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Michigan DHS Announces Launch Of Foster Youth Support Programs At Seven Colleges Statewide

LANSING, Mich. November 28, 2012 –- The Michigan Department of Human Services today announced that seven colleges statewide will share an $800,000 grant to provide former foster youth with a support program to help them succeed in higher education.

Among other components, the grant will fund a dedicated social worker at each college to help these youth with issues including housing during breaks, assistance programs and support. The colleges receiving the funds are: Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Baker College of Flint, Ferris State University, Saginaw Valley University, Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan-Flint.

The programs at these colleges are modeled after the highly successful Seita Scholar Program at Western Michigan University. Western Michigan University began with 12 students in 2008 and, to date, has served more than 150 former foster youth.

In addition to these college programs, Michigan is also the only state in the Midwest offering a voluntary extension of foster care to age 21 that is both federally funded and federally approved. More than 200 young adults have entered this program since April 2012, providing them with financial and other resources needed to succeed as they transition to adulthood.

“The national statistics for former foster care youth in adulthood are alarming,” said Steve Yager, director of the Children’s Services Administration. “The college campus program and the voluntary extension of foster care are critical components in our mission to provide former foster youth with the tools they will need to succeed as adults. The youth in both of these programs have demonstrated that they are willing to work toward self-sufficiency – they just need our support to achieve that goal. We intend to be there for them every step of the way.”

Source: Press Release


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