Robins Foundation Funds Initiative Dedicated to Reforming Virginia’s Foster Care System
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2018
RICHMOND, VA — The Possibilities Project (TPP) will help lead the way toward effective and innovative practices supporting older youth transitioning out of foster care, thanks in part to a grant of nearly $500,000 from Robins Foundation. The Foundation has a 60-year history of leading transformational change in the greater Richmond community through innovative philanthropy that inspires solutions to society’s greatest challenges.
In 2015 the Children’s Home Society of Virginia (CHS) and the Better Housing Coalition (BHC) partnered with leading nonprofit research organization Child Trends to explore state programs and policies to support youth transitioning from foster care. The results of that report (Supporting Young People Transitioning from Foster Care) supported the development of TPP – an initiative to address concerns with Richmond’s foster care system and other socioeconomic issues.
“We feel TPP’s objectives around developing foster care youth into successful and productive members of their communities are in line with our core values and mission and make them an ideal recipient of our new catalytic funding model,” said Kelly Chopus, Chief Executive Officer, Robins Foundation. “The goal of this funding strategy is to help propel a trend of effective reform on matters affecting the state of poverty for children in the Richmond community.”
The grant from Robins Foundation will help TPP execute the following objectives: to identify the best programs and policies to support youth transitioning from foster care; to launch an effective program for people ages 18 to 25 who have aged out of foster care; and to rally partners and advocates for systematic change across the Commonwealth.
Virginia has one of the highest percentages in the nation of youth leaving foster care due to age – also known as emancipation – meaning they leave care without having a permanent, legal, familial relationship in place. Research shows that youth who age out of foster care experience worse outcomes than their peers in stable home environments. This unfortunate reality is largely due to the growing nationwide opioid epidemic in recent years, which has led to an exponential increase of children admitted into the foster care system.
Extending foster care past the age of 18, or providing effective programs for people ages 18 to 25 who have aged out of foster care, can provide young adults the stability and support to they need to experience more positive outcomes. For example, research shows that young people who remain in foster care until 21 are less likely to experience homelessness or become pregnant before age 21, and are more likely to be employed and attend college, as compared to those who leave care at 18.
Robins Foundation was established in 1957 by E. Claiborne Robins and Lora M. Robins. The vision of the Foundation is to advance the greater Richmond community through strategic partnerships, collaborations and education, all of which will serve as a model for creating an environment of fairness and opportunity for everyone to thrive. To achieve this vision, Robins continues to conduct and support initiatives that encourage policy shifts, align with peers and nonprofits around community issues, and make investments that cultivate and support innovative solutions. For more information about Robins Foundation, the Robins family, or grant deadlines and giving focus, please visit legacy.robinsfdn.org.
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