Youth in Foster Care to Celebrate Their Own “Independence Day” - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Youth in Foster Care to Celebrate Their Own “Independence Day”

annual conference gives teens the tools and knowledge needed to be self-sufficient and healthy annual conference gives teens the tools and knowledge needed to be self-sufficient and healthy
(KLTV) - Press Release: BCFS Health and Human Services 

TYLER – For many youth in foster care, aging out of the system can be a scary and uncertain time. When youth turn 18 years old, they are sent out on their own to navigate applying for college, landing their first job, renting their first apartment and other adult responsibilities. Oftentimes, teens who spent time in foster care must do all of this without any family or stable support system to lean on.

That's why BCFS Health and Human Services hosts an annual “Independence Day” youth conference, offering workshops and informational sessions that guide youth aging out of foster care toward a path of self-sufficiency and healthy decision making.

This year's workshops were developed based on recommendations from past youth in foster care. The sessions will focus on the traits of healthy relationships, good nutrition, effective financial planning, supervised independent living, foster youth rights, and human trafficking. Youth will come away with the knowledge, tools and inspiration needed to transition successfully to independent adulthood. 

“War of the Roses: Establishing and Maintaining Healthy Relationships”

BCFS' Annual Independence Day Youth Conference

Thursday, July 2, 2015

8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Holiday Inn South Conference Center,

5701 S Broadway

Tyler

“This year our theme is ‘War of the Roses' because we will discuss many of the complex questions that need to be answered in order to have healthy and stable relationships,” says Carla McCalope, BCFS director.

“Unfortunately, statistics show youth in foster care often demonstrate a cycle of participating in unhealthy relationships. Our goal, therefore, is to teach these young adults the characteristics of healthy relationships, how to recognize them, and how to help them flourish.”

Approximately 75 youth are expected to participate in workshops facilitated by one of BCFS' community partners, Cenpatico, a health solutions organization offering services that include behavioral health and specialty therapies.

“Some of our older youth who have also aged out of foster care will participate in the sessions, too,” said McCalope. “Their perspective is invaluable as someone who experienced the foster care system and is now successful.”

BCFS Health and Human Services' center serves youth in and aging out of foster care, as well as other young adults facing challenges like homelessness, poverty, or those recovering from physical and emotional abuse. The center is a “one-stop shop” that provides youth counseling, case management, and assistance with education, employment, housing location and medical care.

To learn more about the BCFS center in Tyler, visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Tyler.

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