Child Welfare Ideas From the Experts, #3: Internship Programs for Aging Out Teens

The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 11 former foster youths who completed Congressional internships. The program is overseen each summer by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, with support from the Sara Start Fund.

Each of the FYI participants crafted a carefully researched policy recommendation during their time in Washington. Today, we highlight the recommendation of Wilo Muyoma, 21, and undergraduate student at Whitworth University and former Microsoft internship.

The Proposal

A portion of John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program funding in each state should be earmarked for an internship program modeled on the success of Year Up and the Microsoft Apprentice Program. Such programs should be available for foster youths who are 14 and older, and deemed likely to age out of foster care.

Further, Congress should incentivize companies to hire foster youths by reauthorizing the Work Opportunity Tax Credit and include older foster youths as a target group.

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