Engaging Youth


  • Casey Life Skills website – http://lifeskills.casey.org/clsa_homepage
    • Basic assessment (required by all youth in care at age 16)
    • Additional assessments and free, online resource guide – Resources to Inspire Guide
  • Iowa Aftercare Services Network website – http://www.iowaaftercare.org/
    • Iowa services, resources, and how to connect with ‘your’ Aftercare Advocate
  • Foster Club website 
    • Permanency Pact, Transition Toolkit and other resources for youth and adults!
  • Casey Family Programs website – http://www.casey.org/index.htm
    • Lots of resources – many free and downloadable
    • It’s My Life series; Housing, Employment, and Postsecondary Education and Training
  • Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative website – http://jimcaseyyouth.org/
    • Resources for youth aging out, updated brain research, and new initiative – Success Beyond 18

The National Resource Center for Youth Development at the University of Oklahoma’s overall goal is to build the capacity of States and Tribes to provide high quality services to their youth in out of home placements, former foster youth and other youth in at-risk situations. There are many good resources for working with and engaging youth. 

The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections at the Hunter College School of Social Work is a training, technical assistance, and information services organization dedicated to help strengthen the capacity of State, local, Tribal and other publicly administered or supported child welfare agencies to: institutionalize a safety-focused, family-centered, and community-based approach to meet the needs of children, youth and families. Many good resources for working with youth – especially as they are preparing to transition out of care. 

The Finance Project’s Youth Transition Resource Center’s focus is on youth exiting the foster care system face numerous obstacles in their transition to successful adulthood. Research has documented that many of the approximately 20,000 youth who age out of foster care each year face a host of negative outcomes including homelessness, low educational achievement, and underemployment. In response, policymakers, foundations, and communities are developing innovative strategies for supporting successful transitions to adulthood for youth aging out of foster care.

The National Resource Center for In-Home Services (NRC In-Home), a service of the Children’s Bureau, provides child welfare expertise on services designed to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth in their homes, prevent their initial placement or re-entry into foster care, and preserve, support and stabilize their families. Located at the University of Iowa School of Social work – a great Iowa-based resource!

Youth Life Skills Assessment

  • Daily living skills
    • How to clean anything – http://www.howtocleananything.com/
      • Basics on how to clean many different areas including house, food, cars, pets, etc.
    • Do it yourself – http://www.doityourself.com/
      • Basics on many simple things that need to be done. Including cleaning, fixing faucet, how to save money on heating, etc.
  • Housing
    • US Department of Housing and Urban Development – http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD
      • Has information about finding a place to rent, rights and responsibilities and a search engine by state by city/area that offer affordable apartments.
    • Move.com – http://www.move.com/
      • Information about renting apartments like checklist, budgeting, roommates, etc. Plus a search engine to find apartments or homes.
    • Managing my money.com
      • Go to ‘Your Housing Options” and “Worksheets/Tips” – many options from money issues, employment issues and housing.
  • Money management
    • Reality Check Budget Calculator – http://www.texasrealitycheck.com/
      • This is a great resource for youth to go to and explore their options. This is designed for Texas – so first step is to figure out which community in Texas is similar in prices to the community that you want the youth to explore.
      • Then have the youth answer the questions and it will let them know how much money they need to make and what level of education they need to make that much money. EXCELLENT resource.
    • Practical Money Skills – http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/
      • Good website with many options to explore money issues. Including budgeting, credit, information and informative games!
    • Credit report – get a free copy once every 12 months from national consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
  • Community resources/Emergency/Safety Skills
    • Iowa aftercare services network – http://www.iowaaftercare.org/
      • Resources to help youth transition out and offer the support of an Aftercare Advocate up to the age of 21.
    • United Way – 211 system – http://www.211.org/
      • 2-1-1 provides free and confidential information and referral. Call 2-1-1- for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more. Learn more about 2-1-1 by looking it up here.
  • Employment skills
    • Iowa Workforce Development – http://www.iowaworkforce.org/
      • Information about Workforce offices and resources including a great resource guide for job seekers – 
    • Job Corps – http://www.jobcorps.gov/home.aspx
      • Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find and keep a good job. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. Located in most states – two locations in Iowa.
  • Education plan
  • Transition Club – (formerly FYI3)
    • Has information about transitioning and helpful resources in many of the topic areas including education, housing, and the Permanency Pact! Also list internship opportunities and connections in other states if a young person is thinking of moving.