MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new public-private partnership is working to make the transition easier for children who age out of the foster care system with the support of Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
Governor Bill Lee, along with the Department of Children’s Services Commissioner, stopped at Youth Villages Thursday to announce a commitment of $14 million to help children as they turn 18 and age out of the foster care system.
The money will come from public-private partnerships with the state of Tennessee to continue to support the Youth Villages LifeSet program. Already, the LifeSet program has helped more than 10,000 young adults between the ages of 17 and 22. This program provides support and guidance for youth to make a successful transition to adulthood.
Partnered with a mentor, the teens are taught how to apply for college, how to find a job, how to apply for medical insurance, and given other essentials needed to be successful on their own.
“There is a real gap there, between the care in the services provided to them in the foster care system and then once they leave it, that’s what this is about. It’s a tremendous partnership between nonprofit agencies, state government, local officials, philanthropist to provide that gap, the services needed for those children in that gap," said Tennessee Governor Bill Lee.
Since 2013, Tennessee has been the only state to make these services available to every child aging out of the foster care system.
Governor Lee says Tennessee has become a model for other jurisdictions to learn from.
Foster kids who participate in the LifeSet program have been shown to earn more money, live in a more stable environment, and have improved mental health.