fiscal year 2012. Without family or the support from a caring adult, statistics indicate that many of these young adults will experience homelessness, incarceration and/or poverty. In an attempt to improve the success of teens ‘aging out’ of foster care, Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) has created THRIVE, a mentor program designed to enhance support for many of these young adults.

In May of 2013, AzCA was awarded a statewide DES contract for their Independent Living Program which teaches essential life skills to youth aging out of the foster care system. In order to improve the lives of transitioning youth, AzCA decided to bring mentors on board as a part of that program with the aim of developing supportive, positive relationships that assist the young adults in reaching their full potential.

The THRIVE Mentor Program is dedicated to one-on-one mentoring that helps foster care youth thrive and achieve the same success as their peers who are not involved in foster care.  Goals of the program include helping to reduce rates of homelessness and teen pregnancy, and increase rates of graduation, job stability, social skills, and healthy adult connections.

The THRIVE Mentor Program is now recruiting community members and foster care alumni from around the state to be mentors for young adults ages 17-19. Mentors are asked to commit to working with their mentee for two years in order to assist them in their transition into adulthood. THRIVE mentors must be at least 21 years old, demonstrate life skills and achievement, and have at least one year of experience working with adolescents. All mentors will receive the training, support and resources necessary to understand the transition planning process and to cultivate a successful mentor relationship.

For more information about the THRIVE Mentor Program, visit www.ArizonasChildren.org/THRIVE. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please email Mentor@arizonaschildren.org or call 1.844.747.1533.

About Arizona’s Children Association

Arizona’s Children Association is the best resource for helping children and families in the state. For 100 years, Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA) has stayed true to “Protecting Children, Empowering Youth, Strengthening Families,” serving more than 42,000 children, individuals and families in all 15 counties each year. We are one of the oldest and largest statewide child welfare and behavioral health nonprofit agencies in Arizona. Learn more at www.ArizonasChildren.org.

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