Each year in the United States, more than 23,000 young adults leave the foster care system with no family they can count on. In Massachusetts, this is true of approximately 1,000 youth.
Without a forever family, these young people face grim outcomes, including high rates of homelessness, unemployment, early parenting and lack of education. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Plummer Youth Promise deeply and effectively engages families for each young person we serve while building their skills and community connections. Our experience has been so positive we are sharing our practice model with similar organizations across the country.
In 2016, Plummer Youth Promise served 37 young men in our Group Home and Supported Apartments. Of the 20 young men who were discharged, 70 percent left having a safe, emotionally secure parenting relationship. Here is where our youth went when they left our care:
- 7 – to home with a parent
- 7 – to a higher level of care, 4 with a parent to support them
- 2 – from our group home to our apartment, where they continue to build family relationships
- 1 – to college, with a parent to support them
- 1 – to an apartment, with a parent to support them
- 1 – to a foster home, with a parent to support them
- 1 – to a homeless shelter, with no family relationships he could count on
In 2016, 26 young people from Northeastern Massachusetts lived with foster families who cared for them 24 hours a day / seven days a week as part of the Plummer Youth Promise Foster Care Program.
From FY 13 – FY 16, 70 percent of the young people who discharged from our foster care program left having families committed to them forever.
The harmful effects of juvenile detention are well documented. It disrupts schooling as well as family and community relationships. It increases the chances that a young person won’t finish high school. And it can worsen symptoms for young people struggling with past trauma or mental health concerns.
OnPoint is a collaboration of Plummer Youth Promise, the Salem Police Community Impact Unit and Essex County Juvenile Probation. In FY 16, 49 young people were court-ordered into the Structured Program, 45 were court-ordered to do community service and five were referred by the Department of Children and Families for individualized case management.
Since opening in 2011, 69 young people referred by Juvenile Probation have completed OnPoint’s structured programming; 85 percent of them remained free from juvenile detention 12 months after completing the program.