Successful Life Transitions for Aging-Out Orphans As older orphans age out of care, international trends are heartbreaking: homelessness, substance abuse, prostitution, crime and incarceration await many who lack adequate support networks. The Church is called to step into this gap, aiding orphans into adulthood through holistic life transition support. This webinar will examine information and models useful to Christian leaders, churches and para-church organizations as they work to create health life transitions to aging out orphans Presenter: W. Scott Brown, CAFO “Aging-Out” Initiative Coordinator and Vice-President of Communication and Lifelong Learning, Christian Leadership Alliance Deuteronomy 10:18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. Proverbs 31: 8, 9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Successful Life Transition: 5 Keys 1. 2. 3. 4. Life Skills Training Spiritual Care and Mentoring Transitional Housing Vocational Training/Entrepreneurship/Job Placement 5. Church and Community Support Networks Aging-Out Initiative Kingdom Collaboration Example: The Jesus Film Example: Cape Town 2010 Life Skills: Case Study Orphan’s Promise Spiritual Care & Mentoring Case Study: LifeSong for Orphans To transition successfully into adult life, aging-out orphans need the support and accountability of a church family. LifeSong through its Constant Christian Presence (CCP) program provides mentorship, discipleship, weekly Bible studies, one-on-one counseling, transitional housing, job skills training and transportation to church activities. Spiritual Care and Mentoring: Case Study: Teen Leadership Foundation TeenLeadershipFoundation.org Based in Newport Beach, California, this organization builds strong one-on-one mentoring relationships with aging-out foster children. Transitional Housing: Case Study: Heart for Orphans Heart for Orphans (HeartforOrphans.com) shares Christ through small, family-style group Christian group homes where young people learn to live with love, respect and dignity. Vocational Training: Case Study: Hope Unlimited Hope Unlimited (HopeUnlimited.org) based in Brazil provides vocational training programs that are designed to help move graduates to successful independent livng. Church/Community Support Networks: Case Study: Orphan Care Alliance The Orphan Care Alliance of Louisville, Kentucky brings together churches and Christians in Kentucky and southern Indiana to provide life coaching support to children aging-out of the foster system. Key Lessons: Life Skills Training • Aging-out youth need basic life-skills training. • It is advisable to utilize a well-designed, biblically-based manual or strategy for consistent training. • Start as early as possible to begin equipping children. • Mentoring and church partnerships are vital. Key Lessons: Spiritual Care and Mentoring • The key to restoring hope is introducing these kids to Christ, the source of ultimate hope. • Engaging local churches is a key to a successful program • One-on-one spiritual counseling is vital • Group Bible study is key • Getting kids involved in their local church Key Lessons: Transitional Housing • • • • Relationship before real estate Location is everything! Being a house parent is not a job, it’s a calling. Discipleship program is essential for real life change. • Keep it small and family-like. • House parent should be national whenever possible. • Cultivate partnerships . • Key Lessons: Vocational Training • Begin with the end in mind. • Help the children envision their future. • Be adaptable and sensitive to the needs of the market. • Enlist other aged-out orphans or foster kids to share insight on succeeding in work and life. • Encourage them to do more than they even imagine for themselves Key Lessons: Church/Community Support Networks • Lifelong systems of support are vital for the successful life transition of aging-out orphans or foster children • The Church is the key place to make that happen. • We must be intentional to create opportunities and safe spaces for Christians in churches to invest the lives of these children. To Ask a Question: Use the “Questions” bar on your webinar dashboard For more information, visit: www.cafo.org/aging-out Save the date for the next webinar… Adoption from Both Sides Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 Time: 2pm EST REGISTRATION OPEN SOON!