New Environmental Scan from the Arizona Youth Opportunity Initiative
With generous support from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, Children’s Action Alliance is working with many stakeholders to strengthen supports to help youth transition from foster care into adulthood. Since 2004, 5,374 young adults have transitioned from Arizona’s foster care system without permanent family connections. Youth who grow up in Arizona’s foster care system miss out on experiencing the essential independent living skills and community connections that youth in traditional families get. Working in partnership with the national Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, we completed an environmental scan with input from key stakeholders, community agencies, and young adults themselves to get ideas about what’s working and what’s missing to help these youth succeed.
The Environmental Scan highlights effective strategies we have already in Arizona focused on workforce development, education, and building essential skills needed for independent living. We found, however, that few young adults are participating in these effective programs and the community is not aware of what services are available and how to qualify for them. Now the work begins with DES and our community partners to grow awareness about the available services and supports and strengthen the youth voice in policy improvements.