Young adults aging out of foster care or juvenile justice system involvement face enormous challenges, especially if they lack the type of family or other adult support that would significantly increase their chances of becoming productive, self-sustaining adults. Family or family-like connections for youth leaving care have been recognized as essential to their healthy development and a successful transition from foster care to adulthood. Compounding already daunting challenges, many youth who leave these systems have suffered physical and/or emotional trauma that further impacts their chances for a healthy transition to independence.
Research clearly demonstrates that outcomes for system-involved youth are worse than those who have not, especially in the areas of housing, education, employment, and adult criminal justice systems involvement. The good news is that studies also show that the consistent and supportive presence of a caring adult in a young person’s life can make the difference between healthy decisions and risky conduct, and between making progress toward life goals and failing to move forward.
Being a mentor can have a life-changing impact on a young adult. According to the National Mentoring Partnership, young people who are mentored are 55% more likely to go to college; 81% of young people with a mentor more likely to participate in extra-curricular activities and 78% of them more likely to volunteer. Having a mentor doubles a young person's chance of holding a leadership position.
The Columbus Area Mentoring Program (CAMP), a program of the Family and Youth Law Center at Capital University Law School (FYLaw), is designed to fill the need for consistent mentorships for local young adults who have aged out of foster care to help them transition to safe, supported, and healthy adult lives.
To complement mentorships, CAMP has built a community of caring individuals, organizations, resources, and services geared at helping them achieve positive life outcomes. Our services will include such things as linkage with community resources and services, connections to employment and job training programs, referrals to sources to support housing and social service needs, and information about transition programs available to former foster youth.
To learn more about becoming a mentor, a volunteer, or a resource for CAMP young adults, visit the “Be a Part of CAMP” page.