Educational Opportunities for Youth in Foster Care
Department of Health and Human Services
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Small Business Information
INDEPENDENT LIVING RESOURCES, INC.
Independent Living Resources, 411 Andrews Rd, Ste 230, Durham, NC, 27705
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractDESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of this project is to produce, test, and evaluate the use of a multimedia program for foster youths and adults who care for them. The program will connect foster and group home residents (youths), foster and group home parents, other caregivers, and youth serving professionals with information and resources to make post secondary educational opportunities for foster youths more attainable. Early access to information and resources will serve to raise expectations among foster youths and adults surrounding them that some form of post-secondary education (education after high school) is an achievable goal. We will organize content in two major areas, national and state specific, and seven basic topic areas. Youths and adults will receive information by using an On Your Way CD-Rom, DVD and Guidebook, and comprehensive informational databases through the On Your Way.org website. In Phase I, we developed the On Your Way CD-Rom, two introductory videos, and framework design for the DVD and Guidebook, and On Your Way.org website. The On Your Way program prototype was built on a CD-Rom (version 1.0). Participants in the feasibility and evaluation studies showed that foster care youths from 13-23 were very interested and excited about the design and concept for the completed program. We were also able to determine significant rates of access and use of Internet technologies among participants in the study. In Phase II, we will fully develop the On Your Way CD-Rom, DVD and Guide, and website. The evaluation study will focus on all three aspects of the multimedia package. Several objectives have been developed to guide our research activities: 1. Raise awareness among foster care youths and their caregivers/parents regarding the accessibility and affordability of education after high school; 2. Disseminate currently fragmented information regarding types of schools, admissions, housing, school supports, scholarship and loan information (financial aid), available to foster youths; 3. Develop and evaluate effectiveness of multimedia programming in reaching foster care youths and their caregivers/parents in both rural and urban and family and group settings; 4. Gather data over time to determine the educational value of the materials and motivation of users to develop or extend post secondary education plans.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.