The Children's Aid Society's Next Generation Center Named 'Exemplary Initiative' by Center for Study of Social Policy

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National Search Highlights Programs Helping Youth in Foster Care Thrive

January 15, 2014

Today, The Children’s Aid Society’s Next Generation Center was named one of 15 local, state and national youth and family serving initiatives making a critical difference in the lives of youth in foster care by the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP), a national organization based in Washington, DC. The center was recognized for its commitment to “building qualities that help youth (age 11-26) – particularly those in the child welfare system - mitigate or eliminate risk and promote healthy development and well-being.”

The Next Generation Center (NGC) is a one-stop center designed to support young people, ages 14-24, as they prepare for and transition to adulthood and independence. The mission of NGC is to help high-risk young people change the trajectories of their lives through transformational relationships, stage-based employment programming and strong partnerships with other youth-serving institutions.

NGC offers job readiness training and subsidized internships, educational guidance and advocacy, legal counseling, housing assistance, and life skills, creative and visual arts, multimedia, fitness and recreational programming. Members of the NGC also have access to medical and dental services at nearby Children’s Aid Society centers.

“We are proud of the work of the Next Generation Center and pleased to be recognized by the Center for the Study of Social Policy,” said Richard R. Buery, Jr., president and chief executive officer of The Children’s Aid Society. “We know that without effective interventions, many young people in the child welfare system will face serious challenges as they transition to adulthood—from school failure to unemployment and homelessness. Our goal is to create an environment at the Next Generation Center that promotes the healthy development and well-being of every young person in our care.”

Winning initiatives each exemplify CSSP’s Youth Thrive™ framework, which is built on five research-informed factors: youth resilience, social connections and concrete support in times of need, knowledge of adolescent development, cognitive and social-emotional competence in youth.

The Next Generation Center will provide CSSP and the child welfare field with on the ground examples of policies, training and programs that operationalize the Youth Thrive protective and promotive factors. That information will be used to help influence program and public policy change across the country.

“These 15 programs represent organizations and agencies that are achieving outcomes that are truly improving the well-being of very vulnerable youth,” said Susan Notkin, CSSP associate director. “They share a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities adolescents face, the impact of trauma they have experienced and the commitment needed to stick with them, no matter what.” 

Programs were selected out of more than 130 nominees and were chosen after a rigorous review that included a detailed written application, extensive site visits and interviews with youth, families and staff.

The other selected programs are:

  • Anu Family Service, St. Paul, MN
  • Center for Fostering Success- Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Child Well Being Project-Catawba County Social Services, Hickory, NC
  • FAME-Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
  • FosterEd, Oakland, CA
  • Just Like Me-Family Support Services of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
  • MAAC/EmpowerMEnt, Atlanta, GA
  • My Life Project-Portland State University, Portland, OR
  • Youth Advisory Board-Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Personal Best for Teens-Ackerman Institute, New York, NY
  • PHILLIPS Family Partners, Annandale, VA
  • Unconditional Care Model-Seneca Family of Agencies, San Francisco, CA
  • Trauma Informed Care-SaintA, Milwaukee, WI
  • Transitional Living Program-Youth Villages, Memphis, TN

About The Children’s Aid Society
The Children’s Aid Society is an independent, not-for-profit organization established to serve the children of New York City. Our mission is to help children in poverty to succeed and thrive. We do this by providing comprehensive supports to children and their families in targeted high-needs New York City neighborhoods. Founded in 1853, it is one of the nation’s largest and most innovative non-sectarian agencies, serving New York’s neediest children. Services are provided in community schools, neighborhood centers, health clinics and camps. For additional information, please call Anthony Ramos at (212) 949-4938/ (917) 204-8214, email anthonyr@childrensaidsociety.org or visit www.childrensaidsociety.org.

About The Center for the Study of Social Policy
The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a national, nonprofit organization recognized for its leadership in shaping policy, reforming public systems and building the capacity of communities. For more than 30 years, CSSP has influenced and supported elected officials, public administrators, families and neighborhood residents to take the actions they need. Based in Washington, DC, CSSP translates research and new ideas into strategies for on-the-ground implementation. We use the knowledge from those real experiences to better inform the next generation of ideas, programs and policies. CSSP’s goal is to make sure low income children can learn, develop and thrive with the support of strong families, in safe and healthy communities. For more information, visit www.cssp.org or call 202.371.1565.