November 27, 2019
Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County (FCSRC) is the proud recipient of a $35,000 Orange Door Project Grant awarded by The Home Depot Canada Foundation. The grant supports FCSRC’s new Foundations program – a multi-pronged program developed to empower at-risk youth facing multiple barriers as they leave society care. It aims to enhance the abilities of these youth to become self-empowered and build their connection to natural supports including family, friends and community mentors.
“Youth leaving the care of child welfare agencies face more challenges and risks compared to their peers,” said Kathy Davis, Executive Director, FCSRC. “Receiving The Orange Door Project Grant from The Home Depot Canada Foundation allows us to provide the additional support we know they need to help them reach their educational or career-related goals and build relationships with people who can support them for the long-term.”
Some of the risks youth transitioning from society care experience include fewer financial resources, increased social isolation, poorer educational outcomes and greater rates of homelessness. As homelessness is not only a lack of financial resources but also a condition of being isolated, the Foundations program addresses homelessness in a manner that leads to sustained, positive outcomes for youth.
Foundations includes a three-pronged approach that supports youth (16-21) in the care of FCSRC or receiving support in finding sustainable employment, educational success, and social connectedness. On a year-round basis, youth driven plans incorporate both individualized supports and group learnings offered by qualified professionals and volunteers. Employment training will focus on cost of living, interviews/resumes, networking and interaction with employers. The educational focus will help youth to identify areas of strength and develop an understanding of how education can enhance their income potential and provide secure and sustained housing. Finally, network development will help youth to identify, build, and engage their individual and community supporters through network meetings facilitated by staff and volunteers. Combined, youth are able to build a social safety net that is life-long and can be engaged to celebrate their successes or to minimize dependence on professional systems in times of need or crisis.