Audio Conference: Texas Youth Transition Centers
Youth aging out of foster care are at high risk of homelessness. In Texas, the state Department of Family and Protective Services – Family Focus division of Child Protective Services is working to expand and improve services offered to older youth in foster care and preparing to age out of care. One tool they are using is Community Based Transition Centers. The Transition Centers are one-stop centers that offer access to affordable housing, livable wage jobs, educational advancement, and numerous other services that target young adults as they transition out of foster care. These centers are community collaborations stemming from government, public, and private partnerships. They are designed to further strengthen the system of services and supports for transitioning youth, helping them achieve self-sufficiency.
This audio conference, on October 12, featured representatives from three Texas Transition Centers. Terri Hipps of the Baptist Child and Family Services PAL Youth Center in San Antonio spoke about how the collaborations that occur between all of the centers allows for more continuity in working with youth even if they have to move between regions. Pam Walker, in Houston, discussed the unique partnerships between the US Department of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services and Education at the Houston Alumni and Youth (HAY) Center made possible by a grant from the DOL. Lastly, Jennifer Grant from the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) in Dallas explained their multi-tiered Housing Program that starts with short-term intake housing, progresses to longer-term apartment sharing with other youth, and ends with youth securing their own apartment with the help of the program. All of the speakers spoke to the importance of providing services to the youth at one place because of transportation problems and helping youth understand the types of resources that are available to them before and after they leave foster care. This audio conference will be availbale in mp3 format within a month and will be located in the